Eating vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. All of the cheap vegan meals here cost $5 or less for two servings!
Veganism gets the reputation for being overpriced, but it doesn't have to be! These cheap vegan meals are proof that you can eat vegan without breaking the bank. They all clock in at under $5 for two servings, or $10 for four servings.
Cheap vegan meals that you'll love!
This list includes options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many of the options are also 1-pot and come together in under half an hour.
To calculate the 2-serving cost of the recipes below, I combined prices from my local grocery store with prices that I found online.
Frequently asked questions
Shopping for vegan food on a budget isn't much different from shopping as an omnivore on a budget. Clipping coupons helps a lot. Some weeks, I plan our menu around coupons!
My other money-saving strategy is to base our weekly meal plans around food that's already in the pantry. If I see that we have rice, then sushi bowls are on the menu, for example.
A typical vegan meal can be a lot of things, but bowl meals are my favorite when it comes to keeping our budget under control.
To create a bowl meal, start with a starch -- like rice, potatoes, or pasta. Then, add a protein, veggies, and sauce to make it a meal.
Beans (dried or canned) and tofu are my go-to affordable proteins, A can of beans costs around $1 and serves 3 people, and a block of tofu costs around $2 and feeds 4.
For veggies, see what's on sale, and have fun cooking it! Roasted broccoli or sautéed spinach are both very budget-friendly veggies that go with lots of grain-protein combinations. So are pan fried collard greens.
Top that off with store-bought or homemade sauce, and you have a flavorful vegan meal on a budget!
It can be! Beans, grains, veggies, potatoes etc are very affordable. You don't need vegan specialty foods to eat a vegan diet.
Why going vegan seems pricier than it is
When you first go vegan, it can seem super expensive. Part of the problem is that you’re restocking your pantry with vegan groceries. Once you're actually cooking from your vegan pantry, the price goes way down.
Think about those grocery trips when you seem to be out of all of the staples, like ketchup, mustard, mayo, flour, salt, and spices. That’s an expensive shopping trip! But you only have to do that stocking up occasionally. And usually not all at once.
A recipe that calls for a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast might seem expensive when you include the cost of the whole bag. But that bag will last you for many meals. A tablespoon-sized serving of nutritional yeast, though, costs only about 30 cents.
Eating vegan, like eating in general, certainly can be expensive, but you don’t need a pantry full of maca and goji berries to eat vegan. Ingredients like beans, whole grains, and even fresh veggies can be incredibly budget-friendly.