How To Be Vegan On a Budget

Sofie Penn-Slater on 1 August 2017
How To Be Vegan On a Budget

No more soggy sprouts!

Being vegan on a budget is no easy feat, but if you’re a poor student venturing into the meat-free, dairy-free vegan world, then you don’t have much choice. We’ve put together a handy guide to shopping, cooking and eating cheap vegan food. Enjoy these vegan recipes, tips and tricks, and be vegan for less!

eat your vegetables

Own-brand products

vegan salad tossing

Expensive vegan products can seem tempting, but the thrifty vegan should turn instead to supermarket own-brand products. Many supermarkets are jumping on the vegan train, and providing more and more options for vegan and vegetarian customers. So next time you’re tempted to chuck some expensive tofu in your basket, look and see if there’s a cheaper option.



Seriously, beans. Beans are cheap, diverse and filling, and the go-to option for any peckish vegan. Butter beans are my personal go-to, and taste just as good in a cold salad as they do in hot pot. Chuck in the odd can of chickpeas too, and you’re on your way to a cheap vegan feast.


While a jar of Marmite might not seem cheap (damn you, Brexit), it’s pungent flavour means that you only ever need to use a smidge to brighten up a meal. One of the hardest things to make vegan is gravy, because all of that meaty flavour is completely absent, but swirl a spoonful of Marmite through yours to give it depth and colour.

Herbs & Spices


If you need a good, easy way to maximise flavour for minimal spend, then invest in a selection of good spices and herbs. My personal favourite is smoked paprika, which lends a warm richness to any dish, and is a great substitute for bacon or chorizo when you’re adapting meaty recipes.

Get reading the small print


According to The Vegan Society, the ‘value’ ranges in supermarkets are often vegan. This is because the cheaper products often substitute vegetable oil or similar non-dairy ingredients, whereas the more expensive products are more likely to use things like butter. Get those reading glasses on and get ready to check the ingredients list - you might be surprised to find that lots of ‘value’ products are actually vegan!

Sharpen those elbows

If you head to the supermarkets at the end of the day, you’re far more likely to find reduced food. Whilst most people shove each other out of the way in an attempt to lay their hands on a 50p leg of lamb, vegans and vegetarians can pick up some great deals on fancy veg for a fraction of the normal price.

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Sofie Penn-Slater
Sofie Penn-Slater on 1 August 2017