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Calling All Vegan College Students! Use These 4 Hacks to Save Money on a Vegan Diet

Cidney Bachert
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Eating healthy food in college is hard. Most of us are broke, rely on a microwave to survive, and have no free time to make a well-balanced meal. We’ve become the stereotypical college students who blow all their money on frozen carbs, calories, and sodium. But with a vegan diet, healthy eating is so easy.
 

Why I Started a Vegan Diet as a Broke College Student

I reached a point a few months back when I realized I wasn’t happy with my physical health. I ate okay, but I caved for cookies when I felt like having a snack. I decided to make a change, so I started a vegan diet.
 
. . . And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!
 
Aside from losing weight and seeing better results at the gym, going on a vegan diet has dried the tears of my once sad bank account. I’m here to tell you eating healthy in college is possible, and you’ll love the results.
 
If you’re still hesitant to make the switch, check out this article for four reasons why yogis should stop eating meat.
 

But First, Blow Your Money On Supplies!

Wait, what? Don’t worry, there’s a method to the madness. Even though it may be a pain in the a** to spend a few extra dollars at the start, it all pays off in the end. Three “big” purchases you’ll thank yourself for later:

 
You’ll reduce your carbon footprint with reusable bags and produce bags, and some stores even offer a discount for bringing in your own! It’s a small act on your part to give back to the planet (and your bank account).
 
Mason jars are also incredibly handy for a vegan diet. Use them in a ton of recipes and at the bulk bins. Overnight oats, salads, and smoothies can all be made in mason jars and stored during the week for your convenience.
 
Now, let’s get to the tips!
 

Here Are 4 Hacks to Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet on a College Budget:

Eating vegan doesn’t automatically equate to eating healthy. You have to educate yourself on what to eat, where to buy it, and how to go about it so you’re getting the most healthy nutrition with the most affordable price tag.
 
Learn how to eat healthy and save money on a vegan diet!
 

1. Buy in Bulk

Flour, rice, nuts, oats, dried fruit, (vegan) candy, and more all cost a pretty penny at the grocery store.
 
Buy bulk to only get as much as you need, at half the price of buying the same items pre-packaged. If you only need a small amount of nuts, seeds, or just about anything, you can get it without breaking the bank.
 
Here’s your chance to store everything in mason jars. Just check with your grocery store ahead of time to make sure they can subtract the “tare weight” for you. You only want to pay for what’s inside your mason jar, not the whole thing!
 

2. Stick to the Perimeter

The perimeter aisles in most grocery stores contain all the good stuff. Grab your non-dairy mylk (vegans spell “milk” this way so we know we’re talking dairy free!) from the dairy section and make a beeline for the produce. Remember – vegans don’t just eat lettuce, we eat all the fruits and veggies!
 
When you’re buying produce, only buy what you need – there’s no sense in wasting money and food. Try to stick to the sales, too, and buy what’s in season. Your selection of fruits and veggies will vary throughout the year, so stay creative, spice up your meals, and keep it exciting in the kitchen.
 
And be prepared to answer the dreaded question . . . “But where do you get your protein?”
 

 

3. Plan Ahead

Meal planning may be the most difficult task when going on a vegan diet. But meal planning helps you stick to your budget and resist the urge to buy food you don’t need.
 
Now . . . what exactly do you do with all that produce?
 
Hit up Pinterest for some vegan meal prep ideas and make a grocery list for the next time you go shopping. This way, you know exactly what to get and don’t waste any time or money.
 
Going on a vegan diet doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Once you get the hang of meal prepping, you’ll save so much time during your busy week of classes.
 
Ready to put your mason jars to the test? Start meal planning with these overnight oats.
 

4. Give Yourself a Break

No one is perfect. So what if you go out to eat with friends and you accidentally get a dish with cheese on it? The important thing is that you’re trying, and you’ll get more vegan savvy with time.
 
You also don’t have to go cold turkey (excuse the pun) to go on a vegan diet. If you’re interested but not totally ready, try a vegan diet just one day a week. Once you get the hang of it, you can add more and more meals until you’re a real, bonafide vegan.
 

A Vegan Diet on a Budget: The Takeaway

Bonus tip! Join on-campus vegan groups for more advice on starting a vegan diet on a college budget. You’ll meet some really awesome people, too.
 
But most importantly, don’t deprive your body of key nutrients because of a lack of time or money. With these four tips you can try out a vegan diet without breaking the bank! You’ll notice your body feels better, stronger, and more alert.
 

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Cidney Bachert

Cidney is currently pursuing her journalism degree at the University of Central Florida. She enjoys yoga, cooking and exploring new places. Cidney hopes to encourage others to see the light in life and enjoy the gifts the earth has to give. Eventually, she would like to get her yoga teaching certification and become a holistic health coach.

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