10 Cheap Vegan Diet Essentials


When going vegan, people often find themselves having to relearn the basics of food. Suddenly, you don’t know how how to cook or food shop and if you turn to meat and diary substitutes, you might get the impression that eating plant-based is expensive. Hi, I’m a broke vegan college student. If I can afford it, then I’m sure most people can, too. Of course, there is strategy involved. Here are my top ten vegan staples that I always have on hand that are good for your tummy and your wallet.

1. Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

I can hear it now. Surely some of you are internally screaming, “Always choose fresh over frozen!” and I agree, but baby is on a budget. Buying bulk or family-sized frozen produce is a great way to save money. My favorites are blueberries, peas, carrots, edamame and broccoli. I find that those veggies are great paired with just about anything. Blueberries, of course, are an oatmeal and smoothie bowl staple.

2. Bananas

I wouldn’t be a real vegan if these weren’t on the list, right? Honestly, bananas are often the reason I finally go grocery shopping. I don’t want to go a day without them. Perhaps my love of them is too strong, but it’s for good reason. Organic bananas are so cheap! I can get two bunches for just over $2. The ways to use them are endless, which makes it even better.

3. Peanut Butter

Any sweet treat is better with peanut butter. For $4-5, you can get a 16 oz. jar of organic butter made only with peanuts. Other nut butters are usually twice that price. Yeah, peanut butter might not be as cool as almond or walnut butter, but it’s still tasty.

4. Oats

Oatmeal lovers, rejoice. It’s cheap, so you can eat it everyday for a filling breakfast with no shame.

5. Chickpeas

This is another organic food that’s not much more expensive than its conventional version. Whether you want a dish that’s savory, sweet, or just a snack, chickpeas have you covered. If you’re buying cans, don’t waste the liquid! Save it for a treat like this chocolate mousse.

6. Black Beans

All beans are inexpensive, but black beans are what I typically buy for easy meals like these tacos.

7. Potatoes

If there isn’t a five pound bag of potatoes in my kitchen, that’s only because I just finished devouring them. They’re the ultimate guiltless comfort food.

8. Tofu

Honestly, I don’t buy tofu regularly because I’m not very good at cooking it. I’m working on it. As always with soy products, I buy organic and it’s only a few dollars.

9. Rice

I think that this goes without saying, but rice is the catchall for all the contents of your pantry and fridge. What’s not to love about that?

10. Pasta

I don’t know what I would do if noodles weren’t affordable. Thankfully, we don’t live that sad world. Eat all the carbs.


Of course, there are tons of affordable and even dirt cheap vegan foods, but these are just a few that I always have in my kitchen. What are your cheap vegan staples? Please share in the comments!





5 thoughts on “10 Cheap Vegan Diet Essentials

  1. Yes! Budget staples are essential! With 3 growing kids and an athletic husband we go through a TON of food every week and I have to watch those dollar bills too girl! I would add ground flax from the bulk section to add to smoothies and oats for those important omega-3s and also GREENS! They are so essential to health and buying whatever greens are in season is a total budget saver! Great post!!


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