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Cartoon_Cat wrote

I went vegan at 17 and my mum made it very difficult for me, but I'm now in my mid-twenties and both my parents have been vegan for the last 3 years. Parents don't like to be challenged because it can make them feel they could have done better, so frame it as something with them rather than against them if you're able to.

Soy milk is usually the cheapest non-dairy. I guess where I live at £0.59/L it's more than the £0.48/L breast milk - but not by much. Like anything, there are branded non-dairy milks that cost significantly more, Alpro here is at least £1/L, pushing £1.80 for more interesting milks. Generally the more expensive the soy milk, the better it can handle being put in hot drinks - I use cheaper milk for porridge oats, and more expensive milk for drinks and guests (although cheap milk can be used with skill, I reckon it will put your mum off if she sees it separate in her coffee).

You can make your own non-dairy milks if you are determined to save more money and have milk, there are lots of guides online. Personally when money has been a factor for me, I've just gone without milk and used water but that's personal preference.

Protein is abundant, and I'd urge you to research this for your own piece of mind. Protein is amino acids, and different foods have different ratios of these amino acids. Meat is often touted as a 'complete' protein because it has a good ratio of these amino acids for our needs (technically human meat would be complete), but we can easily achieve this by combining foods through the day such as rice with beans, or even snacks like hummus (chickpeas and tahini), and they don't have to be eaten at the same time! Variety is king, and if you get enough calories you are definitely getting enough protein. Don't wimp out and just eat baguettes because that's what I did at 17 and it didn't go well.

Avoid meat-like substitutes - they are very expensive and generally very processed. You're much better off spending that money on fruit and veg. It's worth learning to cook for yourself, because you'll be surprised how easy it is to cook vegan with no risk of food poisoning.


zzuum wrote

Agree with this. Avoid the meat substitutes if you are trying to save money. Learn to cook with tofu (in the US it's between $1.50 and $2 for a block of tofu), eat lots of vegetables obviously. If you are lazy, go with pasta, but it's not the healthiest choice.


bmrgould01 wrote


For cheap, doing the processing yourself is where you can save the most money, at the cost of time and effort. So buying dry beans instead of cans is a lot cheaper, but will require time to prepare them ahead of time.

Protein is one of the easiest parts, definitely not the nutritional aspect to worry about. Generally I would recommend tracking your food for ~2 weeks while you adjust. It will give you a good daily idea about what you missed in your diet, and how far different quantities of food go.

Things to watch(imo): Calcium, Iron, B-12. I find iron easy to get, but that's based on my own diet choices. B-12 supplement, easy cheap. Calcium requires effort to eat greens and/or fortified foods.

Recommended Meals that should be cheap:

Grains + Bean + Frozen Veg

Pasta + Canned Tomatoes + Frozen Veg

Chili: 2 Canned Tomatoes + ~2-3 Canned Beans + Tofu

Stir-fry: Rice + Frozen Veg + Tofu

Oatmeal: Oats + Frozen Berries + Fruit

Potatoes: With whatever

Processing Cheap Foods:

Typical dry beans, such as Chick peas, black beans, kidney beans, are easy to process, but take time. Wash them, soak them in water overnight (12h+ but less than 48h because water will stagnate), then change the water and boil for 10 minutes, then shimmer for the required time (usually 1-1.5 hours). Drain and let cool, ready to use.

Dry lentils require minimal prep, no soaking, and time for cook/shimmering is between 15m to 1h depending on type. Easy to use for soups and curries.

Rice is easy. Though eat in moderation because of arsenic, Soak Strain Drain the rice. Cook with turmeric, but not too much because it's fairly potent.


kore wrote (edited )

yeah tbh i see soymilk as more of a special occasion thing as something to put in my cereal every day. I for one love oatmeal. You could make oatmeal instead, with water. Whole grains have a fair amount of protein in them so if you eat oatmeal instead of like, processed corn flakes you can make up for the protein that you missed by using water instead of soymilk. I guess a lot of people see oatmeal as kinda bland but you can put stuff like peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, raisins/other dried fruit, sunflower seeds, etc. in it to make in really yummy. Also a pinch of salt helps a lot flavor-wise.

protein: beans, peanut butter (look for one with just peanuts in the ingredients), whole grains. nuts and seeds too but those can be a bit expensive.

also don't forget to eat fat which I usually get from olive oil. peanut butter and nuts and seeds too.

if you want cheap, you have to buy produce/rice/beans and cook it yourself. here are some meals/snacks that I have:


Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce (put veggies in it too! I like carrots and onions and mushrooms). Also buying plain diced/crushed tomatoes and then putting in dried oregano/salt/pepper/garlic is probably cheaper than buying premade and I think it tastes better too.

stir fry (rice and vegetables)

lentil soup

apples with peanut butter

making a big pot of beans and then putting it in your fridge gives you some protein to any meal you want (like stir fry for example). beans take a really long time to cook so I tend to do it in bulk.

also i've found that you can make anything delicious with the right seasonings, so don't be afraid to use spices liberally (if there is an indian grocery store in your area they will probably have cheap spices). Also i eat onion and garlic with almost every dinner (both of which are pretty cheap).

also, nutritional yeast is dope, but it can take a bit to get used to the flavor.

being vegan is so fun, vegetables are amazing and cooking is a great hobby. A lot of people sort of shy away from cooking because of the amount of time it takes but it's honestly a good way to get away from the internet.