Eating plant-based can seem like a very costly thing to do. And while that may be true at times, especially if you are eating all organic fruits and vegetables and indulging in pre-made plant-based products that can cost a fortune, but there are actually quite a few ways that you can take buying plant-based to the next level and still manage to save some money when you do so.
If you are lucky enough to live near a farm, there are sometimes options to become shareholders in that farm. Some places will offer to give you the pick of the litter with their crops and provide bags of fresh fruit and vegetables every week or two for a simple investment in the farm. That can save a lot of money in buying fresh organic produce and provide you with a great variety of foods you may never have even tried before. Definitely check your local area to see if there are any CSA boxes available.
Another thing you can do is learn what foods are in season and buy them in bulk when the opportunity presents itself. A lot of foods can be frozen or canned and stored for later use. There are a lot of ways you can save money by learning the different tricks to preparing foods for future use. For example, you could dehydrate vegetables and set them aside in airtight containers in a cool, dark space so you can have access to them later on.
Going plant-based doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. It can be very useful not to indulge in foods that you know are expensive and instead look for things you can buy in bulk. Some places, like apple orchards or strawberry farms, will allow you to give them a small fee so that you can go out and pick your own produce to bring home. That can amount to quite a lot of food!
Think in advance rather than feeling limited to what you find in your grocery store. Look into local food co-ops and other places where you might be able to get a discount on produce that is in season. Farms, orchards, and even some grocery stores may offer bulk rates for large quantities of in-season produce.
You still may want to be wary and ask if these foods are grown with commercial pesticides or if they are grown organically. Just because food may come from a local farm, it doesn’t mean that they are growing it with organic methods. Always look into your sources and ensure they are credible before buying.
Buying foods that are in season is a real game changer for any person on a budget, plant-based or otherwise. Living a healthy lifestyle can oftentimes feel very costly, but if you weigh the pros and cons, what you spend on healthy foods that prevent diseases may end up saving you much more when it comes to your health later on down the line. So, save your coins and buy local and in season, whenever possible!
—The Buzz welcomes classically trained Chef and Holistic Nutritionist Tara Reeves to our roster of columnists.