Now we’ve entered the new year, you may have heard people talking about Veganuary – a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January. Whether you’ve heard a colleague at work talking about it or Piers Morgan arguing with Greggs Bakery on Twitter, the idea of becoming vegan for the first month of the year has got into your head.
The benefits of dropping animal products from your diet are far from just reducing animal cruelty. Eating less animal products can be beneficial for your health, the environmental and your wallet.
The Veganuary website lists four reasons why you should give it a go – animal welfare, your health, the environment and nutritional benefit. But if the ethical and environmentalist motivation just isn’t enough for you, perhaps the fact that cutting meat from your diet can save you money will sway your decision. And don’t just take it from me…
LOOK AT THE RESEARCH
The Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition focused on the impact of becoming a vegetarian on our bank balance. The research compared a meat weekly meal plan to a plant-based one, both including at least 2000 calories and 50g of protein per day.
The research suggests that cutting out meat from our diets can save at least $750 per year than meat-eaters. Thats around £590, which is more than the average cost of return flights to Japan – now that’s got your attention.
The study also found that the plant-based diet contained 14 more servings of grains and 8 more servings of fruit per week. More food and nutrition for less money – what’s not to love?
Furthermore, The Atlantic suggested that ditching animal products on your plate could benefit the economy – listen up Theresa. The article estimated a $250billion saving on direct health care and indirect unpaid care from lost days at work if the US population alone removed animal products from their diet.
GIVING IT A GO
If you like the sound of those savings, don’t be afraid to give it a go. You can make some great food and feel the health and financial benefits. But of course it’s normal to be concerned about changing your diet and perhaps you don’t know where to start.
Avoid the meat substitutes (like Quorn meat and vegan cheese). You’ll find these are just as expensive as the real thing, which totally defeats the point of your dietary change to save yourself some money.
Head straight for lentils, pulses and beans. They’re full of fibre and protein and are easy substitutes for meat. You can easily swap chicken in a Tikka Masala Curry for red lentils and chickpeas or minced meat in a Shepherds Pie for borlotti beans.
When it comes to dairy, you’re spoiled for choice with a huge variety of non-dairy milk alternatives. Soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk are all found in your local supermarket. You could even make your own dairy-free milk to save money and co2 emissions – you can’t argue with that?
It’s also normal to be concerned about missing out on nutrition found in meat, such as iron, which is said to be highly found in red meat. But in fact, eating dark leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli can fulfill your daily needs and are considerably cheaper than a steak.
You could start with meat-free Mondays – a great way to slowly experiment with animal product free meals once a week. Even cutting out animal products for one day a week will save you money. You can take your new, money saving vegan diet journey from there!
Are you taking part in Veganuary? Would you ever consider it to keep the costs down? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time, live your best life, low cost!
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