How Can Going Vegetarian Save You Money?

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How Can Going Vegetarian Save You Money?

Some people go vegetarian out of compassion for animals, while others are motivated by the fact that eating low on the food chain is better for the environment. Many of us also seek the impressive health benefits of a plant-based diet. And guess what else? It’s cheaper! Without a doubt, a smart vegetarian approach can help keep your wallet─rather than your waistline or arteries─plump. These pointers can help:

Appreciate your local farmers

Many cities offer farmer’s markets and these humble, gracious venues are amazing. Imagine, buying snapping fresh spinach from the folks who actually grew it! And to know that by doing so, you’re supporting that small farm, and others like it. Local produce─especially when it’s organic or transitional─is fresher, healthier, and the most eco-friendly option short of growing your own. Now that’s a “bargain!”

Target inexpensive protein

While plant-based proteins, alone or combined, deliver the full complement of 9 essential amino acids just like meat, they cost far less─not only to you, but to the environment as well. And they’re healthier! Beans, legumes, soy products, nuts and seeds are beautiful, natural whole foods, packed with nutrients, phytochemicals, fiber, and protein, and yet remain astoundingly cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk.

Go for whole grains on a dime

Intact grains like old fashioned oats, brown and wild rice, and high-protein quinoa deliver a powerful nutritional punch, as well as being delicious and satisfying to carb lovers. They’re also low-glycemic, which means they help keep blood sugar levels stable, unlike refined white flour items. Whole grains can be prepared both elegantly or simply, and they’re ultra cost effective when purchased in bulk.

Love your crock pot, blender, and rice cooker

Once you get used to preparing whole foods in quantity, you’ll likely find it’s easier than you expected. Crock pots work so you don’t have to, cooking up beans, soups, stews, and more while you’re out and about. Rice cookers are invaluable for flawlessly prepared whole grains, and blenders enable you to make easy, nutritious smoothies, creamy veggie soups, homemade nut milk, and more.

Have fun with recipes

The more vegetarian cookbooks, sites and recipes you check out, the more inspired you’ll be to try new things, and you’ll see how exciting inexpensive plant-based cuisine can be. One great resource is the Frugal Chef series of vegetarian recipes: http://thefrugalchef.com/category/frugal-vegetarian-recipe-videos/ As well as this site for frugal vegetarian gourmet: is http://www.yummly.com/recipes/frugal-gourmet-vegetarian

Try a few of these tactics, and see what works for you. Opting for simple, healthy natural foods─plant-based whenever possible─will not only help you save big, it will also boost your health now, and for years to come.

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