Being a student, my debit card cries every time the fridge appears empty. When abroad, the same applies. Eating out can prove extremely expensive, especially as I stayed at a hotel where only breakfast was included. I found myself absolutely stuffing myself with the fruit buffet in the morning just so that I didn’t have to spend money at lunch time. My plan did not work as I only ended up being hungry later on. The solution? Supermarket and grocery shopping. Us Vegans are great at making meals from scratch due to the difficulty of finding premade meals that are suitable. I have become so used to making my own meals from bare ingredients it is just second nature now. I like to know what is going into my dishes.
Here is a list of the main ingredients I swear by if you are on a budget. You can make anything from a cracking salad, to butter bean mash to banana pancakes! As long as you stock your cupboards with these essentials you’ll be a right ol’ happy vegan with a happy bank balance.
- Canned and dried beans (I particularly like Tins of butter beans – only 35p from Lidls)
- Bananas – A substitute for eggs, butter, sugar and all round god ingredient when baking.
- Grains and flours (My favourite are porridge oats and spelt flour) – Porridge oats can be grinded down into oat flour or even transformed into oat milk, a grain of many talents.
- Lentils – easy to cook, can be spiced however you like and has many abilities when it comes to recipes.
- Soy milk/almond milk/oat milk (get loads when theyre on offer e.g 3 for £3)
- Dried fruit (Raisins, sultanas and dates go down a treat sweet or savoury!)
- Nuts – These keep you fuller for longer and have amazing health benefits
- Pickles and preserved vegetables
- Sauces and condiments – Tahini, nut butters and vegan pastes can prove to be quite expensive so I choose to stick with ketchup, soy sauce and juices from the preserved veg.
- Tofu – Is a definite essential when I’m at home however I didn’t have any appliances to cook on when abroad so left this out. However, the smoked tofu in packets can be just as nice tossed into a salad or between a bun cold and not heated!
I have many recipes using basic ingredients that are all vegan and healthy on my cooking website that will soon be published so stay tuned!