Welcome to Plant-Based on a Budget

We’re proving that plant-based eating can be delicious, cheap, and accessible to all. If you’re looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet without breaking the budget, then you’re in the right place! 

You don’t have to buy fancy alternative products or shop at specialty grocery stores to eat vegan. Our plant-based recipes use simple, whole-food ingredients you can find at a low price, wherever you shop.

Our plant-based recipes are cost-effective, familiar, and flavorful, easing the transition for anyone learning how to eat vegan on a budget. Whether you’re a lifelong vegan or curious about a plant-based diet for beginners, we’re SO glad you’re here! 

Photo of Toni Okamoto, author of this website, holding her booked called Plant-Based on a Budget Quick & Easy.

Hi, I’m Toni! 

I began this plant-based blog back in 2012 as a collection of budget-friendly vegan recipes everyone can enjoy. This is the kind of resource I wish I had when I began eating plant-based as a young adult. It means a lot to share it with you today! 

A little about me: I live at the top of the Central Valley of California in our state capital, Sacramento, with my sweet and supportive husband our darling rescue pup, Eddie. I enjoy spending my days creating recipes, gardening, and spending as much time as I can with my little family.

Fun facts about my life:

  • I’ve been swing dancing for over a decade and it’s one of my favorite hobbies. My favorite is a dance called Lindy Hop!
  • My husband and I foster pit bulls, and our doggy Eddie was actually a foster fail.
  • When I was 5 years old, my grandma taught me how to make instant ramen on the stovetop. It was the first thing I learned how to cook, it was a meal I heavily relied on while I was tight on money, and no matter how much my life situation changes, I’ll still find comfort in making a bowl every now and then.

How my plant-based journey began…

In high school, fast food lunches and lots of red meat left me feeling sick to my stomach after track practice. Slowly removing meat from my diet made me feel so much better. 

It wasn’t entirely a smooth transition, though. 

At first, my family couldn’t understand why I was turning down the staples of my Mexican and Japanese heritage which I had always loved. In these cultures, food is an expression of affection, and denying an offering can be disrespectful, so it was a delicate dance.

At the same time, I began watching members of my family suffer from diabetes and heart disease. When I suggested a healthier diet, everyone shrugged me off, assuming the approach was expensive and out of reach.

I lived under the poverty line most of my adult life and related to the financial limitations of my loved ones. Still, I hated that answer! To me, my community is priceless. 

I wanted my loved ones to have access to the budget-friendly vegan meals I made for myself – so I started Plant-Based on a Budget. What began as a collection of plant-based recipes for my family is now a comprehensive resource for thousands of readers.  

My shift to a vegan diet was for health reasons, but there are many motivations for eating plant-based. We’re not here to push an agenda or make a list of all the things you can’t eat. Plant-Based On a Budget is all about a love of cooking and welcoming people into the experience, no matter what your background is.

Since then, it’s been all about budget-friendly vegan recipes!

Today, Plant-Based on a Budget is loaded with 800+ easy budget-friendly vegan meals tested & loved by thousands of readers. I’ve even converted many of my family members into plant-based cooks!

Our blog focuses on plant-based recipes that are…

  • Easy to make (an average 30 mins or less!)
  • Free from meat, dairy, and eggs 
  • Made with easily accessible, low-cost, whole-food ingredients 
  • Versatile and built for any time of the day (including drinks, breakfast, and desserts!)
  • So delicious that everyone will enjoy them

Alongside popular recipes like our Vegan Lasagna, Chickpea Tuna Salad, Avocado Pesto Pasta & Coconut Curry, you’ll also find recipe collections like vegan soups & FREE budget-friendly vegan meal plans

I’ve also published three vegan cookbooks Plant-Based on a Budget, The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, and Plant-Based on a Budget Quick & Easy – the latest of which was a Publisher Weekly Bestseller. You can also find me on the Plant-Powered People podcast or morning television shows across the country.

Plant-Based on a Budget cookbook cover. Bowl of black beans, sliced avocado, rice, corn and fajitas.

Plant-Based Diets for Beginners 

If you’re learning how to eat vegan food on a budget, WELCOME! We’re so glad to have you here. Let’s clear up a few FAQs before you get cooking… 

What is plant-based?

Here at Plant-Based on a Budget, our “plant-based recipes” revolve around vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits, without the use of meat, dairy, or eggs. 

What if I can’t eat plant-based all the time?

No worries! It’s not all or nothing. Even a few plant-based dinners a week can have a big impact on your health and the health of our planet. Take it one meal at a time.

Do I need to start shopping at new grocery stores?

Nope! Budget-friendly vegan meals are easy to make with pantry staples like canned beans, frozen produce, dried grains, rice and pasta, nut butter, oatmeal, and so much more. Sticking to simple, whole-food ingredients is our trick for cooking delicious vegan food on a budget. 

What about vegan meats, cheese, and eggs?

If you’re trying to save money then we say skip ‘em! These alternatives can be expensive and aren’t always necessary. If you have wiggle room in your budget, feel free to shop and find vegan brands you like. There are tons more options than when I first started cooking plant-based recipes!

If you’re new here, we also recommend that you…

If You’re a Plant-Based Recipe Pro… 

There’s tons of info for you here too! We recommend that you…

Thank you for being here!