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Plant-based is the way to go, right? Good for you, good for the planet and good for the animals. Triple win! But what happens when you live in a place where having access to vegan food items is not easy? What happens when your budget is so tight it just doesn’t allow you to eat vegan and healthy?

Toni has decided to start a series of videos where she shows you how to buy plant-based food staples in your regular grocery store and with a super limited budget. You’ll get to see how easy it is to eat vegan meals with food you buy at the most generic stores.

No need to have a Trader Joe’s nearby! No need to spend your paycheck at Whole Foods! Living a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be a luxury; it can be even cheaper than eating a standard American diet.

Toni is so excited to show you how easy it can be to eat a whole foods healthy plant-based diet that she will even show you a full day of meals with the items she purchases at the store. It will be so much easier for you to have an idea of how simple it is when you see Toni’s preparations!

Are you ready for the ride? Here we go!

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First up is the Dollar Tree Store!

It doesn’t get more budget friendly than this, right? One item, one dollar!
This shop has almost 15.000 stores across the United States of America! Seems very likely you’re close to at least one of them. Amazing!

When going into a very “traditional” grocery store, you have to focus on staples. Don’t try to look for fancy vegan items like vegan cheese or vegan pizza. Stick to basics and you’ll do great! This a great rule to organize your eating plan and your budget. During the week you stick to simple and affordable whole foods, and you can always splurge or indulge a bit on the weekend. Makes sense, right? It’s much easier to accomplish being responsible with your food budget and serious about your healthy eating this way. So easy to remember!


It’s a bit like the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and relax for the other 20%. It basically means that if a week has 7 days you could relax on 1.4 days of those 7. It might seem a bit confusing at first, but in the end, it will become second nature. Let me clarify that this is not a rule; it’s the opposite. It’s an intuitive way to know how to keep balance without feeling restricted. And this applies to your budget too! Buy 80% of your food in a budget-friendly store and the other 20% in a fancier one. It will make a world of difference. Will you give it a try?

If you’re a new vegan, it’s easy to become dazzled by the new world of vegan products in the organic food shops, but that won’t be the best choice for you or your pocket. Focus on the whole foods! The beans, the veggies, and whole grains. The nuts, the fruits, and the seeds. These are the foods that will make you feel amazing! The ones that will nourish your body inside out. You don’t need a fancy goji berry protein bar, but you can have it every now and then if you feel like it!

The Haul!

Now on to our Dollar Tree Store Food Haul! Toni focused on the dry beans and cans and the frozen veggies and fruits section. These are the sections where you’ll find the healthiest options and the ones that will last a long time in your freezer!

What items did Toni pick?

– “Westsoy” Low Fat Soy Milk
– “Chef Ernesto” Veggie Burgers
– “TJ Farms Select” Frozen Broccoli Cuts
– “TJ Farms Select” Frozen Pepper Stir Fry
– “Jennifer’s Gardens” Frozen Berry Banana Blend
– “Brown’s Best” Pinto Beans (Dry 1,5 lbs)
– “Pampa’s” Long Grain Brown Rice (2 lbs)
– “Picksweet Farms” Frozen Mixed Veggies

All of this cost Toni 8 dollars! Imagine how many meals you can prepare!

What did Toni prepare with these ingredients?


This blend is excellent for a quick smoothie! Just put the full bag into your blender and add some soy milk. Blend and voila! This bag makes two servings so you can make it for you and your partner or just save it for later. So convenient! Right?


What about some yummy stir-fried rice? Toni cooked a cup of brown rice in her instant pot (or pressure cooker!) with two cups of water. Let it cook for 20 mins, and you have perfectly cooked rice for your next meals.

Then she stir-fried some onions from the peppers mix and sautéed them in the pan with some sesame oil. Next, she added some of the mixed veggies into the pan and let it all cook for a few minutes. If you wanna add some of the broccoli florets into the mix go ahead! Steam them for 30 seconds in the microwaved and threw them into the pan.

Finally, she added some of the rice and mixed it all up! You can add any toppings you have on hand like avocado or sriracha and soy sauce! Lunch is served!


Toni cooked some of the pinto beans in the instant pot but decided not to use them for dinner and saved them for the day after. Yay leftovers! Such a great idea to have some beans already cooked in your fridge and then use them in any dish you want to prepare later on. It’s always good to think ahead!

Since Toni had leftover fried rice, she decided to use it alongside the veggie burgers and some of the stir-fried pepper mix. Makes for a perfect quick dinner!

All done! Can you believe how easy and quick a full day of vegan budget friendly eating is? Don’t let fear overwhelm you! You can do it! No matter how far away you live or how tight your budget is you can embark on this journey and make it a lifestyle.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to find a lot more information. And to help us keep Plant Based on a Budget running, check out the ways you can help.

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  1. Wow! I appreciated this video very much. I’m a vegan senior on a limited budget. Grocery Outlet is a store I’d love to see you cover if it is in your area. Thank you!

    1. It’s definitely so helpful to see how you can still snag budget-friendly vegan items at places like the dollar tree!