Do you want to go plant-based but struggle with your budget? Do you want to eat healthily but live far away from big organic shops? I completely understand! Eating a whole foods plant-based diet doesn't have to be expensive, and there's no need to shop in fancy organic shops. Anyone can do it! Rest assured we've got you covered!
There is a well-established myth that eating healthy and vegan is very expensive. There’s the notion that you have to buy your food in those expensive groceries stores and get very specific ingredients, or that you need to buy all organic and in farmers markets. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? But this is what it is, a myth and what better way to prove this than to see for yourself.
Michelle Cehn from World of Vegan and Toni teamed up with Plant-Based News to bring you a guide on how to eat plant-based on a budget at Walmart! The idea is to go shopping for plant-plant-based staple ingredients to prepare you for the week.
Walmart is almost everywhere! With more than 4.000 stores across the US alone, it’s one of the biggest supermarket chains reaching even the most rural areas in the country. So even if you live in a place where organic shops and vegan shops are nowhere to be found you most likely have a Walmart nearby.
So, what are the best tips for buying vegan on a budget at Walmart?
Let’s get to it!
Ok, so peanut butter and jelly are a match made to be together, right? Walmart has peanut butter for less than 2 dollars and a fruit jam for 2,50 dollars. So cheap!
You can also find tons of vegan-friendly bread and a few bagels. Imagine how many breakfast and lunch possibilities you can come up with bagels! Bagel with mashed avocado on top (or with some tomato and onions if you’re feeling extra fancy!) or a nice side of toasted bagel with a vegan spread to go with your tofu scramble.
Watch out for Dave’s Killer Bread brand and Dave’s Killer Bagels! They are super yummy and entirely vegan.
Tip: If you find a great offer, buy a few bags and pop them in the freezer. You’ll have bread for months for those days when you just ran out.
Another great way to keep your meals budget friendly and simple is going for Mexican inspired dishes. Burritos or tacos are a favorite and so easy to make. Some wraps, some beans, salsa and avocado and you have a delicious and complete meal.
Walmart has excellent whole wheat tortillas options and classic corn tacos for a great price!
Ok even though they don’t have the biggest selection of vegan-friendly canned beans they do have one vegan option and, if you want to reduce your bill, even more, then I recommend you try buying dry ones. It seems like a lot of work but cooking your own beans is a great way to reduce your spending.
You can cook them in your instant pot or pressure cooker easily but you can also boil them in a regular pot, and the result will be the same.
Now, let’s talk avocados. This is a very serious subject! Avocados make everything better so you’ll be very happy when I tell you that you can find them for 50 cents at Walmart. Yes, you read that right. Fifty cents! Also, keep your eyes open for some budget-friendly guacamole!
Tip: Usually the really cheap avocados you find are slightly under-ripe, but if you buy a good amount and store them in a dark place, they will be ready to eat before you know it!
Did someone say hummus? Garbanzo beans are so versatile! Hummus is a great and budget-friendly option for vegans! It can substitute butter on a sandwich, or it can be perfect for a snack with some cut up veggies. Just blend a can of chickpeas with the juice of a lemon, some salt and cumin and a tablespoon of tahini (sesame paste) which is a bit more pricey, but you could replace it for some sesame seeds.
Another great option is to prepare a “tuna salad” (like this recipe here)
Walmart has organic and non-organic garbanzo beans for less than a dollar! So stock up!
Tip: Don’t throw away the garbanzo beans brine! It can be used to make aquafaba which looks like meringue and as a base to so many good recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add some to my hummus before blending, and it makes it extra creamy without adding any oil.
Having fresh veggies and fruits is not always a possibility so don’t be afraid to buy frozen. The frozen section has some real gems. From frozen berries for your oatmeal and smoothies to riced veggies and, the always loyal, frozen peas.
All the frozen veggies are great for adding to soups at the last minute. Buy a couple of bags of your favorites to have them at hand whenever you are in a hurry.
Tip: Look out for frozen avocados! They are such a fantastic way to add healthy fats to your smoothies!
When you go to Walmart to buy your usual staples, remember to wander around a bit to see if you find some surprises. For example, they have Chia Seeds at a super affordable price, and they will likely last you for a long time. They also have really budget-friendly organic quinoa!
Don’t forget to check their canned soup section! They have a few vegan options but be prepared to check some ingredients.
Salad dressings are also a great Walmart find. They have plenty of accidentally vegan options to choose from. Again, just take a look at the labels for any hidden ingredients, and you’re set!
Tip: Don't forget your spices! Walmart has great options for less than a dollar!