Getting proper nutrition as an adult takes a lot more thought than it did when you were a kid. Financial concerns regarding food are more complicated, too. However, there is some good news for your budget and your body because going vegetarian can do wonders for your pocketbook as well as your conscience and overall health
Saving the Dough
Meat is one of the more expensive foods available. It's damage goes beyond your grocery bill bottom line. As reported by "The New York Times", the factories that slaughter animals and produce meat cause enormous environmental damage, which includes water pollution, depleting the supply of grains, and using extremely large amounts of energy. These things impact the global economy, which in turn affects individual consumers. Even though the meat industry is subsidized by the federal government, the costs of meat are rising, but vegetarian protein sources are far cheaper.
No Buyer's Remorse
Try buying some items for your kitchen that will ultimately save money and time. Investing in a slow cooker, a rice cooker and a blender will cut out a lot of prep time spent in the kitchen. That will free up time better spent doing other things, such as socializing with your family and friends or pursuing hobbies. Since a slow cooker allows you to make more food at once, you can freeze the leftovers for later. It's a great tool for cooking those foods you buy in bulk, which is another money saving idea for vegetarians.
Posh and Pricy
Sometimes vegetarian convenience foods are pricier than the alternatives, but this is usually the case when the food is also organic or specifically made with hard-to-find ingredients. If you stock your shopping cart with faux meats, exotic dark chocolates, and out-of-season vegetables, you will end up with a hefty grocery bill, but so will omnivores who buy high-end cuts of meat and imported cheeses. It's okay to splurge on expensive vegetarian fare once in a while, but budget some extra funds for it. Make it the exception instead of the rule, and you will still save more money as a vegetarian consumer.
Hidden Cost Benefits
A frugal, well-planned vegetarian lifestyle can provide delicious and nutritious foods and save you money. Another way that it can save you money is on health care costs. The AFI company in England has decided to offer cheaper life insurance premiums to vegetarians, as reported by The Daily Mail. The Vegetarian Society told the paper, "We hope insurance companies will take seriously the fact that vegetarians are less likely to die young from cancer and heart disease."
- The New York Times: Re-Thinking the Meat Guzzler
- The New York Times: Bucks - Making Vegan The New Normal
- Peta2: Listen Up, Veganism is Cheap
- LearnVest: Is a Vegetarian Diet Actually Cheaper
- Daily Mail: Vegetarians to Be Offered Cheaper Life Insurance
- Chicago Tribute: Tasty Vegetarian Dish Revelers Will Enjoy
Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.