Specialty products such as vegan breads, yogurts, protein bars, desserts, and packaged products can be expensive, but whole food plant-based eating doesn’t have to be.
You’ll often end up saving a lot more by buying dried chickpeas and legumes (even organic kinds) than you would by buying meat. While prices on lentils, beans, whole grains, and spices aren’t particularly seasonal (stock up when they’re on sale; they’ll last a long time), if you’re buying strawberries in January or asparagus in November, you’ll likely end up paying more.
So, pick your own berries in summer or buy them in bulk during their season and fill your freezer. Then enjoy local potatoes, carrots, yams, squash, and other root vegetables throughout the winter along with canned tomatoes and frozen peas and corn that have been packaged at their peak.
Affordable plant-based pantry staples—top picks
- canned tomatoes and tomato paste
- dried oyster or porcini mushrooms for rice, soups, stews, sautés, and risotto
- dried and canned beans and lentils
- brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, amaranth, and quinoa
- vegetable broth
- dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cocoa powder, chocolate, and maple syrup
- dried spices stored in airtight containers (use within a year to ensure the strongest flavour)