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There’s a lot of hype around cutting ties with our carnivorous lifestyles: whether that’s for environmental causes, ethical causes, or simply jumping on the ‘I’m vegan’ bandwagon. Either way, there is a reason why there are now over 12.5 million vegetarians and vegans in the UK. It’s simple really — going vegetarian is cheaper, and arguably healthier, than eating meat. Here’s why!
A study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition researched whether eating a plant-based diet is cheaper. Based on 7 day recommended meal plan, both the vegetarian and the meaty meal plan provided 2000 calories per day and were based on the cheapest available prices of the ingredients.
The finding was that the vegetarian diet had 25 more servings of vegetables and eight more servings of fruit every week, which is hardly surprising. However, the key finding was that shopping for strictly vegetarian food cost around £550 less per year!
You may think that with a vegetarian diet that we’d surely be missing out on certain nutritional needs such as a lack of protein. But the study also found that a plant-based diet had 60% more protein in it on a daily basis.
Another study has also shown that ‘true’ vegetarians spend less money on food than those who eat meat. However, the study also found that those who claim to be vegetarian but admit to secretly eat a bit of meat on the side actually spend more than acknowledged meat eaters.
In other words, pretending to be vegetarian won’t do you any favours!
It’s a bit of a no-brainer really, don’t buy anything that’s got meat or fish in it. We’ve used a budget food shopping list and worked what you’re likely to be spending on meat and fish every week. On this shop, which now costs £41.78, 38% of the cost goes to buying the meat products.
Replacing these ingredients with vegetables will undoubtedly bring the cost of the food shop down.
Below is an alternative shopping list to the budget shopping list, which comes in at £32.93 from Asda. Instead of the meat, you can buy cheaper and often just as tasty veggie alternatives! This will reduce the cost of your weekly food shop dramatically by nearly a tenner.
For fresher and cheaper fruit and veg, check what’s in season here!
Still not convinced? Over the year, this reduced food shop will save you over £450! Think of the other more exciting things you could be doing with this extra cash.