So, you’ve decided that you’d like to become a vegan and give up meat and all other animal by-products? Whether it’s for ethical, environmental, or health reasons, good for you! There are so many benefits to following a vegan diet – from a 32% reduced risk to developing heart disease. Making a difference when it comes to animal rights and the earth’s wellbeing, to potentially losing over 4kgs in just 4.5 months without even trying.
Unfortunately, there’s no denying that leading a healthier lifestyle such as a vegan lifestyle can pull on the purse strings a little more. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But it’s true. Breathe a sigh of relief, though. With a bit of extra planning and know-how, it is indeed possible to go vegan on a student budget. Here’s how.
Stock up on kitchen staples
Instead of searching for meat replacements, such as vegan burger patties and sausages, turn your attention to other, more affordable plant-based kitchen staples. These include lentils, beans, rice, pasta, grains, etc. These will act as a solid base for any new recipes that you intend to try out.
Know where to shop
You’ll be tempted to scour your local supermarket close to your off-campus student accommodation for vegan-friendly ingredients and products, but it’s often more fruitful to do your research to find a few dedicated vegan stores and suppliers close to the digz. There are also plenty of online vegan stores, many of which offer free delivery if you spend a certain amount (order with friends). A few worth investigating include Faithful to Nature, Vegan Things, and the Green Butler.
Look for South African recipes
Most vegan recipes from the USA or the UK include ingredients that are difficult to come by in SA, or that cost more than you can afford. This is why it’s a great idea to go in search of South Africa specific vegan recipes and vegan recipe books.
The South African Vegan Cookbook is a firm favourite with recipes for everything from mouth-watering breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to desserts and smoothies. It’s available for purchase via Takealot.
Want to know how to go Vegan? Connect with other vegans!
There are lots of South African vegans to follow on Instagram who regularly post amazing tips, articles, and recipes to facilitate a meat-free lifestyle. You should also be sure to join the South African Vegan Society page on Facebook – another fantastic source of support, particularly when making the transition.
Best of luck on this exciting new journey!