Money Saving Tips

Vegan Meal Prep Ideas on a Budget

Do you need some inspiration for how to meal prep on a vegan diet? It's easy and can be cheap too - Anna has some great ideas for you to add your collection!

Cheap Vegan Meal Prep in 2020

Being vegan is definitely a way of life that many people are passionate about in 2020.

Are you just beginning a vegan diet, or eating vegan for a month, or an experienced vegan looking for fresh plant-based ideas?

Meal prep is a great way to get food ready ahead of time, and saves us time and money when grocery shopping. 

So how do we combine a vegan diet with meal prep so we can budget and save more? 

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What is vegan meal prep?

Vegan meal prep or plant-based meal prep is basically the same as other meal prep.

Gathering Dreams describes it beautifully: 

Vegan meal prep is all about cooking a few healthy meals ahead of time and portioning them out through the week.


You decide what to eat, prepare a grocery list based on the recipes you picked and batch cook your meals altogether.


Source: Gathering Dreams

Today we have a guest post from Anna, from the Panda Boss.

 Over to you Anna.. 

Hi! I’m Anna, and I blog over at Panda Boss.

I’ve been vegan for over a year now, and in today’s post, I’d like to discuss a question I get a lot..

Is being vegan expensive?

My answer is always the same - no! 


Don’t get me wrong though - it can definitely become expensive if you’re the kind of person that has to eat fake meat, processed fake cheese, and lots of expensive vegan junk food and substitutes. 


But if we think about the purest form of food - fruits, vegetables and legumes - you will start to see that this isn’t expensive at all! 


Fruits and vegetables are cheap. 


General carbs (pasta, rice, potatoes) are also very cheap, especially when you go for store brands. Legumes are also cheap - think chickpeas, baked beans, black beans etc.

How do vegans meal prep for a week?

So with that in mind, I want to give you a few vegan meal prep ideas to show you this can be done, and answer the question:

 'How can I eat vegan on a budget?'

I will make sure to include protein, carbs and healthy fats, for all those worried about all the right nutrients.

I’ll start with some tips, and then move onto some plant-based meal ideas.

I have assumed the same breakfast lunch and dinner all week, but have provided two weeks of meals so you can alternate the meals if you shop for two weeks at the same time.

Easy vegan meal prep tips 

Aim for clean food when vegan meal planning 

This may sound more like a fitness tip - and it will, of course, save your waistline and your health - but honestly, if you stick by this tip you will stop buying expensive junk food. This is where the majority of your money goes, and vegan processed foods are very expensive. 

Buy dry beans and legumes

Yes, canned beans and legumes such as chickpeas are already cheap, but if you are on an extra tight budget then buying the dried version will work out even cheaper.

 Just make sure you cook these properly and according to instructions - especially with beans, as it can actually be dangerous to eat these undercooked.

Buy store brands rather than well known brands

Honestly, unless you have tried both and REALLY don’t like the taste, it is usually not a big difference in taste and a huge difference in price.

I actually have a friend who works in a packaging factory who has told me they package the same foods into different brands! Crazy! 

Bulk buy

This may seem like an obvious once, but if you are able to fork out the money upfront, you will actually save a lot long term.

Things such as rice, and dry beans and lentils can work out so much cheaper when you buy in bulk.

I once got a huge bag of basmati rice which took me 10 months to finish!! 

Below are some vegan meal prep ideas that will cost you approximately £20 for the week. 

Some of these may leave leftover ingredients too, which you can use up for meals in following weeks and therefore use up the extra budget to buy some snacks - like some nuts for more healthy fats. 

Do note, all these prices are taken from Sainsbury’s - you can always price shop and buy in bulk, as mentioned above, to get additional savings and use the extra budget as you please! 

download my free meal planner.

Fancy getting organised using a cute printable meal planner? Get it below. 

Vegan Meal Prep - Week 1 

Vegan Breakfast Prep

For breakfast, I would recommend porridge with coconut milk and frozen berries - this is my absolute go to.

You can use different berries, or even frozen bananas (I cut them up when really ripe and add them in whilst cooking to give a super sweet porridge). 

Heat up the oats with the coconut milk, and add a bunch of frozen berries - it’s as simple as that.

Or, for the banana variation - add some cinnamon and banana - absolute yum!

porridge and berries with coconut milk
Image by Bubi The Bear from Pixabay
  • Oats: 1kg, 75p Sainsburys. 
  • Frozen berries: 400g, £2, Sainsbury’s (you can definitely get these cheaper in other stores, such as Aldi, Lidl or Costco. Costco is actually my go to!)
  • Coconut milk - 2L, £2.50, Sainsbury’s (£1.25 each, the prices vary but often are on offer for this price) - you will likely need two of these for the whole week, so the price becomes £2.50.

Total weekly breakfast cost: £5.25

Vegan Lunch Prep

For lunch, one of my favourites is a chickpea pasta salad. 

All you need to do is throw together some pasta, chickpeas, and your favourite veggies with any spices you want (or some vegan mayo - although this is expensive, if you keep it to a minimum then it can last a while!).

chickpea pasta
Image by Sillylilly from Pixabay
  • Pasta: Fussili pasta, 1kg - £1.20 (2 x 500g at 60p)
  • Chickpeas: 45p x 4 = £1.80 (One can is usually enough for two meals, so 4 cans for the week.)
  • Cucumber: 60p
  • Lettuce: 65p
  • Onions: 80p per kg.

Total weekly lunch cost: £5.05

Vegan Dinner Prep

For dinner, I have been absolutely loving jacket potatoes with beans, a sprinkle of vegan nutritional yeast and some mashed avocado on the side.

This is really filling, especially since I tend to eat the whole can of beans in one go - very protein full, and the avocado gives a bit of extra fat to help keep you satiated! 

  • Baking potatoes: £1.20 (60p for a package of 4). 
  • Baked beans: £3.50 for a box of 6 cans plus 70p for an additional can (assuming one whole can each time). 
  • Nutritional yeast: £1.50 (I am assuming the cost of one third of a box, which costs around £5). 
  • Avocado: £3 (75p per one, of which I would use half per meal!

Total weekly dinner cost: £9.20

Overall, the grand total of week 1's vegan meal prep is £19.50.

Cheap vegan meal prep - week 2

Vegan Breakfast Prep - high protein

Protein smoothie

This may not sound like much, but protein keeps you full for longer, and with a busy lifestyle sometimes a protein shake on the go is the best thing!

Really easy to make, as you are just blending everything together - that’s it! Of course, the pricing can vary depending on the brand you go for.

Our Recommendations - Vegan Protein Shakes  

✅Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard  Check current prices and reviews. 

Also for balanced nutrition:

✅ SCI-MX Nutrition Pro V-Gain Protein Powder 

Organic option:

✅ Naked Vegan Protein Powder Super Blend.

  • Vegan chocolate protein - £1 per serving (£8 from MyProtein with 8 servings)
  • Coconut milk - £2.50, Sainsbury’s (£1.25 x 2 and the prices vary but often are on offer for this price) - you will likely need two of these for the whole week, so the price becomes £2.50.
  • Bananas - £1.56 (78p per kg x 2)

Total Breakfast Cost: £5.06


Plant-based Lunch 

Spaghetti and sauce! 

Again, super cheap and very quick to make! I usually add in some veggies - I would recommend adding some frozen spinach from the dinner below as 1kg of frozen spinach will last you, as well as some of your favourite veg!

This one is cheap and cheerful, but if you have a bit more in your budget you can always add some beans or some quorn mince.  

  • Spaghetti: £1.20 (60p per 500g)
  • Pasta sauce: £1.40 (70p per 500g) 
  • Courgette: £1 for 500g 
  • And a side of carrot sticks and humous 
  • Carrots: 60p for 1kg 
  • Humous : £1.40 for one

Total Lunch Cost: £5.60


Dinner Week 2 

Chickpea curry is one of my absolute favourites, and is super cheap and rather easy to make.

I’m not going to include spices in the cost, as they last forever and are cupboard staples! 

You can find lots of chickpea curry recipes online, and this isn’t a recipe post of course - but I just want to give you an idea of the cost of the chickpea curry I tend to go for: 

  • Chickpeas: 45p x 4 = £1.80 (One can is usually enough for two meals, so 4 cans for the week.)
  • Canned coconut milk: 60p per can, likely need 4 = £2.40
  • Rice: £1.25 per kg
  • Canned tomatoes: £2 for 4 cans which is more than enough - probably some left over. 
  • Spinach: £1.50 per kg of frozen spinach (less likely to go to waste)
  • Onion: 80p per kg
  • Garlic: 30p per garlic head

Total Dinner Cost: £10.05



Overall, the grand total of week 2's vegan meal prep is £20.71

The beauty is, that they are all extra ideas to give you variety!

To conclude

I really hope this has given you an idea of how you can make vegan meal prep really cheap, and that being vegan really doesn’t have to be expensive.

 If you have any questions just shout!

About Anna

Anna from pandaboss

Anna 

blogger and youtuber

Anna runs a superb blog over at Pandaboss, where she deals with subjects like saving money, making money and getting out of debt. Her ultimate goal is to be financially independent. 

Her story about how she paid £25k of debt off in a year is massively inspiring! 

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