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Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen.

I’ve always wondered whether or not a vegan diet would dramatically affect my grocery budget in any way. Of course, ethics, sustainability, and health are usually the chief reasons to adopt the vegan lifestyle — but what about budget?

For better or worse, I have this image in my mind of veganism as an elusively chic lifestyle, reserved for the type of (rich) woman who is able to afford a marathon of Yogalates classes before waltzing into the nearest Whole Foods to buy expensive dairy-free cheese.

I’m not saying this to knock that type of woman. I’d love to be her. But my life recently has been more about eating the most affordable foods I can find — canned tuna, scrambled non-organic eggs on white toast, ground whatever-meat-is-on-sale-this-week turned into burgers, grilled chicken breast purchased in-bulk at BJ’s for the low price of $8 for two weeks’ worth.


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