A recent study suggests that adopting a vegan or plant-based diet can result in significant cost savings on groceries for individuals with overweight. The study involved 244 adults with overweight who were randomly assigned to either switch to a vegan diet or continue their usual eating habits for 16 weeks. The vegan diet excluded all forms of meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal products.
- Participants who switched to a vegan diet spent approximately 16 percent less on food during the study.
- People who stuck with their regular diets didn’t experience significant changes in their grocery bills.
- Buying fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, while avoiding animal products, led to the most savings.
- Although spending on fruits and vegetables increased in a vegan diet, the savings from eliminating animal products exceeded the additional spending on plant-based foods.
- Savings from a vegan diet can amount to over $10 per week for an individual and more than $500 annually. For a family of four, the savings can exceed $2,000 annually.
- The study didn’t account for spending on alcohol.
- People who switch to plant-based diets might not spend as much on meat and dairy alternatives as they would on real meat and milk.
- Preparing whole foods from scratch at home can further maximize savings on a vegan diet.
Partial Vegan or Plant-Based Approaches:
- Individuals who aren’t ready to go completely vegan can still achieve cost savings and health benefits by adopting a part-time plant-based diet that reduces meat portions.
- Reducing animal flesh intake to a serving the size of the palm of one’s hand every other day can be a starting point.
- Initiatives like “Meatless Mondays” and plant-based dishes that mimic comfort foods can make the transition easier.
- Simple swaps, such as opting for pasta with meatless marinara sauce or a black bean burger instead of a beef burger, can help individuals gradually shift to a plant-based diet.
The study highlights the potential for individuals with overweight to save money on groceries while improving their dietary choices by adopting a vegan or plant-based diet.