One of the main reasons people say they can’t go vegan is because it’s too expensive, which I completely understand. My partner and I spend about $600 on groceries every month because of my special diet, which is far more than we’d like to pay.
The staples of a vegan diet—rice, beans, pasta, veggies, and fruits—are some of the cheapest items at the grocery store. But if you want to eat more than kale and quinoa, it’ll cost you.
Processed vegan foods like ice cream and cheese cost two or three times as much as the original versions. I pay about $7 for my favorite dairy-free cream cheese, whereas I’d only pay $3 if I were buying the real thing.
Although I could go without creature comforts like non-dairy ice cream and meatless meatballs to save money, I don’t want to live the rest of my life eating only sprouts and tofu. I don’t want to go back to consuming meat and dairy either, even though staying vegan is much more expensive.
Why I Stay Vegan
For my whole life, I’ve had digestive issues. I tried every diet I could think of to get rid of my symptoms—gluten-free, dairy-free, low FODMAP, and more. Nothing seemed to help. It wasn’t until a friend suggested that I eliminate all animal products from my diet that I started feeling better.
Although my vegan diet is costing me a significant amount of money every month, I’m sticking with it because it’s improved my health so much. I no longer have to deal with stomach cramps and endless trips to the gastroenterologist seeking pain relief.
I’m pretty frugal and am always trying to find ways to save money. But what going vegan has taught me is that my health is worth the investment.
I feel so much better on a vegan diet, so it’s worth spending a little more money at the grocery store to get a huge quality of life upgrade.
My vegan diet has also paid for itself in several ways. Now that I don’t have to see a gastroenterologist to manage my symptoms, I save hundreds of dollars per year in copays.
I’ve also been able to take on more clients in my freelance business because I have more energy after switching to a diet that really works for my body.
Studies have even shown that vegans have a lower risk of heart disease. So who knows—being vegan may end up saving me money in retirement if it helps prevent costly health problems.
My partner and I are also planning on growing organic veggies in our garden this year, which should help lower our grocery bill and reduce the cost of my diet.
But even if being vegan does end up costing me more than it saves over the course of my life, it’s still worth it.
Health is Always Worth the Investment
Going vegan has taught me that my health and wellbeing is always worth investing in. It’s also made me realize that you shouldn’t feel guilty about spending money on wellness even if it’s delaying some of your financial goals.
For example, you could probably invest more money or pay off your debt faster if you didn’t go to a fancy gym with a sauna and a smoothie bar.
But if downgrading to a cheaper membership would cause you to work out less, it’s not worth the minimal savings—especially when you consider the long-term healthcare costs associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
In my opinion, when you invest in your health, it’s always money well spent.