Farmer's Market Haul On A Budget

My favorite time of the week is food shopping day. I seriously get so excited to go buy food and I geek out over new finds and deals, no shame at all. I love buying new fruits and vegetables to try. I also love challenging myself to incorporate new items into my daily meals. I just like food ya know?

One of my favorite things about being vegan is helping and inspiring others to adopt healthier lifestyles. I get asked daily about how to go vegan or simply how to eat healthier. But, a common misconception I run into a lot is the infamous myth that eating a plant-based diet is expensive.

All of that food in the first picture? $50! Let me break down what exactly I got for $50:

  • Bananas
  • Fresh carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 5 limes
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 plums
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 3 gold potatoes
  • 2 sweet onions
  • 3 Haas avocados
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 green squash
  • 2 yellow squash
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Bok Choy
  • Radishes
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Fresh green beans
  • Head of purple cabbage 
  • Arugula
  • Baby spinach
  • Fresh string beans
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Plain hummus
  • Can of black beans
  • Can of corn
  • Multigrain bread
  • Bag of split peas
  • Bag of quinoa

Shopping at your local farmer's market is the best way to eat a plant-based diet affordably. In most cases, prices at farmer's markets are much cheaper than chain grocery stores (especially when it comes to produce). Some farmer's markets also have fresh baked goods, beans, nuts, lentils, quinoa, coconut water, etc. Plus, you're supporting local farmers rather than big corporations! It's a win-win. 

If you're thinking of going vegan, or simply want to incorporate more healthy foods in your diet (without spending an entire paycheck) here are a few tips to do so affordably: 

  1. Find a farmer's market near you and do the majority of your shopping there. Prices are much cheaper than chain grocery stores and you get to support local farmers.
  2. Processed foods, meat, and dairy are almost always more expensive than whole, plant foods (not to mention, they have much less nutritional value compared to whole plant foods). Buying less of those foods will put you on a healthier, less expensive path.
  3. Buy produce that you eat a lot of in bulk. Buying in bulk is usually cheaper, but only buy what you eat a lot of so nothing goes to waste. Some foods that are best to buy in bulk are nuts, spices/herbs, grains, and dried fruit.
  4. Make more of your own food. Eat out less and buy less processed foods. This way, you know exactly what's going into the food you eat and you have complete control about what you put on your plate. You will save so much money but recreating your favorite dishes and snacks (I promise you it's worth the extra time). 
  5. Schedule when you go food shopping and stick to it! I like to shop once a week, usually between Wednesday-Friday depending on what I need and how much food I've gone through. Setting an exact day to go every week will prevent you from making random stops, and ultimately buying things you didn't intend to.

The statement "you are what you eat" holds so much weight. Food is fuel and what you put into your body will directly affect how you feel. Keep that in mind on your next food shopping trip!