The cost of our plant-based diet

Some specialty vegan ingredients can be really expensive which leads many to assume that a plant-based diet is more costly than a regular one. To give you an idea of what it’s really like, here’s this weeks grocery haul.

IMG_1676There are two adults living in our home. One of them is a 6’4”, 20 year old male who has recently taken up cycling so he eats a lot of carbs (thank goodness for rice and potatoes). He is also vegetarian (not vegan) and still consumes cow’s milk.

Our food has to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much 7 days a week as I take a packed lunch to work and we rarely get takeaway food (there are not a lot of vegan choices in our area).

When we were eating a regular diet, our food obviously included eggs, meat, and milk/dairy (lots of cheese) as well as processed foods. We also spent a lot more on takeaways and bought lunches and we were averaging a total of $340 per fortnight.

This is what a typical week for us looks like now.

Our food (excluding fresh produce which I usually get from the farmer’s market) came to $137.65.


Our fresh produce this week, which I ended up having to get from the supermarket anyway because I didn’t make it to the farmers market in time, totaled $41.71. This normally  works out about $10 cheaper if I get it from the market.


I also bought milk for my son, olive spread (which I forgot to get in my original food purchase) and ginger beer (to go with our homemade pizza). This came to $18.35.


So, in total our bill came to $197.71.

I would expect this to last us for 2 weeks. I try to eat most of the fresh food first before it goes off, or I cook it and freeze it to get us through to the end of the fortnight so that I don’t end up throwing good food away.

Now, there are no potatoes or rice in this food haul because I didn’t need to buy them this week. Each time I shop I usually pick up a couple of staples (this time it was chickpeas and lentils) so the food bill averages out to about the same every fortnight.


So, $197.17 compared to $340 is pretty good. Even if I allow another $50 for the odd bought lunch or takeaway that’s still a saving of almost $100. I’m also about to start growing my own vegetables which could save me even more money.

In my view, the real cost of a plant-based lifestyle is ‘time’. Avoiding processed, convenience foods means you have to spend time making things from scratch (such as my homemade hummus). I really enjoy doing this – the whole ‘slow-living’ approach appeals to me. However, I understand that it’s not for everyone and so the trade-off is the cost of convenience.

Homemade hummus (cheaper than a bought one)

I hope my sharing our approach was helpful for you. I’d love to know how it compares to what others are doing – just leave a comment below, or if there’s anything you’d like to hear more about, please let me know.





Author: homemade and humble

Hi, I'm Ana. Welcome to my blog. I live in Wellington, New Zealand with my partner in a little cottage on a hill. We are working to build a life free from the rat-race, where we get to design our days around spending time together, enjoying good food and hunting for treasures for our home. We are both homebodies and prefer homemaking and cooking to outdoor pursuits and sport. This is where I share stories of our experiences as we set our course for a life full of warmth, comfort and beauty. I hope you enjoy it.

6 thoughts on “The cost of our plant-based diet”

    1. Yep – cheese was definitely the thing I missed the most when I first started as a vegan. However, for me, the thought of what animals are put through so we can have cheese kinda turns my stomach really. Some people are not bothered by it but I am unable to get past it. Also, my preference for flavours has definitely changed and I find I like spicy foods now more than creamy ones. I guess the tastebuds become reconditioned over time so life without cheese is no longer horrible 🙂


      1. But wouldn’t whole industries collapses in New Zealand if dairy and meat production ceased? Would New Zealand have an economy?


  1. You’re right that if we changed our eating behaviors we would have to change our industries. However, as we become more educated and evolve isn’t it reasonable to expect that our industries should evolve too? I would rather adapt to an economy that’s not reliant on industrial farming than continue to participate simply because it dictates that I should.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s