I was vegan for 6 months and saved $ 590.77
One of the biggest obstacles preventing people from going vegan is that it is viewed as an expensive lifestyle, and it certainly doesn’t help that most fast food chains and beauty retailers don’t always have a vegan alternative. But is it really more expensive to follow a vegan lifestyle? I went vegan for six months and here is everything I learned about the real cost of veganism.
Note: I live in Singapore and prices are in Singapore dollars. The conversion rate is 0.75 US dollars into one Singapore dollar (S $ 1).
Skeptic went vegan
I was one of those who swore medium-rare steak was the elixir of my life and assumed I would die without adding milk to my morning caffeine hit. One day something snapped inside me. I could no longer ignore the compelling environmental and ethical argument for a lifestyle free of animal exploitation and cruelty. However, I admit I was afraid of how this move could affect my finances. For reference, a single pack of Beyond Meat Beyond Burger Patties would pay me back at $ 13.20 – more than four times the cost of frozen beef patties. Regardless, I was determined not to let my finances hold me back from reducing my impact on the planet. I decided to be vegan for six months. At the end of my six month trial, I was shocked. I ended up saving S $ 793.44!
Avoiding processed foods will save S $ 229.44 ($ 170.84).
During my experiment, I quickly realized that veganism should, in principle, be cheap. The main factor behind the misconception that a vegan diet is expensive is all highly processed foods (e.g. convenience and prepackaged products). In truth, a vegan diet only needs products, soy products or beans, grains and lentils of various kinds. By simply replacing my usual meat portions with these vegetable proteins, I saved S $ 229.44 on my grocery bills over six months.
To answer the inevitable question about vegan protein, if you eat a variety of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, you don’t have to worry about a vegan diet containing full proteins. Like any other diet, veganism is all about balance.
A vegan capsule wardrobe saved me S $ 354 ($ 263.58)
Vegans know that lifestyle isn’t all about food – clothing is a big part of it. During those six months, I threw out clothing made from animal products and preferred vegan clothing instead. It was through this move that I became aware of the environmental impact of my previous predilection for fast fashion and fashion subscriptions. The more selective choice of vegan pieces I bought ensured that I will wear them for a long time to come. I essentially built a capsule wardrobe and reduced my carbon footprint on the planet, which also helped me save S $ 59 monthly (S $ 354 over six months) on my Fashion Box subscription. Turns out vegan fashion can be beneficial to the planet and your wallet!
Vegan beauty products saved me S $ 210 ($ 156.36).
Not all vegan products are more expensive than their counterparts, and so is beauty. Many beauty brands have struck the perfect balance between pet-free formulas and affordability. In fact, in my search for suitable skin care products, I have found many local Singaporean brands that are committed to clean, vegan formulas with super affordable prices! After taking into account that I ran out of products every two months, I found that I had saved S $ 210 by simply switching to cruelty-free vegan beauty products. Bonus: My skin was glowing at the end.
A vegan lifestyle doesn’t break the bank
Veganism can seem expensive based on product ads alone. I am happy to prove that this misunderstanding is not true. Small lifestyle changes related to food, clothing, and beauty products can save you more money in the long run! Of course, you don’t have to go into an all-or-nothing mentality. You can incorporate certain aspects or elements into your lifestyle. The more you rely less on animal products, the less you lessen your impact on the planet without breaking the bank.
Ann is an employee at ValueChampion Singapore, a consumer research and personal financial comparison company that prides itself on turning data into actionable, unbiased insights.