How Eating Vegetarian Can Actually Save You Money

Meat can be expensive, that's not a secret, especially so if you prefer pricier cuts like steaks, ribs, and chops. If you're buying meat several times a week, that expense can add up quickly and make your grocery budget more than you may like. 

While there are plenty of ways to cut down on spending, like shopping discounts, using coupons, and buying cheaper cuts of meat, a 2015 study by the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition found that a diet that included lean meats in their daily intake cost nearly $750 more annually than a vegetarian diet. Furthermore, the study indicated that the meat-inclusive diet "[provided] fewer servings of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains" than the vegetarian one. Others have replicated this study in their own experiments at home and found similar results of cost-savings, with some people saving nearly $100 monthly just from cutting meat out of their diets.

Vegetarian diets are more cost-effective

Where meat can be expensive, especially if you're consuming it in large quantities daily, other sources of protein that are plant-based, like quinoa, beans, lentils, tofu, eggs, and peas cost significantly less while still offering a variety of nutritional benefits. 

The writer for HalfBanked gave up meat and switched to mainly fish and plant-based proteins in her diet and blogged about the experience, reporting that "in the first full, committed month, we're saving about $100." This coincides with what others have reported, including Emily Winsauer (founder of Knox Vegan) who told U.S. News, "It's a lot more affordable than people think" when speaking about her choice to forgo meat in her diet. A staff writer for The Penny Hoarder compared the cost of groceries when she was eating meat to the cost of groceries on a vegetarian diet, and found that she was saving nearly $1,000 annually, which is enough for a vacation (or some fun vegetarian snacks at the grocery store). If you've been thinking of cutting meat out, these financial reasons may be a good catalyst to start your vegetarian journey!