Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

7 money-saving meat free tips

Most of us go through times when we need to tighten our budgets and save money. Luckily there are plenty of ways to cut costs on Meat Free Mondays and beyond!

Posted : 9 July 2024


Ripen at home

Rather than buying avocados when they’re ripe and expensive, consider buying unripe ones and letting them ripen at home. These are often much cheaper and just as tasty. Plus, they have a longer shelf life! If you want to speed up the ripening process, store them next to bananas to help them ripen faster.


Soya chunks and other dried soy products

Packed with protein and cheap, soya chunks (aka ‘textured vegetable protein’) are a great alternative to meat in dishes such as curries, casseroles, stews and stir fries. Before the recent upsurge in plant-based products, they were a staple for many vegetarians and vegans. Health food stores often stock them, as do some supermarkets in their Asian aisles. They are also available in a mince format, making them a great and versatile option. Soak soya chunks in hot water for 10-15 minutes and you’re away! Give them a go with these simple Spicy Fajitas.
Spicy Fajitas


Tofu knots

Similar to soya chunks, tofu knots (aka ‘dried bean curd’), can be found in many Asian food stores and supermarkets. They have a great texture and absorb the flavour of whatever you soak them in, making for an easy and delicious protein source. Once soaked, they can be fried until crispy, making them a good substitute for foods like bacon.

Tofu knots are a reliable and versatile ingredient which can be stored in your food cupboard for a long time, helping to reduce waste and perfect for financially lean times.


Dried pulses

Pulses are perfect for plant-based cooking as they are full of protein and fibre, and dried versions are a lot cheaper than tinned (many would say more delicious!).

Just a little bit of forward planning results in a tasty and very cheap alternative protein. Try placing your beans in boiled water with baking soda at the beginning; this will help them expand more evenly and absorb water faster.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out five plant-powered video recipes for a protein kick!
Watch the videos


Meat free bargains

Veggie sausages, meatless slices, plant-based burgers – there are many great meat free products available these days, and they often work out cheaper than their animal-based counterparts. Supermarket own brand ranges can be particularly cost effective, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for veggie brands, like Linda McCartney Foods and Quorn, which offer family value packs as part of their ranges.


Plant milk

While plant milks can be a little more expensive than dairy due to government subsidies for the dairy industry, there are a few ways to make them more affordable. When buying plant milk in a supermarket, leave the fridge section and find the long-life milk. Non-refrigerated plant milk can be cheaper and has the added benefit of being able to be stored outside of the fridge before it’s opened, meaning if you find a good deal you can bulk buy! Value brand soya milk can be purchased for around 60p in the long-life section, so no need to be out of milk for your tea or cereal again.

Another option is to make your own! Oat milk is one of the cheaper options, as you can buy a big bag of rolled oats inexpensively. Our Homemade Oat Milk recipe is versatile and works well for both sweet and savoury milks. Plus, you can use the leftover pulp in some other recipes for minimal waste!
Homemade Oat Milk


Utilise the freezer

It’s an often-repeated tip for a reason. Bulk cooking big meals then freezing them is a great way to reduce food waste and avoid unnecessary purchases when you want a quick dinner. Better yet, the flavours develop over time, making meals even tastier after freezing!

Fresh ingredients like fruit, vegetables, tofu and (sliced) bread can also be frozen to keep them fresh for longer. If you freeze at least half of your bread as soon as you buy it, you'll always have a toast option at hand!

It’s also possible to make your own frozen stock cubes out of vegetable scraps, meaning you’ll never need to buy stock again – and you’ll also know exactly what’s in it. Check out our easy No-Waste Stock recipe!
No-Waste Veggie Stock
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