A vegetarian diet can be beneficial for everyone, including omnivores. Not only is eating vegetarian better for the environment, but there are a number of studies that claim that eating less meat could reduce cancer risk. In fact, large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40% less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.
While the health and environmental perks are great, having a vegetarian meal every once in a while can also help you cut a pretty penny out of your meal budget fast. Without the need for pricey meats, your grocery store budget will plummet. Even if you only partake in something like “Meatless Mondays,” you could end up saving a ton in the long run. Here are some great ideas for vegetarian family meals on a budget:
- Vegetarian chili: Vegetarian chili is inexpensive and delicious. Make it in bulk and have some friends over to help you enjoy it. All you need is kidney beans (or black beans and chickpeas) as a base and dried chili peppers, corn, onions and tomatoes.
- Ravioli with Arugula: You can “jazz up” ravioli with minced garlic, shallots, and arugula. Ravioli is a great budget-friendly vegetarian meal that is perfect for when you really don’t feel like cooking.
- Stir Fry: Rice is extremely inexpensive, as are bagged frozen vegetables and both ingredients can be used to make a great stir fry. Buy the generic brand of frozen veggies and stock up when they’re on sale to whip up a great stir fry. Use peanuts as a base for your sauce to give your stir fry a bit of protein. Get your nuts wholesale at a warehouse club for the best buy.
- Bean Burgers: Instead of having meaty burgers, cook up some bean burgers, which can be garnished to taste just as good with some guacamole and a buttered hamburger bun. Bean burgers, made with quinoa, pinto beans, and cornmeal, can be made for $3 or less.
- Sweet Potato Fritters: Get creative with your veggies by making them into crispy fritters. You can make sweet potato, zucchini, or even cauliflower fritters.
Eating vegetarian meals isn’t just great for your health, it’s great for your budget, as well! Try planning a “Meatless Monday” where you can prepare vegetarian family meals on a budget.