Financial Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

We all probably know someone who’s gone vegetarian because they don’t like the thought of eating an animal or have been swayed by the evidence of how most are raised and treated before being slaughtered for food. These are usually the main concerns of vegetarians, but did you ever think that giving up meat could help your bank account too? Think about it carnivores; when you go to the supermarket, what are the items that cost you the most money? You’re answer is probably that lean cuts of beef or pounds of chicken breasts. So, what are the financial benefits of being a vegetarian?

For those who are not vegetarians, most meals revolve around the main ingredient being meat. If you have a family of five, buying enough meat whether its chicken, beef, pork or even fish can add up quickly. A staple meal for American’s is the “meat and potatoes” type of lunch or dinner that has meat as the center with a few sides. If you get most of your sustenance through meat and are accustomed to eating this way, you can end up spending a lot more money at the grocery store or at a restaurant than a vegetarian who will normally opt for a salad or pasta dish.

Protein sources (what most meals center around) for vegetarian’s cost much less than getting protein from meat. Prices vary widely between different cuts of meat and different stores, but there is no denying that ground beef costs more than a can of beans. Vegetarians often get their vitamins and nutrients from a variety of foods including low-cost items like chickpeas and different types of beans.

Vegetarians center most of their meals around low cost grains legumes, vegetables and beans, which can be a major money saver when it comes to eating. Switching from meat to these substitutes can save you an average of a couple of thousands of dollars a year. Just switching from meat to an alternative a couple of times a week would save you roughly $500 a month.

The most inexpensive foods you will find at the super market are often plant-derived; fitting into a vegetarian diet. Products such as vegetable products, whole grain items, oatmeal and other plant-based sources of food are inexpensive compared to meat products. The cheapest cuts of beef average around $3 to $4 per pound, while lentils, dried beans, tofu and garbanzo beans generally cost about $1 per pound.

If you’re looking to clean up your diet as well as tighten up on your budget, think about eating less meat or going vegetarian all together. Cutting out meat from your eating regimen and your grocery bill can save you a lot of money over the course of a short period of time.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I am not a vegetarian but I do eat allot more vegetables then I so meats. I found what you said to be very true, even when you go to the organic side of the aisle. :-)

  2. I bought a book months ago titled something like Vegan-Cooking for Carnivores, but I have yet to try out many of the recipes. It takes so long to develop new eating habits.

  3. I turned vegetarian when I was 16. In India vegetarians eat a staple of rice or wheat breads (like naan and chapati) and lentils, vegetables, yogurt and chutneys. It is a well balanced diet and is not too heavy on the digestive system. Ideally, people eat meat/fish once or twice a week and not every day at every meal. And I’d like to add that being vegetarian can save our seas from being over fished, pastures can become agricultural land and feed more people. Thanks for reminding me that being vegetarian is also adding to my savings :)

  4. I would also advise to avoid the heavily processed vegetarian items. These come at a premium aren’t as healthy as whole foods.

  5. I used to try to convince my family to eat less meat to lower costs. But no one was particularly interested. I at least discovered if I serve red meat only as a special treat on holidays, we can save that way.

    No one included myself is really interested in becoming a total vegetarian. I feel healthier when I eat less dairy, so I aim for that.

  6. I love this creative observation. I just bought a book, How Millionaires Stay Rich Forever, in which the author interviewed 1,000 self-made millionaires. He said one of the things they do is look at what they spent every month to see if there is anything they didn’t need and eliminate the expense going forward. It’s one of the reasons I never smoked – too cheap to buy cigarettes:)

  7. I completely agree. Most countries have meat as a “side-dish” and the vegetables as the main dish. I’m slowly changing my fiance from a “meat and potatoes” guy to a potato, salad and meat guy.

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