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May 21, 2018updated 22 May 2018 4:46pm

Vegan shopping list: How much it costs to go vegan

By Jack Rear

For many, one of the biggest considerations that many would-be vegans make before adopting the lifestyle is the potential cost.

A vegan shopping list has a reputation for being significantly more expensive than a non-vegan shopping list, but is that actually the case?

To compare the difference, we’ve looked at the cost of various common items found on most people’s shopping lists and their vegan equivalents.

As Verdict is based in the UK, we’ve compared prices between vegan and non-vegan products in the country’s most popular supermarket by market share, Tesco.

However, a cursory glance across the internet suggests that these prices are roughly equivalent at other supermarkets and elsewhere in the world.

Obviously, vegetables, bread and the like are common across vegan and non-vegan diets, so they wouldn’t be subject to a price difference.

Milk

Non-vegan:

  • 1.13 litre bottle of non-vegan own-brand semi-skimmed milk: £0.80 (£0.71 per litre)

Vegan equivalent:

  • Alpro Coconut Almond Fresh Milk Alternative 1 Litre/Alpro Soya Unsweetened Fresh Milk Alternative 1 Litre: £1.00 (£1.00 per litre)

Vegan pays £0.29 more per litre.

Eggs

Non-vegan:

  • Medium Free Range Eggs 12 Pack: £ 1.75 (£0.15 each) – Average weight: 700g

Vegan equivalent:

Obviously vegans can’t eat eggs and there isn’t much similar to eggs out there. However, as Verdict covered previously, there is a solution in the form of flax eggs. Simply take one tablespoon of ground flax seed, and mix with three tablespoons of water to make flax egg. It’s as similar in property and utility as vegans are likely to get.

With that in mind, here are the prices for flax seeds:

  • Flax Seeds 150G: £1.50 (£15.00 per kilogram)
  • Equivalent weight to Medium Free Range Eggs 12 Pack would cost: £7.00

Vegan pays £5.50 more.

Butter

Non-vegan:

  • British Unsalted Butter 250g: £1.60 (£6.40 per kilogram)

Vegan equivalent:

  • Flora Freedom Dairy Free Spread 500g: £1.80 (£3.60 per kilogram)

Vegan pays £1.40 less for the same amount. 

Meat

Non-vegan:

  • British Traditional Pork Sausages 400g: £2.50 (£6.25 per kilogram)
  • 4 1/4lb Beef Burgers 454g: £2.50 (£5.51 per kilogram)
  • Beef Lean Steak Mince 500g 5% Fat: £4.00 (£8.00 per kilogram)
  • British Chicken Breast Portions 650g: £4.00 (£6.16 per kilogram)

Vegan:

  • Quorn Vegan Cumberland Sausages 300g: £2.50 (£8.34 per kilogram)
  • Vegan Vegetable Patties 340g: £1.00 (£2.95 per kilogram)
  • Meat Free Mince 454g: £1.75 (£3.86 per kilogram)
  • Meat Free Chicken Style Pieces 300g: £1.75 (£5.84 per kilogram)

Vegan pays £4.93 less for equivalent weight.

Yoghurt

Non-vegan:

  • Greek Style Yoghurt 500g: £0.85 (£0.17 per 100 grams)

Vegan:

  • Alpro Big Pot Plain Yoghurt Alternative 500g: £1.00 (£0.20 per 100 grams)

Vegan pays £0.15 more.

Chocolate

Non-vegan:

  • Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar 200g: £2.00 (£1.00 per 100 grams)

Vegan:

  • Cadbury Bournville Dark Chocolate Bar 180g: £2.00 (£1.12 per 100 grams)

Vegan pays £0.12 more for the same weight.

Pizza

Non-vegan:

  • Stonebaked Thin Double Pepperoni Pizza 330g: £1.50 (£0.46 per 100 grams)

Vegan:

  • Wicked Kitchen BBQ Mushroom Pizza 291g: £4.00 (£1.38 per 100 grams)

Vegan pays £3.05 more for the same weight.

Ice cream

Non-vegan:

  • Ben And Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream 500ml: £4.50 (£0.90 per 100 millilitres)

Vegan:

  • Ben & Jerry’s Dairy Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream 500ml: £5.50 (£0.90 per 100 millilitres)

Vegan pays £1.00 more.

Cheese

Non-vegan:

  • British Mature Cheddar Cheese 450g: £2.70 (£6.00 per kilogram)

Vegan:

  • Free From Violife Block Cheese Alternative 200g: £2.30 (£11.50 per kilograms)

Vegan pays £5.50 more for the same amount. 

Vitamin B12

An expense in a vegan lifestyle that wouldn’t normally be incurred by non-vegans is for vitamin B12. This is a vitamin linked to helping make DNA, red blood cells, and certain hormones. It is commonly found in animal products so the majority of non-vegans absorb it constantly. For obvious reasons, people on a vegan diet might not.

Those with a vitamin B12 deficiency might experience weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness, heart palpitations and shortness of breath, constipation, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, vision loss, depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes.

Thankfully, vitamin B12 supplements are easily accessible and don’t require any prescriptions.

  • Vitamin B Complex X 90: £1.75 (£0.02 per tablet)

Vegan pays £1.75 more.

How much does vegan shopping list cost compared to a non-vegan one?

Adding up all the items on this shopping list, a non-vegan pays £28.70 for their shopping.

Meanwhile, a vegan would pay £33.35 for their groceries.

The difference of just £4.65 might not sound like a lot, but it’s worth remembering that a lot of vegan products come in much smaller portions than non-vegan products. For the equivalent weight of products, a vegan’s shopping will cost £11.03 more than a non-vegan’s.

Ultimately, there’s no denying that vegan food can cost a lot more than non-vegan food. Still, a vegan diet does make some serious savings on meat substitutes.

Perhaps the most cost-effective way to minimise the amount of animal products in your diet is to go vegetarian. This will allow shoppers to save money on not buying meat, but keep making the savings on items like eggs, milk, and cheese.

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