With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to sting millions at the hip pocket every day, Aussies around the country have revealed one way they say saves them big bucks at the checkout.
After Prime Minister Anthony Albanese formally put our major supermarkets, including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA, under the microscope, announcing earlier this year a review into accusations of price gouging, one Aussie community say they've easily managed to save a tonne of cash due to their food choices.
These people are vegans, and according to them, the lifestyle choice is genuinely "so much cheaper". Yahoo News put a call out to the Vegans in Australia Facebook community earlier in the week to try and establish ways Australians can save on their grocery bills. We asked vegans in particular whether or not their lifestyle choice has helped, or hindered their bank accounts.
The answer was a resounding yes.
Community claims ditching meat saved them cash
While some said, in their experience, they are generally spending more money compared to when they did eat meat, or compared to their carnivorous counterparts, the vast majority of respondents claimed it was by far cheaper for them.
Tasmanian Luke Thomas Davey said he'd been plant-based for 13 years, but it was once he switched to whole foods four years ago — food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is also free from additives — that he truly noticed the real difference.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Davey explained how he manages his "super cheap lifestyle"."Whole foods have been super cheap [for me]," he told Yahoo. "Very easy to make curries and wonderful flavoursome dishes with cheap ingredients.
"Buying legumes, beans and so on, in dry form, in large packets — it costs two to three bucks for a packet and that's the same price for a can of beans — and you get three to five times the amount than you do from a can."
Not only can you save serious coin, Davey says it can also mean boycotting big supermarkets, which have faced prolonged criticism in the last few years.
"Supporting local growers instead of supermarkets can be very valuable to the community but also to the consumer," Davey said. "Once you become a regular at a fruit-veggie shop you get benefits. You can ask for old produce that sits out the back that will be thrown away which is generally fine but has to be eaten on the day.
"You can get it really cheap and freeze it. Or simple things like making tomato sauce from scratch with old juicy tomatoes. Can get boxes of tomatoes for less than $5 and make 10-20 jars of sauce."
Cheap vegan diet 'doesn't mean misery'
While as some people pointed out, vegan meat-free alternatives, particularly those that aim to replicate the taste and texture of animal products, can be quite costly, viewing them "as a treat" and not your main diet can still mean being able to enjoy them without the hefty bill.
CEO of Vegan Australia Heidi Nicholl says "the message is" you can be vegan cheaply "without being in misery".
"With vegan options, you've got so many different flavours, as we make such an effort to put it in, like my southwest tofu scramble with cumin," she said. "Garlic powder, and onion powder and all of these things that we add in, that will go a long way for an initial investment." she said.
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