Is a vegetarian diet cheaper?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is a vegetarian diet cheaper?” and will discuss how you can save money by going vegetarian?

Is a vegetarian diet cheaper?

Yes, a vegetarian diet is cheaper. Research presented at the annual European Congress on Obesity in Vienna indicated that vegetarian diets are more economical than other diets if you purchase the food online. It costs around $2.00 less a day to be a vegetarian.

How is a vegetarian diet cheaper?

Nestle Research Center scientists in Switzerland evaluated vegetarian, Mediterranean, and US dietary guidelines-based diets in research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In contrast to a vegetarian diet that is exclusively plant-based, the Mediterranean diet permits red meat to be consumed in moderation, and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines advocate a well-balanced diet that includes lean meat and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Amazon Grocery and Gourmet Food provided all of the goods utilized in the study. Even though meat and poultry were not included in the vegetarian diet, the nutritional content of all diets was comparable. In comparison to the Mediterranean diet, the vegetarian diet was much more cost-effective.

People on a vegetarian diet spent $15.40 a day, $17 a day, and $17.30 a day on their daily meal plans; those following the U.S. dietary recommendations spent $17 per day.

“Online shopping makes it easier to purchase items that fulfill government standards for a healthful diet, but it may be pricey. According to Hilary Green, Ph.D., a researcher at Nestlé, $15.40 per day per person for a vegetarian food plan is still a lot of money.

A nutritious meal plan may cost as low as $6.50 per day, according to estimates from the US Department of Agriculture in the past. Low-cost and healthful? Many Americans might benefit from following a plant-based diet, such as a vegetarian diet or a vegan diet. According to official standards, almost 75% of Americans do not consume enough fruits, vegetables, or dairy products.

People instead consume calories from sugar, saturated fat, and salty meals, which are all high in calories.

What if you were to become vegetarian?

According to a study, following a plant-based diet, particularly if you consume seasonal fruit and don’t spend a lot of money on gourmet foods and supplements, may save money. It has been estimated that a vegetarian diet might save the average American around $750 per year, according to research published in 2015.

Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of “Plant-Powered for Life,” told Healthline that “studies have indicated that plant-based diets may be cheaper, and this is connected to the fact that animal proteins tend to be the costliest item on the plate.”

“Beans are a lot more affordable than beef.” “A plant-based diet may save money if you plan,” she said. Stephanie McKercher, a Colorado-based registered dietitian and recipe creator at The Grateful Grazer, cautioned that a plant-based diet would not save you money.

However, turning vegetarian would not immediately lower your shopping bill, she said. McKercher warns that the cost of expensive superfoods, protein powders, and exotic fruits and vegetables may quickly mount. Local, seasonal vegetables and pantry staples like rice and beans are the most cost-effective ways to maximize your food budget, she said. “You can save even more money by starting a garden.”

The best health advantages come from high-quality food

Many health advantages have been associated with a vegetarian or predominantly plant-based diet, but the quality of the food is essential to reap those benefits. Palmer went on to say that a vegetarian diet rich in highly processed foods had fewer health advantages than one centered on entire plant foods.

Following a plant-based diet has been linked to several health advantages in studies presented at this year’s Nutrition 2018 conference in Boston, Massachusetts. People who ate more plant-based protein than animal protein had a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to one of the studies presented.

Additionally, those who ate more plant proteins were shown to have less plaque in their arteries in separate research. Research shows that vegetarians have lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, lower quantities of abdominal fat, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar than those in the same demographic category who eat meat.

Another research presented at the conference found that healthy plant-based choices lowered mortality by 27% and cancer deaths by 37%, but those who ate high-quality animal meals didn’t have a reduced death risk.

Not simply vegetarianism, but a healthy diet

A vegetarian diet involves careful attention to ensure that you’re not simply eating anything without meat—for example, French fries are vegetarian, but they shouldn’t be a regular component of a balanced diet. A vegetarian diet

High-quality plant-based foods including whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables were associated with lower weight gain than lower-quality plant-based meals like sweets and refined grains. However, even if they’re technically vegetarian, many of these meals are either highly processed or very heavy in fat, making them unsuitable for vegetarians. 

“It is possible to consume foods that are poor in nutrients and of low quality in a plant-based diet,” Palmer added. Beans, peas, almonds, soy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all part of a well-rounded plant-based diet.

New data shows that vegetarian diets are associated with decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, according to Palmer, who spoke at the American Heart Association’s annual conference. “As a result of these advantages, vegetarians tend to live longer.”


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is a vegetarian diet cheaper?” and discussed how you can save money by going vegetarian?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.