A mix of upper fuel costs, supply-chain bottlenecks, conflict, and labor shortages has precipitated the costs of on a regular basis meals objects to soar. And with inflation, a greenback buys lower than it did earlier than.

However the present financial local weather has affected some meals classes greater than others. Meals objects comparable to beef, rooster, eggs, milk, butter, frozen ready meals, and even recent fruit have experienced double-digit percentage increases in price. Grocery shops have responded by passing this enhance on to the patron. In some circumstances, they’ve even begun shrinking the dimensions or amount of merchandise to offset the upper manufacturing prices.

Throughout these instances, it is essential to have the ability to readjust your purchasing record to replicate this new—albeit hopefully momentary—actuality. Though many animal-based merchandise and processed meals have gotten pricier, a whole lot of healthier, plant-based staples haven’t experienced much of an increase and nonetheless stay comparatively reasonably priced. Substances like canned beans, oats, cornmeal, popcorn, potatoes, and plenty of, many others can add bulk and important vitamins to an infinite number of meals. One other added bonus is that many of these items have long shelf lives, which signifies that extra of the meals results in your stomach as a substitute of within the rubbish.

So which meals do you have to be searching for in your subsequent journey to the grocery store?  The Meatless Monday group compiled an inventory of cheap plant-based substances that may enable you make meals which are wholesome, scrumptious, and simple on the pockets.

RELATED: 10 Foods You Never Knew You Could Grill

Multiple Types of Beans in Bowls

Usually costing lower than a greenback per can, beans ought to be a staple of any pantry. Canned beans can be utilized in every part from soups, stews, and vegetarian chili to veggie burgers, Tex-Mex burritos, and tacos, however the record of bean-focused meals is really infinite. We advocate experimenting with completely different varieties, like chickpeas, pinto beans, and pigeon peas, as a result of every sort has its personal distinctive taste and texture. From a dietary standpoint, beans are a superb supply of plant-based protein and fiber. For extra bean-focused recipes and knowledge, take a look at our Meatless Monday Beans Resource Center.


Though its value varies relying on the place you store, frozen edamame could be a nutritious add-on to meals. You may simply pop the entire pods within the microwave for a fast snack or use the shelled selection in an Asian-inspired salad, stir-fry, hummus, or edamame succotash. Their agency texture and hearty chew make edamame an ideal meat different.


We’re massive supporters of cabbage right here at Meatless Monday. Why? Effectively, it is the final word ingredient. You may braise it, grill it, shred it for coleslaw, or slice it up and add it to a veggie stir-fry. It is also one of many longer-lasting greens on the market. For inspiration, attempt making these braised cabbage rolls, farro cabbage salad, or a tangy facet dish of cabbage with orange and apple.

cornmeal pancakes

A staple of Southern cooking, cornmeal will be remodeled into quite a few comforting dishes, from deep dish polenta pizza (polenta is a courser grind of cornmeal) to smoky grits and greens to maple cornbread biscuits. The stuff is actually low-cost: a 2 lb. bag sometimes prices solely a few bucks and can final you just a few weeks—at the least.

Composition with bowl of lentils on wooden table.

Dried lentils and break up peas are low-cost, costing only some cents per serving and have an extremely lengthy shelf life. They’re additionally a plentiful supply of plant-based protein and different vitamins. Make a giant break up pea soup or batch of lentils, which may then be added to tacos, burritos, baked lentil empanadas, or a lentil and mushroom Bolognese sauce.

woman choosing frozen food at grocery store

Contemporary produce has seen a rise in value, however the price of frozen vegatables and fruits has remained comparatively secure. Frozen meals are nice for a few causes: they’re typically picked at peak freshness to protect coloration and nutrient content material, come pre-sliced, and do not spoil. And whereas they might not supply every part a recent fruit or vegetable delivers, they are often nice substitutes in stir-fries, soups, smoothies, desserts, and pasta dishes.

herb popcorn

Popcorn might look like a shock addition to this record, however shopping for unpopped kernels is a cheap and more healthy different to different pre-packaged snack meals. You may make recent popcorn in an air popper or in a brown paper bag within the microwave, and afterwards you may costume your recent popcorn up with some seasonings and spices, like garlic, smoked paprika, or nutritional yeast.

types of potatoes

The potato is an American culinary staple—and for good cause. Not solely is it one of the reasonably priced greens round, however it’s additionally one of the versatile. You may mash them, bake them, fry them, grate them, or flip them into soup. Russet potatoes and the waxier purple potatoes are fairly good choices if you happen to’re trying to avoid wasting coin. The record of potato recipes is infinite, however we advocate a great roasted potato with chimichurri sauce, a cool potato salad with coconut bacon, or stuffed potato primavera.

Gold rice

Rice has been the inspiration of meals throughout the globe for hundreds of years. You may retailer it in your pantry for months and rework it into just about something. Brown rice is a more healthy different than white, however basmati and jasmine rice are additionally good choices. You may high rice with something: stew, beans, curries, slaw, cooked greens, and so on., however it’s also possible to make rice the centerpiece of the meal with fried rice, pilaf, Thai rice salad, or leftover-rice veggie burger.

meatless protein options like tofu on grocery store shelves
Dayah Shaltes/Shutterstock

Tofu is available in a wide range of textures starting from silken to additional agency, however whichever sort you select, you will not should spend greater than a few {dollars} per bundle. Tofu is mellow by itself however absorbs taste when marinated, and you need to use it to recreate nearly all of your favorite comfort foods, like wings, nuggets, bacon, or this yummy vegan tikka masala. Simply bear in mind to give the tofu a quick press earlier than cooking to additional the surplus moisture.

Inquisitive about what different plant-based substances it’s best to at all times have readily available? Take a look at our list of 20 Essential Meatless Monday Ingredients.

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