It’s that time of year again! Holiday music is playing everywhere you go, you’ve got plans to celebrate the season with friends and family, maybe you had one too many drinks at your holiday party, and, you’re gearing up to welcome in the new year in style.

It’s a truly wonderful time to be in the presence of the people you care about the most. But, between the gifts, the dinners, and the parties, the holidays can take a major toll on your wallet. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stick to your budget while you celebrate this holiday season.


1. Buy in bulk.

Whether you hit up the bulk bins at your local natural food store or pack a cart at your favorite wholesale retailer, buying in bulk is always a great idea. You’ll save money since bulk items tend to come at a reduced price, you’ll spare yourself extra trips to the store, and you’ll cut down on packaging and, therefore, your environmental impact. And, no, that five pound bag of quinoa isn’t going to go bad, so fill up!

2. Cook with filling ingredients like starches and legumes.

Cinnamon Turmeric Sweet Potatoes/Holly Bertone

It makes perfect sense. If you purchase items that are especially filling, then you won’t need to buy as much food and that means you’ll spend less money. Starches such as sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, carrots, root vegetables, apples, and brown rice are all hearty items that are sure to fill you up. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black and other beans are also inexpensive and satisfying ingredients to add to your holiday spread. For more ideas, check out our guide On A Budget? Here Are Some Healthy, Filling Foods Everyone Can Afford.

3. Plan ahead.



If you’re planning to host a big meal with loved ones, make sure you’ve got all the details in place. For instance, you’ll want to know exactly how many guests are coming so you can plan to make the right amount of food and not too much.

Things can get a little hectic during this time of year, and eating well can be a challenge. Keep your budget and your nutrition goals on track by trying out meal planning during the holiday season. Pick one day of the week as your prep day and cook up a bunch of meals for yourself to eat throughout the week. If you’re new to meal prepping, get inspired by our Plant-Based 101: Designing a Prepping Plan for Success guide.


4. Get creative with leftovers.

Thanksgiving Leftover Tacos With Cranberry Salsa/Cruelty-Free Family

Let’s face it, leftovers can get boring. “Stretch” your leftovers by coming up with creative ways to make new dishes with them in the days after a big holiday meal instead of letting them go to waste. Items like root vegetables, greens, bread, and more are easy to repurpose for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Check out some truly creative recipes made from holiday leftovers with our 15 Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Thanksgiving Leftovers!

5. Do your research.


With more and more people going plant-based each year, the internet has tons of resources for how to eat vegan on a budget. There are plenty of great ideas out there, from figuring out what you can make at home instead of buying in the store to grabbing generic brand organic goods where you can find them. Head over to How to Manage a Voracious Vegan Appetite on a Budget, Money Saving Tips for Eating Vegan on a Budget, or 15 Budget-Friendly Vegan Dishes to Bring to Friendsgiving for some of our best advice on eating plant-based on a budget this holiday season.

Now that you’ve got your budget settled: need ideas for your holiday spread? These resources are a great place to start:

And, of course, you can find even more budget-friendly and holiday-themed recipes by downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!


Lead image source: Cinnamon Turmeric Sweet Potatoes