The people over at LearnVest did a cost analysis of four different diets: meat-eaters, pescetarians (who eat seafood), vegetarians (who don’t eat animals), and vegans (who don’t eat animals or animal by-products). They compared the price of a day’s worth of food for each diet to see if eating less meat really would save you money and the difference was clear.
According to these prices, a meat-eating family of four would spend $1,640.80 on food each month. We calculated what would happen if that family were to follow a flexitarian diet and substitute two meals a day (in this case, breakfast and dinner) with two of the meatless options. They would only have spent $1,450.40, a difference of $190.40. This would total to a $2,284.80 savings for the year!
Substituting meat twice a day for meatless meals is highly achievable. However, even if this example family were only to trade out one meat-filled lunch a day (a turkey sandwich) for another option (a tomato, mozzarella, and pesto sandwich) they would still save almost $700 that year. $700, or around £430, is a fantastic reward for simply swapping one meaty meal a day.
I have also done research of my own to calculate the cost of meat versus produce. While living in Northern Ireland, I went around our local Sainsbury’s jotting down the costs of fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. The average cost of a kilogram of meat and fish was four times that of a kilogram of fresh produce! (If you are skeptical, I would highly recommend doing this yourself.)
Just by beginning to pay attention to the amount of money you’re spending on animal products will open your eyes to how much you could be saving. To witness these savings firsthand, try making your family a meat-free dinner and compare the cost to a regular one. Let us know how you saved in a comment below or on Twitter with #ISavedWhen.