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How much money you can save by eating plant based

You’ve probably heard that switching to a plant-based diet can help combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions, conserving ecosystems, and reducing pollution. But did you know that adopting a meat-free diet can be significantly cheaper than a diet including meat and dairy? 

Exact savings will vary according to your region, the size of your household, and what you buy, but meatless diets cost $23 less per week on average. That adds up to $1,196 a year.  

Looking at average retail food prices for U.S. cities, meat and dairy prices are approximately $2.80 more than fruits, vegetables and legumes (see average prices below).  

Plant-based meat is currently more expensive than conventional meat due to fewer subsidies and smaller production scales. However, meat substitutes are competitively priced or even less expensive than real meat in some countries. Thus, forgoing meat and dairy is more affordable for your wallet and better for the planet.  

Spread of vegan toast.

Meat and dairy products: 

Ground beef (per lb.) – $5.426 

Ham (per lb.) - $4.083 

Chicken breast (per lb.) - $4.608 

Eggs (per doz.) - $2.936 

Milk (per gal.) - $4.156 

Cheddar cheese (per lb.) - $5.855 

Average price: $4.511 

 

Plant-based products: 

Bananas (per lb.) - $0.640 

Strawberries (per 12 oz.) - $2.208 

Potatoes (per lb.) - $0.945 

Lettuce (per lb.) - $2.927 

Tomatoes (per lb.) - $1.842 

Beans (per lb.) - $1.673 

Average price: $1.706 

 

Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for July 2022 

 

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