A vegan diet can be an expensive option if you choose to eat many vegan processed foods, and vegan "fake" meats. But if you stick to the basics it is an extremely economical dietary choice.
I am not a vegan who eats "fake" meats, and looks to recreate vegan forms of traditional foods such as macaroni and cheese, chicken and noodles, etc. I like to eat a whole food, plant based diet and avoid processed foods for the most part.
My weekly staples, and pretty much my shopping list:
ground flax seed
diced canned tomatoes
I sometimes add, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini squash, and occasionally apples and bananas, and once in while some frozen blueberries. I eat canned beans, pinto, black, or chick, occasionally, and a few times a week some quinoa.
It seems like a small group of foods, but each day I easily hit my protein goal, calcium and iron goals, close to my potassium goal, and average around 50 plus grams of fiber daily. I do take a multi-vitamin each day, B-12 supplement, D3 supplement, and Tumeric Curcumin.
I enjoy my meals, lunch and dinner are always lentils, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and napa cabbage. I generally eat two servings of kale at lunch time, and two servings of collard greens at dinner time, to this I add some other veggies. I steam my veggies. To save time I cook up a bunch of lentils and keep them in the fridge, they are always ready to go.
I do not use oil, dressings, vegan spreads, dips etc. as I try to limit my exposure to fat. I do eat a little peanut butter and occasionally some nuts, and I get omega 3's from 2 T flax see I eat with my morning oatmeal.
I have never tried vegan cheese and don't see why I ever will as I simply do not miss it at all, and I was once a cheese addict :)
Meal prep is easy and my meals are filling, satisfying, and nutritious.
I like to drink herbal tea, making sure I have some green tea every day too.