Simple Cheap Vegan Meals: Rice All the Way

Simple Cheap Vegan Meals: Rice All the Way

Did you know that rice is one of the cheapest things to buy at the store? Beans are also on that list, too.

Simple Cheap Vegan MealsSo it would be common knowledge that a meal that consists primarily of rice and beans would be the least expensive meal of all. The awesome thing about this is that it is all a part of the whole food vegan diet.

Simple cheap vegan meals can also be super easy to make. Being able to cook meals in bulk is also easy with these meal ideas, so you can spend less time overall in the kitchen.

Now, there are two types of cuisines when I think of rice and beans. Mexican and Asian. Within these two types there are so many flavor combinations to choose from that your taste buds will never grow bored.


Basic Asian Stir Fry

White Basmati Rice:

18.54 for a 20 lb. bag.

Servings per bag: 201

Serving size: 1/4 cup dried ≈ 1/2 cup cooked

Price per serving: 0.09 cents

Canned Black Beans:

0.72 cents per can

Serving per can: 3.5

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Price per serving: 0.21 cents

Frozen Stir Fry Veggies:

1.98 per bag

Servings per bag: 5

Serving size: 1 cup

Price per serving: 0.40 cents

Soy Sauce:

1.45 per bottle

Servings per bottle: 30

Serving size: 1 Tablespoon

Price per serving: 0.05 cents

Total per Serving:

Price: 0.75 cents

Amount: 2 cups of food


Jazzed Up Asian Stir Fry

Everything above plus:

Peanut Butter:

4.37 per jar

Servings per jar: 35

Serving size: 2 Tablespoons

Price per serving: 0.12 cents

Tip: I would not put more than a teaspoon or two in or you’ll overpower the whole thing with peanut butter. Unless that’s what you like in which case go for it!


2.56 for a 4 lb. bag

Servings per bag: 454

Serving size: 1 teaspoon

Price per serving: 0.01 cents

Chili Garlic Sauce:

2.64 per bottle

Servings per bottle: 45

Serving size: 1 teaspoon

Price per serving: 0.06 cents

Tip: A little goes a long ways!

Total per Serving:

Price: 0.94 cents

Amount: A little over 2 cups

This is just an example of how simple and cheap these types of meals can be. If you can buy in bulk then do so, as many bulk items are given a discounted price. Plus, most of what is on these lists have a long shelf life. You won’t have to go to the store as often and will always have the items on hand when you feel like making food.


Now, what will make you life easier, but not break the bank? A rice cooker. Most of them have an automatic cook/warm switch so you can put rice on, turn it on, and forget about it without worrying that your rice will either burn, or come out soggy, whether it’s done or not. I admit to having that problem if I’m trying to cook it on the stove, or in a slow cooker, something I just found out today.

Now, you do not need to go out and get the most expensive ones with all the bells and whistles. I use a 20.00 rice cooker that I bought from Walmart that plugs in and has a single cook/warm switch. It makes rice perfectly every single time.

Other than that it’s a pretty easy heat and serve from either the stove or the microwave. This type of dish requires no baking, and can be done in as little as 30 minutes.

Meals Ideas

I prefer white basmati rice. I like the taste, the texture, and the cook time. Brown rice is better for you in that it has more fiber and nutrients. I find that brown basmati rice takes almost twice as long to cook, and can leave my rice cooker in a bit of a mess as rice cookers, especially the less expensive ones, are produced to handle white rice. That being said jasmine rice is another rice that has a unique flavor and shouldn’t be ignored.

There are tons of bean options and combinations. There are also lentils, and tofu is fairly inexpensive. Just make sure you make the tofu correctly like I’ve shown in my Pan Fried Tofu post.

Condiments might seem like a big expense, but think about how much you would use in a recipe. As you’ve seen above condiments really aren’t that much in the long run. Taco seasoning is fairly cheap, as are most Mexican condiments and herbs. Barbecue sauce is also a possibility.

Canned vegetables are also inexpensive and have between 3-5 servings a can. If you have the money definitely go for some salad as it makes a pretty good filler.

If you want you could even mash up the rice and beans, put them together and try frying them into a patty. Or bake them in the oven if you feel particularly chef-y.

For breakfast rice pudding is a great option. cooked rice, milk, sugar, and dried fruit come together in one pot to make a sweet and filling way to start the day.


Simple and cheap vegan meals are bountiful, and can be made by anyone. The sky is the limit. They are also filling and packed with the vitamins and minerals that a body needs.

I hope this post helped you. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to put them below in the comment section and I will be more than happy to respond!

4 thoughts on “Simple Cheap Vegan Meals: Rice All the Way

  1. Very interesting post. I am not a vegan but I love rice a lot and found a really great recipe on your website of the Basic Asian Stir Fry. The only thing I substituted soy sauce with Tamari sauce. I also found that if you are on a budget, rice meals will be one of the cheapest and actually they fill you up pretty good. And you do not need to be a super chef to cook rice!

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Yes, rice can be very filling, and isn’t a hard thing to cook, unless you’re my mom. Her rice tended to always turn out cooked, but with a lot of liquid in it. Which is why she loves our little 20 dollar rice cooker because we don’t get that problem anymore.

      Rice is definitely one of the cheapest things out there to buy, especially if you buy in bulk!

      Have a good one,


  2. Hey there,

    My mother Ian a vegetarian for years and I’ve always try to find new recipes for her as they are usually less popular than menus with meat. These rice meals look really tasty. 🙂 I’m taking notes on them to try out on our next family meal.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hello Anh,

      Thanks for checking out my post. I hope these meals go over well for you. Let me know if there are any other types of recipes you want me to put up, I’m sure I can think of something!

      Good Luck,


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