Being on a budget isn’t difficult to do if you’re vegan. However, like many of you, Whole Foods is my go-to store because being vegan usually goes hand in hand with loving organic food. There are many ways to be a savvy shopper, even at Whole Foods. It will just require you to know the tricks of the trade. Follow these Whole Foods hacks, and you'll be able to save yourself a couple extra dollars (because every cent counts, right?).

beer, wine, pizza, coffee
Katie Stotts

After following my advice above, I headed to my local Whole Foods to try to pick a lunch menu to add up to $15 (under $15 and I’ll consider myself and overachiever). One cheat is I didn’t include kitchen staples (ie. spices, oils & condiments) hoping we all have them lying around somewhere. Walking into the store, I already knew what was on sale and had a plan. I crafted my week’s worth of lunches to be easy, healthy and pack-able to bring to work with me.

Grocery List:

- 1 banana: $0.20

- 1 bunch of kale: $2.50

- 1 box of Whole Foods 365 Brand Whole Wheat Pasta: $1.30

- 2 avocados: $1.98

- 1 loaf of whole wheat bread: $0.69 (after $1 off coupon)

- 1 (16 oz) can of white beans: $0.65

- 3 tomatoes: $3.00

- 1 zucchini: $0.89

- 1 seedless cucumber: $0.65

- 1 sweet potato: $1

- 1 bunch of basil: $1.20

Total: $14.76 (saved $0.20 for using two reusable bags)

With just $15 and a trip to Whole Foods, you can make these 5 ridiculously easy vegan lunches. Yes, this is for real and not a drill.

Monday: Kale Salad with Homemade Croutons

kale, salad, spinach, vegetable, bread, lentil
Anna Ciambrone

Nothing is more refreshing than a simple salad on a hot summer day. Carb-lovers can rejoice over these recipes of a variety of homemade croutons – they are tastier & healthier than store-bought options. Find the recipe here.

Tuesday: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Sautéed Kale and White Beans

This recipe is sweet, filling & downright tasty. This dish provides lots of nutrients and is a good base to use substitutes as well if you have other produce on hand (ie. chard, spinach, collard). Learn how to make different kinds of stuffed sweet potatoes here.

Wednesday: Pasta Salad with Tomato, Basil, and EVOO

vegetable, garlic
Abigail Wang

This is a one pot meal, it couldn’t be easier or more tasty. Learn how to make it here.

Thursday: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Peanut butter and banana- it really IS that simple. But here is a recipefor all you nervous cooks out there. If you want to venture outside of two slices of bread, here are nine more ways to eat peanut butter and banana.

Friday: Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto

avocado, vegetable, guacamole
Anna Ciambrone

This recipe is the perfect summer meal. It’s healthy, fresh, filling, healthy & quick. Plus, the best part is you really feel like you’re eating a big bowl of carbs (and who isn’t happy about that). Learn how here.