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 (who, thanks to Amazon, also just dropped some of their prices). 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?).

coffee, pizza, wine, beer
Katie Stotts

I headed to my local Whole Foods to try to pick a lunch menu for the week to add up to $15 (under $15 and I’ll consider myself an 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 five ridiculously easy vegan lunches. Yes, this is for real and not a drill.

Monday: Kale Salad with Homemade Croutons

lentil, bread, vegetable, spinach, salad, kale
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 and healthier than store-bought options. This meal is so easy, I'm sure you can make this Kale Salad, too.

Tuesday: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Sautéed Kale and White Beans

This Stuffed Sweet Potato with Sautéed Kale and White Beans recipe is sweet, filling and 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

garlic, vegetable
Abigail Wang

This is a one pot meal consisting of tomato, basil, onion and pasta! It couldn’t be easier or more tasty. Learn how to make your own Tomato, Onion & Basil One-Pot Pasta — you won't regret it. 

Thursday: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Peanut butter and banana — it really is that simple. But here is a recipe for 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

guacamole, vegetable, avocado
Anna Ciambrone

This Zucchini Noodle recipe is the perfect summer meal. It’s healthy, fresh, filling, and 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?

Basically, I ate lunch for $3 a day, for five days. And the kicker — I did it shopping only at Whole Foods. If you didn't think it was possible to leave Whole Foods without spending your whole paycheck, you just haven't been shopping smart. Don't go into the store hungry and have a plan beforehand, and you too can eat lunch for just $15 a week.