The Veggie Lifestyle on a Budget​ - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 05-12-2015, 08:19 AM
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The Veggie Lifestyle on a Budget​



It's common knowledge – eating healthy, especially eating lots of vegetables, costs more than eating junk, right? Wrong! It can cost a lot more to eat fresh and healthy foods, especially living the vegetarian lifestyle, but that happens when you don't think about what you're eating beforehand. Considering that you have to plan out your meals in order to get the right nutrients anyway, living the veggie lifestyle in a frugal way is just a matter of making smart choices for things you're already doing anyway.

Eat Seasonally

Think back to how your grandmother talked about the good old days. When peaches were in season, they had peach pies and peach ice cream and – you get the idea. People ate what was abundant at the farmer's stand because it was cheap. It was cheap because the farmers had a lot of it they wanted to get rid of before it went bad.

The same rule holds true today. Sure, you can find ripe strawberries in the grocery store in December, but you'll pay a fortune (and they'll taste bland). On the other hand, go to the local strawberry festival in your area and you'll find enough cheap berries to feed yourself for months. Do the same thing with broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn and any other vegetables you can find. Plan your menus around what's ripe this week and you'll naturally pay less for your meals.

Learn to Preserve

Taking advantage of cheaper seasonal fruits and vegetables doesn't do you much good if you can't enjoy it for more than a week or two each year. Learn the fine art of preserving foods to allow your cheap produce to last throughout the year. Remember those December strawberries? If you freeze fresh berries in the middle of summer, you'll have good-tasting berries for the rest of the year.

Preserving comes in three basic methods: freezing, canning and drying. Each food preserves best in one way or another, so you'll have to research how to save your personal favorites. But when you're eating super-cheap peppers in the middle of winter when everyone else is paying a small fortune for them, you'll gloat a little bit before adding them to your dinner.

Gardening

The absolute cheapest way to get food for your veg*n lifestyle is to grow it yourself. Whether you plant a couple of pots on your balcony or dig an entire city block for a family's entire yearly menu, you'll save money when you grow any type of food. Setting up a garden can be expensive if you buy everything new, but frugal gardeners know better:

• Buy year-old seeds for pennies and plant three seeds per hole to make up for old ones that won't sprout.

• Repurpose old junk to use as garden tools: old spoons make small shovels, broken cribs can become support for vines to grow on.

• Plan the year before and save seeds from food you eat to create completely free food.

• Grow foods with the biggest nutrition punch, such as dried beans and gourds and leave fancy treats like radish and gourmet colored carrots to a smaller corner lot.

Trade

Once your garden comes in, you're bound to have at least one crop that you have more of than you could ever use, even if you pickle or freeze it. Get together with other gardeners in your community and arrange a produce trade. If you have tons of tomatoes and the guy on the next block is buried in black beans, you've got a natural trading situation going on. Trade basic items in bulk for unusual items you want to try such as heirloom tomatoes or different bean or pea varieties. Get together with fellow vegetarians before the growing season for the best trading or look on Craigslist or your local paper during harvest season to see who else is looking to trade.

Make a Menu

It can help save some money if you plan meals ahead of time. Once you have your menu set, make a grocery list and stick with it. Go for ingredients only, avoid any processed foods and be determined to cook the foods on your menu instead of just heating them up in a microwave.​​

Buy in Bulk

Invest in some large, clear containers for your counter top and buy your ingredients in bulk. It's cheaper and in many instances, you'll get fresher, higher-quality ingredients. Buy pasta, rice, any dried beans and peas you don't grow and even spices and keep them in airtight containers. Tasty food doesn't have to come in colorful packages.

Last edited by CricketVS; 05-12-2015 at 09:41 AM.
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#2 Old 05-12-2015, 08:38 AM
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The amount of money I spent on food went down dramatically when I went vegan.
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#3 Old 05-12-2015, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket VS View Post

Make a Menu

If you're serious about living the veggie lifestyle you'll have to plan your meals ahead of time. While you're figuring out the best combination of foods in order to get enough protein into your diet, mix and match food items for the cheapest bang for your buck. .

This is the only part of the article that needs revision.


Vegan diets don't require detailed planning - they only require that you keep certain staple foods around the house. When this article says that "you'll have to plan your meals ahead of time" , it is scaring off potential new vegans, and for absolutely no good reason.


Here's another serious problem with the article: "While you're figuring out the best combination of foods in order to get enough protein . . .". By making this claim, this article is perpetuating a long-refuted myth about vegan diets. It's not necessary to consciously combine foods in order to get enough protein. Vegans are not teetering on the edge of protein-deficiency; if you eat enough calories from a variety of whole foods, you will get enough protein. Please consider these statements from reputable, mainstream agencies:


From the USDA:
“Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Combining different protein sources in the same meal is not necessary.”
Link to this statement: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy...egetarian.html


From the American Heart Association:
"Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs."
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...32_Article.jsp
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_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by CricketVS; 05-12-2015 at 09:52 AM.
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#4 Old 05-12-2015, 09:03 AM
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David, I am pretty sure the articles are not even being written by vegetarians or vegans.
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#5 Old 05-12-2015, 09:13 AM
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@David3 I sent you a private message requesting your input for needed changes in the article.
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#6 Old 05-12-2015, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket VS View Post


It's common knowledge – eating healthy, especially eating lots of vegetables, costs more than eating junk, right? Wrong! It can cost a lot more to eat fresh and healthy foods, especially living the vegetarian lifestyle, but that happens when you don't think about what you're eating beforehand. Considering that you have to plan out your meals in order to get the right nutrients anyway, living the veggie lifestyle in a frugal way is just a matter of making smart choices for things you're already doing anyway.

Eat Seasonally

Think back to how your grandmother talked about the good old days. When peaches were in season, they had peach pies and peach ice cream and – you get the idea. People ate what was abundant at the farmer's stand because it was cheap. It was cheap because the farmers had a lot of it they wanted to get rid of before it went bad.

The same rule holds true today. Sure, you can find ripe strawberries in the grocery store in December, but you'll pay a fortune (and they'll taste bland). On the other hand, go to the local strawberry festival in your area and you'll find enough cheap berries to feed yourself for months. Do the same thing with broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn and any other vegetables you can find. Plan your menus around what's ripe this week and you'll naturally pay less for your meals.

Learn to Preserve

Taking advantage of cheaper seasonal fruits and vegetables doesn't do you much good if you can't enjoy it for more than a week or two each year. Learn the fine art of preserving foods to allow your cheap produce to last throughout the year. Remember those December strawberries? If you freeze fresh berries in the middle of summer, you'll have good-tasting berries for the rest of the year.

Preserving comes in three basic methods: freezing, canning and drying. Each food preserves best in one way or another, so you'll have to research how to save your personal favorites. But when you're eating super-cheap peppers in the middle of winter when everyone else is paying a small fortune for them, you'll gloat a little bit before adding them to your dinner.

Gardening

The absolute cheapest way to get food for your veg*n lifestyle is to grow it yourself. Whether you plant a couple of pots on your balcony or dig an entire city block for a family's entire yearly menu, you'll save money when you grow any type of food. Setting up a garden can be expensive if you buy everything new, but frugal gardeners know better:

•Buy year-old seeds for pennies and plant three seeds per hole to make up for old ones that won't sprout.

•Repurpose old junk to use as garden tools: old spoons make small shovels, broken cribs can become support for vines to grow on.

•Plan the year before and save seeds from food you eat to create completely free food.

•Grow foods with the biggest nutrition punch, such as dried beans and gourds and leave fancy treats like radish and gourmet colored carrots to a smaller corner lot.

Trade

Once your garden comes in, you're bound to have at least one crop that you have more of than you could ever use, even if you pickle or freeze it. Get together with other gardeners in your community and arrange a produce trade. If you have tons of tomatoes and the guy on the next block is buried in black beans, you've got a natural trading situation going on. Trade basic items in bulk for unusual items you want to try such as heirloom tomatoes or different bean or pea varieties. Get together with fellow vegetarians before the growing season for the best trading or look on Craigslist or your local paper during harvest season to see who else is looking to trade.

Make a Menu

If you're serious about living the veggie lifestyle you'll have to plan your meals ahead of time. While you're figuring out the best combination of foods in order to get enough protein into your diet, mix and match food items for the cheapest bang for your buck. Once you have your menu set, make a grocery list and stick with it. Go for ingredients only, avoid any processed foods and be determined to cook the foods on your menu instead of just heating them up in a microwave.

Buy in Bulk

Invest in some large, clear containers for your counter top and buy your ingredients in bulk. It's cheaper and in many instances, you'll get fresher, higher-quality ingredients. Buy pasta, rice, any dried beans and peas you don't grow and even spices and keep them in airtight containers. Tasty food doesn't have to come in colorful packages.
Hi Cricket VS and thank you for the article. Do you have links or studies to include? Lots of times people take those sorts of articles more seriously.
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#7 Old 05-12-2015, 09:46 AM
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@LedBoots we were just trying to offer some basic ideas on ways people can save money.
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#8 Old 05-12-2015, 09:47 AM
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@David3 we added the revision to the article. Thank you for your valuable input!
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#9 Old 05-12-2015, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
David, I am pretty sure the articles are not even being written by vegetarians or vegans.
I hope to reach out directly to the community for articles in the coming months.
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#10 Old 01-16-2016, 10:22 AM
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Great article! I normally buy frozen fruit in the winter when fresh fruit isn't always available. And I'll put them in smoothies.
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#11 Old 01-16-2016, 10:32 AM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket VS View Post
I hope to reach out directly to the community for articles in the coming months.
Are you vegetarian?
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#12 Old 01-16-2016, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket VS View Post
I hope to reach out directly to the community for articles in the coming months.
Directly to what community, vegetarians? Are these articles really being written by meat eaters?
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#13 Old 01-16-2016, 02:19 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Directly to what community, vegetarians? Are these articles really being written by meat eaters?
This site was bought a while back by a company that has forums on hunting and stuff too.
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#14 Old 01-16-2016, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
This site was bought a while back by a company that has forums on hunting and stuff too.
That's disturbing. But have they not even employed a vegetarian to write the articles? What's the going rate for article writing these days? I'll do it.
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