Living, shopping and cooking with a meat-eater... - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 08-03-2005, 02:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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I'm thinking about becoming a vegetarian, but my boyfriend is a firm meat-eater. I want to become veggie because I'm concerned about the suffering of farm animals, damage to the environment and I think I could save on my shopping bills (just being honest!) - not because I think eating meat is unnatural. My boyfriend and I are both short of time and money (I'm a full time volunteer, he's a student) and currently share the shopping and the cooking.

I need some advice on how we can still shop together and cook together but still split the bills fairly. How can we split the bills on all the things we share like bread and vegetables etc? Does it mean we just have to keep everything separate from now on? We don't really have time to cook separately and we love having our meals together in the evening. Does anyone else out there have a similar problem and could give me some advice?
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#2 Old 08-03-2005, 03:54 AM
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well, here's a way that i could see it working.

1. shopping: since both of you eat fruits, veggies, beans, and grains, it seems that that bill can be slpit in two. if you both consume eggs and dairy products, then that bill can be split in two. if he wants to buy meat for himself, then that would be on his bill. In all fairness, you should only pay for what you eat--right?

2. cooking: it is very easy to cook vegetarian and omni meals. in my household, we cook a balanced, vegan meal and then add to it as we see fit. if i want to add eggs or dairy, i can. if he wants to add meat, he can. We always cook the meat entirely separate.

the best way to do this is to take an idea of nutrition by addition. instead of havinig him make rice-broccoli-chicken, consider making a morrocan-style meal. start with morrocan-ginger soup, then add a mixed greens salad, then add hummus and pita bread, then add tabouleh, and then if he wants it, he can add some meat to his (lamb kabobs). that should be a balanced meal for everyone (and filling). another example is mediterranian: pasta and sauce (meatballs on the side), salad.

3. keeping things separate: you'll probably want him to cook his meat in separate baking dishes or pans. i know i do. i don't want meat in my meals.
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#3 Old 08-03-2005, 05:22 AM
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I tend to go to greengrocers and health food shops, indian supermarkets, etc so food isn't an issue, but once a week I go to the supermarket with my boyfriend (for toilet paper and 'ladies things' haha), we split the cost of that so he pays for his meat and stuff, and I pay for my 'essentials'. I suggest two shopping carts, trollies, whatever you call them. We usually get equal amounts of things we both like, to try and balance the cost.

Also, cooking can be the most fun thing to do ever, and you still can cook together, for example last night I cooked rice for both of us, but we had different things to go with it.
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#4 Old 08-03-2005, 12:05 PM
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I think it would be fair if he paid for the meat and you paid for you veggie specialty items (tofu, whatever), then split the vegetarian stuff between you. If you find you're eating more bread, beans, etc. perhaps you could split it 60-40. If he is interested in saving money too he should consider having mostly vegetarian meals (i.e. only have meat a few times a week). My bf is also a ravenous meat eater but doesn't mind eating one vegan meal a day because he knows his diet is otherwise crap. As far as cooking goes it would be much simpler if he could accept vegetarian meals most of the time. When you cook you could do the more adventurous cooking and he could do easily meat-atized meals (pasta + meat balls). I liked Zoe's idea of making a balanced veggie meal that he can add meat to if he wishes. Sharing cooking utensils isn't an issue for me; I'm only concerned about not contributing to demand and not having to taste it. Perhaps you could buy a single frying pan which is used only for meat? (Then again everything else is already "contaminated".) As long as it doesn't bother you, I don't see why you would have to separate everything. Rice is rice.
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#5 Old 08-03-2005, 01:50 PM
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As far as splitting the bill I would say that you can still split it evenly, rather than have him pay separately for meat. I live with my omni boyfriend and I'm lacto-ovo vegetarian, although I prefer soy milk, soy yogurts, etc when possible. He doesn't buy a ton of meat, and if yours does, or if your bf prefers super expensive, fancy cuts of meat, this may not work for you...but for us, we just split it. His meat costs money, so does my soy milk and luna bars and hummus. I don't argue over him buying mac and cheese, because he doesn't tell me not to get soy yogurts. Feels like it evens out.

But also, we aren't psycho about splitting everything down to the last penny....rather, we just take turns, like if we go out for a meal and he pays, next time we're at the grocery store I'll pay, and then if we go to Target and buy stuff for the house he'll pay, and next time we end up buying groceries again I'll pay...etc. Maybe your relationship doesn't work that way, but we feel like it's fair, like it eventually evens out.
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#6 Old 08-04-2005, 03:32 PM
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I'm married to an omni, so I'll tell you what we do to get on:

Shopping - There are a lot of veggies and fruits that we both like, so we stock up on these the most. He also likes brown rice, too so we always have brown rice in the house both cooked and uncooked (I'll cook up a big batch of it and then break it down to smaller portions which go in the freezer). There are times he wants meat, but he knows he has to pick it out himself and he has to take care of it once we get it home (I'll put it in the freezer for him, but that's as good as I get). All of our food costs come from the same "pot" but if we were splitting costs, then the veggies and fruits would be picked up by both of us and the meat and tofu that I've been known to get every now and again would probably be picked up by the person wanting that item.

Cooking - The base of every meal in our house is vegan. If he wants meat or cheese, he adds it himself like it's a condiment and there are tons of dishes that can be done this way. He likes this method the most because he does a good portion of the cooking and hates to cook seperate meals (and who can blame him). We can still eat together and enjoy our time together because he's not stressing out about the meal he just made.

Cookware - We share. It was shared when we were both omni and it's shared now. The only rule I have is that my stuff goes first and our food never cooks together in the same skillet (if he's planning to use one skillet for that night). If it's baked, then my stuff is seperated from his. Otherwise, it's the vegan base+condiments rule.

And actually, you *can* save on your shopping bills (some areas are easier to do this in than others, though). Our bill dropped like a stone when I went veg and when he started cutting down his meat and milk product consumption, it went down further, still. I attribute that mostly to the fact that we eat a pretty whole-foods diet and very rarely will have pre-packaged convenience foods.
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