Whats your monthly food budget? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-19-2012, 02:44 PM
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I wanted to ask this question(is thus the right forum for it?) to get a hint on what I should do for myself. Does anyone think one person can live off of 100 dollars per month for food(20-25 a week)? My food budget needs to be low for me to pay bills, or I will have to change my diet to my old one so I dont have to buy food. Anyways what do you do for a food budget? Do you ever go over it and splurge? Do you make a plan of buying the same foods all the time?

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#2 Old 09-19-2012, 05:06 PM
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What does "I will have to change my diet to my old one so I dont have to buy food" mean? Is someone else willing to buy you groceries, so long as they're not vegan? BUT if you want vegan, you have to buy?

 

I think it's possible, but likely very tough to eat on $100 a month. It's hard for me to guess because I buy food for two people, one of them a kid. When I was a childless girl, and vegetarian, I doubt I spent more than $100 per month, but I also didn't eat enough back then (not on purpose, just not hungry or too busy to eat). 

 

One thing I'd suggest is looking at your other purchases. At my house we have zero cable, a non-fancy no internet phone and try to conserve water and electricity. We also cook from scratch and rarely eat out. I know that most people I know spend 80+ on phones per month and even more on cable in many instances. In my house, fresh organic food comes before all that. We spend less in other areas so we can afford healthy food. 


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#3 Old 09-19-2012, 05:29 PM
 
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One thing that has worked quite well for me has been shopping in bulk for items I can store.  If rice is on sale I buy a bunch of it, knowing I have good containers to store it, I do the same with beans and other dry goods.  I also try to experiment with my vegetables, if I notice that there's a new or different vegetable on sale that I haven't tried before I go for it and use the magic of Google and the ingredient + vegan to find recipes.  It has really broadened my food horizons.  I had no idea that I liked so many types of squash or that there were so many great ways to prepare them.

 

Stockpiling vegetables works well with things like mushrooms which can be stored in your freezer if packed securely.  I consider a Food Saver one of the best investments I have ever made.  It's even really useful with things like soups, if you make a giant batch of it instead of a few small servings and you put it in the freezer you aren't going to get burnt out on eating it several times that week until it's gone.  It also makes long days easier when you are feeling lazy and don't want to cook.

 

There are also really nice coupon deals for vegetables and fruit that are frozen, which are good to look into and usually happen around the holidays.  Even freezer burnt raspberries you forgot in the back of the ice box are great in a smoothie.  Some areas have deals on getting produce when you sign up for their specific saver cards and regularly throughout a month. 

 

If you're lucky enough to be close to a Farmers market many of them have delicious produce that is (often) far less expensive than a conventional grocery. 

 

I can't give you an honest amount that I spend on groceries in a month without looking at my bank account and doing a bunch of math however I will say my bank balance is a lot higher than it used to be and my income hasn't changed since I stopped eating meat. 

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#4 Old 09-19-2012, 08:38 PM
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Hi Jennifer, Yeah that exactly what I meant. I dont know anyone who eats veggie/vegan food(they may eat occasional salad and have fruit at their house though), and their not going to go out of their way to accommodate me, which I dont expect nor want them to in the first place. I am in college so I dont really have utilities to pay for other than car expenses, and phone, school is really yanking what left in my pockets. But I think I will try and spend a bit more on food if needed and cut off my phone. Thanks for replying!

 

Thanks Medeina for replying. What containers are you using to store your food? I cant find any decent ones, and the one I use are small. And I thought about freezing my own vegetables because I figure it would be a litle bit cheaper than buying the stuff that is frozen. Thanks for all the great tips, I will be show to try them out!

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#5 Old 09-20-2012, 12:46 AM
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And I thought about freezing my own vegetables because I figure it would be a litle bit cheaper than buying the stuff that is frozen. 

 

Do you live in a dorm or house? I.e. do you have access to a fridge and freezer?


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#6 Old 09-20-2012, 06:55 AM
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Do you live in a dorm or house? I.e. do you have access to a fridge and freezer?


I live in a dorm style house, lol, with other students, but I do have access to a full size fridge that has a freezer, we also have the other ulities in the house such as a stove, etc. Our bigger fridge is usually full but I do have a mini fridge/freezer in my own room.

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#7 Old 09-20-2012, 09:27 AM
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I live in a dorm style house, lol, with other students, but I do have access to a full size fridge that has a freezer, we also have the other ulities in the house such as a stove, etc. Our bigger fridge is usually full but I do have a mini fridge/freezer in my own room.

Cool. I was just asking because I lived in a little studio as a teen and it was harder to buy food ahead, and cook due to the tiny fridge. It's cheaper to have more food storage space for sure. 

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#8 Old 09-20-2012, 09:43 AM
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We spend about $45 a week on two adults---but he has the palate of a five-year-old and would happily eat peanut butter sandwiches for every meal :) On a typical shopping trip, we buy bread for lunches, grapes (his only lunch fruit) and a few other on-sale fruits for me, sandwich fixings as needed, soy milk, tomato sauce, canned beans or other dinner items and that's it. We go to a bulk food store once a month and buy rice, pasta, crackers, raisins, oats, nuts and seeds and so on. That's usually about $50 but it lasts a whole month. We also each have one big-ticket item once a month, his is fancy peanut butter at the health food store, mine is pumpernickel bagels from the local bakery. That's $10 a month each and can be covered within the $45 a week limit.

 

Our typical meals:

 

Breakfast (me) is a bagel with something on it, or oatmeal with something mixed in (applesauce, raisins, seeds etc.) or sometimes a smoothie. I have no idea what he eats for breakfast. He usually eats at work and says that people always are bringing treats in and he just gets whatever is there.

 

Lunch (me) is either jarred soup or a sandwich, a veggie (usually baby carrots or snap peas) and grapes or berries. I pack an apple or banana and sometimes some crackers for snack in the afternoon. For him, it's a peanut butter sandwich, grapes and a cookie or treat.

 

Dinner is usually a fend-for-yourself (in which case, he eats soy cheese sandwiches) or something we eat together. This is often a pita pizza, bowl of pasta (mine with veggies, his without), rice bowl or something simple. I am trying to broaden his palate some, but it's slow going and neither of us particularly enjoy cooking...

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#9 Old 09-20-2012, 09:58 AM
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These aren't vegan books, but if you're looking to save money and spend money wisely you can't beat these two books...

 

 

The Complete Tightwad Gazette and Your Money or Your Life - I've had both for over 10 years and they're really useful. The Gazette book has a lot of meat stuff in it, but if you can ignore it, it's also got about a bazillion other awesome money saving food tips. You can get both at the library. 


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#10 Old 09-20-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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For the freezer I was just the saran wrap queen until I got the Food Saver, which vacuum seals your food and with the right bags you can actually go ahead and put them into a pot of boiling water to reheat food like single portions of soup.  It was an investment but it has saved me lots of money, and I've had mine for years. 

 

I also really like my Pyrex but being frugal I also really like to use a lot of these:  Ziploc twist and lock.  Usually for Ziploc you can actually find them at dollar stores which is just even better. 
 

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#11 Old 09-20-2012, 05:31 PM
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I don't have a food budget, although it would probably be a good idea to make one. I spend way too much money on food. 

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#12 Old 10-25-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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A hundred quid a month, maybe less than that, maybe even a bit more, though I doubt it.  I don't usually break it down.  I spend twenty to thirty quid a week on whatever.

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#13 Old 11-07-2012, 12:43 PM
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I buy wholesale, thats the best I did buy at New Generation in NYC that I have video here of: http://www.jolitabrilliant.com/2012/11/05/raw-food-shopping-prices-811-style-n. I spend about 100 dollars every time I go.  and 20 dollars every day or every other day when I am not buying wholesale. 

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#14 Old 11-07-2012, 12:56 PM
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Mine has been $20 a week for a long time.  I occasionally add $20 more when I need to stock up on dry goods or see a sale on produce that I'd like to can or dehydrate.  But I often only cook a couple dinner a week and eat leftovers on the remaining days, and I know not everyone is as big a fan of leftovers as I am.


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#15 Old 05-04-2013, 01:48 PM
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At my house we have zero cable, a non-fancy no internet phone and try to conserve water and electricity. We also cook from scratch and rarely eat out. I know that most people I know spend 80+ on phones per month and even more on cable in many instances. In my house, fresh organic food comes before all that. We spend less in other areas so we can afford healthy food. 


VERY COOL!!!  sunny.gif


All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#16 Old 05-14-2013, 10:54 AM
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It can be done--but it takes A LOT of planning and upfront costs. Upfront costs would be spending $40-50 or so for 25lb bags of organic rice and beans. Once you have them you won't have to buy beans or rice for a year! Then a soymilk maker (vitamix blender or food processer will work too), crockpot, and bread machine are also things I consider to be necessities for frugality. You will then need to get grocery store circulars each month and keep track of everything on sale. Your meals each week will revolve around what is on sale and should be planned out in a meal menu before you go shopping. You should buy any sale items that you use regularly in bulk so you can begin stockpiling them. Your meals should only revolve around whole foods and nothing processed. Processed foods are budget killers--and so coupons will not be very useful as coupons are usually only for processed food items (it's not often that you will find coupons for broccoli!) You should learn how to make your own seitan and tofu (very easy if you have a soymilk maker and an inexpensive kit) and should always have beans cooking in the crockpot for later use. Oatmeal, frozen produce, and large bean soups will be your best friend! Learning how to preserve foods is huge too! My husband and I buy produce at the farmer's market very cheaply and then spend each weekend in the summer canning. Our canned beats, pickled zucchini, pickled cucumbers, tomato sauce, pesto, and jellies last us all year long. We also buy produce on-sale (or from the $1 bin) and freeze them. All this can be done--but it just takes a lot more work, planning, and dedication.

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#17 Old 05-17-2013, 11:10 PM
 
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hey!

how well do you and your roommates get along? one of my years at university i had great roommates who shared everything. we took turns buying groceries or split things up to keep costs down. of course back then i wasn't a veggie and we bought a lot of crap.... but if for example one of your roommates likes rice you can both split the cost on a large bag to save some $$. even if you can only split the cost of a few things with roommates it'll help you out.

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#18 Old 06-26-2013, 05:27 AM
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i think this is a good post, as i need to start trying to save too

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#19 Old 06-27-2013, 12:01 AM
 
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I aim for $50-$60 a week but buy a lot of organic and also like to buy things I don't actually need(like raspberry fig bars). If you get a set meal plan of what you cook week to week that uses like ingredients you will save more; also buying spices and beans in bulk and hitting up sales. Sign up for emails from local grocery stores and nab the best deals on produce and dry goods smiley.gif
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#20 Old 06-27-2013, 12:05 AM
 
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This cost covers my boyfriend as well* so I guess that's about $25 per person...when I was single I could easily spend $40 a week...which is easy considering natural peanut butter is about $7 and an organic chocolate bar can be $5 <---obviously has no self control at the grocery store
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#21 Old 06-27-2013, 12:11 AM
 
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If you made tacos once a week with a can of black beans, it will feed you for 2 days...tortillas $2 beans $1 avocado .50 store bought pico $2...that's a cheap meal. Spaghetti with no meatballs is also cheap, with a bagged salad. The frozen meatballs will last you days, chop onion(.25) a bell pepper (.50) and 3 bulk mushrooms (.50) and sautée in some evoo, dump a jar of tomato basil sauce (3$) and simmer with meatless balls($4 but you only use a few per meal). Whole wheat spaghetti noodles are $1 and come with 8 servings typically. Reuse the veggie sauce for knocchi or frozen ravioli...I think it's very possibly to eat well on $25 a week
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#22 Old 06-27-2013, 12:14 AM
 
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Also tofu veggie stir fries with brown rice are a good cheap meal, and lentil soups and chickpea curry is simple(just a can of garbanzo beans, chili tomatoes, and add curry powder, garlic powder and oil to taste). Buy cereal in bulk boxes and don't buy name brands
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#23 Old 07-15-2013, 07:11 PM
 
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Canned beans can go a long way, aahahaha. It might not be the healthiest, certainly cheaper though.

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#24 Old 07-15-2013, 07:23 PM
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Perhaps you've tried this, I did not see it mentioned, but is there a vegetarian/vegan group on campus? I was wondering if you couldn't team up with another who is trying to do the same thing but also struggling. In other words, team your resources. Just a thought that popped in my head. Perhaps it will be useful to you.

_/\_
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#25 Old 07-16-2013, 05:44 AM
 
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I used to have a big food budget but the times have changed. Now I am somewhere between 200-300$ a month for 5 people. I have learned so much about budgeting though I keep it near 200$. Dang. Go me.

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#26 Old 07-16-2013, 05:47 AM
 
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This cost covers my boyfriend as well* so I guess that's about $25 per person...when I was single I could easily spend $40 a week...which is easy considering natural peanut butter is about $7 and an organic chocolate bar can be $5 <---obviously has no self control at the grocery store

LMAO, me either. Like zero.

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#27 Old 07-19-2013, 03:23 AM
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Wife, me and 4 dogs comes to about 400 pounds a month at the supermarket (600 dollars)

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#28 Old 08-03-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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a non-fancy no internet phone

 

4G internet phones can be real money savers because they allow one to avoid paying for a separate home internet connection. I pay $35 a month for phone+internet.

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#29 Old 08-03-2013, 09:30 AM
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Canned beans can go a long way, aahahaha. It might not be the healthiest, certainly cheaper though.

Canned beans are cheap, easy, and nutritious. grin.gif I try to get the lower salt ones, but I rinse them off before I use them anyway because I don't like the liquid.

My food budget for four adults is about $800/month. This includes a few meals out for burritoes, falafel, or Loving Hut on buffet day. My husband and son get their money's worth there! smiley.gif
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#30 Old 08-03-2013, 10:36 AM
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My food budget for four adults is about $800/month. This includes a few meals out for burritoes, falafel, or Loving Hut on buffet day. My husband and son get their money's worth there! smiley.gif

It's funny how I see this number a lot (adjusted for the number of adults). For me and Lori, it works out to about 100 a week for the both of us. I guess 50 dollars per week per person is the "standard" board these days. When I was single and an omni, my weekly food budget was only about 30 a week, but that only included breakfast (hungryman meals at 9 at night) the other meals consisted of PBR, so that prolly boosted the cost a bit. I think my body is glad I went veg*n, don't you? Lol!
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