Grocery Hacks: 6 Money-Saving Tricks for the Vegetarian Athlete on a Budget - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-17-2016, 07:12 PM
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Grocery Hacks: 6 Money-Saving Tricks for the Vegetarian Athlete on a Budget

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Imagine seeing $419.26 at the bottom of your grocery receipt. Now imagine that’s just for one week, and it’s just for you.

This is how much it costs vegan ultrarunner Scott Jurek to eat for a week, as calculated in Tim Ferriss’ epic 4-Hour Body. (Alright, now just for fun, feel free to imagine yourself winning the Western States 100, seven straight times.)

Does eating green have to mean spending a lot of it?
Okay, so most of us aren’t eating the 5,000 to 6,000 calories per day that Scott eats, and we’ll get off a little lighter as a result. But the type of food Scott eats isn’t any different from (or more expensive than) what the other plant-based athletes we trust are telling us to eat — organic fruits and vegetables, raw nut butter, fancy oils, and all sorts of products that blur the line between food and supplement.
And all bought at Whole Foods, of course. (Affectionately known as “Whole Paycheck.”)

So it begs the question: How are we mortals — and our families — supposed to afford to eat this way?
Read the rest here: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/save-money-vegetarian

There's some great advice here for being veggie on the cheap!
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#2 Old 08-17-2016, 07:52 PM
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These are really good! On #2, organic food, I recommend the documentary "In Organic We Trust." Sadly the organic certification process and enforcement is horribly lacking. It's far better to connect with your local farmers, get to know them, and support them when their methods line up with what you're looking for.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#3 Old 08-17-2016, 07:59 PM
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The "Being vegetarian is expensive" myth is hard to kill! Along with this myth comes its nasty co-myth: "Being vegetarian is elitist - for rich people".

The lowest-income people on the planet live on diets that are nearly vegan. Below is a photo from a wonderful picture book: Hungry Planet - What the World Eats (https://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Planet.../dp/0984074422 ). The book is a collection of photos of families from all over the world, posing with their typical groceries. Here is a photo of a family from Ecuador.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 08-17-2016 at 08:33 PM.
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#4 Old 08-17-2016, 08:04 PM
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Again from the book, Hungry Planet - What the World Eats, here is a photo of a family from Zimbabwe:

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#5 Old 08-17-2016, 08:08 PM
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From Bhutan. Now that's a sack of rice!

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 08-17-2016 at 08:26 PM.
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#6 Old 08-17-2016, 08:22 PM
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Last one, I promise! Here is a photo of some Americans. Food expenditure per week: $341.98 (year 2007).

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 08-18-2016 at 12:11 PM.
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#7 Old 08-18-2016, 02:20 AM
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I shop Aldi, Asian grocery, discount store, farmers markets and Trader Joes. I have master lists for each one so I get things specific to that stores bargain so I don't have to make another trip.
Beans, lentils, grains--those I buy in bulk when I find discounts, mostly dried. I do have a couple cans of beans I got for .34 cents- organic.
I've been growning greens, certainly could have done better with the garden. those came from seeds.
So much waste and so much expense comes from the the competitive capitalism of processed foods. I love variety, but I can't stomach going into big groceries where they have two long aisles of nothing but cereal, and jack up prices on simple things just because they can

Vegetarian is the cheapest of all--i know I've gotten things with trace ingredients just because of the stupid jack up on vegan variety. Like those stupid algael DHA gelatin caps- next to the fish oil in vegetarian capsules. Still p'ss me off
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#8 Old 08-18-2016, 02:24 AM
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Again, mixing vegetarianism with organic.
Two different issues entirely!
So many don't make apples to apples comparisons. The organic diet they're seeing as expensive would be drastically more expensive if organic, grass fed meats and wild caught fish were added!
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#9 Old 08-18-2016, 10:00 AM
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Love those photos, @David3 !!! So inspiring <3

I am always fascinated with how other cultures eat and view food - it is such an integral part of who we are, our culture, our humanity... the photo from Bhutan brings to mind a passage from a book I read once, written by an American woman of Chinese descent: when her China-born mother came to visit and saw the small jar of rice on her counter, she remarked in horror, "where is the rest of your rice???" Having so little rice was akin to poverty; at any given time, the author recalled, there was always a 50lb bag of rice in the pantry when she was growing up; as long as you had rice, everything was going to be OK - I've never forgotten that We don't have a 50lb bag, but there's always at least a 10lb bag in our apartment
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#10 Old 08-18-2016, 07:52 PM
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These are great! We spend a lot on food right now - but only because we out a much larger portion of our meals than we ought to. When we cook at home, we don't spend much on food at all.

#1 was huge for us in cutting our food budget. We used to buy a lot from Whole Foods just because we thought that was the only place in the area that carried it. It turns out that we can buy our favorite vegan "chicken" broth online, they started carrying Daiya in our regular grocery store, and everything else we purchased there before can be bought much cheaper at ethnic groceries in our area. I had no idea even a year ago that what I was paying for sea vegetables was ridiculous, just because Whole Foods was the only place I had ever seen them for sale.

#6 is another one. We used to make special grocery trips for spices we would only use once. Now when I want to make something new, I will look up multiple recipes for the same dish and try to come up with a way to cook it using ingredients that I either have on hand or will use again enough times to make up for the purchase cost. One of the big things that we cut out of our pantry were condiments. We don't really eat sandwiches or (veggie) burgers, so we would seriously have condiments like ketchup and mustard that would expire after having been used only once or twice.

Buying in bulk, where appropriate, is another huge money saver for us. We went from paying $2 a pound for rice to $0.50 a pound just by buying a 40 pound bag instead of a 2 pound one. We eat rice daily, so for us the large bag is absolutely worth the investment. Sure, rice isn't expensive to begin with, but over the course of that bag we save $60 - enough money to buy the new pair of shoes I need for work.
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#11 Old 08-19-2016, 01:56 AM
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I find condiments at deep discount prices at stores like Marcs, Big Lots, and in the almost expired carts at groceries. Use them in sauces, casseroles, soups, seiten, marinades, burgers
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#12 Old 08-19-2016, 02:36 AM
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I do spend quite a bit on food each week, about $90 for two people, but I rarely eat out. Some people claim they spend half that, but then they eat out a lot which can really add up cost wise. I might cut costs in other ways, like buying most of my clothing second hand, and making some of my own cleaning products (lemon juice, vinegar, washing soda...).

I also make my own bread sometimes, because vegan friendly bread (without a lot of preservatives and funky ingredients like l cysteine, honey, or monoglycerides) is expensive. Food For Life and Rudy organic bread is almost double the cost of a standard industrial loaf of bread. Sometimes when I am extremely busy I eat the cost, but sometimes I make a few loaves of bread at a time and freeze a loaf for later. Some weeks I don't eat bread at all.

I definitely do bulk, not only for rice, beans, and nuts, but oats, millet, buckwheat groats, nutritional yeast, seeds.

I also only buy the dirty dozen organic. I also grow some of my own herbs and vegetables, especially leafy greens which I eat about three cups a day on average of. They are fast growing and regenerate very well. Collard greens will grow in colder climates and mine has grown all the way into late November in NE Minnesota.

I am guilty of buying expensive items like Just Mayo (though it is cheaper at places like Target than at the Whole Foods Coop), Daiya yogurt (usually one a week as a treat), plant milks which do cost a little more. Sometimes though I make my own flaxseed milk. Flaxseeds are cheap compared to nuts for making your own plant milk. 1/4 cup will make six servings. However, I do add supplements to my homemade milks, such as calcium powder and vegan vitamin D drops as a way to get these in my diet (aside from cycling and sunlight, or the collards for calcium etc). The supplements can add cost too, but calcium powder is fairly inexpensive and a little goes a long way. Vegan vitamin D is more expensive. I live in NE Minnesota, so even exposure to the sun is not enough for much of the year.

I'm also guilty of buying protein powders from time to time. And fairtrade organic coffee. I try to also buy my bananas fairtrade/organic, but that doesn't always happen if money is really tight. I really dislike companies like Dole and some of their practices, but they own the market on so many foods, even celery, that it is hard to find any other brand. The local farmers markets here are limited on what they sell given our harsh region, but I do enjoy local berries (heck you can pick bushels of them for free up here in the summer in the parks and forests), local apples (I also have an apple tree so I am set all of Autumn), some local nuts and so on.

I spend a good bit of money when I buy sugar products, like pure maple syrup, or turbinado sugar. I will not buy cane sugar processed with bone char. But I limit how often I buy or use sugar. It actually helps me cut down on it due to expense lol. I will often sweeten oatmeal or pancakes with fresh fruit/compote, or applesauce etc.
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#13 Old 01-12-2017, 12:23 AM
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Vegan food is mostly cheap, but things like ice creams, burgers, processed things etc, can be horribly pricy. It's cheaper to make your own in bulk and freeze it for later.
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#14 Old 01-24-2017, 07:25 AM
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My Diet would be somewhere between Zimbabwe and Bhutan.
Maybe throw one carrot cake and some coffee in there. I've been experimenting with making KimChee, fermented vegetables, Mead, and Kombucha recently. My regular food diet is about 25 dollars per week. I eat mostly grain, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. In the growing season, I usually have a garden for fresh vegetables. I don't even try to get "vegan" boxed processed food. What is the point? It is cheaper to make your own, and with looking you can find decent recipes for things like veggie burgers.

Sometimes starters are hard to find or expensive. I am getting Tempeh starter, and am doing Lacto-fermentation of things like Vinegar. Some times you need to buy some equipment, like anyone who is making wine, or canning knows.

People think that cooking this way is "hard." There is really no "hard" to it. It takes a few hours, some care to look at temperatures and so on, and then, you just "monitor" and sometimes "test" which takes only a few minutes.
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