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.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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