Affording Vegan Shopping (and General Shopping Advice) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-22-2011, 07:34 AM
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I am in a predicament. I love animals and would adore being a vegan. I'd do it in a heartbeat, but for one thing: I can't afford to.

Allow me to give background information.

I am living with my parents, I'm a minor, and I have a part-time job (minimum wage, for Florida), that I'm not getting too many hours from. I am currently a vegetarian. I rely on my parents to buy groceries. I know vegans can shop more cheaply than omnivores, but probably not more cheaply than people who don't shop at all. I don't have a camera to take photos, but basically my fridge, freezer, and pantry are barely vegetarian friendly. And when you try to find vegan options, there might be one for every shelf, the rest being loaded up with dairy or meat.

So, the only way would be to shop for myself. I am willing to save back money, but there's not a lot to begin with. So, I definitely need places I can get healthy vegan food cheap. (I don't require organic from stores, I live in a part of Florida that has veggie stands/markets in abundance, as well as chain stores and whatnot (whole foods/ health stores, too).

Oh, even though I'm new to the vegan thing, I'm good at cooking and adapting. =]

So, yeah, any location/coupon/recipe/ingredient/money-saving advice would be good.

PS Wasn't sure if this belonged here or in Food, so I'll be on the lookout for it to move.
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#2 Old 01-22-2011, 07:35 AM
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I don't think it's that expensive. I certainly am not in the best financial straits. So long as you're not buying expensive fake meat products and learn to cook it's actually cheaper than being omni/vegetarian.

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#3 Old 01-22-2011, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post

I don't think it's that expensive. I certainly am not in the best financial straits. So long as you're not buying expensive fake meat products and learn to cook it's actually cheaper than being omni/vegetarian.

I agree about the fake meat. I bought it a lot once I first turned veg. I have since then realized that it's too expensive, and not even that good.


I have been a vegan for over a year, and am pretty broke. My advice would be to make large recipes so that you'll have food for the week. You can even freeze stuff too. It is pretty easy and cheap to make soup. Or I like to make pasta and throw in a ton of different vegetables, that way it stretches and makes it last longer. Another option is Ramen. Although not the healthiest (and make sure you check the ingredients because most of them are not vegan) they are super cheap and you can add veggies to them as well!

Good luck =)

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men." -Alice Walker
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#4 Old 01-22-2011, 08:12 AM
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Also if you really don't want to spend money, you could dumpster food. Lots of advice for that in the frugal forum Once you get over your preconceptions there's some great finds in the bins!

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#5 Old 01-22-2011, 08:22 AM
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^I wouldn't suggest dumpster diving for a minor! Not only is it illegal in many places, if found out, it probably will put a further taint on her being vegan. If parents aren't on board they're prob. saying vegan is crazy, and getting food out of a dumpster will only support their theory.

Are you willing to eat a very limited diet? As in eating a lot of canned beans for protein? Beans, veggies and whole grains would be easy, affordable and nutritious. Peanut butter, pasta, rice, whole grain bread, tomato sauce, fat free refried beans, salsa, canned beans, and fresh greens and frozen veggies I would expect to be available from parents. Are they?

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#6 Old 01-22-2011, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post

Also if you really don't want to spend money, you could dumpster food. Lots of advice for that in the frugal forum Once you get over your preconceptions there's some great finds in the bins!

I can't dumpster dive, no. But I do work next to some good restaurants and my shifts are usually when they are closing. So maybe I could get it before it hits the bin. And I will ask to pick up more shifts since I work in a pretty seasonal industry and it's coming into that season. ( We typically have two seasons, snowbird season and summer)

@Silva Vegetables are more than plenty available, my family eats more vegetarian meals even as omnis than could be considered "normal". The problem is choosing the veggies my father won't be angry at me for having used just before he was going to. I guess food is a very sacred thing in my house. You don't want to mess with the meals, before conception or after. You will not be a happy, ungrounded child for long.
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#7 Old 01-22-2011, 08:53 AM
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You could even just ask politely at the restaurants and they might hold the food for you, if dumpster diving isn't a possibility. Generally people are quite good for that, because we don't like seeing food go to waste just because x amount of customers didn't order the aubergine and pineapple curry that night.

I guess learning how to make your own soy milk and tofu are two good things to do that can save you a lot of money in the long term, and provide a little more variation.

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#8 Old 01-22-2011, 09:00 AM
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So, the only way would be to shop for myself. I am willing to save back money, but there's not a lot to begin with. So, I definitely need places I can get healthy vegan food cheap. (I don't require organic from stores, I live in a part of Florida that has veggie stands/markets in abundance, as well as chain stores and whatnot (whole foods/ health stores, too).

Oh, even though I'm new to the vegan thing, I'm good at cooking and adapting. =]

So, yeah, any location/coupon/recipe/ingredient/money-saving advice would be good.

You can totally eat vegan with very little money, you are lucky to live in an area that has more local produce and selection. Also in Florida i imagine there are more ethnic stores around, these are great places to check out for deals and cheaper prices on food, also good for special ingredients and new foods you want to try out.
Are there any stores that sell food in bulk bins? this is usually the cheapest way to get grains, beans, and nuts. Also yummy stuff like dried fruit.
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#9 Old 01-22-2011, 09:02 AM
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Vegan-friendly things that are super cheap are dried lentils, dried peas, rice, noodles, herbs and spices, canned beans/tomatoes, tofu, and various vegetables (potatoes and onions are usually sold in bags varying from 1-10 pounds for real cheap and they last a while). I see your father isn't a fan of all vegetables, but that doesn't mean you can't still get them. After all, just because you're a minor doesn't mean there's no reason you can't cook your own meal or doctor one up.

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#10 Old 01-22-2011, 12:48 PM
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You can buy some vegan meat substitutes, if you want, for pretty cheap. Gimme Lean sausage at my Whole Foods is just $2.69 for 7 servings per container. TVP is an excellent, cheap meat substitute. Just hydrate, add some veggies/rice/etc. and your favorite flavorings. Don't buy ready-made vegan meals -- that's where you'll lose your wallet!
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#11 Old 01-22-2011, 01:31 PM
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You can also make your own, I've seen many seitan recipes that are easy-peasy, like this one. Doesn't work if you're allergic to gluten or wheat, though.

Just an FYI, I cut my grocery bill by 66% when I went from omnivore to vegan.

Look How EASY it is to be Vegan: http://dailyveganeats.tumblr.com (Tumblr blog); http://twitter.com/dailyveganeats (by-the-meal Tweets!)
Why Vegans Shouldn't Worry About (and how to add in more)...
Protein: http://tinyurl.com/2uquvh7, Iron: http://tinyurl.com/3anud79, Calcium:...
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#12 Old 01-22-2011, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

You can totally eat vegan with very little money, you are lucky to live in an area that has more local produce and selection. Also in Florida i imagine there are more ethnic stores around, these are great places to check out for deals and cheaper prices on food, also good for special ingredients and new foods you want to try out.
Are there any stores that sell food in bulk bins? this is usually the cheapest way to get grains, beans, and nuts. Also yummy stuff like dried fruit.

I live in the best possible place in Florida for food (I think). A little city a bit north of Sarasota..ethnic restaurants and stores galore, all the veggie stands/flea markets you could hope for, being so close to Sarasota i get higher end stores like whole foods AND locally owned health stores.
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#13 Old 01-23-2011, 04:13 PM
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You can get a pound of dried beans for a dollar. Rice is cheap. Buy veggies based on what's on sale. Make things in big batches and freeze them in small portions, so you won't have to rely on expensive frozen dinners, etc. for meals.

I live in Tampa, by the way.

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#14 Old 01-24-2011, 04:25 PM
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As a single mom of twins and a student, I totally understand the money thing. My big thing is I try to make everything home made and cut out convenience items, including things like milk, laundry soap and toothpaste, dry beans, hummus, etc. Anything you can make yourself and sometimes it can be more expensive upfront and time consuming but it really saves in the long run.
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