Growing up and moving out, leaving the nest vegan. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-13-2015, 04:25 PM
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Growing up and moving out, leaving the nest vegan.

Well it's finally time for me to sprout my wings and move out on my own. I'll be moving in to an apartment on Thursday. The first thing I'm excited about is having a fridge all to myself. If you guys have known me for a while, you'll know I've struggled living with an omni family. I've been vegan for 8 mos now, and don't really plan on having a room mate. But as you all know, a main issue of moving out is money. I'll be walking distance from a wal-mart (ew~) and there's a few restaurants near my new place.... . . . What do you all suggest in terms of saving money for someone just getting out there? I've splurged a little on myself here and there living with family, but now it's going to be a bit stricter with the cash flow. I know specialty items might be a no-no and I may have to find better ways of preserving my veg.. Anyway I'm super excited to start my life though!
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#2 Old 02-13-2015, 05:05 PM
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It's not so much a tip on frugality as it is on apartment living: the very first thing you want to put into your new apartment is the biggest pack of toilet paper you can find! Especially if you're living by yourself, you don't want to find yourself trapped in the bathroom with none handy in the middle of moving everything.

Something my boyfriend and I did when we got really, truly, desperately broke was to bake our own bread. It cost about $0.35 a loaf and at least made the place smell like we were eating well (despite the fact that we were pretty much surviving off bread.)

Pay for everything in cash and save your change. At the end of the week you'll probably have enough change for a day or two worth of groceries. Speaking of groceries, buy what you can in bulk before you move out. Having staples like dried beans, grains, flour, etc, readily available makes it a lot easier to eat varied meals. For perishable produce, I would go to the store every couple of days, buying very small portions that I knew we would eat quickly.

Turn off your lights. Use blankets in place of heating and open windows in place of AC. If you have a toaster oven, use it in the summer to conserve energy and void heating up the apartment. Strongly consider whether or not you need cable, or if you can make do with Netflix, Hulu, or (the very best option) library rentals.

I'm awful at saving money, so that's really all I've got. I hope it helps some! Don't forget renter's insurance!
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#3 Old 02-13-2015, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieCat View Post
What do you all suggest in terms of saving money for someone just getting out there
Food-wise, wholefoods are often reasonably priced. Dried soya mince is pretty cheap and can last a long time.

Can you collect reward points from a particular shop? These can build up and help with food/ household item bills.

In terms of other things to save on, I suggest limiting what you buy so that you only buy what is absolutely necessary.

Remember a lot of things are cheaper on-line too
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Why is the suffering and killing of animals wrong? Because the value of a sentient organism's life is priceless. They are their own beings and have their own lives and loves. They have higher emotions and thought processes. Their minds are different from ours in degree, not kind - meaning that fundamentally there are critical similarities.
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#4 Old 02-14-2015, 08:24 PM
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Congratulations on moving out!!!!

Cooking your own food is a whole lot cheaper than eating out.

Sometimes, buying in bulk will be cheaper in the long term.

Scrutinizing your purchases will make your money go farther, also. A bag of rice is cheap, and will last a long time. The uses are pretty versatile, too.

GOOD LUCK!!!!
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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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#5 Old 02-14-2015, 08:37 PM
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Stay out of debt!!! Keep raises as savings. Make do with what you already have. Shop second hand. Always be open to offers. That last one has been my biggest help. Be Bohemian.

Do you have a patio for a container garden?

Congrats!
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#6 Old 02-14-2015, 09:04 PM
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Walmart is a vegan's friend! Look at these prices on dry beans: http://www.walmart.com/search/?query=beans . They sell vitamin B12 tablets for super cheap: http://www.walmart.com/search/?query=vitamin%20b12 . They also have excellent prices on brown rice, potatoes, and fruits/vegetables.

Here is what I learned when I was a newly moved-out vegan, 20 years ago:

Leafy vegetables are hard to preserve. Better to just buy a 2-day supply, twice or three times a week.

Stouter vegetables, like carrots and radishes, will do pretty well for 3 or 4 days.

Rather than buying sauces, you can make your own sauces - very cheap and easy. Stir fry sauce, for instance, is just soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. There are lots of recipes on the internet.

Whole grain products (like bags of rice or oats) are cheaper than ready-made grain products (like cereal and bread).

Dry beans are cheap, but they can take a looong time to cook. That's why I stick with lentils - they require no pre-soaking, and they are fully cooked in less than 45 minutes.


Even though it is liberating to move out on your own, you can end up feeling lonely without your family around. Be sure to stick close to your friends, and get together with them often.
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#7 Old 02-14-2015, 09:37 PM
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Congratulations and remember that coupons in the Sunday paper and the Wednesday mail are your friends.
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#8 Old 02-15-2015, 02:54 AM
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Good luck and enjoy!

As for money saving advice everyone has their own ways and all depends on your priorities and what's important to you, so really only you can decide what you can go without in order to save money. As an example, some people I know don't use heating in the winter to save money to go clubbing and drinking, others don't go out at all but prefer to spend the saved pennies on better quality food, some buy the cheapest of everything in the supermarket so they can have a car, others so they can go on holiday and so on. Since we are all different and our circumstances and values are different it would be difficult to give good advice without knowing you well.

But hey you can now take charge in the kitchen and stock up your fridge without having to deal with patronising comments

it takes guts to be gentle and kind

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#9 Old 02-15-2015, 03:58 AM
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It can be hard sometimes to use up all your produce and not waste any when you live alone or with one other person (especially one who does not eat enough vegetables and fruits grrrr....), but I am anal about food/menu planning for the week and have gotten to where I use up almost every scrap of the produce I buy by planning carefully. I make all my work lunches for the week on Sundays so i make a huge batch of stuff like salads, soups, casseroles, homemade bread loafs etc and then keep portioned meals in tight fitting tupperware in the refrigerator or freezer for the week for those meals. The produce will keep for a full week usually, even the cooked soups. Some will keep longer if you don't chop it ahead. I'll make two or three loaves of bread at a time and freeze some, or make a big 9x13" pan of homemade bean energy bars and freeze them to have on hand and they keep indefinitely. So much cheaper than buying individual prepackaged foods like cliff bars or commercial vegan bread etc. Having a few hours a week carved out just for preparing stuff like cooking dried beans, making homemade breads, bars etc is very helpful. A crockpot can also be of great value to make several meals at once and save on time.

Transportation...walking, cycling, city bus all help enormously to save on gas, car insurance, maintenance etc, though time can be an issue. I have a huge backpacking canvas pack I also carry on me to the laundromat to do laundry, or to stuff with groceries if I don't use my car.

Second hand stores are great for stuff like clothes, towels, blankets, books...Libraries are also great for vegan/vegetarian cookbooks and free entertainment.

I don't wear makeup or use a lot of commercial cleaning agents, but use stuff like lemon juice, vinegar, or washing soda, and I either use pure essential oils/vinegar/water for washing my hair (one little bottle of pure essential tea tree oil will last me almost a year) or a bottle of Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap that lasts me a solid three months if not longer and I can use it not only for hair but for cleaning my bathroom and dishes etc. So I save a good bit of money on toiletries/cleaning etc. I used to make my own dish washing soap but my husband, who does most of the dishes (since I do the cooking) didn't like that too well lol so I did compromise there and buy vegan dishwashing liquid. Of course I have very short thick hair so I don't require much maintenance.

One thing I did and wish I wouldn't have...well two...I spent too much money on a smart phone and my monthly bill is phenomenal and two...I agreed to have my mother and father in law on my cell phone account. They have their own phone and live a long distance from us but are on our account to save money and send me their portion of the bill every three months. However, it is hard to budget because the bill is still so high and I have to time payments when I get their portion of the money which they only send in a lump sum every few months. I really wish I wouldn't have included relatives on existing accounts but I am too nice to say no. Be very weary of doing this lol.

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#10 Old 02-15-2015, 06:32 AM
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For better or for worse, Walmart has replaced the smaller locally owned shops, and there isn't really anything we can do about it. I don't have a Walmart near wear I live, but from what I have heard they are actually relatively vegan friendly and may carry some specialty items. A few general tips for your food budget:

- Plan out a few favorite meals, and figure out what staples you might need if you are starting from zero -- a few recommended things are olive oil, vinegar (your choice - balsamic or red wine is nice for making salad dressing), salt, pepper, soy sauce, an italian seasoning blend, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder.
- Base your meals on beans and grains. Depending on your comfort level with cooking beans, this could be either canned or dried beans or tofu (though the tofu might be a tad more pricey). Even the canned ones are quite cheap. Grains could be rice, pasta, couscous, bulgur wheat, bread, etc. Lots of delicious variations can be made using rice and beans and a few spices, salsa or hot sauce.
- Bread goes moldy fast when it is just one person eating it, so freeze half or 3/4 of the loaf for later use.
- Buy fresh veggies on sale, and buy only the quantities you are sure you will use. If you have some freezer space, you can try freezing some. Some veggies freeze better if they are blanched before freezing.
- Shop the sales, but do the math make sure the sale is actually a good deal. Also, sometimes sales that are "3 for $5" don't actually require that you buy 3 to get the sale price. Look for frozen veggies on sale to fill out your vegetables.
- Fruit like apples, bananas and oranges are pretty inexpensive year round. Branch out to other fruits when they are on sale (usually when those fruits are in season). Use the scales in the produce department to weigh your fruit before checkout -- that way you won't get surprised when you are suddenly buying $8 worth of grapes!
- Don't waste your money buying organic (there are still no proven benefits)
- Faux meats, vegan cheese, energy/granola bars, and other convenience foods can be a bit more expensive, so look for them on sale.

Hope this helps a little bit. I'm not sure how much cooking you do, but you might like PETA's college vegan cookbook, which has recipes that are easy, cheap and in single serve portions.
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#11 Old 02-15-2015, 06:52 AM
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Thank you all for your help and advice. All of this has really helped me out.

Born in Mississippi, lives in Mississippi, Loves Vegemite
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For some reason everyone thinks I'm weird...

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#12 Old 02-15-2015, 08:02 AM
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The biggest threat to financial well being is often the person you fall in love with!
Talk financial habits before things get too deep.
You really sound like a level headed person, with good self esteem. Don't ever give that up!

Curious, where'd you get to love vegemite, and how do you use it? (being from Mississippi...)
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#13 Old 02-15-2015, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
The biggest threat to financial well being is often the person you fall in love with!
Talk financial habits before things get too deep.
You really sound like a level headed person, with good self esteem. Don't ever give that up!

Curious, where'd you get to love vegemite, and how do you use it? (being from Mississippi...)

I was curious and tasted it. I like it on toast buttered with non dairy butter. Or in soups if I want a soup base. It's delish!! I ordered it online to try it.

Born in Mississippi, lives in Mississippi, Loves Vegemite
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