Transitioning to Veganism on a Budget - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-28-2015, 03:24 PM
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Transitioning to Veganism on a Budget

Dear Reader,

I have always been somewhat sympathetic to vegetarianisn and or veganism when it comes to one's diet. Several years ago now I was diagnosed with "Multiple Sclerosis". For totally selfish (health) reasons I believe it is time I "Go Vegan".

I'm a 26 man from and I live in the UK. I am not a big eater which causes me a lot of problems with my doctors. I hope going vegan can perhaps change my outlook on food who knows? However I foresee some issues I was hoping you might be able to offer me some advice.

I am not working at the moment unfortunately due to MS treatment. Hopefully this won't be a long term situation. Money isn't scarce (yet) however I am cooking for two and and she won't be joining me on "Going Vegan".

I need to be able to cook two meals on a similar amount of money. We have room to increase our food budget but not massively. Recipes and even where to shop would be most welcome. I am not an adventurous man wen it comes to food so there may be a lot of things I have never tried and some explaining may be needed.

This may sound awful but I don't eat "ready-meal" type meals; Sorry I just don't if I can help it. We don't buy them but I have come across a lot of them online I am not sure of their actual popularity among the "community", it may just be advertising.

Thanks for reading and any advice is appreciated.


Regards,


Gray x
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#2 Old 09-28-2015, 10:43 PM
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Congrats on your possible journey. The good news is that a whole foods plant based diet is actually quite cheap, as long you plan. Im a recent graduate so im broke and vegan. Ive been having healthy meals for the past few wks on a small budget. I can get away with spending $10 at the supermarket but I'm only shopping for myself. Dry beans are great for consumption. Its protein and fiber packed into one and theyre quite cheap. You can buy dry beans for $1. Whole grains are also great. They are fairly cheap and can be dressed up. Veggies are a necesity to stay vital. Try farmers market for cheaper prices and locally grown fruits and veggies as well. A vegan diet is possible if you are willing to cut back. All are real-meals you are referring to processed prepackaged meals? I dont eat those. If you are trying to save money stay away from the faux meats. Some of them actually taste great but can get pricey. I have some meals on my blog venusvegan.wordpress.com.

Veggies are good for everyone so stay focused on getting enough. Make sure you are getting b12. As a more adventurous eater I cannot sympathize with your need to stay with the known. But he good news is that veganism is what you make it. If you are going to eat veggies, eat the ones you are most comfortable with. As goids for every other foods. Stick to cheap options and you should be fine: oatmeal, beans, greens, and grains
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#3 Old 09-29-2015, 03:56 AM
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Hi Gray and welcome!

I am a vegan living with an omni/mostly vegetarian also and I am the bread winner too. It can be a challenge but is totally doable even on a budget. Here are some cheap and healthy vegan staples:

dried or canned beans (kidney, chickpea, black beans, white beans, navy, red, adzuki, fava, lentils and split peas, limas etc)
sweet potatoes and potatoes of all varieties...red skinned, russet, golden.
brown rice, millet, oats, bulgur wheat, couscous are all cheaper whole grains and most are found in the bulk section. Buy bulk when you can to save money on packaging!
some seeds are cheaper than others, such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, especially the ones with shell on. Raw seeds without shell are more expensive but a little goes a long way. They are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Tofu is not too expensive.
Fruits and vegetables that tend to be cheaper: green beans, celery, carrots, bananas, lettuces and leafy greens like collards, chard, beet leaves etc, beets, broccoli, brusel sprouts, cucumbers, apples.
squashes
If you buy fruits and vegetables in season and from farmers markets they tend to be cheaper and higher quality.
Whole wheat and all purpose flour as well as yeast for making your own bread
Vegan sweeteners (molasses, maple syrup, agave, turbinado sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar etc) tend to be more expensive but I like to keep a little blackstrap molasses around for bread making and for adding to hot cereal as it is high in calcium, iron, and a whole host of other nutrients.
peanut butter (also great if you need to put on or maintain weight, just buy peanut butter with nothing but peanuts in it, and stay away from the hydrogenated oil stuff)
avocados (also great as a base for desserts like chocolate frosting which is simply blended avocado, cocoa powder, and maple syrup or for chocolate pudding which is simply blended avocado, banana, cocoa powder, and a little water to thin).

Stuff like canned pumpkin, tomato sauce and paste, rice or balsamic vinegars, dijon mustard, and soy sauce or tamari is also great to have around to add to homemade vegan dishes. I use tomato paste and canned pumpkin as binders in making homemade vegan veggie burgers/patties or baking etc. I also use it to make chili and other soups.

Some types of meals to consider when on a budget:

soups...you can almost never go wrong with homemade soup, and they are extremely versatile. Some of my favorites:
split pea soup (split peas, carrot, onion, lemon juice, ground black pepper, pinch of salt, vegetable stock or water. Simmer it all until soft and then blend to a creamy consistency). My omnivore husband LOVES this! I have a slice of homemade bread with it. I also love carrot/white bean curry soup, chickpea sweet potato soup, wild rice mushroom soup, cream of broccoli soup (use potatoes or ground nuts to make a "cream" sauce), lentil/sour kraut/potato/tomato soup.

Baked potatoes are a great base for adding stuff like beans, homemade gravies and sauces, steamed broccoli and other veggies. My husband adds his own thing to his. I also do this with tacos. I make my own cornflour tortillas and then make a taco "meat" by cooking bulgur wheat and adding tomato paste, taco seasonings, red lentils and mixing well. I add veggies to mine and he adds cheese to his.

Beans on homemade toast is a great breakfast, or peanut butter/banana sandwiches. Oatmeal with raisins or banana and seeds or peanut butter is another. Or scrambled chickpeas, potatoes, and veggies. Scrambled tofu is great too.

I use blended tofu to make homemade mayonnaise (with vinegar, dijon, coconut milk, spices), or mixed with sweet potato and marjoram to make a pasta sauce or "cheese" sauce to go over macaroni. Even something as simple as canned tomato sauce, red lentils, and cut up fresh mushrooms, zucchini, and green peppers simmered until soft is a great pasta/spaghetti sauce!

Leafy greens with big leaves like collards or chard are great as wraps to add stuff like hummus, pinto refried beans, white bean dip etc in.

No need to buy expensive processed stuff. If you like milk though, soymilk is usually the cheapest on the market of the plant milks and works very well in baking due to it's high protein content. I make my own flaxseed milk (just flaxseed, water, and my own stevia herbs I grow) but it does require a high speed blender. Homemade rice milk and oat milk do not require a high speed blender.

Hope this helps!
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#4 Old 09-29-2015, 10:10 AM
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Hi Gray,

Mercy For Animals has a free, nicely-written Vegetarian (actually vegan) Starter Guide. The nutrition part of the guide starts on page 7: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf

As other people have said, a whole foods vegan diet can be less expensive than a meat-centered diet. Dry beans, whole grains, vegetables, and (some) fruits are inexpensive.

No need to cook complicated meals. It can be a good idea to cook vegan meals that are similar to your favorite meat meals. Pasta, burritos, tacos, chili, and soups can all be made vegan - just substitute beans, canned vegetarian chili, or crumbled veggie burger in place of meat. Dry beans take a while to cook, with the exception of very small beans (like lentils).

Supplements are also affordable. Please read this webpage, from a vegan Registered Dietitian, regarding recommended supplements for vegans: http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/re...or-vegans.html . The most important supplements - vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iodine - are all very affordable.

Your local chemist should have vitamin B12 supplements, and they should cost no more than $3 per month.

Iodine is cheaply available from iodized salt.

Vitamin D comes in 2 forms: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is always vegan (it is made from treated mushrooms). Vitamin D3 may or may not be vegan (it is usually made from sheep's wool, but can also be made from lichen). You can find vegan vitamin D3 through Amazon UK.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitami...ial_production


http://vitashine-d3.com/vitashine.html
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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; 09-29-2015 at 10:14 AM.
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#5 Old 09-30-2015, 05:38 PM
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Ready meals hmm.
- Can of veggie soup! Make sure the broth is veggie stock or tomato paste. Add black beans and broccoli and simmer, voilà ready in 5 min.
- Mash a can of chickpea with vegan mayo, dill pickles, garlic, bit of mustard, lemon juice, red bell peppers and cucumbers or celery. Takes 5 min and you'll get like 6 servings for sandwiches. Store the rest in the fridge (super delicious by the way, wish I tried that earlier).
- Hummous doesn't cost much when you buy it and is great on veggies or crackers or in a pita.
- Gnocchi are often vegan, pour tomato/basilic sauce on them, add some rice onion powder and garlic!
- 5 min couscous with those veggies in a can for couscous.
- burritos! Just buy a can of refried beans and some tortillas, add salsa and tomatoes, cucumber, salad if you wish ready in less then 10 min.
- if you have a slow cooker making stews with tofu will be a joke
- if you have a rice cooker drop veggies and pasta sauce in it, hit start do something else until it's done.
- lentils in a pasta sauce, add kale or baby spinach

You get the idea, most of those ideas ask for 5 min preparation only. I use them for some of my meals during the week, when I got busy and had no time to really cook. Approved by my teenager son!

"To the world you may be just one person, but to one life you may be the world."

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#6 Old 10-03-2015, 08:55 AM
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If you google "cheap vegan" you will find lots of resources.
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