veganism doesnt have to be expensive! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-02-2009, 07:53 PM
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I felt compelled to write this for those who visit this forum thinking veganism is expensive. I went grocery shopping today and did well. With the foods listed I spent approx 170 dollars. This is feeding a vegan, someone who is eating similar to vegan this month, and a vegetarian who drinks milk. My husband and I are also very athletic. He does jiu jitsu and I am training to do something with fitness (preferably competitions). I also figure all this plus what we already had at home (will list some of that below) should feed us for about three weeks or so.



I'm going to give a pretty detailed breakdown of what I bought. Excuse if this shows up weird, I'm typing this on my husbands blackberry so I have no idea what it will look like posted on the forum lol.



EARTHFARE

PAID 72.18

SAVED 6.10:



1.06 lb Non-gmo tvp

2.7 lb organic short grain brown rice

.7 lb organic red quinoa

1.02 lb organic peruvian quinoa

1.11 lb raw pecan halves

.59 lb vegan hummus mix

.4 lb organic red lentils

1.01 lb organic French puy lentils

.18 lb dried goji berries

.5 lb organic whole spelt flour

.3 lb organic brown rice flour

.69 lb 7 grain flour

.69 lb organic pearled barley

.35 lb organic amaranth

.62 lb whole raw almonds



8pack organic honest kids pouch drinks

1 can hearty lentil soup

1 bottle organic tuscany Italian dressing

1 container organic veggie "better than bouillon"

1 pack "no-beef" bouillon cubes



3 soy yogurts

1 pack seitan

Ener-g egg replacer

Earth balance buttery sticks

1 thermal bag (for my cold stuff)

----------



FARMERS MARKET

PAID: 13.03



*all local*

1 HUGE bunch of collards

5 cameo apples

2 handfuls half runner beans

3 bulbs of garlic

3 large cucumbers

1 red bell pepper

1 large white onion

---------



INGLES (regular grocer)

PAID 84.40

SAVED 5.00:



5 lb Finnish yellow potatoes

1 package sugar snap peas

3 organic avocados

1 head cauliflower

1 handful okra

7 medium organic bananas

4 broccoli crowns

1 bag celery hearts

2 lb bag of carrots



Vanilla light soymilk

Choco light soymilk

2 gallons cows milk

1 box shredded wheat cereal for husband

Hummus

1 box whole grain rotini

Fresh black eyed peas

2 can no salt green beans

Big jar olives

3 can no salt corn

2 can great northern beans

4 can black beans

2 can kidney beans

1 can chickpeas

1 can fire roast tomatoes

2 can rotel

1 bag pre cut lettuce

2 can refried beans

2 can tomato sauce

2 can tomato paste

2 can diced tomatoes

3 small cans mushrooms bag of gharadelli semisweet choco. Chips 1 bag boca crumbles

1 box boca vegan burgers

1 lb walnuts

1 loaf 7 grain bread

V8 juice for husband

-------



Some stuff at home:

1 jar natty peanut butter

2 can no salt green beans

1 can no salt peas

1 bag frozen lima beans

1 bag frozen corn

1 bag frozen carrots

1 huge thing of rolled oats

1 large bulk bag of steel cut oats

1 small bag brown jasmine rice

1 small bag sweet brown rice

1 small bag golden rose brown rice

Lots of herbs and spices

Vegan taco seasoning

Pack of whole grain tortillas

1 lime

Lemon juice

Whole grain pancake mix

3 bags dried beans

Couscous

32oz orzo pasta









All the things I alread had around aren't expensive at all and honestly now that I actually typed it all out i'd say we have enough food for over a month.





Just wanted to post that to show that things can be expensive or cheaper...it really depends on what you buy (notice I only got a thing of seitan and 2 boca products, I'm not relying on analogs). Also I'm obviously not sure about other countries.



Well I guess that's all. Hope this may just help someone out there in some way
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#2 Old 01-03-2009, 03:46 PM
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I am saving money since I became Vegan. A local store had a huge sale on Veg broth and can beans so I bought tons and my veggies I get at trader joes. I noticed that Trader joes is way cheaper. Earth balance, bread, almond/sunflower seed butter .... I spend about 100 today but stocked up on alot of stuff and bought a new blender.



I train alot as well. I fo Muay thai, JKD, Silat and Kali. Also training for my first MMA fight this summer. I eat alot!
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#3 Old 01-03-2009, 05:47 PM
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I was doing my own thing quietly and YOU are the one who created this post trying to make a big deal out of it. Keep flaming the fire. That must be what you want.

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#4 Old 01-03-2009, 06:15 PM
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We got a new computer around Christmas time last year. But we talked it over and when we moved to asheville, around last April or so, we chose not to get internet service. It keeps us from spending too long online when we could be doing more stuff like playing with the kids, reading, etc. Just a better choice for us to use the blackberry. I do occassionally go to the library to use their computers though
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#5 Old 01-04-2009, 11:19 AM
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Out of curiosity, how long will this shopping trip last? When will you have to do this again?



I keep many of those thing stocked, buy veggies and essentials weekly, and still spend $400-$500 a month to feed a family of 4. And I can make our soy milk and tofu if I feel like it, lol.



It's saving a LOT to not buy meat and eggs and cheese and milk, though. Even buying soy milk and Earth Balance and olive oil, maple syrup and agave nectar, I save $200 a month just buying differently, for sure.



I have to get veggies and fruit weekly because they simply don't save that long. I prefer fresh, and we eat a lot of them. I wouldn't have room in the fridge for the month's worth of everything, lol.
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#6 Old 01-04-2009, 12:46 PM
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Other than having to get more fresh fruits and veggies, which I can get cheap local ones at a produce stand about 3 minutes from my house, I'm approximating this will last around 3 weeks...maybe more. For instance, the package of seitan will last for 3-4 stir fry dishes for me and my husband. Last night I used less than a quarter of the package in the stir fry I made and it fed both of the adults plus my son ate some food off my plate plus some extra veggies.



A can of beans can feed all three of us for one meal. And cooking a thing of dried beans lasts much longer, and is cheaper.



Also here is a breakdown of about what we eat each day (we all usually eat the same meals as each other and each meal I make just enough for the 3 of us that eat because we tend to forget our leftovers). In fact i'll just post what we ate yesterday... (only drank water, about a gallon)



Meal 1: chocolate peanut butter oatmeal (I made the oats with chocolate soymilk and then added a tablespoon of peanut butter and some ground flax seeds).



Meal 2: apple slices dipped in natty peanut butter.



Meal 3: vegan chili (dark and light red kidney beans, onion, garlic, diced tomato, tomato paste, TVP and seasonings) on top of a pile of short grain brown rice, rice cooked in water mixed with vegetable base and a tablespoon of olive oil.



Meal 4: 2 medium bananas and a fourth cup of pecans



Meal 5: stir fry of half runner beans, broccoli, carrots, garlic, onion and seitan on top of peruvian quinoa.



Meal 6: not applicable, but normally according to my macros for the day i'll eat some raw almonds if I need the fat and protein.





So we typically have good meals with variety.
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#7 Old 01-04-2009, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pyratekk129 View Post


A can of beans can feed all three of us for one meal. And cooking a thing of dried beans lasts much longer, and is cheaper.



WOW! A can of beans feeds three adults? When I do use canned beans - which is almost NEVER - it takes three cans for my family of four. (Two teens).

I use dried beans for this reason, just as you mentioned.



How long does the soy milk last? I imagine you go through a lot of that and have to replenish it every week at least? A more realistic picture of your grocery budget would be when you have purchased everything for the entire month and then list it.



I know we use a LOT more produce than you have listed, but not so much in the way of "fancy" proteins like puy lentils, peruvian quinoa, etc...



My biggest "savings" is I buy three kinds of legumes, rice and vitel wheat gluten flour in 25# bags, a bigger one-time expense, but they last forever and I can make a meal for pennies.
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#8 Old 01-04-2009, 01:12 PM
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Greetings Pyratekk129 - the queen of inexpensive grocery shopping. You could start an advice column on shopping and teach us all a thing or two.
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#9 Old 01-04-2009, 01:59 PM
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With the soy milk that's all we'll get for the month. I mainly only use it for baking and sometimes in my oatmeal. As for the can of beans, usually my husband will eat half a can worth and I will share my half with our 2 year old. Plus the bulk of our meals are veggies (whether frozen or fresh). We do the whole general 2-1-1 rule...

2 quarters of the plate veggies, one quarter whole grains and one quarter protein. But sometimes by dinner we've had enough protein during the day to eat less than that.



I get the puy lentils (French lentils) and peruvian quinoa (that's the most basic kind) in the bulk section for super cheap.



I think i'll check back here on the 20th of next month (pay day) and give a grand total for the month but what we have,other than getting more produce and milk for my son (I get it for 2 bucks at aldi) should last is until then. Guess we'll see! But even if I had to spend another 100, that's still only 270 for a family of 3 (technically four but not counting the infant since she doesn't eat table food yet) still good . Best part? For next shopping trip I have coupons...YAY!!!
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#10 Old 01-04-2009, 02:54 PM
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Oh, I wasn't particularly picking out the lentils or quinoa, just using them as examples.
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#11 Old 01-04-2009, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

WOW! A can of beans feeds three adults? When I do use canned beans - which is almost NEVER - it takes three cans for my family of four. (Two teens).



I wondered about that too. My (teen) daughter and I can eat a can each if it's a main ingredient thing.



We just ate a plate of salad each and used a can of chickpeas and a can of green beans with an entire "head" of romaine just for the two of us.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#12 Old 01-04-2009, 04:08 PM
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I just realized I should have mentioned that we hardly ever have beans plain by themselves,so saying a can of beans means in the meal for us three. But typically we eat it mixed with other things like TVP or lentils...

I only eat beans by themselves (as in the only protein) if i'm in a huge rush and throw them in with some microwavable brown rice.
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#13 Old 01-05-2009, 12:53 PM
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I agree that being vegan does not have to be expensive. I find that I spend less on food when I take a week off from work. It seems I spend more on what I pack for lunch to work vs. just eating at home. Maybe because I work 12 hour shifts without the ability to leave work and get something to eat so I always try to bring plenty especially if I can run into overtime.



A lot of prepared vegan foods may be expensive but if one has the time to prepare more at home than I think one can be vegan quite cheaply.
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#14 Old 01-05-2009, 02:42 PM
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I'm amazed that $400 - $500 is enough for a family of 4 for a month. We're only buying a few processed / analog things and spend around that much for just 2. Of course I also have quite a stockpile of staples that I never get through but keep buying more...
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#15 Old 01-05-2009, 09:23 PM
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I'm amazed that $400 - $500 is enough for a family of 4 for a month.



I usually spend about 160$ for a family of four. For a month. Sometimes less. If you don't HAVE the money, it's a lot easier not to spend it.

I do make a big bulk purchase of 25# bags of rice, 3 types of legumes, gluten flour, plain TVP and whole wheat flour once a year, but I have lots of freezer and pantry room to store these items.
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#16 Old 01-06-2009, 02:19 PM
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Wow, $160? That's great. I buy things in bulk packaging, but it's much smaller quanitities, so maybe that's where I'm not getting the quantity pricing. I think I'd have storage issues though - not enough space, things get into it, etc. I'll have to check, our health food store often does give discounts if you buy larger quantities.



I make my own soy yogurt and bread, and buy very few processed things. But haven't seen my grocery bill go down since doing these things. Maybe I should count the fact that it hasn't really gone up in this economy as a success.
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#17 Old 01-06-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

I usually spend about 160$ for a family of four. For a month. Sometimes less. If you don't HAVE the money, it's a lot easier not to spend it.

I do make a big bulk purchase of 25# bags of rice, 3 types of legumes, gluten flour, plain TVP and whole wheat flour once a year, but I have lots of freezer and pantry room to store these items.



I have always wanted to buy my rice in bulk. I can see the beans would be very handy and a big money saver, too. I guess I just need to find the right storeage containers for the rice and the beans. Even though there are only 2 of us, every cent counts so much now.


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#18 Old 01-08-2009, 01:20 AM
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I bought stacking tubs from a restaurant supply store - about ten pounds of rice or beans or whatever in each tub. Stack them in the freezer. I keep a small one of each type of product in my cupboard and replenish as needed.



Like these
but bigger I think?
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#19 Old 01-08-2009, 07:07 AM
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I find vegan cooking can be the absolute cheapest for a family, but only if you are commited to not eating processed foods. When we do that its just as pricey as if I was buying steaks.



we spend about 200 a month in our grocery store, and then about 120 a month at the farmers market, and that is for more produce than I can fit in my fridge. tons and tons of veggies. I could get down to about 150 but we get beer and cleaning supplies with that money too.



oh, and about 50 every two months at the asian market. Its a drive for us, but for 99cent a pack tofu its worth the drive. I buy about 20 and then freeze half of them. Not bad for a family of 4. We also get rice there in 10-25 bags depending on how much we need. They have a brown basmati thats awesome.
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#20 Old 01-08-2009, 08:12 AM
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Depends on your local.



At Krogers a butternut squash was $7, a large apple was $1.85, a rutabaga was $3, an artichoke near $5 and a lemon was $1.35, a bag of cherries was $14.75, ONE organic yam was $8.25.
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#21 Old 01-08-2009, 11:17 AM
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I would never be able to afford fresh produce but I am blessed to have an amazing farmers market near my house. Its at the crack of dawn on a wednesday, but its easily 75% less than the same produce at the grocery store. I got a 10 lb napa cabbage yesterday for 2 bucks. I know what I will be eating all week! Most of it is actual local farmers too, its neat. Greens and lettuces are in season here so we will be eating like bunnies all week.
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#22 Old 01-08-2009, 11:40 AM
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I think that depends on where you live. In Washington DC the farmers market is not that much cheaper than the grocery store to be honest. I still go to it though because the quality is much better, I love the flavor and want to support the local farmers, but I am not seeing any price difference; in fact sometimes the food there costs more than the grocery store.
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#23 Old 01-08-2009, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

I bought stacking tubs from a restaurant supply store - about ten pounds of rice or beans or whatever in each tub. Stack them in the freezer. I keep a small one of each type of product in my cupboard and replenish as needed.



Like these
but bigger I think?



Looks great! I am going to check the prices of some of the bulk items this week...there has to be a place with better prices than Costco!



I was told there is an old building downtown that sells bulk items and they supposedly are cheap and the stuff is not old or anything like that...I am gonna find it!


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#24 Old 01-08-2009, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by veggie-troll View Post

I would never be able to afford fresh produce but I am blessed to have an amazing farmers market near my house. Its at the crack of dawn on a wednesday, but its easily 75% less than the same produce at the grocery store. I got a 10 lb napa cabbage yesterday for 2 bucks. I know what I will be eating all week! Most of it is actual local farmers too, its neat. Greens and lettuces are in season here so we will be eating like bunnies all week.



Everything has to be trucked up the mountain here in the winter...but I have 3 local Farmer's Markets in the summer and I try to gorw a few things myself...Farmer's Markets are awesome.


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#25 Old 01-08-2009, 10:53 PM
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I don't buy a lot of produce in the winter, honestly - we do get a lot during the (very) cheap summer months, but I always try to freeze about half of it to use during the winter. Greens, beans, peas, corn, squash, carrots, berries, applesauce, peaches, apricots - all freeze VERY nicely.
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