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<span style="color:#808080;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;"><br><br>
I'm new; I apologize if this is old ground.</span></span><br><br><br><br><br><br>
I got to wondering what am I doing wrong after reading the <i><b>What do you love about being vegan/vegetarian?</b></i> thread.<br><br><br><br>
A few of you said that you liked that being veg*n led to lower grocery bills.<br><br><br><br>
Well, what I want to know is, WHAT????!!!<br><br><br><br>
I've been a vegan or a vegetarian since before I lived on my own so I don't really have a frame of reference to know what I would pay if I ate like an omni.<br><br><br><br>
But my wife and Iit's just the two of usspend about $170 on groceries a week (Canadian dollars) with some weeks seeing that rise to $200.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
I surveyed three other childless couples all in their mid-thirties like me and they averaged $65, $85, and $100 a week. All three are omni. All three eat like most omnis dowithout much thought or attention to health, animals, or waistlines.<br><br><br><br>
Ultimately my wife and I want to eat freshly prepared, wholesome and healthy foods (we eat a LOT of fruit and fresh veg) as much as possible and processed and packaged foods not at all.<br><br><br><br>
And I'm not even getting into the fact that I would LOVE to buy organic produce but that would totally break the bank for us.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Bottom line is that, almost without exception, unhealthy pedestrian foods and animal-based foods cost less than their vegan and/or healthier counterparts. Heck, my wife's yoghurt costs half what my soy stuff costs. My vegan rice protein powder costs twice as much as whey. "Real" hot dogs cost a fraction of what veggie dogs cost. And so on.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
So, what I want to know is, how is it you find being veg*n cheaper...and how can I get in on that action?<br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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I don't find it cheaper, but I am eating 10x better than as an omnivore.<br><br><br><br>
I think part of it is things aren't cheap for us in Canada. I've been to the U.S. a few times and it astounds me how cheaply they can buy things for compared to what we pay here... particularly convenience-type foods. Often Americans pay just half or a little more of what we pay, and yes, that factors in the exchange rate (which is inconsequential when you're spending American $ in the U.S. and CDN $ here).<br><br><br><br>
Vegetables aren't all that cheap either if you're eating more than potatoes and onions. We probably spend $50+ a week on fruits and veggies for two of us.<br><br><br><br>
My husband and I spend $600-800 a month on groceries also, just the two of us, in Canada. We make all of our meals from scratch for the most part.
 

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I just posted this in another thread, but my bf and I eat vegetarian at home (heck, I eat vegetarian everywhere as I've been one for over a decade... he's an omni but has compromised since I'm the house cook) and we spend an average of $75/wk on food, and that's for 3 meals + snacks a day. We pack our lunches for work/school and everything. I could actually cut the cost further from there, but as part of the veg-at-home compromise, I do incorporate more faux meats/tofu/seitan/tempeh into the diet than I would if it were just me eating. We eat a lot of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, based on what is in season, beans, nuts, some frozen and tinned veg (like peas and corn). We buy very little prepackaged food (the exception being he buys about 1 frozen pizza a week, and we usually have a veg microwave meal, and a few cans of soup around.. then of course bread, pretzels, graham crackers, granola bars, etc... we've even taken to making our own sorbets! mmm.. sooo goood!!), and what we do buy we try not to buy things with trans fats or other crap. We do NOT buy organic for the most part because it's just too expensive on a student budget!! I do buy a good deal of local produce from the farmers market and the co-op.<br><br><br><br>
I think a big budget buster for you is probably the faux meats and organic items, which are a lot more expensive. Other than that, unless you guys eat unusually large amounts of food, I'm not sure what's costing so much? My BF eats for 3 most of the time, so I generally have to make a ton of food <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> and it still isn't terribly expensive. (And our grocery budget also includes dumb stuff like toilet paper, tissues, garbage bags, laundry detergent, cat litter, etc...)<br><br><br><br>
ETA: We live in NY. $75 US = ~$85 CAD
 

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I never buy lunch out, I always pack a lunch. We rarely eat dinner out. We do buy a lot of organic stuff, but I've seen the same products available in the US for a fraction much less. If I ate the same stuff and shopped at new york state grocery stores it would probably cost me $400 a month instead of $600+
 

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It's not cheaper. I also don't buy those all natural vegan cosmetics, they're not affordable for me. No organic food, too. And I STILL spend a lot on food.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know, you guys pounce surprisingly well for herbivores; thanks for the quick replies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Maybe it is a Canadian peculiarity. As if we needed more.<br><br><br><br>
And we don't eat any larger portions than your average person (in fact I'm more of an advocate of eating a lot of smaller portions over eating three big meals—I find I eat less that way than when I go hours with no food and go into a meal hungry; that way leads to overeating and expanding midsections).<br><br><br><br>
And I'm not sure what we could cut back on as, come grocery day, we're eating scraps.<br><br><br><br>
The fake meat things we only buy <i>maybe</i> two or three of a week. For most things I prefer tofu with is only two bucks.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not complaining inasmuch as if this is what it costs to fuel my body in a healthy and ethically peaceful way then so be it. I just don't see it as cheaper and thought maybe I was doing it wrong or something. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
And, now that you mention it, my wife and I don't eat out too often because for the most part I can cook something ten times better at home for less money. Usually we only eat out at Thai, Indian and Ethiopian places. And even that's maybe once a month. The couples I asked eat out a lot. Especially the $65 couple who work in advertising and are constantly being taken out for meals.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, thanks for the great replies so far. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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It seems to me the quality of the food determines the budget, with veg vs. meat being a lesser factor.<br><br><br><br>
Cheap store brand prepared veg foods (like cheese pizza and ravioli), white bread and cheap peanut butter, enriched pasta and sauce meals with a can of veggies thrown in; all of those can be easily had for $1 a person here.<br><br><br><br>
The same basic meal choices made with whole grains, no trans fats, fresh or high-quality frozen veggies and no egregarious adding of fat and salt run 2-3x that.<br><br><br><br>
Vegan subs for dairy cost more than the dairy and veg faux meats cost more than cold cuts; but tofu runs much cheaper than a decent cut of meat and beans are dead cheap.<br><br><br><br>
Farmers markets are the saving grace of the summer budget (ok, the garden's even better, but that's not always an option). You have to be wary though. I notice the ones in the bigger towns we visit on the weekends charge similar to premium grocery produce, but the dinky little local ones in our dinky little county towns have great quality on the cheap.
 

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I think it depends on your preferences. Meat is expensive, so i save a lot by not buying meat. Certain mock meats and specialty vegan products are a bit pricey as well. For example, I nearly fainted the first time I saw the price for a package of 8 vegan cheese slices. About 5$..insane! I don't buy vegan cheese though.<br><br><br><br>
So I guess it's all about how you're willing to spend on all these fancy products. I buy tofu, and nutritional yeast, and lots of veggies, beans, fruit and pasta. Oh and rice, I can't forget the rice.<br><br><br><br>
I'm also always looking for new things to try, but price is a big factor. For example, i found a box of 'so soya' soy crumbles that is dry, and has the packet of seasoning inside. Very affordable as the package makes about 5 servings, and only cost about 3$. I added some to my pasta sauce, and my daughter asked me why I put meat in it..lol<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I'm rambling here. My point is, is that once you get the swing of things, you can eat veg*n cheaply. My groccery bill has gone down considerably
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cassiopeia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
once you get the swing of things, you can eat veg*n cheaply.</div>
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I've been doing this whacky veg*n thing since about 1992. If I ain't in the swing of it by now I don't think I ever will be. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"><br><br><br><br>
It was just reading that people thought it was cheaper when, in my experience, it's more expensive that got me wondering.<br><br><br><br>
I have surmised the following:<br><br><br><br>
Some people agree that it costs them more at the grocery store.<br><br><br><br>
Some people find it cheaper.<br><br><br><br>
Still other people live on beans and rice and wonder why they have no ****ing friends. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"><br><br><br><br>
I guess I just thought maybe I could glean some tips on how others have made the veg*n thing work for their pocketbooks, things I might not have thought of myself.<br><br><br><br>
I think the best tip was the Farmer's Market thing as I suspect out biggest purchase is fresh veg. So thanks Bios for that. I've never checked one out and didn't realize the potential to get fruit and vegetables cheaper. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Now all I have to do is find one...<br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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I don't spend all that much on food and I'm Canadian (living in Halifax). I usually spend between $40 and $60 per week. Oddly, I find I spend less when I buy mostly fresh produce.<br><br><br><br>
I find it's easier to spend less when you have a pantry full of things like grains, tvp, veggie stock, onions, garlic, beans, oils and spices (stuff that won't spoil or take a long time to spoil) that you can use to throw together a meal quickly with only one or two ingredients per meal that you have buy regularly like veggies or tofu.
 

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I found when I was vegetarian, my grocery bill was lowered by about 30%. When I became vegan, it went up slightly, probably about 10%. Now that I am mostly a raw fooder, it has gone down again a bit.<br><br><br><br>
But this is probably only interesting for the huge number of Swiss people on the boards, i.e. me and.... me. Each country is different, I would think.<br><br><br><br>
I never bother to eat out because I prefer my own food. I don't like supporting the fast food industry, and anyway, we only have Sucky MacDonalds as a fast food chain and Sucky Starbucks as a coffee chain and I boycott them both. There used to be a Pizza hut, but it went bankrupt.<br><br><br><br>
Proper restaurants are too expensive and I hate having to wait to pay the bill. When I finish eating, I like to leave and the waiters always take too much time to present the bill.<br><br><br><br>
Processed food I rarely buy. It is too expensive and whatever they can make, I can make better....
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Astarte</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't spend all that much on food and I'm Canadian (living in Halifax). I usually spend between $40 and $60 per week. Oddly, I find I spend less when I buy mostly fresh produce.<br><br><br><br>
I find it's easier to spend less when you have a pantry full of things like grains, tvp, veggie stock, onions, garlic, beans, oils and spices (stuff that won't spoil or take a long time to spoil) that you can use to throw together a meal quickly with only one or two ingredients per meal that you have buy regularly like veggies or tofu.</div>
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Believe me, I do have a pantry that's very full. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:"> In fact, I highly doubt anyone has a fuller pantry than I. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:"><br><br><br><br>
I find fresh produce is incredibly hard to come by where I am. It's crap... for the most part it's wilted, rotting and expensive. I go to an organic farmer's market and get nice stuff, but I went to a regular organic farmer's market another time and they had hardly any selection. Some of the other so-called farmer's markets here sell the exact same stuff as the grocery store, but under the guise of being a farmer's market.<br><br><br><br>
I buy a few convenience products, and those are some of what cost Canadians the most relative to Americans from what I've seen (at least in new york state and Indianapolis). For example:<br><br><br><br>
Tofutti non-hydrogenated sour supreme: I pay $5.29, it's maybe $2.39 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Tofutti non-hydrogenated cream cheese: I pay $5, it's again, about $2.39 in the US<br><br><br><br>
2L rice dream: I pay $4.19, I've read on VB in the past it's 2/$5 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Vegan Gourmet: I pay $5.69, it's $2.99 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Earth Balance: I pay $4.69, it's $2.99 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Peace maple pecan cereal: I pay $5.69, it's $2.99 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Nature's path granola: I pay $4.49, in the US it's $2.99<br><br><br><br>
Gardenburger "chick'n" burgers: I pay $6.79/4, they're $3.99 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Amy's soups: I pay $3.69, they're $2.29 in the US<br><br><br><br>
Those are just a few examples.
 

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I've found that I spend about the same on groceries overall as I use to, some things cost more and some things cost less. tofu and beans cost significantly less than meat. Dairy susbtitutes cost significantly more. Frozen convenience foods cost about the same for equivalent quality (they don't really make low-end veggie foods). Most of our produce comes from a local farm and we pay $26 a week for that. Now I've also noticed that fake dairy and some other things like grains and beans cost a lot less at the health food store than the regular grocery store. For the 4 of us, we spent an average of $150 per week.
 

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I agree with jeezycreezy - I think it costs more to be a vegan than an omni (excluding the subsisting on beans and rice and living in a shanty in the woods option... that will always be the dream though).<br><br><br><br>
Vegan foods tend to be natural, high quality, and of low demand. Omni foods tend to chemical ridden, low quality, and in high demand. It doesn't take a cheif economist to say which one is going to be more expensive.<br><br><br><br>
Milk is a good example. Compare Almond Breeze, $3.50 (CDN) / 1L vs cows milk at around $1 / 1L. That's just insane. You are telling me that it costs more to crush up almonds than to raise an animal from birth and then milk it (I know, I know... economies of scale...).<br><br><br><br>
Because I buy organic whenever I can, and stick to natural foods, and try rare foods that most omnis don't even know about, my grocery bills are higher. But I feel that I live a higher quality life, so it's well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meatless</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I buy a few convenience products, and those are some of what cost Canadians the most relative to Americans from what I've seen<br></div>
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Doutbless this has a lot to do with transportation costs seeing as most of these types of products come from the States. And with the price of oil being what it is, it's likely to only get worse.<br><br><br><br>
Or else they just make Canadians pay a premium for being so awesome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jeezycreezy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Doutbless this has a lot to do with transportations costs seeing as most of these types of products come from the States. And with the price of oil being what it is, it's likely to only get worse.<br><br><br><br>
Or else they just make Canadians pay a premium for being so awesome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ</div>
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Yeah, likely. Although, we're closer to some parts of the US than other parts of the US are, so it doesn't always hold up!<br><br><br><br>
I also think that there isn't really any adjustment in prices from when the currency difference was so profound. We still pay $21 for a book that's $14 in the US, from the days when our dollar was worth only 65 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jeff_veg</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But I feel that I live a higher quality life, so it's well worth it.</div>
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I agree with that. But I am so inherently cheap that my peace of mind stings a little. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
(Great post BTW.)<br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meatless</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yeah, likely. Although, we're closer to some parts of the US than other parts of the US are, so it doesn't always hold up!<br></div>
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True dat.<br><br><br><br>
I suppose now is as good a time as any to admit I failed geography; I kept colouring outside the lines. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"><br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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Are there any CSA (community supported agriculture) farms in your area? It's where you pay in at the beginning of the season and get fresh fruits and veg for the growing season.<br><br>
A local one here is <a href="http://www.roxburyfarms.com" target="_blank">www.roxburyfarms.com</a> if you want to get an idea what it's all about. Theirs is $433 for 25 wks of veggies, and an additional $65 for fruit as well. Each week you get 10-17 lbs of veggies, and with fruit its 2-4lbs. You don't get to pick what you're getting each week, you get what's in season and being harvested. If your flexible with your cooking, you may want to check this option out.
 

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The more premade foods you buy, the higher your grocery bill is going to be. If you are making most of your meals from scratch (i.e. not buying fake meats or prepared veg meals at all), your bills are going to be much, much lower. If you're buying veg hot dogs & protein powder, it's going to be higher. Neither is particularly better than the other, but it's all in what you buy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:">
 
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