My wife and I are both vegans. We live off $300 a month for the two of us ($150 each) so that's about $5 a day for each of us. However she works in the produce department of a Co-Op, so she gets free produce (that's been culled out, but it's not really all bad), as well as a discount at the Co-Op.
We try to buy in bulk as much as possible. Rice, beans, quinoa, flour, etc. We try to avoid a lot of the processed insty foods.
I used to install flooring about 50 hours a week, and my wife was going to college and had a 30 hour a week job, so we didn't have time to make our own food as much and I was eating a lot of food due to hard physical labor. Then we spent about $700 a month for both so that's a little over $11 a day each. I think it pays to eat in bulk and make my own food. I'd rather be in the kitchen of my home than at most any job.
The bulk and produce sections of our Co-op are where we find our staple foods. Rice, quinoa, beans, flour, potatoes, etc.
I'm in high school and therefore still live with my (omni) parents, so I don't know how much they spend on food for me. But I don't usually eat specialty vegan foods (like fake meats or cheese) so it probably isn't terribly expensive. As long as there's whole wheat pasta, canned beans, nuts, and plenty of fruits and vegetables, I always have something to eat. And those are all things that my mom keeps regularly stocked anyway.
Our cost is all over the map, coz sometimes we make simple dishes and sometimes really goumet ones, but these are the staples for us:
oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, barley, bulgur, various flours (we use a breadmaker and make our own bread) beans (canned for when we're in a hurry and dry for when we have time to do it right), canned tomatoes (for winter, when the real ones are wimpy), veggie stock, soy milk, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices.
I eat a mostly vegan diet and my omni boyfriend eats a mostly vegetarian diet... but just thought I'd chime in that we spend an average of $55-$60/wk on everything at the grocery store/co-op, but I get 26% off co-op things. We eat all our meals out of the house. Assuming at least $10 of that is toilet paper, dish soap, garbage bags, etc... and assuming I pick up random food during the week, I'd say we average $4 per person per day.
I buy lots of fresh fruits and veggies, in season, we always have assorted pastas and grains and canned beans around, frozen peas, canned tomatoes, baking supplies, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, spices, oils, canned soups, breads..
Growing a garden will really ease the cost, as well as buying from local markets. (If you are trying to). I don't buy anything pre-made at all - everything is in it's whole form except for my milk and my almond butter (I get it at Costco and it's much cheaper than buying almonds myself - they are expensive here). In the summer, I hardly spend a dime. Out of season, I just buy fresh produce daily.
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