I have noticed since starting my vegetarian diet, that I am going to the store more often, and spending more than ever. I am on a strict budget, and I was curious how others on a strict budgets do it week after week.
I've always spent too much at the grocery store, so I probably won't be too much help, but I'd suggest buying as few pre-prepared foods as possible. That stuff adds up. Buy bulk grains, legumes, nuts, etc., and buy your produce from farmer's markets instead of a fancy HFS.
One thing to consider about spending more at the grocery store and going more often. Have you cut down on how much you eat fast food and dining out? Surely that added up, too, and if you combined the totals before and after vegetarian, I bet it wouldn't seem so expensive anymore.
I'm glad someone else has this problem! And no difference in take-away either (eating out? What's that?!) I think it's because the cost of veges has gone up due to the drought we had... but meat would be even more expensive. buying for 2 adult humans, 2 cats and 2 big dogs I still reckon we're doing better (and healthier) than most...
we spend more then i think the average omni family does.
soymilk is more expensive then regular. vegan margerine is more. whole grain pastas and flours are more the crap kind as is natural sugars, natural peanut butters and juices. natural foods cost more even it is just the staples that we buy. then i believe we eat more variety, so when a omni has a meat, potato and veggie. i may buy several veggies as well as tofu etc.. so i can defiantly see it costing more.
how to save money.
as epski says, buy the items like beans and such in bulk or no name. eat as much food as possible as close to nature as possible. pay attention to how much soy etc you are useing. if you were going to have a cup of soy have 3/4 instead. you can do the same for many other items. cutting back just a bit on everything will add alittle more later. when you make foods that require you to buy prepackage try and buy the best deal. if you need to buy things such as spagetti sauce already made buy one with extra servings, so you can freeze a few meals. when money gets tight you have meals waiting. some foods are cheaper frozen or canned. for example i need a few mixed veggies and it was far cheaper to get frozen when i was low on cash, so i went that route.
make sauces and such yourself. mayo, dressings, dips, cakes, tortillas, pizza crust and pancakes can be made from scratch easily.
and last but not least drink more water then anything else. get used to your tap water. to make it taste better keep it in the fridge. if you put it in a open container many of the chemicals put it will be released because of the low temps, plus many people have shown most tap water is cleaner then bottled!
Another way to 'save' money is to meal plan. I cook 5-6 nights a week so on Fridays I make a shopping list with all the following weeks meals. Then on Saturday mornings I do my grocery shopping. This keeps me from spending money on things we are not going to eat. Also, for one or two of the meals I leave a sidedish open and then get whatever produce is on sale. For example, corn is really plentiful right now in my grocery store, so that is what we had last night. Sometimes it is artichoke, sometimes asparagus, but whatever it is, that is what we have. Then I make sure to eat the meals with more produce, like a stirfry, at the beginning of the week so the produce doesnt spoil. Things like collard greens, broccoli, and carrots can last a few weeks in the fridge, so I leave those for the end of the week.
My husband, son and I live on one income ( a very small one at that). After rent, most of our money goes to food. We almost never eat out, and I make most everything from scratch. Eating well is just one of those things we won't compromise! We go without a lot, but oh well, that's not as important to us as having plently of good food on hand.
after rent most of our money goes to food as well. we have lived on one income so that one of us can always be home with lilly. we have taken turns with who stays home. soon we will let her start preschool and we will both work. wow 2 incomes again! then we will have a vegan feast.
I too have found myself living at Krogers since I went vegetarian. I eat a lot of fresh produce and that stuff only lasts for so long. My biggest money saving tips are: when something is on sale especially something with a long shelf life such as cereal or pasta, I stockpile. I also try to make meals stretch as much as possible - sometimes I can make three or four meals out of one pasta dish. The freezer is definitely my friend.
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