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<p>After reading through this thread, I realized my grocery bills have skyrocketed since I got an apartment. In college I had $20 a week for food, so I spent $20 a week for food. Of course, there was always a veg friendly cafeteria I could go to if I wanted, but I always had weird schedules and missed mealtimes. </p>
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<p>Now our grocery bill for two is frequently $80-120 a week. Chalk that up to an expensive area and an incredible organic/local vegetable box delivery I suppose. A lot of what we spend could be cut back though. About $700 a year of that budget is coffee alone, so there are definitely places we could make some budget cuts. </p>
 

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This is a great thread. I feel totally embarrassed because my food bill for one single person (me, of course) is around $85 a week. I've known for some time that my food bill is way too high for a single person. I'm getting more conscious of what I am buying, though, and researching ways to save money. I am moving to a smaller apartment next month where I'll be saving $110 a month, so that's a start.

I know my sister is on a much tighter budget than I am and she manages to spend no more than $35 a week. She is vegetarian (not vegan). But I know that she has to limit herself in her choice of veggies and fruits to those that are the cheapest (so she eats a lot of cabbage, carrots, and iceberg lettuce) and "white" foods (such as white flour instead of whole wheat flour). To be honest, that's not something I am willing to do. Eating whole foods and whole grains is very important to me and I'm willing to spend money on them.

Djuna
 

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Where I live lentils, chick peas, and potatos are super cheap. You can make a dal that is enough for an entire day for about 2 dollars. Probably less actually, but I've never calculated it.

Pasta is also super cheap to make, less than two dollars for a huge amount.

Pizza is also cheap to make if you don't use cheese or meat. Buy a huge sack of flour and that cuts the cost of the dough down to like 20 cents. The rest is just like a zucchini/pepper/whatever which doesn't cost much.


I think what costs money is eating pre made things or eating out. Seriously I can eat for a week on the money I spend when I eat out for a single meal.

When I first lived abroad I would eat out almost every day. I did that the second time as well. The third time I went to live abroad I knew about how much I spend a month and took enough money to cover that. However this time I was vegan and cooking almost everything myself and I was amazed at how much money I had left over. I never knew how much money I was spending on food before that.
 

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I have gotten my food budget down to $70 per week for two people so far, so about $35 each. I eat out only five or six times a year on average and do a lot of homemade cooking and food prep. Lately I have been buying dried beans and canned pumpkin or tomato sauce at the dollar store. I can get oats there too (quality sucks but if you don't have the money you don't have the money), or some rices, and things like toilet paper. I only buy hard to find items at whole foods or health type stores (such as millet, buckwheat, nutritional yeast, chickpea flour in bulk). What kills me though is the cost of fresh produce. I eat a lot of fresh produce during the week, have gotten skilled at using it all without wasting any, but I pay a lot for it. For example, yesterday I bought 4 bell peppers, some tomatoes, mushrooms, a few onions, 2 sweet potatoes, green beans, head of broccoli, 2 bundles of kale, green leafy lettuce, a few oranges, 8 bananas, a cantaloupe, yellow squash, and some berries. It came to almost $40 and only a small fraction was organic. I don't even buy commercial plant milk anymore but have been making my own and adding calcium/D powder/drops to it. Grains and beans are bought in bulk unless from the dollar store. A lb of flax seed will last me well over a month and ditto with sesame seeds. Not big on pasta but will buy it on occasion. Same with oils, rarely use them in more than tiny amounts so they last a long time. I do use things like applesauce, cider or balsamic vinegar, dijon mustards, salsas, cocoa powder and baking powder/soda/cornstarch. Buy bulk flour and use to make my own breads. No fancy plant milks, no fancy vegan cheeses or desserts, no ready made meals or box mixes, no vegan commercial mayonnaise (make my own when I eat it maybe a few times a month). I have vegetable bouillion cubes (vegan ones) that i use on occasion but most of my soups I just use water or potatoes or cauliflower added if I want to make them creamy. I haven't even been using any sugar or vegan butter for quite a while other than blackstrap molasses which is a big source of calcium for me. And STILL I can't cut my food costs any lower. I have my own garden started at the beginning of June (growing season starts late here) with produce I use often but it won't be ready to start using for another month. Thankfully I have my own freshly grown herbs though. All around groceries are just getting more and more expensive, most likely due to transport costs/fuel prices and so on. I can't imagine those who have children to support on a budget. Getting help is harder and harder to qualify for too. I am thankful that there are community garden programs and food shelves for help.
 

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Wow! I'm amazed at how some of you guys live on your budgets. Talking to people in the general area we live I thought we did really well for the two of us on $100 a week. :( Lol! I have been meaning to check out our farmers market and local crop shares but the hours are so weird.
There must be some difference in food cost based on location. My mom goes to South Dakota every year and goes nuts at how cheap groceries are there.

Sent from my LG-E617G using Tapatalk
 

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For sure. Where I live in canada the stuff I mentioned is what is cheapest. When I live in japan, tofu suddenly becomes not only way cheaper but also a lot better tasting. I actually eat it when I am over there. I never eat it in canada....it's crappy and expensive. There are also some vegetables there that I don't see in canada that are cheap and delicious in a stew. Oh and they have a thinner eggplant as well that is really good pan fried with soy sauce. That is cheap as well.
 

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I would personally say that yes, it is completely doable. 4 years ago when food prices were a little better, the boyfriend and I were able to afford groceries for 2 weeks at $50, so $100 a month, for both of us. As things have gotten more expensive and our tastes have changed, we now spend $50 a week instead, at $200 a month. They key to making it work is to always budget, and have a plan. And do NOT grocery shop when you're hungry, and do not make a grocery LIST when you're hungry, I'm not kidding... I make a menu for each week, and I try to keep our meals as fresh and balanced as possible. It's important to make sure the meals you plan try to share ingredients, so you don't have to buy so many separate ingredients. I account for leftovers, mostly always cook from scratch, and try and plan to give ourselves one night to eat out tacos or subway or just have a frozen pizza. It's nice to have that night off from cooking, and it means you have a little extra money to use on your other meals. Another reason I say a menu helps, is because if you only buy what you need, then you won't need to make additional store runs throughout the week, thus spending more unaccounted for money towards food. When my boyfriend handled the grocery planning, he'd always buy "stuff" with no real plan intended, and we'd end up back at the store like 4 times a week cause we'd have to some stuff to make a dish but lacked others. If you get accustomed to planning your grocery list and budget, you shouldn't get pulled into that kinda rut that can sometimes be difficult to get out of. And if you're buying groceries weekly, another important thing is to allow yourself to buy at least one non-essential thing. For me it's usually one of those little $1 Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Daz ice cream cups, or a single bomber of beer or cider. And occasionally if you have a little extra to treat yourself to other wants you have instead of such a stringent list, then do so, if you know that you can spare the extra bucks.
 

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One thing I remember about travelling to the US was how cheap the food is. Every time I see people saying their budgets online from there I get reminded about it. Here, a can of beans is $4 each and yet I can get a kilo of processed meat for $3. It's expensive to be vegetarian here!
 

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100 dollars a week, for all household goods and groceries ( including kid's diapers, pet food, shampoo,laundry soap...) for 2 adults,2 kids, 2 pets.

This is a overall amount, some weeks it is more like 60 bucks, and I save the remainder to stock up my freezer and pantry. ( I keep a fully stocked cupboard and deep freeze)

I get about 50 bucks a month of "free" dairy milk,beans,cereal,juice,fruits/veggies through the wic program.

Once a month or so I have access to a costco, (I do not have a membership) and I buy tofu for a dollar a pound then,a 10lb bag of rice, dried fruit, a big tub of hummus, and something special from the freezer section too (this past trip, spanakopitas!)...

I spend 80.00 or less when I go, and I treat it as an "entertainment" expense.

My keys to success lie in meal planning, eliminating food waste, having a simple diet.
 

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That being said, I could spend less... But I enjoy the extras I have. Today I got some pumpkin spice flavor english muffins, because I wanted them. That was a luxury purchase.

I have 160 dollars cash a week for food, medicine,gas,school expenses...birthdays...whatever. My bills I pay separately.
 

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About $100 a week for 2 adults. Lot's of fresh produce, but hubby likes those expensive 'organic' TV dinners and those cost A LOT! Our bird also goes through a good amount of fresh produce daily (he's a really messy eater!) and I set $5 out of that aside every week because his 'dry' food mix is about $40 every other month, since its all organic ingredients. In reality, due to the birds food, it's more like feeding 2 adults and a small child on our budget:)
 

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I'm living in Salmiya, Kuwait at the moment and food isn't quite cheap here. Still, I usually spend about 13 KD (Kuwaiti Dinars) a week when I go grocery shopping. That's about 45 USD. The reason my grocery sum isn't too high is because most of that is fruit and veg and I also don't buy a lot of imported brands from the West. Occasionally, my weekly total will go up to 17 or 18 KD (between 59 USD and 62 USD) if I'm buying a product that I don't usually buy like olive oil or peanut butter. Now, my eating out budget is totally different from my grocery budget...

Aristede:book:
 

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My husband and I just started a budget a few months ago. One thing we started us a menu. I sit down and list for 14 days what our dinners will be and any treats I will make. Try to over lap things like ingredients so you have to buy less. Like red peppers for omelets and grilled veggies. I just did it yesterday so it doesn't take long once you have it down. It works for us since my husband isn't a vegetarian. I even pick my lunches to bring to work too. Then pick breakfast things to make. So yesterday I spent $130 for two people for two weeks. So $65 for both of us per week but only $33 per person per week.
I didn't do this this time but try out coupons.com and check ads for price matching if your store does it. Coupons are hard if your vegan or want organic. But there is sites for organic and vegan products. Also if your area has a CSA try to join in you get fresh produce on a biweekly bases. It's a lot upfront but for the summer and in to the start of fall it's worth it. So a low food budget is doable but it takes work.
 

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We spend about $45 a week on two adults---but he has the palate of a five-year-old and would happily eat peanut butter sandwiches for every meal :) On a typical shopping trip, we buy bread for lunches, grapes (his only lunch fruit) and a few other on-sale fruits for me, sandwich fixings as needed, soy milk, tomato sauce, canned beans or other dinner items and that's it. We go to a bulk food store once a month and buy rice, pasta, crackers, raisins, oats, nuts and seeds and so on. That's usually about $50 but it lasts a whole month. We also each have one big-ticket item once a month, his is fancy peanut butter at the health food store, mine is pumpernickel bagels from the local bakery. That's $10 a month each and can be covered within the $45 a week limit.
 
Our typical meals:
 
Breakfast (me) is a bagel with something on it, or oatmeal with something mixed in (applesauce, raisins, seeds etc.) or sometimes a smoothie. I have no idea what he eats for breakfast. He usually eats at work and says that people always are bringing treats in and he just gets whatever is there.
 
Lunch (me) is either jarred soup or a sandwich, a veggie (usually baby carrots or snap peas) and grapes or berries. I pack an apple or banana and sometimes some crackers for snack in the afternoon. For him, it's a peanut butter sandwich, grapes and a cookie or treat.
 
Dinner is usually a fend-for-yourself (in which case, he eats soy cheese sandwiches) or something we eat together. This is often a pita pizza, bowl of pasta (mine with veggies, his without), rice bowl or something simple. I am trying to broaden his palate some, but it's slow going and neither of us particularly enjoy cooking...
I know this is old but I would be very concerned about your partners health in the long term. This is almost a perfect mirror of a mainstream mostly junk diet. ..a vegetarian who doesn't eat vegetables is in trouble.
 

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When I was lacto ovo I EASILY did this. ..sometimes spent less. A dozen eggs, some Ramen, oatmeal, hot sauce, onion, garlic, a bag of dried beans (with spices I already had), nuts and bananas, sometimes broccoli. ..I did this for a few months when I first moved to California, I sometimes spent less than 20, at times I was so stocked up I spent ten, because I didn't need bread, because I already had rice. I ate peanut butter sandwiches also at that time.

Now I honestly don't even have a budget that I keep track of, but during lean times it's always good to have beans, grains, root vegetables, spices, and a bag of frozen spinach, as well as oatmeal and a non dairy milk.

My first attempts at vegan long ago were hilariously expensive and unsustainable because of stacks of frozen meals and faux meats...when I learned better cooking skills and more about nutrition, things got much more affordable. I don't even like to eat faux meats every day, they can be too greasy or processed, though I still do like them a few times a week in moderation.
 

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Btw, this topic reminded me of this vegan chef...this is VERY extreme, especially for a vegan I doubt it's enough calories. ..but she took on a 1.50 a day challenge for one week, because that's what the poorest people have for food in developing countries (on average).


http://www.forksoverknives.com/my-1...ting-a-plant-based-diet-on-an-austere-budget/

She operates on the realistic principle that things like bottles of vegetable oil, spices, onions, garlic and potatoes, as well as even dry beans or rice, will last for a while. ..so each week you'd have more "roll over" to get fresh vegetables or have more diversity.

I don't recommend anyone go quite this extreme, but it's interesting to see what a chef can do in such limited circumstances. ..she put Gwen Paltrow to shame, and I really liked that a lot. I personally think being a vegetarian is cheapest, though others like this woman argue that vegan really can be done equally as frugally. ..I would just have concerns about things like keeping nutritional yeast, B12 supplements, black strap molasses or adequate green vegetables to supply iron and calcium if one wasn't spending at least 20-25 a week.
 
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