Poor and Vegan

Discussion in 'So you want to be a Vegetarian?' started by junkhead, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. junkhead

    junkhead Member

    Ok, heres my situation....
    A few months back , I decided that I was going vegetarian again.
    The problem is that I find myself (normally towards the end of the month) eating non vegatarian foods simply because I don't have any more money to afford my own food, let me explain I food shop in the beggining of the month, but it seems like i never have enough money to buy food for the entire month and I find myself eating other stuff in the house thats my family's(they aren't vegatarian) .
    when i made this decision I first decided I was going to live vegan, but the vegan substitutes(for cheese/dairy) are higher priced than other non-vegan options.

    I don't know if this makes sense but, I feel like I ve let myself down by not staying with my decision to live this way, this may seem stupid or nonsensical. but this has been something that I have been thinking about alot
  2. feralfey

    feralfey Member

    It can be very difficult. I sort of know what you're going through. The differences are that my husband and I live alone in an apartment, away from our families, and we are not vegan, but vegetarian...although we have vegan days and are trying to make the switch. Food does get expensive, and vegetarian food even more so. The first step is to just really comit yourself to it and mean it. Once we said "we're not going to eat meat again, period" it really did get easier. Could you buy your food at seperate times during the month? For instance going grocery shopping once every two weeks or once a week? Also, if you cut back on frozen vegetarian food and buy more tofu and and fresh fruits and vegetables, it will still be expensive, but not so much. Also some things, like soy milk, are actually usually cheaper. Also, some things, such as boxes of stuffing, or canned veggies can be fairly cheap. Also, go for pasta and and bread products. Nuts and beans also provide protein and are also cheap. Perhaps try going vegetarian first, then working your way to vegan.
  3. hummblebee

    hummblebee hipstertist.

    Awesome, healthy, cheap veg foods that last:
    Dry beans or peas (good w/ cornbread and rice, or in a big soup!)
    Brown rice
    Whole wheat pasta
    FROZEN VEGGIES! <-- It took me a long time to "sink" to this, but I"m glad I did it. I figure since organic produce is so hard to find here, and when I can find it it's rarely afordable, the tasteless, wilted, overpriced crap I buy fresh really isn't any better. So lately I've been buying frozen what I can, and fresh those things that don't freeze well. Frozen veg can e used well in a multitude of meals - stir-frys, soups, sauces, or just as a side dish!
    Tofu, really isn't that expensive!
    Learn to bake bread, and stock up on your ingredients once a month. Bake a loaf once a week.

    we usually go through 1-2 containers of rice milk a month.

    I've been vegan for a few months now and I eat way cheap, and still waaaay healthy. It can be done. I just don't buy all the "alternatives" and substitutes. I don't eat convenience foods. (I make my own convenience foods by keeping steamed rice on hand. With the frozen veg, I can make myself a stir-fry in less than 10 minutes.)

    I agree with feralfey, though. You need to really commit to it for it to work. Say to yourself "for now I'm laco/ovo, and I'll transition to vegan." Once you take that step and commit to it, even if you do run out of food your eyes will be opened to the vegetarian alternatives in your family fridge. :D Good luck! :)
  4. A vegan diet can be one of the cheapest diets, or one the most expensive. If your diet consists mostly of highly processed and/or substitute vegan foods it can get pretty expensive. But if you buy whole, fresh foods it can be pretty cheap. Hummblebee's list is good. Dried beans and rice are cheap so stock up on them. Tofu is surprisingly cheap as well. When in season most vegetables and sometimes fruit are really cheap. But if not in season they can be a bit pricy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually cheap, though. They also keep a lot longer than fresh. If you can only go to the store once a month then you should go with frozen. Most fresh vegetables won't keep that long.
  5. Have you thought about growing your own? Growing your own food can be pretty economical. Even if you can't grow anything in the ground you can always grow some things in containers in a sunny window or on a patio. Vegetables fresh from the plant last longer than those from the store and generally you can pick them throughout the season.
  6. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

  7. drumminmama, thank you for that link! great site :) and so helpful.
    Peace and veggies,
    - Unlearn
  8. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    I've been asked this a few times, by people at my church who tell me "I could never be vegetarian - it's too expensive!" I feed a family of 4 with multiple food allergies on $10 per day. Here are a few ideas I've given to others who have asked about "budget vegetarianism" I think most, if not all of these would work well for a vegan diet as well. :)

    Potatoes are my favorite staple-food. They're super cheap AND versatile. You can mash them, boil them, bake 'em, and put them in or with just about any dish you like. Try roasting them with a little bit of oil, garlic & herbs. I use potatoes as a base for crockpot soups & stews... there are bazillions of recipe ideas online for variations on potato stew, and most of them call for super cheap ingredients. And if you're in a hurry, boil up a potato with some spices & a tomato or carrot or whatever you've got around & run it through a blender with about a cup of the water from your pot. It makes a "cream" soup for pennies. Another family favorite is loaded baked potatoes. Just bake (or nuke) a ‘tater, and put whatever you've got in the fridge on top of it. Plain salsa is my personal favorite topper. Don't forget sweet potatoes either; they're VERY high in just about everything that's good for you, and can be prepared the same as regular potatoes.

    Rice is another inexpensive staple. Brown rice is far healthier for you, and you can get a 2lb bag for a buck. Rice, when combined with beans will form a complete protein too, so it’s practically a must-have in a veggie kitchen. It makes a great filler for veggie-meals – especially ethnic cooking. Rice pudding is one of my family’s favorite side dishes, and is SO easy & inexpensive to make. Make up a batch for dessert some night, and make enough for breakfast the next morning – it’s good hot OR cold!

    Get to know your seasonal fruits/veggies… and find your local farmer’s market for even MORE savings. Right now in my area, berries are just starting to be in-season and grapes have been on sale for several weeks. Grapefruits & melons are usually cheapest during the summer, and stock up on apples & oranges for the winter. And don't forget your bananas... they're never more than 60 cents per pound!

    Do learn to cook with dried beans & lentils. Split pea soup; 1 bag of split peas & 2 chopped carrots with 6 cups of water and some spices makes about 4 HUGE bowls of wonderful soup for a buck. Throw it all in a crockpot in the morning and it'll be ready in time for dinner - just stir & serve!

    And pasta is usually on sale often enough to work with too. A couple quick meals that can be pulled together for next to nothing would be spaghetti or cold Italian pasta. About twice a month one brand or another of pasta is on sale. Pick up the canned spaghetti sauce ($1 instead of $3 or more for jars) and add some extra spice for incredible spaghetti. When it's hot out, take a spiral or other smallish pasta shape, and cover it in your favorite Italian salad dressing, and toss in your favorite diced veggies & some black olives. It’s SOO good!

    Hope that helps a bit!




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