Friday, 22 August 2014

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON A VEGAN DIET

Hey, guys. Today I am sharing a post featuring the video I made yesterday, all about how you can save money whole eating a wholesome vegan diet! Watch the video, and read my main tips below!


- Base your diet/meals around potatoes, rice, beans and bananas. These foods are normally very inexpensive and easy to find. A main component of my dinners is always potatoes, rice and/or beans. Then I round out the meal with other veggies and greens. The main component of my smoothies is always bananas, and I top them off with other ingredients like frozen fruit, mango, berries, super food powders, etc.

- Grow your own food, if it's possible. My family has a big backyard and garden so we are able to grow a lot of what we eat. It is super cheap, not a huge amount of work (depending on what plants you choose to grow), and ends up feeding you the highest quality food around all season long. When I move out in the next few months, I plan on at least growing my own herbs and tomatoes. If you have no space to grow food, find a community garden in your area and sign up to help out and reap the bounty!

- Forage. It's fun, it's easy, it's educational, it saves a ton of cash! Berries are super expensive here right now and yet they are growing all around us, just begging to be picked and eaten for free. Pick all the edible plants you can find (but make sure to do your research so you don't poison yourself), then freeze what you don't eat right away. Add to smoothies and anything else all year long!

- Buy in bulk; buy discounted produce. I eat a huge amount of fruit, especially bananas. So I buy boxes of them at 10% off. I also buy mangoes in bulk and save a few dollars that way. You can also get discounted prices on overly ripe fruits and veggies. Simply freeze that produce and add to smoothies, soups and stir-frys later on! If these options don't seem available at your regular grocery stores, just ask the employees about buying bulk and buying overly ripe produce.

- Shop around; compare prices in stores and between stores. Sometimes different places have different prices, and sometimes there is a huge difference between organic and non-organic (often organic is double the price here, so I have to decide what is most important to get organic, and what I will compromise on). Check out this list to see what is best bought organic.

- Keep updated with your local grocery stores on sales, customer appreciation days, and discounts. I get email flyers that let me know when my fave food stores are having sales, and what specific produce is on sale every month.

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9 comments:

Sibylle said...

Brilliant post, thanks for that :-) For me, eating mostly organic/healthy (and almost 90% vegan) hasn't been as expensive as I thought it would be. Processed foods aren't all that cheap either! I eat a lot of potatoes, and even the organic variety isn't expensive. Greens are so-so. And like you say, cacao powder / organic dates / maple syrup (I know you're in Canada, Emily, but over here it's imported from you guys and extremely expensive) is something I buy only occasionally, as a treat.

Angela @ Canned-Time.com said...

Fabulous video and great tips and tricks. I've been buying healthy foods for about 5 years and I sometimes forget what those first years were like trying to afford things and still enjoy the taste.
Great job Em.
Thanks!

Elizabethwholefoodkitchen said...

I can ALWAYS find healthy food dirt cheap. I Love veggies and fruit a lot.

Luna Serenity said...

I'm gonna show this to my girlfriend, who is always complaining about how she thinks my diet is expensive(she doesn't even live with me!). Thank you so much!

elizabethswholefoodskitchen said...

If you want you could do a post on how you get beautiful photos for us lightweights who don't no how or are learning

Sarah said...

Thanks for making this video, it's nice to see vegan bloggers who take an interest in making veganism and healthy food accessible for everyone.

My main tip is to check dumpsters and markets at the end of they day, as well as asking in store about products that they are no longer able to sell.

In Vienna, Austria, we dumpster dive amazing things quite regularly, and are unlikely to face legal action if caught (this is a good option for those of us who enjoy animal products but don't want to contribute to animal exploitation, and who want to actively reduce food waste).

In London we get whole boxes of bananas (once, about my body weight) for free by checking the market near the tube station (Upton Park, district line) after it has finished on a Saturday night. The bin men actually put the good produce to one side for us. I didn't buy bananas for at least 4 months this way, and had plenty for my vegan desserts and smoothies.

I also regularly ask shops if they have produce they can no longer sell; I find that making a friendly (!) fuss about food waste makes them actually relatively likely to hand over the goodies, especially if they are smaller chains or independent shops. Making friends with the people who work in your favourite shops also works well :)

T.V. said...

I just wanted to say that perhaps we could also come to think that perhaps it is actually worth spending a bit more money on food. Not that many decades ago, HALF of a family's income would be spent on food, a percentage which has shrank to a minuscule amount in comparison.

We spend on desirable clothes, expensive trips, etc... all sort of things which often define our status. Regardless of whether you spend on materialistic items, the food you eat is what nortures you and feed you. You don't have a discount body, so why looking for discount prices?

Jennifer said...

Sarah mentioned dumpster diving, which might seem really desperate but it isn't! So much food gets thrown out so it is pretty cool to be able to save it. If you are a little freaked out by near bad food, you can always pickle the food you find. Pickling is as simple as mixing salt with water and putting chopped veggies in it.

Other tips would be to join a CSA. I signed up with my husband for $550 for year, which spans from June to November. I still need to buy other veggies, but I have found that I freeze what I can't eat, and have lots of premade meals waiting for me in the winter in the freezer. We also get lots of root staples that make it through the winter even longer.

I am not sure how regional it is but there are also lots of great "pick your own" farms. Many are organic but aren't certified (which costs them money). So right now I get pounds of plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, and apples for less than a dollar per pound. And we freeze a bunch of fruits, or make desserts that can be frozen (like apple dumplings)

alittlebitmoregreen said...

I second Jennifer's suggestions. I do a lot of u-pick for berries and I also bought into a CSA. Mine was $500 for 17 weeks (June-Oct). I have not had to buy veggies at all this summer.

I also by fruit by the case for bananas, apples, oranges, mango and pineapples.

I grow some produce myself as well, but my parents have a big piece of land. Every couple of weeks I drive out and harvest whatever they have an abundance of.

Sometimes I've even seen posts on craigslist- free fruit if you are willing to pick it.

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