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Thread: Budget vegan

  1. #1
    iwillact
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    Default Very broke - have a couple food questions

    If all I can afford to eat as my staples is canned veggies (too much salt!), brown rice and a variety of beans am I setting myself up to gain weight. Although the calories and fat is pretty low Im concerned anyway. I think its all the garbage I believed about low carb eating. Fresh veggies, salad, and fruit are scarce. I nice gentlemen down the street brings me veggies, usually when I am rice and beaned out, and I cut up the veggies and freeze them. Still the majority is starchy carbs and not veggies.

  2. #2
    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    I don't think you'll be gaining weight, but I don't think you'll be getting enough vitamins either, if you're only eating canned veggies

  3. #3
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Thanks, I have a nice multi-vitamin. Its not as good as getting it from food. I am very overweight and I really really dont want to gain anymore weight. I am still afraid of food. Veganism has given me more peace about food but I get really hungry and I usually go back for a second big bowl of beans and meal time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    If you eat a wholegrain, high fibre, high GI diet (that's complex carbs so no refined sugar or flour) you can eat as much as you like and lose weight.

    There's some info from the PCRM (Physicians Commitee for Responsible Medicine - an all-vegan group of doctor's researching into veganism and health) about their diet plan here their new 4 food groups here and recipes here

    Rice, grains and fruit and veg will not cause you to gain weight. Carbs are not the enemy, excess fat, refined sugar/carbs, animal protein and a low fibre diet are the enemy. Try and incorporate exercise too, even just 30mins walking 5 times a week will make a difference, and exercise helps regulate your appetite too.

  5. #5
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    It should be possible to get canned veggies with no added salt, too. I only buy the ones in water (chickpeas, kidney beans, mixed beans, lentils, sweetcorn, etc). Cheap frozen veg would be better in most cases though.

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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Also it might be worth adapting your shopping habits, rice, dried beans etc. are cheap and try to buy them if they have BOGOF offers etc. Keep an eye out for reduced fruit and veg in the evenings when they are running out of date, you'll need to cook them quickly (or freeze some at a push) but it means you're getting fresh fruit and veg.

    Man cannot live by can alone

  7. #7
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Thank you! Ill be looking at those links right now.

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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote absentmindedfan View Post

    Man cannot live by can alone
    off topic, but AMF, i can't believe that you of all people would write this.

    back on topic, AMF and Pob's suggestions are good and hopefully you'll find them helpful.

    also, i don't know if this is feasible in your situation, but do you have some space (a yard or a sun filled balcony) where you can maybe grow your own veggies? my mom grows lots of her own veggies to save money (plus that there are no pesticides).
    You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
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  9. #9
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    We have tomato plants growing in the backyard but they are still little. My soil is very hard and has alot of clay so when we can get some sand to mix into it (after some researching) we are going to plant corn, okra, peppers, beans, and squash. That is if its not to late in the growing season. I have the seeds. I also have a yard full of dogs that want to pee and dig up everything so that is a concern too. After we deal with that hopefully we will be able to produce a great deal to freeze and can enough for the whole year. My 13 year old planted a garlic bulb and its sprouting nicely in the window sill. The price of dry foods and produce is getting higher and higher and I imagine this will just continue. Any links to gardening for beginers would be awesome.

  10. #10
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Are canned things really cheaper than dried? Any time I've investigated, dried beans etc work out cheaper by the time you've rehydrated them. Dry certainly looks more expensive according to the weight on the bag/can but you usually get more for your money if you see what I mean, especially if you can buy dried stuff in bulk.

    If you can get affordable dried beans and seeds then another way to get fresh stuff is to sprout some of them on your windowsill, which is quite easy to do. There are a few threads about sprouting here. e.g. http://www.veganforum.com/forums/sho...ight=sprouting

    DW, don't worry, it's a quotation, sort of: http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrich...20040929.shtml

  11. #11
    Eager Beaver philfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    dried is definately cheaper. im in the UK so dont know much about US prices etc, but m partner and i are low income (im not working) students. we gave up buying ready made food a while back, he is veggie tho so has some cheese and quiche for his packed lunch (tho we did have some junk last night...) but its saving us so much money, eating fresh veg and fruit. the tinned stuff we do get is tinned tomatoes and chickpeas (mainly for the rats) the rest is all dried. the only inconvenience is leaving to soak over night, but you dont have to do that with a lot of lentils, and i never soak mung beans either. we are trying to grow some veg on our sun trap windowsill, so fingers crossed.
    we are just starting to try sprouting beans and things too...
    Vegan Forum: keeping me sane in the world of the ignorant.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote absentmindedfan View Post
    If you eat a wholegrain, high fibre, high GI diet (that's complex carbs so no refined sugar or flour) you can eat as much as you like and lose weight.
    I just ditched sugar and wheat flour for that very reason and am playing football twice/thrice a week, not once, now.
    It better bleedin' work..

    iwillact,
    Is this a temporary thing or a permanent one?
    If it's permanent then the advice here should really help.

    All the best,

    Paul.

  13. #13
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Quote philfox View Post
    the only inconvenience is leaving to soak over night, but you dont have to do that with a lot of lentils, and i never soak mung beans either. we are trying to grow some veg on our sun trap windowsill, so fingers crossed.
    we are just starting to try sprouting beans and things too...
    I'm terrible at remembering to soak things so an extra reason to sprout stuff like chickpeas is that it means you have some ready-soaked

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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote DancingWillow View Post
    off topic, but AMF, i can't believe that you of all people would write this.
    Quote Harpy
    DW, don't worry, it's a quotation, sort of: http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrich...20040929.shtml
    Bingo. No inequality intended

  15. #15
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Oh, dried foods are definately cheaper still and I get both dried and canned. I can get 2 or 3 canned beans for about a $. Dry beans that used to be 59 cents to a $ a pound are now sometimes twice that! I know that doesnt sound like a lot but the rising costs of food are scary! Example: The cheap cornflakes that where under a $ ten years ago are now over $3.00. and if you wanted the branded name its sometimes almost $5.00. We are on a very tight budget.I dont know what prices are like in other parts of the world and I know Im still very blessed to have food its just a strain.
    Thank you everyone for your responses.
    This is hopefully a temporary situation. I have 4 kids and I go to university full time. DH is an omnivore, heavy on the meat, and my kids eat everything! Im working on them My DH works very hard and has applied for a different job with better health benefits and this will help a great deal as my kids have some mild health issues that require medication.
    Im studying for the PCAT and hope to have a part time casheir job soon. Kids school gets out today! and Im just so glad to be able to spend time with them.
    Its all good, $ is just a thing, but not having enough can sure be a stressor.
    I alway stock up the deep freeze and the pantry when I get a student loan.

    Speaking of soaking beans...Im off to get some soaking!

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Frozen veg are usually cheaper than canned or fresh ones. They are high in vitamins too.
    Basing your diet on frozen veg, beans (dried are definitely cheaper but tinned baked beans are often cheap too) and rice should not cause weight gain, possibly the reverse.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Yes, I buy most of my veg and some fruit, frozen. I get organic if I can but if not I worry less about frozen veg carrying so much in the way of residue. It does work out a lot cheaper, especially as there is much less wastage .

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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote iwillact View Post
    We have tomato plants growing in the backyard but they are still little. My soil is very hard and has alot of clay so when we can get some sand to mix into it (after some researching) we are going to plant corn, okra, peppers, beans, and squash.
    If you're already growing tomatoes, are you using growbags? You might be able to use them for more stuff - also, make sure you're doing something organic about slugs and snails. They like nothing better than tomatoes!
    Born to Lose - Live to Win!

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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Tell me about it!
    here comes the sun

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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    I must get some started soon - we've got peas growing wild in the back garden. Sad thing is, we were given a greenhouse a couple of years ago, by Hemlock's parents... only thing is, we haven't anywhere flat enough to keep it.
    Born to Lose - Live to Win!

  21. #21
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    I dont know what a grow bag is. We jsut have them planted with the wire cage around them to supoort them. We wont be useing any chemicals but not sure what to use yet.
    Thanks for the responses!

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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote absentmindedfan View Post
    Bingo. No inequality intended
    i knew that it was a variation of another saying, but i was just surpirsed that you would use it...anyway, i was just commenting that i was surprised, not reprimanding you for your choice of language hope you didn't take offense, as i inteded none.
    You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Nutrition is just so important and I think that a vitamin pill just doesn't at all balance an inadequate diet. I wouldn't be at all concerned about gaining weight on what you are eating - I would focus on getting your veg anf fruit intake. There HAS to be a way for you to get this - can you redirect money from something less important? At least you know it will be OK when you finish studying - just make sure you stay well so you can enjoy it! I am very passionate about nutrition in case you hadn't noticed.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  24. #24
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions


    Thanks
    Todays shopping day and I will be getting at least $10.00 in frozen veggies. That should be plenty for two weeks if I buy carefully and plan my meals wisely. I do get anxious but last night we went to the a local market to get a few things for dinner and they have bean bins in the produce section. There are some beans Ive never had before. I just need to buckle down and soak them and cook them. Dried beans sure hurt my gut though and I dont have that problem with canned beans. Ill do a search, Im sure there are threads on bean problems.
    I am so grateful for this site and I dont doubt at all that Vegan is the life for me. Hopefully my children will follow my example.
    Peace to you all today.

  25. #25
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    What about frozen veggies instead of canned? They aren't much more expensive and you can get more variety. I get the Chinese/stir fry style and it's usually filled with baby corn, red pepper, carrots, water chestnuts, broccoli, and other healthy veggies.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  26. #26
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Thank you for al the responses
    absentmindedfan, I looked up the four food groups you suggested. According to the table given, whole grains should be the base of our meals. Personally, I love beans and they are the base of my meals and I add whole grains, and other things, to them. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this from a nutritional point of few. and also anyone else who has more nutritional knowledge/experience. Does it really matter?
    Thanks in advance

  27. #27
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    I went to the doc for med refills and Ive lost 12 pounds in the last two months and 28 total since about January! I was worried about nothing!
    Im on the right road to health. I feel so motivated to eat healthier and stay away from junk food.
    I did find a huge bag of frozen mixed veggies that is awesome and it was only about 6 bucks!

  28. #28
    JustMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Broke had a couple food questions

    Quote iwillact View Post
    We have tomato plants growing in the backyard but they are still little...I also have a yard full of dogs that want to pee and dig up everything so that is a concern too.
    Don't forget to feed the tomato plants after the first truss has set. Look for the organic tomato feed that's made from seaweed. As to the dogs peeing, try to get some mesh or chicken wire fencing along with some wooden posts and use this to create a pee-free zone around the plants. Hope you have a good crop... good enough that, as in Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegon Days", you're dumping them on unsuspecting people/neighbours' porches at night!

    Grow bags? Click on this link to see what a grow bag is. (You might need to scroll down the page.)

    Happy gardening.

  29. #29
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    don't forget to keep any eye out in supermarkets for bogof's, 3 for 2 deals, that kind of thing...

  30. #30
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    I am so excited! We planted 8 plants and it looks like four are doing really well, even some little yellow flowers! It has rained very hard lately and the dogs, so these plants thriving is awesome. I did put up chicken wire today. Its fencing we bought 2 years ago! DH is fixing cars today but maybe tonight we can plant the rest of the stuff! yea! I mixed dawn dish soap with water and sprayed all the leaves because everyone around here tells me it will keep the bugs off. Im just going to plant the seeds in the hard clayey dirt and just tend to them often, talk to them and send them positive happy energy. Does that make me a dork?

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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Quote iwillact View Post
    Thank you for al the responses
    absentmindedfan, I looked up the four food groups you suggested. According to the table given, whole grains should be the base of our meals. Personally, I love beans and they are the base of my meals and I add whole grains, and other things, to them. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this from a nutritional point of few. and also anyone else who has more nutritional knowledge/experience. Does it really matter?
    Thanks in advance
    Well the reason grains are the base is because we need more carbs than protein, but seeing as you're healthy and losing weight the way you're eating now then I don't think it's a problem

  32. #32
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Drum roll please.......
    My tomato plants are HUGE and I have lots of little green tomatos . There was a half off sale on veggie plants so I got 6 strawberry plants, a yellow sweet pepper, an orange sweet pepper, and an eggplant for about $7. I have little baby eggplants growinf from the flowers and the other pplants are growing very well! I am so excited! I have 4 corn plants that have peeked there little heads out of the ground and some yellow squash seeds that are unfolding too!
    I am watching them closely for bugs and such!
    Just thought Id share

  33. #33
    iwillact
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    Default Re: Very broke - have a couple food questions

    Just a little update.
    My cherry tomato plants is producing nicely. There must be 50 little tomatoes on there. They are yummy.
    My other plants are huge and they all are heavily loaded with green tomatoes. My okra plants are looking healthy. Thanks for all the input.
    Veggies are beautiful!

  34. #34

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    Default Budget vegan

    So I have finally decided to become vegan (props to 'Meet Your Meat', you, yes YOU, should watch it if you haven't already) but there are a few problems that present themselves in the face of this new lifestyle.
    My family is on a fairly tight budget, we are poor by no means but we don't have much money for extra things.
    Now I know being vegan would mean a more expensive grocery bill but I've already talked about it with my mom and she says she supports my decision and is willing to pay extra.
    I was wondering if anyone has any money-saving tips, like what are some good cheap vegan foods etc.
    Thank you much for your help!

  35. #35
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tight Budget?

    Hi Curiouspanda,
    you may want to check out this thread:
    Poor vegan, cheap living

  36. #36

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    Default Re: Tight Budget?

    Ah! I suppose next time I should check the forums first eh?
    Thanks ^_^

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tight Budget?


  38. #38
    puregonzO
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    Default could really use some tips =/

    hey all fellow vegans.. ive been vegan for about 5 months now and loving every minute of it.. i have only run into one problem.. i definitely dont have a lot of money for all the delicious meals i see and as of lately have been restricting my variety of meals.. sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti, etc... im not dead broke but i just havent been able to find a lot of recipes that didnt take an hour and a half to make and cost a fortune.. anybody got some tips?

  39. #39
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: could really use some tips =/

    Maybe you're constraining your choices by thinking in terms of adaptations of omnivorous meals? How about looking to see what vegetables are in season (and therefore cheap) where you are, and then deciding what to make on that basis?

    For example we get a lot of cabbage type things, and root vegetables, at this time of year, so we make various cabbage stirfries and soups, or stews and mashes made of roots...In winter that in itself can get a bit repetitive but spring's coming and there will be more variety.

    Soups, stews and stir-fries are all cheap and low-effort. With the soup and stews you can make enough for several meals in one go. I must admit I quite like eating cold stir-fry as a salad the next day too

  40. #40
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: could really use some tips =/

    Soups are a great idea! They can be made quite inexpensively, and you can make large amounts to do you for a couple of days. You can also get quite creative with the recipes

    I love soup with crusty bread.

  41. #41
    seraphsong
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    Default Budget Vegan

    Hi, I'm Mike, and I'm seriously considering a switch to a Vegan diet. I've very nervous about it all. I live with three other people, none of whom have any inclination to become Vegan, but who I believe would be supportive of my decision. I am also on a fairly tight budget, and nervous about how that will play into my plans.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to eat a healthy vegan diet on a budget? I'm very overweight, and realize that a lot of it is because of the animal products that I eat. I also am very much against the cruelty in the meat industry.

    Also bare in mind that I may be cooking for one. Thank you in advance for any suggestions, and please feel free to send me messages etc. as I would love to talk to people who have been living this way for a while.

  42. #42
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Hi Mike - there are a lot of ideas about this on the forum. If you look on the home page there's a 'tag cloud' and one of the tags is 'cheap living' - I'll see if I can post a shortcut to it here: http://www.veganforum.com/forums/tag...g=cheap+living

    As is pointed out in those threads, vegan food can work out really inexpensive (and healthy) if you avoid 'special' foods and use basics like dried lentils and beans, and seek out fruit and veg that are in season.

    Incidentally I was reading an article about the escalating cost of living and the prices that were escalating most seemed to be dairy products and eggs so you could be on the right track! http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...tion.economics

  43. #43
    Spencer
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Quote seraphsong View Post
    Hi, I'm Mike, and I'm seriously considering a switch to a Vegan diet. I've very nervous about it all. I live with three other people, none of whom have any inclination to become Vegan, but who I believe would be supportive of my decision. I am also on a fairly tight budget, and nervous about how that will play into my plans.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to eat a healthy vegan diet on a budget? I'm very overweight, and realize that a lot of it is because of the animal products that I eat. I also am very much against the cruelty in the meat industry.

    Also bare in mind that I may be cooking for one. Thank you in advance for any suggestions, and please feel free to send me messages etc. as I would love to talk to people who have been living this way for a while.
    My weekly shopping comes to around 13-15 ($26-30). I buy big packs of dried foods (rice, lentils, etc), fresh food in season (tastes better as well as being cheaper) and cans of things like beans, tomatoes, etc. I have herbs in my garden that were grown from seeds (so I don't have to spend money buying more), and also grow tomatoes, onions and salad leaves. Dried spices are fairly cheap since they last for a while. Being a vegan is a lot cheaper than non being a vegan, so if you're a on a tight budget it should be a good thing. Good luck

  44. #44
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    This article in today's Grauniad (which is meant to be funny so don't burst too many blood vessels ) picks up the point that the price of vegan food may have gone up less than the price of non-vegan food:

    http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/...291134,00.html

  45. #45
    Making changes Est's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Hi Mike I was a bit worried about what I'd be able to eat too. My weekly shop has definitely become a lot cheaper (I buy bits here and there, so hard to be accurate, but I'd say around 40% cheaper than it used to be on average - and I do still buy some overpriced junk like choc chip cookies!)

    Some suggestions for quick cheap meals:

    Breakfast:
    Fruit
    Porridge made with soya milk and maple syrup
    Toast with vegan margarine like Earth Balance or Pure

    Lunch:
    Pitta with hummous and salad-y things like spinach, lettuce, tomato, chopped peppers, onion etc
    Tortilla wraps filled with cold rice and chopped veg
    Left overs from dinner the night before eg cold stir fry etc

    Dinner:
    Stir fry and rice or noodles
    Chilli made with kidney beans and lentils
    Curry
    Soups (blend up cooked potatoes and veg for a thick sludge, or add some stock/soya milk/water for thinner soup)
    Homemade chips (use a little oil plus sprinkle spices on the chipped up potatoes, naughty but yummy)

    You can also make your own burgers from pulses and spices, and do masses of roast veggies (with garlic, rosemary etc) and roast potatoes for a big dinner.

    Those are all quite cheap. Just google "vegan recipe chilli" or "vegan recipe soup" etc for loads of recipe ideas. Also have a look in the recipe forum, and check out the thread called "What did you eat today?" for more ideas.

    I bet your housemates would eat with you if you offered to cook enough for all of them, but you can cook for one with all of the above - just use smaller quantities - or make double and have the other half cold for lunch the next day.

    Good luck Mike

  46. #46
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Hi, if you click on the cheap living tag (see below), you'll find some other threads about cheap vegan living...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Hi Mike and welcome to VF

    Great advice from the people above. I would add that you might want to get yourself a cookbook - if you choose the right one it will give you a good idea of the amazing variety of vegan food, and how easy and quick it can be to make.

    La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer is a great book if you're strapped for time, and she uses ingredients that are dead easy to get hold of. I love the book Vegan Feasts by Rose Elliot - I've used it so much it's falling apart! She is a British writer, though, while Sarah Kramer is American, and you might find the latter is easier to use in terms of measurements and stuff.

    The Web is a brilliant resource for vegetarian recipes - try Vegweb. Not all the recipes are vegan though, some are lacto-ovo.

    In my experience, as long as people get over the shock of "there's no meat in this!", they love to eat food that's cooked for them So I reckon you can bring your roommates around without too much trouble...

    Don't feel you have to do everything at once; start gently, ease yourself into the vegan way of things, and have a good hunt around the forum - pretty much everything is covered and there are some lovely people here who can give you tons of support and advice.

    Good luck!

  48. #48
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    west yorks, UK
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    159

    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Just found this thread.. a year or two late, whatever

    Shame this guy hasn't come back, be nice to think he still went vegan though!

    I find making a huge pan of chilli with veggie mince, kidney beans, can of plum tomatoes etc etc is pretty cheap and will make about 5 helpings so works out really cheap.

    Also soup is cheap too.. i sometimes get packets of dried soup mix for about 40p which is just loads of lentils, beans, peas etc and a quarter of the pack makes about 4 or 5 bowls! Couldn't get much cheaper than that!

  49. #49
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    South Australia
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    Chili is definitely a great thing to make for vegans on a budget. You get lots of food, for a little price

  50. #50
    phact0rri
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    Default Re: Budget Vegan

    I'm actually gearing up to start working on a blog for poor vegans. I currently manage to eat vegan at less than $20(US) a week. but its a combination of thinking ahead and stocking up on non-perishable items. also when spices and ingredients for things you make a lot are on sale pick em up. it'll save a lot of money from week to week. cause buying ingredients only when your making food can really kill your grocery budget.

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