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Thread: Budget vegan

  1. #51
    CoconutCrumble
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    Default Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Hi! I'm Kiz, and I'm new here. Nice to meet you all(if anybody actually reads this)!

    Anyway, when I was younger, I spent about six years as a vegetarian. I adore animals, and don't see why they should have to die just to sate my appetite; I mean, what makes me so much more important than them, right?
    I only defaulted on this diet/lifestyle because, well, I couldn't afford to keep it up. I was (and am) on a very low budget, and it just seemed that eating meat was much cheaper than looking for the substitues. It was like, because of my monetary situation, I couldn't afford to both keep the lifestyle I had (ie; meatless) and keep the necessary amount of nutrients in my diet.

    However, I do still feel really quite guilty when I eat meat. It tastes good, sure, but... it doesn't really feel worth it, you know?

    So anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, I've been strongly considering veganism as the way to go for a long time now, but I just don't know if I can afford it.
    Sometimes I have as a little as 10 to feed myself with (after paying bills, obviously), sometimes up to a fortnight.
    Is it still feasible for me to be vegan?
    Does anybody have any advice for vegansim (or even just vegetarianism at this point; every little helps, right?) on a budget?

    All suggestions are appreciated.
    Thanks!

    Kiz

  2. #52

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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    vegan food is incredibly cheap. you can make vegan bean dishes with a tin of lentils (30p), a tin of mixed beans (40p), some chopped tomatoes (30p), spices and some brown rice (2 per kilo-ish) which is what i do in the throes of poverty. fruit, vegetables and beans are all VERY cheap so unless you're going to live off meat substitutes and vegan cheese i think you'll be fine!

  3. #53
    CoconutCrumble
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    It's mainly that unless it's tinned or frozen, I can't really afford to run the risk of it going off. ^^

    That sounds like qute a nice cheap meal base, actually, though. Thank you.

    (Also, where are you buying these 30p tins? All the ones I see seem to be around 90p+)

  4. #54
    Mordechai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Can of garlbanzo beans, some pepper, salt, lemon, nutritional yeast maybe some chilli, tomato, dash of oil. Hummus easy, can make loads of it, cost efficient.

  5. #55
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Hi CoconutCrumble - I would go for it, you will almost certainly save money compared with what you're eating at the moment if you stick to vegetables that are in season, beans, lentils and so on. Just forget about the expensive "specialist" vegetarian and vegan foods, you don't need them - or you can just have them as a treat.


    This thread might help http://www.veganforum.com/forums/sho...n-cheap-living

  6. #56

    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Buy food in bulk: beans, rice, oats/bran, quinoa, flax, nutritional yeast, etc. You aren't paying for the packaging and you can get it much cheaper that way. Dried beans are much cheaper than canned and much healthier. Yes, they do take a little more work to prepare (soaking and cooking) but you can make a big batch and make them last all week. Cheaper vegetables are the leafy greens, some squashes, green beans, green peppers, whole carrots. I do buy a lot of my vegetables organically from a food coop but can't afford to buy all this way. In the Spring - Fall I buy from farmers markets and they are reasonable too. I started growing my own herbs last year and hope to have my own garden this year. Fruit is a bit more expensive but things like bananas and apples aren't too bad, or avocados, or dried fruits like raisins or cranberries.
    Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also cheaper than the other nuts/seeds. Cans of pumpkin are cheap. Or buy a whole pumpkin, prepare it, and freeze the tons of leftover pumpkin you will have to keep a long time. And roast the pumpkin seeds from it for a snack to last all week too.

    Where I live plant milks (almond, soy, hemp etc) are slightly more than cows milk but really not by much. Soy milk is the cheapest. You can make your own milk (almond, rice, oat) too, even coconut milk. Cans of coconut milk for making curries or adding to smoothies are relatively cheap.
    I also buy tempeh which is about the same cost as a package of lunchmeat would be. Tofu is a little bit cheaper yet. On Sundays I make batches of homemade soups (you can make soup for dirt cheap with a few vegetables, beans, grains, etc and they are incredibly filling and nourishing) and other items and then I have ready made food to grab for lunches and snacks during the week so I dont have to spend a great deal of time cooking. Homemade bread is cheap to make too and if you make two loaves at a time it will keep a long time. All you need is yeast, flour, a little salt and a little sweetener and warm water.
    I initially spent more on food for staples like agave, maple syrup, stevia (I grow my own herb now), raw sugar that was vegan friendly, and things like liquid smoke, tamari, indian spices, sea vegetables, cold pressed organic oils (I rarely use much oil so one bottle will last several months) etc but once I acquired these things I spend far less money on food than I used to because I dont need the fancy stuff much. I only eat out on average about five times a year because I love to cook and eat healthy food and restaurant food is way too expensive so while I may spend a little bit more at the grocery than some, I save by not spending a fortune eating out. There are other ways to socialize out there and have fun than just eating out all the time.

    I also buy my clothes from consignment and used clothing stores. I have found vegan friendly shoes at discount shoe stores. I bought vegan approved hiking boots (I needed to invest in quality hiking shoes there because I do a lot of hiking and mountain biking but I found a very sturdy wonderul and reasonable vegan shoe called Garmont Kiowa Vegan hiking boot online for less than $80 and I have hiked over 50 miles with them and taken them on a wilderness canoe trip and they hold very well) online and buy vegan vitamins online as well. You can find great bargains by buying this way, although having things shipped from afar may not be the best for the environment. I live in a smaller city and there just arent a lot of options for me as a vegan so sometimes I have to buy online. I don't want to support the leather industry buying local either you know? That to me isnt too environmentally sound either.

    Also, just getting to know some of the businesses around and talking with the owners and networking helps. I will go to "environmentally" and "sustainable" advertised businesses and talk to them about vegan options available for products. I have gotten surprisingly very pleasant responses and one woman was inspired that I took the time to read labels and question the chemicals in them. I was looking for a good vegan sunblock at the time. She actually carries vegan friendly paints and glues. Just takes some research and really looking to find things. When I do find vegan items at these stores (such as vitamin D2 which is really hard to find but I did find a store locally that sells it) I really let the business know how great this is so they see that there is a need and appreciation for it. They will work with you. I wrote to a local chain grocery about more vegan options and they have been very open and willing to find products for me, including coconut milk based yogurt! Although this is still pretty expensive and I only buy it once a month or so for a treat. I am still lobbying for better labels on food and other products because I believe we have a right as consumers to know what we are buying and from where.

    I am in school and working and I am the bread winner as my partner is disabled so I care for him too and money is tight. But I have made it work because this is so important to me. I think the more demand for vegan and vegetarian items and lifestyle there is the cheaper and easier it will be to access these things. You just have to be assertive and speak up for your needs.

    It is sad that a head of brocoli can cost more than a lb of cheap meat full of preservatives and hormones from some horrible factory farm or a whole box of twinkies. But in the long run, when you think about your long term health and the environment and especially the suffering and pain of the animals and labor that goes behind what you eat, the choice to eat the brocoli instead can be a heck of a lot cheaper.

  7. #57

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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Quote veganosie View Post
    vegan food is incredibly cheap. you can make vegan bean dishes with a tin of lentils (30p), a tin of mixed beans (40p), some chopped tomatoes (30p), spices and some brown rice (2 per kilo-ish) which is what i do in the throes of poverty. fruit, vegetables and beans are all VERY cheap so unless you're going to live off meat substitutes and vegan cheese i think you'll be fine!
    Wouldn't really bother with brown rice pushing the budget that much, white rice is only 40p for the same.

    Got to agree it's trying to substitute things that makes it more expensive though, there's no point bothering with the things really. When you're not constantly trying to substitute like that it's a lot cheaper than omni, meat's actually kind of expensive.

    Oh, and falafel wraps are brilliant to do it cheap. Make the falafel and hummus from scratch, and make a wrap from just flour and water dry fried, it costs practically nothing and it's stupidly filling. Personally I shove raw peppers and chilli sauce on, but everyone seems to like different stuff.

    Edit: If you want to do it really cheap, drop by a chinese shop and pick up some mushroom soup noodles. Watch which you pick up because a lot use whey powder, but they're probably the cheapest food you'll ever manage. A multivitamin alongside if you think you're pushing it with how much you're getting can't hurt, they're quite cheap now.

  8. #58
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Buy food in bulk: beans, rice, oats/bran, quinoa, flax, nutritional yeast, etc. You aren't paying for the packaging and you can get it much cheaper that way.
    Oddly it's not usually the case that buying in bulk is cheaper in Britain. Supermarkets own 'value' brands are usually the cheapest option and they aren't usually bulk products.

    E.g.

    Tesco Value Penne Pasta 500g - 30p
    Tesco Penne Pasta 3kg - 3.25

    Weight for weight it's nearly twice as expensive to buy in bulk.

  9. #59

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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Quote CoconutCrumble View Post

    (Also, where are you buying these 30p tins? All the ones I see seem to be around 90p+)
    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/grocerie..._generic_event

    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/grocerie..._generic_event

    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/grocerie..._generic_event

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Ouch surely 10 a week is pretty hard to live off with any diet?

    - Buy those massive bags of frozen peas and sweetcorn at Asda, they're like 1 and they last forever, useful for adding a little variety, I just chuck a small handful of each into almost everything
    - Make soups! Last winter I made onion soup, the total cost of the ingredients was like 1 and it made three generous portions. Carrots and mushrooms are cheap things you make soups out of too. If you have a thermos flask you can take it out and about with you and stop you from being tempted to buy hot food when you're out.
    - Look at this http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/sho...arket-shopping (particularly the bit about the supermarket reductions schedule). A lot of the reductions seem to be in the instore bakery, which is really nice bread and they're selling for less than the cheapest sliced white. If you buy loads of it you can keep it in the freezer so it doesn't go off (if it's not sliced already remember to do this before you freeze it, spending half an hour trying to slice frozen bread isn't fun D; )
    - Try freeganism? Some independant shops are even happy for you to do this
    - Buy fruit and veggies at the market? I've not tried this because I barely know where the market is where I live but a friend assures me it's cheaper, particularly if you go at the end of the day and the stall holders are trying to get rid of stuff.
    - Superdrug to a lot of decently priced toiletries, 1 for vegan shower gel instead of 2+ or whatever for Original Source from the supermarket
    - Drink water instead of buying drinks, add squash if you really need something sweet.

    That's all I can think of for now..

  11. #61

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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Hi Coconut, Look at this website it gives a vegan meal plan that would keep within your budget. http://www.cheap-family-recipes.org....n3-month1.html

  12. #62
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    Hi Kiz,
    Cows, chicken, pigs, sheep etc don't eat animal based food, they live on a plant based diet. This is also true for really large and strong animals like horses and even elephants.
    So, the reason veg meals almost always are cheaper than meals containing animal products in cafes and restaurants, is that it takes more effort, energy, people and money (and animals!) to create something with animal ingredients in it. Th eonly expensive veg*n food is probably some of the fake/pre-made burgers, fake cheese etc. (But: imagine what it would cost if someone would try to make fake fruit, salad or carrots out of aninal prducts!)

    Whether meat eaters like it or not: the proteins and other nutrients one can find in animal products are, to a large extent, nutrients from plants (grass, leaves, grains etc) which has been eaten by an animal, and then being recycled into a new meal (by killing the animal) which is then eaten by humans.

    Quote CoconutCrumble View Post

    So anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, I've been strongly considering veganism as the way to go for a long time now, but I just don't know if I can afford it.
    Sometimes I have as a little as 10 to feed myself with (after paying bills, obviously), sometimes up to a fortnight.
    Is it still feasible for me to be vegan?
    Even if it's cheaper to live on a plant based diet than a meat (etc) based diet, my answer would be no. But living on a non-vegan diet - and achieve the same amont of nutrients, would cost you more. Please don't take any risks with your health - but find a way to get a little extra money.

    The cheapest way to get ingredients for vegan meals is probably to buy real them (beans, lentils, fresh produce, non-white rice etc) from immigrant shops. If you buy canned, processed, frozen etc. food, it will usually be more expensive (and less healthy). I'd avoid white bread, refined flour, pasta, fake cheese, noodles, sweets and all kinds of preprocessed food if I were you, because it actually costs money to have someone process the food and take out some of the nutrients for you...

    Good luck, and please check out the thread Harpy mentioned in post # 5!

  13. #63

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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    definitely go to supermarkets just before closing time, they reduce so much stuff like fruit, veg, anything that's about to go out of date. i bought a bunch of bananas from tesco for 40p the other day and they weren't even ripe!

  14. #64
    Mordechai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to veganism on a budget; advice?

    bananas are a great one to find cheap as mainstream shoppers do not purchase the ripe ones!
    An almost black, spotted partially soft banana does not appeal as 'healthy' yet it is?
    As Korn mentioned self-prep is a great way to save money, lentils are cheap to purchase dry and by stocking up on spices (expensive in the short term, pennies in the long-term) can add loads of nutrition and flavor to your dishes!

  15. #65

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    To add to the great advice everyone else has already given, make sure to buy your produce in season. Especially with the high cost of fuel, it costs a lot to fly out of season produce in to make it available. It's much cheaper, and much higher quality, when you buy it in season, fresh, and local.

    I imagine that you might be short on time as well as money, so I suggest you look into getting a slow cooker. They are not very much, and can save you a lot of time as entire meals can literally be ready for you to eat when you come home.

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