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Thread: Vegan on a budget

  1. #1
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Vegan on a budget

    Ok I need some brain storming here....people from the uk might find it easier to help me but all ideas are welcome

    We looked through our finances last night and it doesn't look good...so for some time I'll only have about 175 a month available for spending on food. Now we obviously don't eat dairy or meat which makes life a lot cheaper ..on the other hand I won't be able to buy the most environmentally friendly foods (tesco sells soy milk for 60p...probably gmo...)

    The only luxury I have is a bag of fruit and veg from my local organic shop which costs me a Tenner a week but as we are 2 people I'll need to buy a little bit in addition ...

    Staples like pasta,rice potatoes are nor too expensive but the cheap shops like Aldi don't always have the wholemeal version .. I try to avoid tesco but some of their stuff can be cheaper .. I just hate shopping and try to avoid to go to too many shops but I'll probably have to...any input?

  2. #2
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help..vegan on a budget!!!(175 month)

    Just wrote that on my mobile so i was a bit short So in a nutshell it'll be 30 GBP per week .. I can buy dried beans but I don't think I can buy nuts.. I am obviously trying to meet our nutritional requirements. I can get Tofu from our Chinese supermarket. But now I am running out of ideas ..

    Oh and we want to start planting our own stuff but that will need some investment, too..although we already have some pots and soil..wondering what's the cheapest we can plant? Also, it'll take a while for it to grow.

  3. #3
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    How about putting together a shopping list using one of the online supermarkets for a weeks shopping? That way you can see what you'll be spending and if you post it on here people might be able to suggest how to reduce the costs.

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    I guess you have seen this thread on economical eating http://www.veganforum.com/forums/sho...n+cheap+living ?

    I agree that growing stuff may not be that good as a way of saving money in the short term, IME as it always costs me like 10 for one tomato or something by the time I add everything up but that might be because I'm a dunce

    As regards bread, might you be able to make your own? Posh bread can be a bit of a rip off. For grains and dried legumes, and possibly nuts too, I gather "ethnic" shops can be a lot cheaper than supermarkets.

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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    We are in a similar position at the moment this is a useful thread http://www.veganforum.com/forums/sho...ghlight=budget I also found this site quite useful http://www.cheap-family-recipes.org.uk/index.html.

    I now make all my own bread, I buy in bulk directly from Shipton Mill, I like to buy organic but am having to cut back on it. Shipton sell organic flour and it works out really cheap when you compare it to supermarket bread.

    I grew some herbs and things like rocket and salad in pots last year as they are easy to grow and expensive to buy. If you buy the salad that is growing at the supermarket you can put it into larger pots and keep it going for a while.

    I got my mother in law to buy me a pressure cooker last year and that is really good for stews and beans. I also make seitan as that works out as a really cheap form of protein.

    Instead of buying stuff from the healthfood shop I now go to superdrug for beauty products. I also make my own cleaning products with things like vinegar and bicarb.

    Good luck, it's a horrible situation to be in but it's really made me much more inventive. I now make most of my birthday cards and presents.

  6. #6
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    Yes, rocket and other salad leaves are things I have managed to grow fairly successfully as well despite my brown fingers. Containers are easier to keep slugs out of.

    There is also foraging of course although it's important to know what you're doing so as not to get poisoned. Perhaps you could borrow something like Richard Mabey's Food for Free from the library, Judy?

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    Cider&Curry :D Frosty's Avatar
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    Default

    We started doing meal plans for the month and sticking to them. Sounds a bit anal, I know, but you'd be surprised how much you can save when you watch what you eat and where you spend your money.

    If you lay out a plan of exactly what you're eating and the ingredients you need and don't go over it, I'm sure you could stick to the budget.

    Between me, my wife and my baby we don't spend much more than that really.
    I like football. And potatoes.

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    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    Yes I tried to do meal plans but I find it hard to stick to them...I would find it easier to stick to a money plan and then try to buy as many foods as possible out of that money...Thanks for the links (And sorry for not searching the forum...cough)

    I used online supermarkets before and it helps budgeting but I feel that they are too expensive to begin with...But since my local Aldi is across the road from Asda I will defo check out what they've got..

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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    Meal plans do really help -- if you think you'd have trouble sticking to a day by day schedule, just make a "menu" with say, 14 meals, if you shop every 2 weeks, or 7 if you shop weekly, and choose from those depending on what you feel like and what needs to be used, fresh produce wise.

    I live in the U.S., and I'm not sure how different our Aldi stores are, but I do most of my shopping there. We are also lucky enough to have Trader Joe's, which is a specialty/organic version of Aldi, owned by the other side of their company. But anyway, Aldi does have organic soy milk here and it's about 75 cents to $1 cheaper per half gallon than anywhere else. I also buy a lot of canned beans, diced tomatoes, nuts, oatmeal, juice, peanut butter, etc. there. They are a great store for getting the basics. I get my fresh produce there but I have heard some stores have trouble keeping it fresh. Mine doesn't seem to have that problem. Then I fill in at another store for the more specialty type items like tofu. (TJ's also helps there because they carry some of the expensive faux meats for at least a buck or two cheaper.)

    Morgan Spurlock (Mr. Supersize Me) had a TV series called 30 Days a few years ago, where he did other situations similarly to what he did in Supersize Me, and in one of them he lived paycheck to paycheck in poverty with his fiancee, who is a vegan chef. They ate a lot of rice and beans, purchased dry and cooked from scratch.

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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    What about stuff like bean stews - any veggies you have, tinned tomatoes, tom puree, and a tin of pulses/lentils/dried beans etc, any chilli or garlic as you like it- really delicious and very cheap,can bung in coconut milk if you have it - could eat with rice, on its own or anythign else you have like pitta bread. Baked potatoes are pretty cheap and cheerful. What about planting salad leaves in pots? we eat a lot of this sort of stuff and it is yummy and very good for you. Food has got really expensive hasn't it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    I'm on public assistance here in the states and I've got a $200/month budget. The foundation of my diet is beans and root vegetables. I also buy brown rice/quinoa/ assorted whole grains. Then comes vegetables and fruits that are in season. Luckily I live in California so produce is local, cheap, and delicious. Finally in moderation I buy fattening veg (avocadoes, etc) soy/wheat protein, and refined oils. I can usually stay within my budget, but that means that I don't get to cook up fancy meals with long ingredient lists. Shop along the perimeter of the grocery store (works here in the states, I didn't go to too many markets when I went to the UK) for fresh, non-processed stuff. Don't buy all of the fake-meats, time-saving dinners, and pre-made stuff that Tesco and Sainsbury's like to do. They are convenient but you are paying for it. On that note, don't buy pre-chopped, shredded, or other convenience vegetables. You are paying for the labor that you can get cheaper at home! Hope that helps.

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    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan on a budget

    Thanks guys, I have now created a shopping list of all the stuff I buy on a regular basis and I can sort it by "essential and cheap" and "non-essential - luxury" products. I am buying more dried beans and I am comparing prices with local arabic shops as well to see if I can buy a few things in bulk. My hubby had a pay-rise and I got a new job now - we both work part-time. Which helps us a lot! But still good to save money 95% of my list consists of non-processed whole foods..I am proud of myself

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