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Thread: Poor vegan, cheap living

  1. #1

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    Red face Poor vegan, cheap living

    Hey guys...
    I am a parentless uni student, who supports herself, and up until recently, I have been lazy and have been living off expensive pre-packaged vegan meals coz I can't be stuffed cooking. Now that has to change coz I can't afford to pay for those things anymore. I know what is cheap...so this is what I keep at home as staples:

    - Rolled oats, mini wheats (wholewheat), brown rice, wholewheat couscous, wholegrain bread, olive oil, yellow split peas, red lentils, chickpeas, rice milk (with calcium), orange juice (with calcium), natural peanut butter, sultanas, dried apricots, prunes, rice cakes, vegemite (yeast extract), jam, canned fruit snacks (like peaches and apple puree), apples, bananas, lemons/limes, oranges, pears...if they are cheap then strawberries and kiwifruit etc...also basic veggies like potatos, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatos, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, carrots and capsicum...I can;t afford to buy greens, although I love stirfry. Sometimes as a treat, dried mango and pineapple!!!!


    Anyway, the only thing I know how to cook is a mean dhal...but I doubt I can live off dhal and rice forever...so does anyone have any ideas on cooking batches of stuff for dinner, or cheap meals ... also for sandwiches...I also can't live off peanut butter/vegemite/jam/avocado...I am not very tolerant of nuts in large amounts! I love indian food and would love to know more vegan indian bean/pulse recipes (no coconut please - I hate coconut and I also hate tofu/soy - and no sugar coz I have blood sugar issues from my anorexia)

    Thanks heaps

  2. #2
    julieruble
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    Okay, this is a little tangent to your question. Can you describe what a dhal is? You mentioned a chickpea dhal -- sounds Indian, and I'm always craving Indian food. What is it, and how do you make it, if you don't mind me asking?

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    Red face

    Dhal is an indian dish and very easy to make (and cheap too).

    I make two sorts - a split pea based one and a lentil based one. To those, you can add any type of vegetable or bean you want for variation. Here are the recipes:
    DHAL 1

    1 cup yellow split peas

    3 cups water

    2 tsp oil (olive)

    1 onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1 tsp grated ginger

    1 tsp ground turmeric

    1 tsp ground cumin

    1 tsp ground cardamom



    1. Put split peas plus water in a rice cooker, and cook until the split peas are soft and mushy

    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Add water if it gets too dry.

    3. Once the split peas are soft, add the onion mixture and keep cooking for 15 minutes. Season with salt and chilli to taste

    DHAL 2

    1 cup red lentils

    3 cups water

    2 tsp oil (olive)

    1 onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1 tsp grated ginger

    tsp yellow mustard seeds

    1 tsp ground cumin

    1 tsp ground coriander

    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice



    1. Put lentils plus water in a rice cooker and cook until the lentils are soft and mushy

    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Add water if it gets too dry.

    3. Once the lentils are soft, add the onion mixture and keep cooking for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and chilli to taste.

  4. #4
    julieruble
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    mm sounds delicious. I'm also a lentil nut, so I'll have to try it! Thanks!

  5. #5
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote Banana
    Hey guys...
    I am a parentless uni student, who supports herself, and up until recently, I have been lazy and have been living off expensive pre-packaged vegan meals coz I can't be stuffed cooking. Now that has to change coz I can't afford to pay for those things anymore. I know what is cheap...so this is what I keep at home as staples:

    - Rolled oats, mini wheats (wholewheat), brown rice, wholewheat couscous, wholegrain bread, olive oil, yellow split peas, red lentils, chickpeas, rice milk (with calcium), orange juice (with calcium), natural peanut butter, sultanas, dried apricots, prunes, rice cakes, vegemite (yeast extract), jam, canned fruit snacks (like peaches and apple puree), apples, bananas, lemons/limes, oranges, pears...if they are cheap then strawberries and kiwifruit etc...also basic veggies like potatos, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatos, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, carrots and capsicum...I can;t afford to buy greens, although I love stirfry. Sometimes as a treat, dried mango and pineapple!!!!


    Anyway, the only thing I know how to cook is a mean dhal...but I doubt I can live off dhal and rice forever...so does anyone have any ideas on cooking batches of stuff for dinner, or cheap meals ... also for sandwiches...I also can't live off peanut butter/vegemite/jam/avocado...I am not very tolerant of nuts in large amounts! I love indian food and would love to know more vegan indian bean/pulse recipes (no coconut please - I hate coconut and I also hate tofu/soy - and no sugar coz I have blood sugar issues from my anorexia)

    Thanks heaps


    try this banana, you can cook loads of it as it keeps and eat it in a baked pototo or with rice or couscous or pasta, its good cold too and its got an indian-based flavour:

    chickpeas with ginger and tomato - check the recipe on the recipe post

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    I love cooking and general experimenting I have several cookbooks and they serve as excellent inspirational tools for meals. So, the general advice would be to grab a good cookbook or two and go from there. There are plenty of well done budgetable cookbooks out there. Or, try major veg sites like vegetariantimes.com ... subscribing on the site is free and it gives you access to a lot of recipes... I think you can throw in ingredients you are looking to cook and search that way.

    Red pasta is a relatively cheap meal that you can have plain or get pretty creative with. Also, for snacksa hummus and baba ghanoush (eggplant dip) are great with pita bread and relativelly inexpensive. For a variation you can add in tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, etc ... to the pita wrap with either hummus or eggplant dip... a tasty fulling and nutritious meal.

    Home made soups are also good and not too expensive. Peanut butter is great with bagels, on whole wheat bread, etc.

  7. #7
    beforewisdom
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    Default Cheap vegan food

    Want to eat veg*n and save money?

    Someone recently told me about this interesting site:

    http://cheapvegan.cjb.net/

  8. #8
    snivelingchild's Avatar
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    Default Poor vegan, cheap living

    Any other poor vegans out there who resort to eating the worst thing when they can't afford groceries?
    Last week, before I got some grocery money, I found myself eating white bread hot dog bun dipped in barbeque sauce!!!
    I'm so ashamed...

  9. #9
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    yes i know where youre coming from. when i become really low on money i resort to eating all canned foods. (home canned, like beets and other veggies) learning how to can foods is very very good for people who are poor! my mom always taught me that.

    it doesnt matter what u eat, it matters that youre atleast EATING and not starving.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  10. #10
    John's Avatar
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    Rice and beans are affordable and probably more healthy. And how about potatoes?

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    My point was that hot dog buns and barbeque sauce was all that was left in the apartment at the time.

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    I am a poor vegan student and I know that food is really expensive - even basics. So I make the most of it, these are the foods I live off and make sure that in my cupboard I always have:
    - Oatmeal
    - Brown rice
    - Lentils
    - Split peas
    - Chickpeas
    - Wholegrain bread
    - Tahini
    - Potatoes
    - Onions
    - Garlic
    - Ginger
    - Carrots
    - Salad vegetables (Lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
    - Bananas
    - Apples
    - Oranges
    - Cheap dried fruit like sultanas or apricots or dates
    - Avocado
    - Flaxseed oil (Both avocado and flaxseed oil are not cheap, but they are VERY important addition to the vegan diet - and flaxseed oil lasts ages - I have been taking 7.5ml per day)

    I also try to keep pasta and a pasta sauce on hand, as well as a can of baked beans strictly for emergency dinners.

    Any spare money, I buy more exotic fresh and dried fruit and vegetables, other dried beans and wholewheat couscous and invest in stuff like vegan junky foods, Indian pickle, fresh hummus and specialty bread.

    I used to live off baked beans on toast, spaghetti with sauce from the jar and peanut butter sandwiches. But I was so unhealthy. It is really important, not just for vegans, who are poor, to eat maximum nutrition for the lowest price - and you cannot beat dried beans and brown rice for serving that purpose.

    You can make so much from beans that lasts a few days - I like lentils and split peas coz they cook quick, and my uni limits the amount of time I can spend in the kitchen.

    I take my lunch to uni/work every day. I make avocado and salad or tahini and salad rolls/sandwiches and pack fresh fruit and carrot sticks and sometimes dried fruit or fruit leather.

    Oatmeal for breakky is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body at a very low cost. (I pay $3 per week for my oatmeal) - stick some sliced banana and chopped dates on it and it is delicious!

    I hope I have helped.

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Wow, Banana - you must be the healthiest student in the world. Actually your store cupboard sounds pretty similar to ours so I don't feel sorry for you being hard up Wish I'd been as sensible when I was a student - I don't even like to think about what I ate in those days.

  14. #14

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    Has anyone heard of Freegans and dumpster diving?

  15. #15
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Yes. There is talk of them on a thread somewhere...many "Freegans" eat non-vegan foods if they don't have to pay for them, as some are "Ecological Vegans" who simply don't want to contribute money to the death-industries. ( They aren't actually "Vegan" in my book...)

  16. #16

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    Thanks! I found the dumpster diving link : )

    Yeah I know, but some are. I read a book called Evasion which is available on www.crimethinc.com. The guy who wrote it talks about his vegan/freegan life, travelling around America. I would never eat non vegan food just because it is free but I can in a way understand why some do, however I am sure that there is enough free vegan food out there so the so called vegans who eat non vegan food because it would end up in the ground, are just looking for an excuse to eat flesh.

    Thanks for mentioning that not all freegans are vegan as not many people know about much about it.

  17. #17
    wuggy
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    I used to live with a vegan who never bought any food - he was always round the back of Sainsburys, in the skip every night!
    I had no objections, he only nicked vegan items, but it wasn't always very frash or nutritious!!

  18. #18
    trudatman
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    I find myself poor almost always. I usually end up buying two-dollar items at the local Stop e Shop. $2: not from concentrate Canadian apple juice, natural apple sauce, Teddy peanut butter... not much of a meal, not much in the way of being nutritionally complete. It is a struggle to be poor. I am lucky to live in a relatively enlightened area; I feel for those in slums with only corner bodegas to shop at. If I set up a post office box, would rich vegans send me food money?

  19. #19

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    Sniverling Child,
    I really admire the way you stick with being a vegan, down to buns and bbq sauce. I wish you lived close by, I'd invite you over for some fresh veggies.

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    Default The Cheap Thread

    I thought it would be a good idea if we had a thread about cheap vegan living. It seems that most of us here are definately not rich, and it would be cool if we could share ideas and tips on how to save money/get by and be a tightass

    From the top of my head, things I do to be cheap are:
    - use dried beans, not canned
    - cook from scratch, enough for a couple of days
    - freeze bread and only take it as I need it, so none gets wasted
    - feed Odi leftovers and his own cooked meals made from older unused vegetables from the week, plus rice/barley etc...
    - have an idea what we are going to eat for the week and have a shopping list that we CANNOT stray from

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    Oh and I use my Coles/Myer discount card (Aussies will know this) coz I work at Coles

  22. #22
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Sprouting your own Living Foods (as long as you don't then drop them all over the floor and the sleeping dog's back, like I did yesterday!! )

  23. #23
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    What did you say when you did it PFC?

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    LOL ive dropped things on the dogs back before by accident.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  25. #25
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    Quote Roxy
    What did you say when you did it PFC?
    I said a couple of short words (each containing four letters!).
    Dog wasn't too impressed - she's not keen on Sprouted Chickpeas!

  26. #26
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    ha ha PFC

    great idea Banana, i also buy loads of dried foods such as beans, lentils, rice etc. by weight from a shop in my local market. i take along old margarine tubs, ice cream tubs, biscuit tins and so on to be filled as they charge even less if you don't need a bag for your food.

    i make my own soya milk which works out at about 8p a litre as opposed to between 65p and 1.45 in a carton i don't buy many convenience foods and cook most of my meals basically from scratch.

    i don't buy many different household cleaning products and get refills of those i do which is cheaper than buying a new bottle each time. our house has energy-saving light bulbs which cost more in the short-term but saves you money on your electric bill in the long-term.

    i am a member of the Vegetarian Society which gives me a discount (10% i think) in Holland & Barrett health food shops. i am also a member of Viva! which gives me 25% off food in the George veggie pub (any excuse to eat in there )

    i don't have a car which saves me a load of money, i buy a monthly bus ticket which gives me unlimited travel in the city, no paying for petrol, parking, MOT, insurance and all that other car stuff

    i buy a lot of clothes from second-hand shops

    i'm a complete tightwad so if i think of anything else i'll let you know
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    CunningPlans Poison Ivy's Avatar
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    I use dried pulses, grains also. I also cook in bulk and freeze stuff in individual portions ready for later use.

    Instead of buying cleaners from supermarkets I use a 50/50 mix of White Vinegar and water (yes I watch How Clean is you House? with Kim n Aggie ) its quite effective on cookers, countertops and bathrooms
    Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?
    Baldrick: Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.

  28. #28
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Ooh, yes, I use Baking Soda and Lemons to clean the house. Oh, and a hoover, of course, LOL!!!!

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    CunningPlans Poison Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote PinkFluffyCloud
    Ooh, yes, I use Baking Soda and Lemons to clean the house. Oh, and a hoover, of course, LOL!!!!
    I gave up using a hoover when I had laminate floor/ceramic tiles put in every room - I just sweep and mop everywhere everyday. My stairs are carpeted but they get swept down everyday too - found I get better results with a sweeping brush than I ever did with my Dyson - and its WAY cheaper too!!
    Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?
    Baldrick: Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    i dont really do anything to be cheap :| even tho i should. eating alot of raw food has really cut down on the grocery bill tho.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    oh! thats what i do. i make homemade bread for my sister and boyfriend and its alot cheaper. (my sister and i cant have normal bread because of celiac disease, so i make homemade rice bread. otherwise, a loaf of ricebread is 7-10$ a loaf!)
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    I'm big on the multi-use products. Love Dr. Bronners soaps for cleaning everything, hand washing, even can be used for shampoo/body wash. A huge bottle cost $8 and lasts for many months.

    I buy whatever organic produce is on sale, if it's oranges that we'll have a few pounds of oranges etc. Also buy bulk and store them in plastic storage containers. I get my vitamins from a store that offers a %15 discount with a membership card.

    I rewear clothes, just because something is worn once-doesn't make it dirty. Really!! I smell the pits and if it passes, then it gets recycled for another wear. This cuts down on my laundry. This goes with my husband and babies as well. Plus, either buy clothing or get clothing (baby clothes) hand-me-down.

    Somethings we buy in quantity to save money. We buy a case of the organic soy formula that we use since if we bought it individually, we'd pay $11.00 a container but by buying it online by the case, we pay $9 a tin. Plus, if we cut off the labels and mail in 24 to the formula company, they send us a free tin of formula.

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    Quote IlFromaggio
    I have a similar philosophy, just because i wear something 4 or 5 times does not mean it is dirty. I smell the pits from about 6 feet away and if it does not smell like a dumpster then i will wear it. If it does smell like a dumpster then i have to see if i have done the laundry. If i haven't then i am a dumpster for the day.
    Since I do have to wear these clothes to an office and interview clients, I have to be a bit more particular about the pit stink level. It can't be stinky at all for the 2nd wear. Though for weekend exercise clothes-the sky's the limit .

  34. #34
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Quote feline01
    I rewear clothes, just because something is worn once-doesn't make it dirty. Really!! I smell the pits and if it passes, then it gets recycled for another wear. This cuts down on my laundry.
    LOL feline and IlFromaggio - i thought i was the only person who did this!!! i too have to work in an office and i don't want to stink the place up so i make sure my clothes still smell ok for work, but i'm not that bothered if i'm slobbing out at home.

    i always fill the washing machine right up when i'm doing my laundry and i wash clothes on the coolest cycle possible. if i have clothes that need to be washed separately i will hand wash them in the sink. i try to get away with doing as little ironing as possible too
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    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    :| lol
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

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    I save by making Potatos a staple, you can buy 20 pounds of potatos for less than five dollars, I eat them with every meal. I also rewear clothes, I smell them and if they don't stink I wear them, if they do stink I spray them with downy wrinkle releasor and they are almost always good to go.

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    hmm...well i only purchase sweets and treats when i really want them (which of course is often enough) and i wash clothing only when necessary. i also use a drying rack for clothes instead of the machine.

  38. #38
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    Hmm, what do I do?

    I also do the clothing thing. I rarely wash my clothes. I kept on wearing them and as long as they don't stink, they are fine. I only wear them to school and come back and change into my pj's when I'm at home. It's not like I'm sweating buckets or something. And I don't use the dryer, except for my undies. I normally put my clothes on the line outside or down in the basement.

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    The thought of wearing stinky clothes is very offputting - they won't stink if they are only worn once, then rinsed out at night and hung out to dry. Some people don't even shower in the mornings, perhaps they're saving on power, but if I stand close to some of my friends who are waiting for the swim pool to open in the early morning - poooh! Do they use the swimming pool as a bath to wash off their dead skin cells? I don't like putting my face in the water sometimes. I don't have a dryer, don't need one really.
    Eve

  40. #40
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    Speaking of not buying commercial cleaners, does anyone have specific 'recipes' of what cleans what? I use a vinegar and water for glass, but I do still buy a mulit-purpose cleaner (not tested on animals, of course) for cleaning the bathroom etc. And does anyone have any good ideas for stain remover in the laundry? I haven't been able to find a commercial one that is listed on my animal friendly list, so I've just been going without

  41. #41
    I eve's Avatar
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    Aware is very good, and is vegan.
    Eve

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    Quote eve
    Some people don't even shower in the mornings, perhaps they're saving on power, but if I stand close to some of my friends who are waiting for the swim pool to open in the early morning - poooh!
    Ewww gross

    Quote eve
    Do they use the swimming pool as a bath to wash off their dead skin cells? I don't like putting my face in the water sometimes.
    I don't blame you - I hate swimming pools - always afraid of getting tinea

  43. #43
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    Quote eve
    Aware is very good, and is vegan.
    I use Aware laundry powder. Do they make a stain remover as well?

  44. #44
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Lemons are unbeatable - as stain remover, bleach, rinse aid, anti-bacterial, anti-odour, glass rinser, vegetable cleaner, the lot!!
    Also, bicarb of Soda - leave in a little hot water on cooking tins, pans, etc, to soak off the food, brilliant!!

  45. #45

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    I do most of the things you guys do and if I want a new bag or cushion cover I make it myself from scraps. Ive even used the fabric of an umbrella for the lining of a bag. I also buy most of my food from my local Asian shop which always has loads of fresh veg as well as an array of dried delights. I am so glad I live in a manly Asian area!!! The food is much cheaper than from supermarkets and it means that I'm not suporting big corporations! The shop keeper knows my face as well and he is so sweet

    I also only drink alcohol on occasions and lots of pubs will sell you a cordial for 25p and at the most 1.

    I also don't tend to go out much, normally have friends round for food or I go round theirs. Oh and of cause I don't smoke, not like I even want to though!

  46. #46
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Yes, I do not smoke or drink anymore, which saves a lot of money.
    I have now stopped buying make-up, another saving, and I don't use perfumes or regular cleaning products, a further saving which is also good for the health of myself and my household.

  47. #47
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    Quote Trendygirl
    I am so glad I live in a manly Asian area!!!
    Sounds like someone's got lucky
    I bet Yoda was a vegan

  48. #48
    Kevster
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    The occasional alcoholic beverage, drink plamil soya/white sun drink once a week for vitamins, but have water on cereal (its good honest) and never have soya in tea (pollution). Never iron, things turn out o.k if you hang them up, and generally wear t-shirts for three-four days and trousers for longer, then a gym session usually finishes off the t-shirts.... Chocolate is an occasional treat too.

    Order wholesale for stuff too, if you can get a group together, muchos cheapeness. Especially for chocolate.

  49. #49
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    Quote Banana
    - I hate swimming pools - always afraid of getting tinea
    What's tinea?

  50. #50
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Quote Kevster
    but have water on cereal (its good honest)



    whaaaaaat???
    what cereal do you have kev?

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