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Thread: Poor vegan, cheap living

  1. #151

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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    that's great!! i really need to bring a lunch everyday to work instead of spending $10 for middle eastern.

  2. #152
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    thanks eve! youre always posting great links
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  3. #153
    vegan1969
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    thnx for the great link, we're always looking for ways to save to have more money to help animals.......super

  4. #154
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    I don't know if its just me, but i have cut my grocery bill in half since we went vegan, my hubby does eat meat on occassion but its still not what it was when we were carnivores..I feed a family of four...I live in a area which is very health concious and warm , so we have farmers markets all year round that is a great savings, i go to awhole foods for specialty items and legumes and whole grains in bulk, its very cheap, i don't use many packaged meats most of our food is as whole as I can get it....All the best....
    Mother nature doesn't except excuses only man does.....

  5. #155
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    What had the most impact on the grocery bills in my household was cutting out (or almost entirely cutting out) processed, pre-packaged foods and cooking our own stuff from scratch. Whole foods are pretty cheap. The one thing that is expensive is organic fruits and vegetables, but you can often find ones that are grown organically (and locally - a bonus) at farmer's markets and they're usually pretty inexpensive.
    For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to eat any meat. -- The Buddha, Lankavatara Sutra

  6. #156

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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    I agree that eating whole foods and vegan is certainly cheaper than processed and omni products. I buy very high quality food that is much cheaper than my friends (how I feel for those children). But I know that cheap is in the eye of the beholder (I was a broke student myself for years), so thanks for that link, Eve.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

  7. #157

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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    Quote mophoto
    that's great!! i really need to bring a lunch everyday to work instead of spending $10 for middle eastern.
    Shortly after I became vegan I realised I would save a large amount of money and not have to worry about checking ingredients if I did this. I have probably saved a few hundred £££'s by now.
    see
    http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/
    for some ideas
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  8. #158
    m.t.ness's Avatar
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    Quote DianeVegan
    But I know that cheap is in the eye of the beholder (I was a broke student myself for years), so thanks for that link, Eve.
    I can identify, too! If you live in a dorm, that can make it especially difficult. It's been a while since I was in college, so I don't know what it's like now, but it was common then for dorm kids to have a 1/2 size fridge in their rooms. A lot of the meal ideas from that link (and yes, it's great) could be stored in a fridge and put together, if need be, on top of your desk! Having to eat dorm food is a challenge regardless of your diet (gag), but I think with a little planning, you could find some cheap, tasty, healthful (and vegan) alternatives. Best of luck to those who try!
    For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to eat any meat. -- The Buddha, Lankavatara Sutra

  9. #159
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    I agree that the processed foods are what up your budget and students tend to want quickness and ease at mealtimes which = processed pre prepared food.
    If you just take a bit of time you can prepare so many lovely nutritious meals for a fraction of the cost.
    I just love things like beans and veggies - I make a huge pan of it and use it for lunches and dinners.
    That vegan lunch box site was really cute I want her for my Mum lol

  10. #160
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Are there any threads on here for making your own shampoo, conditioner etc. Is this a cheaper way or doing things? Or is it cheaper to buy ready made products. I would love to make my own so I know exactly how it was made but I usually dont have money to buy the ready made ones!
    (5/05/06)

  11. #161
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I've tried to answer this myself. I hope someone else answers because so far I have no luck. Currenly the only thing I can do is use less. You would be suprised how little you can get away with.
    it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble

  12. #162

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I always dilute my shampoo and conditioner with water when it is about half empty... I don't like buying it, either, it is soooo expensive.

  13. #163
    Oklahoma!!! Klutz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    No 'poo tends to be a cheaper (and healthier) way of doing it. http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174...age=4#comments

  14. #164
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Quote Klutz
    No 'poo tends to be a cheaper (and healthier) way of doing it. http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174...age=4#comments
    Thanks. Ive been looking for something like that. Plus it does look cheaper!

    All the shampoo recipes ive found are either not vegan or contain so many things like sodium lauryl sulfate. I mean whats the point of making homemade shampoo if you gunna stick all the bad stuff in from bought shampoo
    (5/05/06)

  15. #165

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I'm so loving this thread! I wil lnever be anything or other than poverty stircken ( I work for the NHS). I was very naughty today though - I spent £50 in the supermarket eeeeeeek! and stuff to make me feel better about my clinical exams next week like fresh lemongrass hmmmm. I will have to try to make that last at least three weeks to feel justified. I always get a bit overexcited near vegetables and just keep filling my basket. *slaps wrists*

    I find I make big portions and then freeze leftovers so I have a 'readymeal' for those days when I finish work at 9pm and can't be bothered to cook. It means I can buy some things in bulk with makes them slightly cheaper.

    And any veggies that are loooking a bit tired get whisked into soup with cheap dried pulses or barley (always in my larder!).

    Likewise any fruit looking past its best can be whacked in the blender for a lovely smoothie or stewed up and eaten as puree.

    I always used to buy dried beans and pulses so that I have a ready stock of them and because I thought it might be better for the environment. But presoaking overnight and boiling for an hour no longer suits my lifestyle and the boiling probably uses as much energy as a tin can. *confused*

  16. #166

    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Quote Agatha
    I always get a bit overexcited near vegetables and just keep filling my basket.
    Hehe me too, i go shopping with my boyfriend and my shopping trolley just gets filled with veggies/fruits and it always cost so much more than Rob's who just fills his with meat filled convinence foods *blergh* I get so excited in the vegetable isle! lol
    "We ourselves may be loved only for a brief time...Even so, that will suffice...There is a land for the living and there is a land for the dead"

  17. #167

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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    thanks for the great links

  18. #168
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    For students--We're forced to live in the dorms all four years of college and I'm staying there this summer too. I've found that an investment in an electric skillet was my saving grace It's so easy to make cheap stir-fries! I make curries in in all the time too, and yesterday I made mango sticky rice in it. It's a genius invention, really!

  19. #169
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    Yes, I lived in a dorm and snuck in an electric burner ring (it was good for using a pan for grilled things, etc. but took A LONG TIME to boil water - so I used a hot pot for that and heating soups, pasta, etc.) and I also had a toaster oven and a regular toaster. I felt I could make just about anything with these things!

    I was lucky enough to have a larger sized fridge with a seperate freezer compartment for frozen Amy's dinners.

    I did cook a lot though, allthough a lot of fresh stuff too - salads, sandwiches, guacamole, etc.

    Ricer cookers are allowed in some dorms and you can cook quite a lot in those...I had some friends with breadmakers too.

    Our dorm had a shared kitchen, but I cooked a pizza in that oven once and it tasted like dirt! The oven was sooo dirty, I ran the self clean thing a bunch of times but it was still gross. It was also hard to carry your food back upstairs to your room, but I suppose if I was more social I could have stayed down there and eaten. I prefered to stick to myself!

  20. #170
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    Default Re: eating cheaply

    Here's another good site http://www.frugal.org.uk/recipes.html

  21. #171
    Cptain
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    Default Cheap Foods

    Ive been veg for 3 years now, vegan for 2 of those years. I dont eat right at all partially do to the inconvience of making elaborate meals found in lots of those vegan cookbooks and mostly because alot of those yuppy-type 'soya insant health food center' vegan foods are beyond my means.

    Im just wondering what kinds of vitamin rich *cheap* foods are out there, perferably ones that can be commonly found at Acme or other local groceries.

    Tofu is all good and dandy, but im lucky to have soy sauce and the only way i know to prepare it is stir fry.


    Any advice is much appreciated.


    -cheers-

  22. #172
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    Beans are cheap and very good for you. There are all kinds of beans to suit your taste; black beans are of course the best source of phytochemicals due to their rich pigment. You can do all kinds of simple, easy things with them, and if you buy them dry, and soak them for 12 to 24 hours before you cook them, they won't give you gas (at least, they don't give me gas when I cook my own). Greens are important too, and easy to add to your diet. These are two of the best inexpensive vegan foods to add to your diet every day. Since you are in the US, see if you have a Trader Joe's nearby. They have lots of vegan foods way cheaper than other places, like soy and nutmilks, and their prices on organic fruits and veggies are very reasonable.

  23. #173
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    This is a good site http://www.frugal.org.uk/food.html I know its for the UK but the ideas still apply and the recipes are pretty basic.

  24. #174
    mangababe rianaelf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    hi Cptain and welcome
    Alfalfa is full of vitamins and minerals. You can eat the leaves and sprout the seeds and it doesn't cost much. Kelp has lots of B vitamins in it and can be bought as powder or in tablet form and is usually really cheap.
    You can sprout lots of other things as well - lentils/mungbeans/sunflower seeds/chickpeas etc. and they are delicious and full of goodness and really cheap again cos you only need to sprout a small amount and rinse them with water twice a day and soon you will have lots of yummy salad stuff!

  25. #175
    sugarmouse
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    I was going to say beans aswell! they work out very cheap if you buy them dried,then you can use them for salads,casseroles..anythin you want
    I know quinoa isnt so cheap but itlasts so long and a little bit goes so far..

  26. #176

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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    Hi Cptain,
    note also that all vegan cookbooks are not the same! Rose Elliot, for example, is a great British vegetarian cookery writer and she uses very simple ingredients that you can find anywhere. Or Sarah Kramer's books - How it all Vegan or The Garden of Vegan. Or try looking for recipes online - Vegweb and Allrecipes are good sources. Good luck!

  27. #177
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    What Vegan food isnt cheap?

    My advice would be: Get yourself a cheap vegetable steamer; it is the best purchase you will ever make. Then buy lots of fresh veg, carrots, peas, potatoes, you know the score. They are all pretty cheap and all very nutritious.

    Ah beans. You can never get enough beans! There are soooo many types! Dried are best as they are cheapest and go a long way. If you dont fancy soaking them for so long then even the precooked tinned ones are cheap.

    I also wouldnt reccomend eating too much soya/TVP/ready made sausages etc as they can be both expensive and unhealthy.

  28. #178
    paulvegan
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    grow your own fruit and veg.(well some of it.at least)

    hanging baskets on walls etc.

    try buying seeds and pulses in bulk, whole sale.

  29. #179
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    I second (third) the sprouting suggestion. You can also sprout almonds - I know they're expensive but soaking them for 24 hours swells them up so you need less, and makes the nutrients easier to digest. And they're taaasty

    You could think about getting an allotment and growing your own vegetables if you don't have a garden. You can also grow herbs on your windowsills - stuff like parsley is easy to grow and full of vitamins.

  30. #180
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    Default Re: Cheap Foods

    Tis is probably a bit lo-fi, but I take all the veg I can find- canned, frozen or fresh and stir them up in a big pan, add half a jar of sauce (someone's normally doing a two for one deal), a little water and serve over rice. pretty easy to cook, always tastes different and it only costs as much as I put in. hth

  31. #181
    =^.^= Melanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    A quick note on homemade cleaning products; Use a diluted tea solution on a cloth to clean windows/mirrors/glass. Put on with the cloth and buff off with a dry cloth.

    Edit; Damn just noticed that this is an OLD topic, hope that's okay...

  32. #182
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    noticed that this is an OLD topic, hope that's okay...
    Sure.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  33. #183
    =^.^= Melanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Quote Korn View Post
    Sure.
    Phew ^-^
    Thanks
    ~xx

  34. #184
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Thought I'd share this website. I use it a lot and every recipe I've created has been inexpensive, tasty and healthy too!
    http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html
    The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

  35. #185
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    what an interesting and useful site, thanks focus.

    i may have posted this elsewhere before but heres a christmas idea for those interested.

    if you send christmas cards, either:
    a) cards that you have received from the previous year, just cross out your name and who is was from and re-send it on to someone else the next year with a little note about your new policy of reusing and recycling (you can even just slit open the envelopes and reuse those too)

    or

    b) cut the back part of the card off so you are just left with the front picture peice. then write your christmas message on the back of that and send it as your card, again with the reuse and recycle message (using the same envelope)

    for christmas labels for gifts;

    cut out last years cards into label sized pieces and use on your gifts.

    i make gift labels, punch a hole in them and put a bit of ribbon through, then i put them into bundles of 10 and sell them to friends and pass the proceeds onto a charity.

  36. #186

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    It's years since I bought an envelope. I buy re-use labels and stick them on the envelopes which come through the door. I even stick them on the addressed envelopes which come with begging letters from charities. Or I use sellotape and a peice of scrap paper and make my own. Sellotape is vegan, I am not sure about the cheaper substitutes but a large roll of sellotape goes a long way.
    As for food, I am in a small local co-op which buys directly from Suma, a veggie wholesaler. We save on the shop mark up price in retun for a little work with the food co-op a few times a year, sorting the goods and other admin work. I also buy from a Pakistani food shop where spices and pulses and other veggie goodies are much cheaper than supermarkets.
    On another economising note, I was recently introduced to the thermostat on my hot water tank. It had been set 20 degrees hotter than it needed to be, for the past 10 years, so I have saved a lot already on my gas bill since turning it down!
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  37. #187
    =^.^= Melanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    20 degrees hotter! That's rather a lot, isn't it?
    I made a really nice soup tonight, consisting of some lentils, other pulses and some leftover veg. (You know the stuff, it sits there for ages, looking sorry for itself... sorry... i'm personifying the veg again...)
    I wager it cost about 30p or something to make, AND it's yummy.
    I even had enough to freeze some.
    -Looks suitably pleased with herself-
    ~xx

  38. #188
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    i realised when i was going veggie that it was a hell of a lot cheaper to buy things like lentils and other 'ethnic' foods from shops where the ethnicity to which they are a traditional food also shop. fortunately for me, i live in london, so this is not hard to do. when i lived in waterloo, there was a thai supermarket near me that i used to buy massive bags of rice from that would last me forever and also things like tofu and vegetables. the big supermarkets put such a markup on things like that.

    also, i've noticed in the few occasions that i have stepped into tescos in the past that they have 'ethnic' sections in a lot of their supermarkets where the same products, but different brands, are cheaper. even things like peanut butter, which counts in the 'african' section.

    on top of this, it is always cheaper (if you're in the supermarket) to buy nuts and raisins etc from teh baking section, rather than the 'wholefoods, look we're so on-trend yuppie' section.

    as an impoverished student, i sympathise!

    amanda

  39. #189
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    buying produce that is in season, buying from bulk, and only buying everything else that is on sale.

    we never buy anything that isnt on sale usually.

    and trying to focus on whole foods, because theyre so much cheaper.

    i also notice that tofu is much cheaper than meats, and i can pretty much make anything out of tofu, so its definitely a staple.

    thats how i eat cheap.

    i also make my own all purpose cleaner, and stretch out any food i have. like if ive got old veggies, i make soup with them. etc. i try to not throw out any leftovers. they can always be thrown into something.
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  40. #190
    Namaste Ginger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    This is a really good thread
    Just got our gas and electric bills and really need to make some savings somewhere . I was surprised how high they were cos I'm always running round turning stuff off and don't have heating on unless we've got jumpers on and it's still cold (I'm a mean mummy ).
    I cook regularly for 5 or 6 people who come and go at different times which is awkward so I recently bought a slow cooker but then thats switched on for hours and hours so I feel I can't win sometimes...
    here comes the sun

  41. #191

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    My weekly shop doesn't cost much at all especially as I can't tolerate any processed food so my diet has to be simple. I can't eat fruit at the moment either so I only buy fruit for my 5 year old. I always have dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, chopped tomatoes, creamed coconut and a variety of flours and grains in the cupboard so I can knock something together at any time. All I buy weekly is:

    Soya milk
    Rice milk
    Vegetables and potatoes (which I get delivered in a box from a farm)
    chopped tomatoes
    hummus
    porridge if run out
    brown rice (usually needs a weekly buy!)
    Pasta (as above!)
    tofu
    rice cakes
    rye crackers

    A lot of my budget goes on extras for my son such as bread, soya cheese, strawberry and chocolate soya milk, soya deserts etc. Even that really doesn't cost awful lot as we eat pretty much the same meals, just that he has a desert and I don't

    Using dried beans, peas and lentils really keeps it cheap. The downside is obviously the time and hassle it takes to cook them so tinned is better if you need to cook something quickly, but I don't work and make all my meals from scratch, and it's nice and cheap!

    I spend a bit more on toiletries as I have allergies to a lot of chemicals. I usually buy my supplies online and get natural shampoo and condtioner. Like other people said, I tend to water it down as it gets low!

  42. #192
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    We get veg and fruit delivered too, but this week there was no fruit (they'd run out apparently).

    I need to go out and buy some but there's very little in season at the moment - if I limit it to stuff that's both local and organic I think it's pears, and that's it (and I already have some pears!).

    What do other people do about fruit in winter?

    Edited to add - sorry, perhaps I've posted in the wrong thread, but Stezzy's post made me think of it.

  43. #193

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Quote Ginger View Post
    This is a really good thread
    Just got our gas and electric bills and really need to make some savings somewhere . I was surprised how high they were cos I'm always running round turning stuff off and don't have heating on unless we've got jumpers on and it's still cold (I'm a mean mummy ).
    I cook regularly for 5 or 6 people who come and go at different times which is awkward so I recently bought a slow cooker but then thats switched on for hours and hours so I feel I can't win sometimes...
    Do you have gas central heating with a hot water tank? If so try turning down the thermostat on the hot water storage tank, this reduces the temperature of the water coming out of the hot tap, I did this and I saved a lot on my bills. Also the TV, kettle and computer use a lot of power. Just boil water as much as you need. Don't leave the TV and computer on standby.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  44. #194

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    oh! also, if you live in a place where there are outdoor food markets, sometimes going afterwards gets you free food that otherwise would've been discarded. we got a huge thing of pears and cabbage last time

  45. #195
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    Quote Gorilla View Post
    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
    Wow! I thot I was the Vegan Queen of economizing . Please can you tell me more about the 8p trick? I buy my food wholesale so I cud get my soya beans super cheaply.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

  46. #196
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    i don't actually use my soya milk maker any more - it was a lot of hassle and i couldn't get the milk to taste very nice.

  47. #197
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I've found out recently that a bag of brown rice is 89 cents. Awesome! And it lasts me forever too, because there are so many servings in a bag. I usually makea serving of the rice and add some steamed cauliflower or brocolli and sometimes veggie "beef" crumble or chickpeas.
    I eat nutritional yeast by the spoonful.

  48. #198
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I have been going through my finances recently and am horrified by how much I have been spending on food since I became vegan. I think its because I have been buying mostly organic and from Waitrose which is really expensive.

    I have found this thread useful, I am going to start buying in bulk the stuff I use all the time, like soap, rice, crisps etc.

    I don't know if I'm allowed to say this but there is a website (in UK) called Money Saving Expert that tells you how to save money by transferring credit card balances or switching suppliers or whatever.

    This sounds really anal but I have started writing down everything I spend daily on a notepad which lets me see just where my money is going.

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    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I don't think it is anal - My husband and I have just had to look at our finances. Between us, we make ok money and for some reason, we never have any! We are about to start building a house so we are about to have a big mortgage. We have set up a budget where we each get an allowance for eating out/entertainment/extras, an amount per month for food/groceries and the rest will go to our costs of living and mortgage - so we too will be monotoring every cent we spend. We just keep blowing our money on crap.

  50. #200
    cobweb
    Guest

    Default Re: Poor vegan, cheap living

    I have been spending far too much on food and specialist Vegan products (e.g haircare, etc) . Over 50% of the family budget was going on food! . So I have to start shopping in Lidl again. The stuff is fine but it bothers me greatly that it's not organic - I'll just have to wash it all thoroughly and keep my fingers crossed, and grow what I can myself (which isn't much right now ).

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