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Old 09-04-2018, 06:23 PM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,809,321 times
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Yep...lots of (dried) beans and rice!

Certain veggies and fruits are almost always cheap, like onions, celery, carrots, potatoes and bananas. Jalapenos are super cheap and add some spice and flavor to your foods!

Most brands of peanut butter are vegan-friendly, are tasty and packed with protein. It keeps well, so you can buy a big jar. Great with celery or apples for snacks.

Buy seasonal produce, and always look for produce that's on sale!

Most corn and many flour tortillas are vegan-friendly, are cheap and are great for making wraps that are filled with your favorite veggies.

Stir-fry is fast and easy, and you can use up just about any type of veggie that needs to be used up.

If you're single, be careful about buying too much produce at one time or buying overly ripe produce just because it's cheap. It's just my husband and I, and we have found that buying canned and frozen fruits and veggies is sometimes better for us because we have thrown a LOT of produce away in the past...there's only so much one or two people can (or should) eat, no matter how good the deal might be. So, I'd either buy daily/every few days what you will use up quickly, or incorporate some frozen and canned veggies into your diet, too.

Also...it's awfully warm right now (here, anyway), but when it's cooler, you can make up bigger batches of soups or chili. This is a good way to use up some of that produce that needs to be used up, too. Then, keep some in the refrigerator to eat on for a few days, and stash some in single-sized portions in the freezer for later. Saves money AND time.

Last edited by lkmax; 09-04-2018 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,144 posts, read 7,089,742 times
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Look up “Jeff Novick fast food” on YouTube. He talks a lot about how to be vegan cheaply. If you’re not committed to buying only organic food, yes, I think you could come darn close to $120/ month. Depends a lot on where you do your grocery shopping. As others have noted, it might not be the most entertaining diet, but grain, beans, rice, and greens is a better quality diet than many Americans eat, regardless of how much money they’re spending.

Another good source is George Mateljan’s The World’s Healthiest Foods. Exhaustive website.

They’ll both drive you a little crazy with their speaking styles, but the info is good.

Food stamp benefits allow about $4/day for an adult. So although not exclusively vegan, there are many resources out there on how to eat on a food stamp budget. Here’s a good one - www.leannebrown.com. She offers a free download of her cookbook.

Last edited by jacqueg; 09-04-2018 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Texas
6,413 posts, read 2,340,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iShine86 View Post
I'm trying to become vegan on a budget. Is it possible to be a vegan on a $120 a month budget?
As long as you avoid Whole Foods Market.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,702 posts, read 20,456,636 times
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Piece of cake. Tonight I made a huge pot of split pea soup. Ingredients: chopped fresh onions I bought on sale, chopped carrots i got for free at the senior food bank, canned celery from celery I got for free from the senior food bank, and some spices and water. I can food, so I will can this up. Cost me next to nothing per serving.

My breakfasts usually consist of homemade tortillas - super cheap - just need masa flour and water. And beans/rice/veggie mixture, which is also mostly free from ingredients from the senior food bank. But, regardless, these ingredients are cheap.

Basically, make beans or rice or tortillas or whole grain anything - your base meal. Then, add some veggies to that. I mostly use frozen veggies. Easy, and really cheap, and really satisfying and yummy.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:19 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,998 posts, read 25,737,156 times
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You can do it if you have to, but it is going to be boring. The base of the diet can be cheap, especially if purchased in bulk: beans, rice, legumes. But nice vegetables and fruit are expensive. Nuts and seeds are expensive.

You won't be able to buy many of the prepared vegan foods.

If you are a good cook, you can bake your own bread, which brings artesian bread down to low cost, and that will help. You can have lots of variety in interesting breads.

Search through foreign cuisine recipes. There are lots of tasty vegan recipes in Indian cooking. There are some vegan friendly recipes in Mexican cuisine. Asian is possible if you limit yourself to less expensive vegetables.

Last edited by oregonwoodsmoke; 09-05-2018 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,702 posts, read 20,456,636 times
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I completely disagree that a vegan diet is boring.

Today, I had a homemade black bean soup for breakfast that was delicious and also really cheap to make. I make large batches of soup and can it. So, open a jar, pour into bowl, stick in microwave - enjoy.

For lunch, I went out for a picnic with friends, and we were all bringing our own lunches. Mine was made with whole wheat wraps, which I bought at Sprouts, and the filling was avocado and tomatoes and salad greens and salt. Delicious, low calorie, easy and healthy.

For dinner, I had whole wheat pasta and a tomato based pasta sauce.

For snacks, I had homemade hummus and Wasa whole wheat crackers.

This type of diet is super healthy, super cheap and in my opinion, not boring whatsoever.

Oh, and I also went to an Italian coffee shop with an Italian friend today and had an espresso with raw sugar.

This lifestyle is not boring. And if once in a while you blow it, it's not a huge deal. But, it's not hard to live within your budget and be healthy - and not be bored. In my experience.

Of course, you have to define "boring." If boring means cheese and meat and oil and rare veggies - then sure, it can be expensive.

But, even if you use oil (which I very rarely use), you can buy a nice jar of virgin olive oil for pretty cheap that will last you for months. Chop up a bunch of onions, throw in some garlic, chop up some tomatoes or use canned tomatoes, you can even buy fresh basil (although basil is also really easy to grow under grow lights, like me indoors), etc.

I also like Chinese won ton soup. Easy and cheap. Start with water, add soy sauce, add powdered ginger (if you don't have fresh), maybe some powdered curry spice, chop up some Chinese cabbage (baby bok choy is best), or just some frozen veggies, throw in some frozen pot stickers or won tons, add some fresh green onions, if you have some - voila! excellent soup for pennies.

There are lots of ethnic recipes that are really cheap to make. It just requires some research.

I am actually really happy to eat a pretty simple diet. Salad, homemade soup, crackers, hummus, etc. I don't feel deprived. So, it's really just a mindset. You can either decide it's too hard to do - or - you can decide you're going to do it no matter what - and work within those parameters to find ways to enjoy living within a budget.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:28 PM
 
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You could do this to survive; however, you'll end up with cravings that will rule your life.

The cravings will so distract you that your life will be a misery.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
You could do this to survive; however, you'll end up with cravings that will rule your life.

The cravings will so distract you that your life will be a misery.
See, I completely disagree with this, too. I'm actually really happy with my vegan diet. I no longer crave fatty food. In fact the idea makes me nauseous. I've been at potlucks where I've tried a little of this and that that is not vegan, and it's usually really heavy and fatty, which makes me kind of grossed out.

Kind of like, if you've been eating really healthy food, and then all of a sudden you eat a bunch of fried food. You'll probably feel a little bit sick.

So, maybe you, personally, would end up with cravings that would rule your life, but I'm telling you quite honestly, that that is not my reality eating a vegan diet.

I bought a vegan pizza once, that was made with fake cheese and veggies. It was delicious. But, I ended up with horrible gas and diarrhea. Cured me of even eating fake cheese.

I really don't miss animal fat. Or oil. I'm sure that's difficult for some people to believe, but I'm basically a food addict and I've been doing this for over a year - and I'm fine, and really happy with what I can eat.

You just get up each day and choose vegan options. And there are a ton of options out there that are delicious.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:58 PM
 
6,696 posts, read 2,608,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
See, I completely disagree with this, too. I'm actually really happy with my vegan diet. I no longer crave fatty food. In fact the idea makes me nauseous. I've been at potlucks where I've tried a little of this and that that is not vegan, and it's usually really heavy and fatty, which makes me kind of grossed out.

Kind of like, if you've been eating really healthy food, and then all of a sudden you eat a bunch of fried food. You'll probably feel a little bit sick.

So, maybe you, personally, would end up with cravings that would rule your life, but I'm telling you quite honestly, that that is not my reality eating a vegan diet.

I bought a vegan pizza once, that was made with fake cheese and veggies. It was delicious. But, I ended up with horrible gas and diarrhea. Cured me of even eating fake cheese.

I really don't miss animal fat. Or oil. I'm sure that's difficult for some people to believe, but I'm basically a food addict and I've been doing this for over a year - and I'm fine, and really happy with what I can eat.

You just get up each day and choose vegan options. And there are a ton of options out there that are delicious.
As so often happens on internet forums, you've completely misunderstood/misconstructed my post.

I'm not talking about fatty food. I'm not talking about fake processed cheese.

I'm talking about expensive fresh fruits and veggies, and lean red meat and quality fish. A truly healthy diet that does cost more than 3.5 dollars a day in the US.

I am a real advocate for cheap healthy food; however, if you are an adult and you have choices in the US, 3 bucks a day isn't going to cut it for the very long term - years and years of that diet.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,702 posts, read 20,456,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
As so often happens on internet forums, you've completely misunderstood/misconstructed my post.

I'm not talking about fatty food. I'm not talking about fake processed cheese.

I'm talking about expensive fresh fruits and veggies, and lean red meat and quality fish. A truly healthy diet that does cost more than 3.5 dollars a day in the US.

I am a real advocate for cheap healthy food; however, if you are an adult and you have choices in the US, 3 bucks a day isn't going to cut it for the very long term - years and years of that diet.
Again, you're missing my point. I don't eat meat of any kind, including fish. And you don't have to buy expensive fresh fruits and veggies. And my diet is truly healthy.

Today, black bean soup made with some carrots, celery and onions; whole wheat wrap bought from Sprouts with avocado and tomatoes and salad greens; hummus made from just a can of garbanzo beans and some spices, blended and eaten with Wasa whole grain crackers, Cabernet red wine bought from Sprouts at about $3.50 per bottle.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing the food for 5 people at a get-together. I am bringing homemade split pea soup I made with onions, garlic, potatoes, celery, split peas and spices - a huge pot of soup that might have cost me around $3.00; salad made from salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes; and fresh french bread at Safeway for around $1.00 per loaf. So, I'll be feeding 5 people for around $8.00, and there will probably be leftovers.

If you don't buy dairy or meat products, you can save a bundle. And, you don't have to buy expensive produce. You can get great frozen stir fry veggies at Costco, for instance, for really cheap.

And, beans and rice and legumes are super cheap. Make soup out of lentils or beans. I have learned to make my own tortillas for pennies, and I fill them with a cheap, but delicious taco mix made of beans, rice and veggies like peppers and squash and spinach.

Maybe you need to justify your own grocery spending, but I can eat really well for really cheap and not feel deprived in the least. My monthly grocery budget is $162 and that includes buying meat for my dog. And we both eat really well.
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