Thursday, July 5, 2012
Isn't it Expensive to be a Plant Strong Vegan?
That's the number one question I get, almost every day! But I've got five quick and easy steps for you to save money, especially when you are a plant-strong vegan. I make this distinction, because, let's face it, Oreos are vegan, but I wouldn't eat one just because they are vegan. They are highly processed, full of sugar and fat, and are not nutrient dense at all. I buy no processed foods, faux meats, etc. I will confess that I ate a vegan "hot dog" last month at an event at the ball park (I wanted to fit in), and I was sick for a few days. Not my thing (anymore).
How to $ave Moolah and Eat Like a Queen
1. Subscribe to grocery store websites and social media outlets. They will post sales that might not appear in the weekly or monthly sales flier. Take note of items that you use. Stock up, if they are shelf stable.
2. Look for case discounts. Stores like Wegman's and Whole Foods Market offer case discounts. If you think you do not have the storage space for all that food (generally 12 jars or cans), split it with a friend. You'll save $$$ and have enough shelf space.
3. Plan a menu. Believe it or not, this is a great tool to use. I plan my menu for a week, then draw my shopping list from what foods we will be eating. Keeps me focused and compliant, so that I stay within my food budget. My meals are all related to one another--rice, beans, whole wheat pasta, red sauce. They become interchangeable and are very versatile.
4. Produce is the focal point of all my meals, If you buy cheap produce, well, it is like they say, "You get what you pay for." Hands down, Whole Foods Market has the best produce. It is fairly priced, and the organic integrity of all produce is highly maintained. I also love going to farmers' markets, because I love supporting all that is local. Shout out to the pan-Asian grocer, H-Mart...nice produce, clean store. But the smells from the funky looking fish department make me feel like I need a re-breather mask from the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Produce is something I shop for several times a week, and I try my best for it to be seasonal, local, and organic.
5. Lastly, hit bulk departments so that you can get exactly the amount that you need. Bulk departments are much more than rice and beans, and in many stores, you can get honey, soy sauce, brown rice syrup, and more. These foods stay fresher, and you get exactly what you need. No big, oversized bags staring me in the face.
So, these easy steps should point you in the right direction. Stay away from those processed foods (sausages, roasts, burgers, "wings,") and not only will you save moolah...but, you will feel better not eating those processed foods that make you think you are doing the right thing. The evil trifecta of fat, sugar and salt is NOT your friend.
Tell me a way that you save money in your plant strong vegan way of living...
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