Where to start???? help!!!

Dee1988

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I've been veggie for just over a year. Lactose intolerant so dairy I've been off since I was little... I have crohns disease which pushed me to try going veggie to see if flare ups would lessen, which they did. I'm going vegan for veganuary and hoping to make it a life long thing.... the only problem is all the vegan replacements are quite expensive. Is it really possible to do this on a low income?
 

hopeful

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It is definitely possible. I don't have a ton of money either. I tend to use a lot of beans and rice in cooking, whole wheat pastas (which can be less than $1 a box sometimes), and other ingredients that don't cost a lot. I do drink soy milk, which is a little bit pricy, but I don't get a ton of pricy stuff, so it seems worth it. I think keeping things simple helps, and shopping in season. For instance, where I am now, oranges/citrus is in season, so I get more of that than of apples, for instance. Then in the fall, I get more apples than citrus. A lot of pre-made vegan food can be expensive, but it's probably healthier to make your own food anyway. Last night, I had brown rice, frozen broccoli (cooked from frozen), and a peanut sauce. The whole thing probably cost about $1.50 (US dollars) for my portion, maybe less. Frozen veggies and fruits can be cheaper than fresh and won't go bad as quickly.

Good luck!
 
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Dee1988

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It is definitely possible. I don't have a ton of money either. I tend to use a lot of beans and rice in cooking, whole wheat pastas (which can be less than $1 a box sometimes), and other ingredients that don't cost a lot. I do drink soy milk, which is a little bit pricy, but I don't get a ton of pricy stuff, so it seems worth it. I think keeping things simple helps, and shopping in season. For instance, where I am now, oranges/citrus is in season, so I get more of that than of apples, for instance. Then in the fall, I get more apples than citrus. A lot of pre-made vegan food can be expensive, but it's probably healthier to make your own food anyway. Last night, I had brown rice, frozen broccoli (cooked from frozen), and a peanut sauce. The whole thing probably cost about $1.50 (US dollars) for my portion, maybe less. Frozen veggies and fruits can be cheaper than fresh and won't go bad as quickly.

Good luck!
Oh thank you.
I will definitely look out for more in season fruit and veg!
 
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Emma JC

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Hopeful is exactly right, it does not have to be more expensive, in fact, if you are eating mostly whole foods then it should be significantly less expensive. Beans and lentils and chick peas and veggies and fruits and whole grain pastas and rice and lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes! Greens in the form of kale and brussels sprouts etc. Also, consider buying frozen fruits and vegetables as they don't spoil and often have more nutrients as they are frozen as the source and then transported. Not all fruits or vegetables, of course, but things like berries and broccoli and cauliflower and brussel sprouts and beans.

Sometimes, just for fun, I add up the cost of a meal and for two of us it is usually around $3 - $5 each and that is a dinner, not a breakfast or lunch. When we have a Gardein 'main' then it does cost more and we do that only rarely, max once per week when it isn't the holidays. I am going to make a lentil loaf either today or tomorrow and it is very much like a meatloaf except that it is so healthy and one loaf could last a single person 2 or 3 days.

All the best with your journey to veganism. One more quick thought, my step daughter has Crohns and going plant-based definitely helped and yet she still has to be careful with the higher fibre items so maybe consider cooking all your vegetables and researching to make sure that things like cabbage etc won't be tough for you to digest.

Emma JC
 
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Dee1988

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Hopeful is exactly right, it does not have to be more expensive, in fact, if you are eating mostly whole foods then it should be significantly less expensive. Beans and lentils and chick peas and veggies and fruits and whole grain pastas and rice and lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes! Greens in the form of kale and brussels sprouts etc. Also, consider buying frozen fruits and vegetables as they don't spoil and often have more nutrients as they are frozen as the source and then transported. Not all fruits or vegetables, of course, but things like berries and broccoli and cauliflower and brussel sprouts and beans.

Sometimes, just for fun, I add up the cost of a meal and for two of us it is usually around $3 - $5 each and that is a dinner, not a breakfast or lunch. When we have a Gardein 'main' then it does cost more and we do that only rarely, max once per week when it isn't the holidays. I am going to make a lentil loaf either today or tomorrow and it is very much like a meatloaf except that it is so healthy and one loaf could last a single person 2 or 3 days.

All the best with your journey to veganism. One more quick thought, my step daughter has Crohns and going plant-based definitely helped and yet she still has to be careful with the higher fibre items so maybe consider cooking all your vegetables and researching to make sure that things like cabbage etc won't be tough for you to digest.

Emma JC
Thank you,
I need to have a look at some cheap vegan recipes.
I do cook most vegetables, I like raw carrot sticks but most veg I do cook. Cabbage I don't have very often anyway.
I'm really looking forward to the road ahead, little worried I'll slip up as I do like creamy sauces with my pasta.
 
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Lou

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Is it really possible to do this on a low income?
Absolutely. Eating vegan is usually cheaper than eating the typical Amerian diet. But coming off a vegetarian diet you might be looking at spending more on some of the prepared foods. For instance, Vegan Mac and Cheese is way more expensive than Kraft's. But you shouldn't be in for any big surprises.

First off let me suggest you do a little googling. Keywords: Vegan, budget, cheap. The first 20 hits are all excellent places to start. Just pick one. Some of the articles are more like strategies (bulk food aisles, farmer's markets, batch cooking). and some are more like meal plans and recipes.

You will also see some YouTubes mixed in there. Almost every vegan Vlogger has an episode on cheap eating. They even had a bit of an internal challenge with budgets. Like a week of meals for $20 or $30 dollars. One of my favorites is the Cheap Lazy Vegan. Her whole channel is low priced and easy. (For some reason I want to call her the Cheap Easy Vegan - that sort of has a bad connotation tho. )

There are even some books on the matter. The one I can name off hand is PETA's College Handbook. I've seen it used for as little as $2.

As far as specifics go....
The more food you can make from scratch the better. If you need an appliance check the GoodWill Store first. or garage sales. But things like blenders, crock pots, food processors, pressure cookers, and woks, are going to make your life easier. but you don't have to get them all right away. Check with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. Lots of people have extra appliances they don't use in their cupboards.

The bulk food aisle is your friend. Get to know it. Not only are the prices low, the lack of packaging makes it a good environmental price. Plus you buy just what you need. You can get the same price per pound on one pound of rice - without buying the 50 pound bag. I get all my beans, rice, and oats in that aisle.

Now that it's winter and the farmer's markets are closed you will get most of your best prices on canned and frozen goods. Although you can sometimes spot a good deal on something imported. I think it was just last month that grapes from Mexico were really inexpensive. For canned foods - don't ever spend more than a buck. My local Dollar store, where everything is a dollar, sells canned foods for 79¢. The big super markets usually have at least one 10 for $10 promotion.

Tofu, plant milks, fresh green veggies, and dried fruit are about the most expensive things you should be buying. Although it might be nice for a change of pace or the convenience try to steer away from processed vegan foods (like patties, sausages etc).

I'm not sure i believe it but I read that a serving of beans and rice is about 10¢. I make a big batch of Cuban black beans and spit it up in one cup portions, and freeze it. CBB and rice is sort of a staple over here. But there are dozens of ways to make beans and rice. Same with oatmeal.
 

Emma JC

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There are good healthy creamy sauces that you can make for your pasta that are healthy and inexpensive. There are creamy cheesy sauces that have no more than onion, red pepper, potato and nutritional yeast. There are amazing cashew sauces and hemp seed based sauces. If you have time take a look at "Well Your World" youtube channel as he cooks with only the most basic items, much of the time, and yet is all delicious. He also has a Facebook group if you are into that.

Whenever I have a craving for something I google it and add 'vegan' at the end. Then I look at 4 or 5 different recipes and pull out the items I like (or have) and make my own version. I make my own oil free pesto and free it in ice cube trays in the freezer and then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. I make the cheezy sauce and put it on penne or scoobi doo pasta etc.

Take the creamy sauce that you make and just substitute where needed.

Emma JC
 
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Dee1988

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Absolutely. Eating vegan is usually cheaper than eating the typical Amerian diet. But coming off a vegetarian diet you might be looking at spending more on some of the prepared foods. For instance, Vegan Mac and Cheese is way more expensive than Kraft's. But you shouldn't be in for any big surprises.

First off let me suggest you do a little googling. Keywords: Vegan, budget, cheap. The first 20 hits are all excellent places to start. Just pick one. Some of the articles are more like strategies (bulk food aisles, farmer's markets, batch cooking). and some are more like meal plans and recipes.

You will also see some YouTubes mixed in there. Almost every vegan Vlogger has an episode on cheap eating. They even had a bit of an internal challenge with budgets. Like a week of meals for $20 or $30 dollars. One of my favorites is the Cheap Lazy Vegan. Her whole channel is low priced and easy. (For some reason I want to call her the Cheap Easy Vegan - that sort of has a bad connotation tho. )

There are even some books on the matter. The one I can name off hand is PETA's College Handbook. I've seen it used for as little as $2.

As far as specifics go....
The more food you can make from scratch the better. If you need an appliance check the GoodWill Store first. or garage sales. But things like blenders, crock pots, food processors, pressure cookers, and woks, are going to make your life easier. but you don't have to get them all right away. Check with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. Lots of people have extra appliances they don't use in their cupboards.

The bulk food aisle is your friend. Get to know it. Not only are the prices low, the lack of packaging makes it a good environmental price. Plus you buy just what you need. You can get the same price per pound on one pound of rice - without buying the 50 pound bag. I get all my beans, rice, and oats in that aisle.

Now that it's winter and the farmer's markets are closed you will get most of your best prices on canned and frozen goods. Although you can sometimes spot a good deal on something imported. I think it was just last month that grapes from Mexico were really inexpensive. For canned foods - don't ever spend more than a buck. My local Dollar store, where everything is a dollar, sells canned foods for 79¢. The big super markets usually have at least one 10 for $10 promotion.

Tofu, plant milks, fresh green veggies, and dried fruit are about the most expensive things you should be buying. Although it might be nice for a change of pace or the convenience try to steer away from processed vegan foods (like patties, sausages etc).

I'm not sure i believe it but I read that a serving of beans and rice is about 10¢. I make a big batch of Cuban black beans and spit it up in one cup portions, and freeze it. CBB and rice is sort of a staple over here. But there are dozens of ways to make beans and rice. Same with oatmeal.
Thank you, that's a really big help.
I'm in the UK but we do have Asda (wall mart) here so I will check it out .
Thank you again!
 
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hopeful

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This isn't exactly the same as a creamy pasta sauce, but I like curry made with coconut milk. It has a creamy consistency, which I like.

I second the idea of looking at the YouTube channel Cheap Lazy Vegan. I was just watching one of her videos about 15 minutes ago. She seems great.
 
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betiPT

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Below is a compilation of videos I have put together of some super nutritious and low cost food. I spend a fraction of what my friends spend on their grocery bill and I don't even try to get the cheapest as I am usually buying organic.

I strongly recommend avoid buying the vegan processed food as they are expensive, instead batch cook so you always have food in your fridge.

Recipe Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiMSgONdtIcmbc0Yp8FGLffe7lYyExSoW

Additionally...

My Shopping Haul Example (I have made a few of these):

My Meal Prep Salads:

Good Luck :)
 

Dee1988

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This isn't exactly the same as a creamy pasta sauce, but I like curry made with coconut milk. It has a creamy consistency, which I like.

I second the idea of looking at the YouTube channel Cheap Lazy Vegan. I was just watching one of her videos about 15 minutes ago. She seems great.
Thank you I've just subscribed to her now
 
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VeggieVegan

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I've been veggie for just over a year. Lactose intolerant so dairy I've been off since I was little... I have crohns disease which pushed me to try going veggie to see if flare ups would lessen, which they did. I'm going vegan for veganuary and hoping to make it a life long thing.... the only problem is all the vegan replacements are quite expensive. Is it really possible to do this on a low income?
Hi! There's this great article on Ilovevegan.com, with a grocery list designed for vegans. It's a good article to skim through to find things you might like.

Here's the link: http://snip.ly/brfmbp
 
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