We have the whole food store and a few co-ops etc. when I go in to these stores I get sticker shock! (You have to agree alot of the foods are expensive) I just can not afford the prices on alot of these foods! I have a limited income and don't have hundreds of dollors a month for all the things I would need. I have to add that I have a family of 4 and that I would be shopping for two different ways of eating. I have wanted to become a vegan for awhile now. Do to health problums and just because I don't like meat or eggs. I know there are a lot of people out there who can not afford a big food bill in these hard times. Do you have any ideas for the people on limited incomes? I am waiting for the book to come from Amazon. : )
Veganism doesn't have to be expensive; the biggest thing is focusing on whole foods. Dried lentils, dried beans, grains (oats, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat) and frozen vegetables are relatively inexpensive and go a long way. Things that are really expensive include supplements and processed/packaged foods.
Focus on making all of your meals from whole foods. Bake your own bread, cook beans rather than buying canned, make your own marinara, etc. It's a lot cheaper to make your own granola than purchase a box for $5.
farmer's markets and preparing in bulk - salads (potato salad, greens, etc.), soups, stews. there are some dynamite cereals out there. Costco sells soymilk by the case and it comes out to $1 per 20 oz container, 12 per case, I believe. Sourdough bread is usually vegan, nut butters are good for additional protein. veggie burger patties in bulk, making your own fruit smoothies at home with frozen fruit + OJ, all good
I ran into this issue also, for a bit, the first time I went veg. Once I changed my mindset from substituting for my non-veg food (yes, veggie patties, high-priced veggie frozen meals, etc.) to eating whole foods (actual vegetables, grains, beans, etc.) it became a much less expensive undertaking. I'm not saying I don't eat veggie patties ever, they're just not an everyday food. There have also been times when I let price dictate which veggies I pick up. "What's cheap today?" has often been my mantra as I peruse that multi-colored section of Fred Meyer (up in Anchorage, after the farmer's markets are done, selection is pretty slim unless you can schlep all the way in to the one or two health-focused stores).
the first time I stepped into Whole Foods I thought it was expensive UNTIL I compared their organic brand price to the price at the supermarket. Time and time again, WFM was cheaper. Avoid prepackaged foods and buy in bulk to save money. Frozen organic fruits and veggies, organic whole grains are cheaper at WF than at they are supermaket. TIME also did a study recently and showed that buying organic usually only amounts to $10-15 more a month.
Hardly a difference considering it will prevent you from costly health care later. Plus veggies, dry beans and grains cost a fraction of the price for animal products.
I ate at WFM and all organic foods on a students budget. I learned how to make easy, cheap meals and buy generic WFM brand which is a bargain! It takes time but you can make it work.
I also have a cheap eats category on my recipe website, happyherbivore.com
I hear you, Jane, it can be killer - heck, I SO wanted to do some baking with almond flour (I'm a diabetic and it's apparently recommended) - but OMG, $12.00 a package - OUCH, right? And that kinda list can go on....
I LOVE what the rest here have said, thank you - the only thing I can add is SPICE, baby! :) Spices are so so key - and they go a long long way for the investment. Lots of fresh herbs are cheap and come in "bulk" - you can dry them, freeze 'em! Makes your food funner... ;) It can turn those lentils, rice, beans - WHATEVER, into an experience and THAT, my friend, is living rich.
Whole Foods 365 products have good prices!! Also-the way I see it is--it's worth it to pay a little more for organic.....so we should pay now to be healthy and prevent illness and disease--or pay later on in life with illness & disease. Health comes first b/c without your health-u can't enjoy anything. Organic whole grain pastas & organic brown rice and other grains & org. sprouted whole grain breads aren't very expensive-they can be the foundation of whatever meal you're preparing....they are very filling. Smoothies are great too! Buy a few bags of org. frozen berries-and some org. soymilk & tofu//and or. org. soy yogurt, and flaxseed meal/or flaxseed oil-and bananas-and make a smoothie several times a week for breakfast. Amy's has 2 great vegan pizzas (organic)! Check the frozen section for Amy's pizza :)
I forgot to mention Perfect Food-by garden of life. It's loaded w/ antioxidants & enzyme rich & it even has probiotics!! I copied & pasted this: One way to make sure you are receiving the nutritional benefits of multiple servings of fruits and vegetables is through green food supplementation. Perfect Food Super Green Formula has more greens per serving than other leading green food formulas. Buy the 600 grams container-it's the most economical size-and it's good for the entire month! If u're always on the go-and u don't have the $$ to buy lots of veggies to make salads all week--u can take 1 level scoop of perfect food-add it to a glass of purified water or raw juice-and u're set!! I like to add a tablespoon of organic ex. virg. olive oil or org. flaxseed oil to it. Garden of life just came out w/ a new "raw" version of perfect food. So there are a few kinds now---u can get it in powder form or caps.