Hi Everybody! I saw part of Oprah's show where she had Michael Pollan and Alicia Silverstone, etc. and Alicia displayed the supper yummy looking food. :)
My only issue is that 1) she was shopping in whole foods, which, in my city (one of the most expensive in the world), it is known as Whole Paycheck. People who work at whole foods, even with the discount, cannot afford to buy their food from them. So, I do think that it is very easy to be vegetarian and kinder if you have a larger budget and can buy fresh and organic, but since I am not a millionaire, I would love more information about being kind in any budget range.
I remember that Whoopi Goldberg had asked Alicia how do people with barely any access to a good supermarket, by the kelp products that were used in a recipe and Alicia responded with that it is available online. :( I think she missed the issue that there are many of us who want to live kinder, but are economically challenged.
Any possibility that Alicia would do another book, but from a more frugal perspective? BTW, I am considering buying the book, even if I can only make one recipe per month. :)
The book is definitely worth reading, no matter what your economic situation is. Education is always worth it. You can buy wonderful fresh produce at your local farmers' market or organic co-op. It will cost a fraction of regular supermarket prices! And it will open your whole world up to the new food possibiities available to you. xoxoxo
I agree, the book is definately worth reading for information and recipes!
There are lots of ways to eat a vegan diet on a budget, not wasting your whole paycheck at Whole foods. Regular Grocery stores carry the same products usually cheaper. Costco has organic choices that save $$. Farmer's market, CSA, ordering online from Azure with a group of people( if that is by you).
I find that I save money...when I make a menu plan and a grocery list and stick to it! Plan out your breakfast,lunches,dinners and a snack/dessert for the week. Doing this has helped me save hundreds of dollars each month. I have a family of 6 with 3 teenage boys who love to eat! LOL......so following a food budget is very important!
I've found that some things at Whole Foods are cheaper than at my regular grocery store. Especially bulk grains and beans. So I would encourage people to comparison shop and not just assume that Whole Foods is more expensive (though I'm sure it varies from city to city). Whole Foods also has great sales and in-store coupons. You can sign up to get e-mail alerts on their sales on their website.
To be cheaper in general I would go with lots of rice and dry beans and then as much vegetables and fruit as you want. Start with frozen and canned if you have to in order to save money and gradually switch over to fresh. Also it helps to shop for fresh produce when it is in season in your area. Definitely hit the farmers' market for great buys.
I also second the meal-planning idea. I do a meal plan every Sunday and then grocery shop based on the plan. It really helps cut down on grocery expenses and eliminates last minute mid-week shopping trips.
I agree with the other responses. When I started this journey one of my husband's big things was that I not go crazy at the store and spend up all our money on what he considered gimmikey health food. I think I really surprised him when I brought home lots of delicious food and actually started COOKING every night (a big change for me and a BIG money saver) and that I did not spend any more than I would have before. And of course each time I go, I get a few pricey items. But this is balanced by the cheaper items like rice, beans and tofu that are staples for us now AND we don't buy the expensive meats we used to. AND about 80% of what I buy is from Kroger. I get a few items from Trader Joes because that is available here, but that is not necessary to do this diet.
All that being said, it does take a lot of planning, which has been a hard habit to change for me. And it is easy to get carried away at the store too and spend more than you mean to, but that has always been a problem for me, so I am still working on my impulse control too!!
Hope this helps. And the great thing is that if you can even replace one day a week (check out Meat out Modays...) it helps your body and the environment too. OK, I am sounding like a Kind life commercial again.... :)
I also agree with making a menu each week. I find it cuts down on my bill and not so much ends up in the compost bin. I started doing this about 2 years ago before I went veg and can't imagine going without. I'm still new to the veg life (just since Nov.09) and also struggle with the cost but buying only what I need to get through the week really helps. Good luck .
Wanted to add my two cents...Whole Foods can be very expensive, they carry several gourmet items. I have found that they have one of the best bulks department though. I buy my grains, beans, seasonings, etc in bulk. A trick that helps me is to make a couple different trips through out the week to the grocery store just for my fresh produce. I try to buy a couple of items, then cook them up. Finish them in leftovers and then go and purchase two different items. Makes 2 to 3 nights of the same veggie, but saves space and ensures freshness and less waste for me. I am the ONLY person in my household that is vegan. For a couple or small family there might not really be the leftover issue on the fresh veggies. I'm in OK so during the winter months, do not have access to farmers markets like the larger cities do. My quick trips really don't add up to much time, just a few minutes. I ONLY go to the produce (unless I have a pre-determined list) and grab my items and then I'm checking out and done. Good luck and remember just do what you can do and it's prolly more than what you were so you are making a GREAT difference!!! :-)
I'm probably too late to jump on this discussion topic, but let me say: I FEEL YOU!
I looked through Alicia's recipes and gave it a raised eyebrow, compared to my small ilttle paycheck that gets eaten up by my bills. HOWEVER, I've found that it IS managable! I buy items at Publix! It all depends really on the level in which you educate yourself.
GOOGLE is your friend! I spent a few nights staying up looking up alternatives and cheaper solutions. I recently went to Whole Foods for the first time yesterday...yikes! They are a lil' too pricey for me...
However, there's a Fresh Market where I live that is a little cheaper, and you can def. but items at regular grocery stores...as long as you know what to look for. I've been living this way and... for the past three nights I've made dinner for my boyfriend and I, all meals under 10...8 dollars even. Tonight's dinner was about five bucks!
One thing I've learnt to embrace is eating with the seasons. Recently, at local store, mangos were on sale. Fruit salad anyone? Smoothie in the house? Right now, they've got organic kale, romaine, and radishs on sale! I'm debating some green smoothies and pickled radishes for next week...
I agree with what everyone else is posting and wanted to add that I'm spending the same amount of money that I already was, plus we're not going out to eat nearly as much as before, so it's almost cheaper in a way. With the money I've saved from not going out as much, I have allowed myself a few "specialty" items that I wouldn't normally have bought. Whole Foods is kind of far from me, so I'll be limiting that to once a month, for the bulk grains and special things that our local store doesn't have (like seitan and Field Roast "meats", veganaise, etc.)
But like everyone has already said, beans and rice are pretty darn cheap, you can get lots of fruits and veggies when they are on sale or in season, and the farmer's market is your friend. And you don't have to follow all the recipes in the book to be a Kind Lifer :) It's fun to try new recipes and foods but don't be afraid to search for recipes with more common ingredients online. I hope its okay to post this, but I recommend the NutritionMD website; they did most of the recipes for the 21 day Vegan Kickstart. Simple easy recipes, low in fat, lots of common ingredients! Good luck!
Another thing is to get a really good book like Veganomicon which tells you how to make your own seitan and such (it is actually easy) because these are pricey items. That book is like the vegan version of Joy of Cooking, it teaches you how to make the building blocks you need for good eating.
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