Friday, March 2, 2012

Shopping Vegan and Saving Money

I'm a pretty frugal grocery shopper. I have been since college, when I had a limited amount of money to work with and was doing my own grocery shopping for the first time. I quickly discovered that store brands were my friend, and so were the sale flyers. Ten years later, I still try to be as frugal as possible with my grocery money, but I will admit that I have been spending a little bit more on groceries since going vegan than I was before.

This doesn't seem to make sense on many accounts, since meat is expensive and I'm not buying it anymore. But vegan convenience foods like faux meats and cheeses can be very pricey, which seems to be where the majority of my grocery budget is going lately. Since I currently have a rather sizable stock of those convenience foods in my pantry and refrigerator, I'm going to try to go the next few weeks just buying basics to fill in -- mostly fresh produce -- and use up what is in my pantry to get my grocery budget back in control.

I'm thankful that eating vegan is pretty easy at my old standby cheap grocery retailer, Aldi. There are a surprising amount of accidentally vegan items lining their aisles, along with the items that obviously are, like fresh produce, canned beans, and rice. I went there today and came home with one huge bag of produce (including 5 lbs of potatoes, 1 lb of grapes, broccoli, mushrooms, 3 green peppers, eggplant, and kiwi) and another bag crammed full of other basics (including oats, canned beans, white and brown rice, applesauce, bread, and even some sweets), along with two half-gallon cartons of organic soy milk, all for $38. We'll be eating good this week, with lots of fresh foods, and all without having to spend a ton of money.

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