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View Full Version : The cost of living vegan - food expenses!



jenzie
01-01-2004, 03:41 PM
So my New Year's resolution is perhaps a bit odd... but it's to cut down on the amount of money I spend on food. And I don't mean going out to eat, I'm talking about how much I spend at the grocery store.

I've been finding it really difficult to budget a vegan lifestyle with regard to food. It's so expensive!

I didn't have this problem when I lived in CA, so maybe it's simply regional (or maybe I'm just now noticing it)... but the price of fresh produce here is crazy and I'm on the verge of not being able to afford to eat as healthy as I do. I've been trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet as well, and it's proved to be a financial nightmare!

How do you all manage? Are there insider secrets I have yet to learn about? Is it possible to buy household necessities (all more expensive because they're cruelty free, of course), tons of fruit, and maybe a few staples (of the food variety ;)) for $50 a week? If your answer is yes, please be so kind as to share with me how you go about doing it. :)

Dandelion
01-01-2004, 04:24 PM
are there any CSAs around there?
I eat tons of fresh organic fruits and veggies on a weekly $20 share

jenzie
01-01-2004, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Dandelion
are there any CSAs around there?
I eat tons of fresh organic fruits and veggies on a weekly $20 share

I might be having a stupid moment here... but what's a CSA? Some kind of community program, or...?

dropscone
01-01-2004, 05:17 PM
This is probably something you do already, but if you buy beans in bulk they're pretty cheap and then you can sprout them at home. There are loads of things around that I didn't even know you could sprout until recently, like garbanzo beans and lentils.

Markets at the end of the day tend to reduce the cost of fruit and veg, and supermarkets. Sorry, this is obvious stuff but worth mentioning.

And...er...I hesitate to mention dumpster diving, but a lot of shops do throw out perfectly good food because it's passed the "best before" date, even though that date has little to do with how edible the food still is.

VeganXing
01-01-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by jenzie
. . .what's a CSA?
Check this out:
http://www.seattletilth.org/download/webCSA2003.pdf
It's a very brief description and a few pages of farms to look into.

jenzie
01-01-2004, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by VeganXing
Check this out:
http://www.seattletilth.org/download/webCSA2003.pdf
It's a very brief description and a few pages of farms to look into.

Aaaahhh... Community Supported Agriculture. Thanks for the info VeganXing! This sounds like something I'd really like to do, I just need to find out which location is closest to me. Awesome! :D

Emiloid
01-01-2004, 05:59 PM
Jenzie (and other Seattlites), there is a really cheap veggie stand on 65th St, a few blocks east of Roosevelt. Wish I remembered the name. "Sun" or "Sunny" something...? They sell a mix of organic and conventionally-grown foods. They also sell vegan cookies, so they must be good people. Otherwise I'd wonder if it's a front for the mafia. ;) That's how low the prices are!

Anyway, last time I was there I got two tote bags worth of veggies and fruits and it cost about $15. That was including a bunch of bell peppers and some avocadoes--pricey items anywhere else.

jenzie
01-01-2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Emiloid
Jenzie (and other Seattlites), there is a really cheap veggie stand on 65th St, a few blocks east of Roosevelt. Wish I remembered the name. "Sun" or "Sunny" something...? They sell a mix of organic and conventionally-grown foods. They also sell vegan cookies, so they must be good people. Otherwise I'd wonder if it's a front for the mafia. ;) That's how low the prices are!

Anyway, last time I was there I got two tote bags worth of veggies and fruits and it cost about $15. That was including a bunch of bell peppers and some avocadoes--pricey items anywhere else.

That place sounds great Em! I think you might have mentioned it before, and it completely escaped my little brain, but yeah, I'll definitely have to go there! Two bags of fruits and veggies for $15?! What a deal!! :D

bumblebee
01-01-2004, 10:03 PM
I buy many foods in bulk. If I see a good sale on anything from Newman O's to canned goods, I stock up and store it where the kids won't eat it all up. I consider my storage room MY store, not theirs. No point buying a dozen packages of cookies only to have them all eaten in a week!

I plan my menus around whatever produce is least expensive.
All summer long, we ate a lot of broccoli at 99 cents per pound, but not now at $2 per pound.

I can normally make dinners that cost about a dollar per person - eating all they care to.

We eat a lot of potatoes, beans, rice, stir frys, tofu, bread, salads and fresh fruit. We rarely eat single serv pre-packaged items.

Sometimes I calculate the exact cost of different recipes...for some reason I think it's fun. :p

Shannon Lee
01-04-2004, 03:47 PM
If you want organic produce, http://pioneerorganics.com/ is a good deal. Their small variety box, which is not that small really, is $31. You can get it delivered every week or every other week.

That coupled with visits to Trader Joe's can really help. Also, if you already are or are planning on it, being a member of PCC will save you 10% on two days of the month.

Produce can be cheap at Pike Place Market as well.

Good luck to you!

jenzie
01-04-2004, 05:17 PM
Thanks for all of the wonderful tips and suggestions everyone! :D

I'm going to be checking out prices and produce tomorrow at Pike's Place, so we'll see where that leaves me.

I haven't found a nice Trader Joe's in the area yet. (Which one do you go to Shannon?) I dunno, one of the ones I went to in San Diego really turned me off from the whole chain, but perhaps I should give 'em a try again. ;)

Using mainly (or only) seasonal produce sounds like a really smart idea, bumblebee! :) However, I have -no- storage space, so buying in bulk wouldn't really work for me.

Anywho... I'll update in a bit with whether or not I've been able to cut costs. Here's hoping! ;)

Shannon Lee
01-04-2004, 06:27 PM
I go to the Kirkland TJ's which would be a pain for you. I haven't been to any others in the area so I've no advice in that department. Hope you can find a nice one. If you ever DO want to venture this way, I could take you to my favorite Eastside veg hole-in-the-wall.

Emiloid
01-04-2004, 08:44 PM
I go to the TJ's in the U district. It's on Roosevelt, right near 45th and there's even free parking under the store.

jenzie
01-05-2004, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by Shannon Lee
I go to the Kirkland TJ's which would be a pain for you. I haven't been to any others in the area so I've no advice in that department. Hope you can find a nice one. If you ever DO want to venture this way, I could take you to my favorite Eastside veg hole-in-the-wall.

I think I'll try to find a closer TJ's, however I might just take you up on that offer to visit you in the Eastside and check out your favorite veg place. Sounds fun!! :D

jenzie
01-05-2004, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by Emiloid
I go to the TJ's in the U district. It's on Roosevelt, right near 45th and there's even free parking under the store.

How did I miss this? Doh! :p Thanks Em! (What on earth am I going to do without you around to let me about all the cool grocery spots?! Man! ;))

Emiloid
01-05-2004, 12:55 PM
You'll have to move to Chico with me. ;)

jenzie
01-05-2004, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Emiloid
You'll have to move to Chico with me. ;)

And give up this wonderful 23 degree weather we've been having?! Hee! :p

portablekitten
01-06-2004, 12:52 PM
to save on cleaning supplies you can't beat white vinegar.

1/2 cup to a gallon of water for floors cleans, deodorizes and shines.

Use to clean your windows and dry with newspaper and they shine

use the same way to do fabric softener to soften your cloths.

i keep a vinegar and water mix in a spray bottle for quick clean up.

it dissolves calcium in teapots.

google it to see all the uses which are way to many to list here. I also dumpster 3 days a week. My son even made me a pole with a hook so i can go by myself and not have to get in and get stuck!! Also, if you have a co op you may want to check that out. I joined our local co op before i went on workers comp, and that has helped alot too.

jenzie
01-15-2004, 10:34 PM
So far so good on my budgeting for the new year! I've managed to keep my cabinets stocked without emptying my bank account, so I'm a happy camper. :) I just wish strawberries weren't so darn expensive! :p

sudonim3
01-24-2004, 04:12 AM
Jenzie, Trader Joes and Fred Meyer. If you live in the city, ANYthing you buy is too expensive, and that includes food, vegan or not. The prices at the Cap Hill Fred Meyer are MUCH higher than in the 'burbs, for example. There are also PCC and Whole Foods stores, neither of which I know a thing about and that includes prices. All I know, jenzie, is that I spend no more NOW for food per week than I did before I went vegan. Been vegan 7 years, now. I budget, so I know this. This "higher cost of being veggie" is a myth, like the myth of "bad tasting food" used by non-vegans to support their CHOICE to eat animal products.

Emiloid
01-24-2004, 04:42 AM
It's true... vegan prepared foods and snacks might be more expensive (though not always) than non-vegan, but cooking from scratch is generally cheaper, at least in my experience.

portablekitten
01-24-2004, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Emiloid
It's true... vegan prepared foods and snacks might be more expensive (though not always) than non-vegan, but cooking from scratch is generally cheaper, at least in my experience.

I agree, prepared or processed foods are expensive and that goes for non vegan as well as vegan.

I don't use very many of those foods, i do most of my cooking from scratch and since going vegan my food bill each week is anywhere from 20 to 50 dollars less. Dairy and Meat are much more expensive than veggies, fruits, beans, etc.

And I have a friend that won't use veggie burgers because they are so expensive. Funny, she has no problem paying in excess of 7.00 a pound for strip steaks!! So, as was said by sudonim above, that is mostly an attemp to justify omni food choices.

jenzie
01-24-2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by sudonim3
Jenzie, Trader Joes and Fred Meyer. If you live in the city, ANYthing you buy is too expensive, and that includes food, vegan or not. The prices at the Cap Hill Fred Meyer are MUCH higher than in the 'burbs, for example. There are also PCC and Whole Foods stores, neither of which I know a thing about and that includes prices. All I know, jenzie, is that I spend no more NOW for food per week than I did before I went vegan. Been vegan 7 years, now. I budget, so I know this. This "higher cost of being veggie" is a myth, like the myth of "bad tasting food" used by non-vegans to support their CHOICE to eat animal products.

Hey sudonim3! Glad too see you decided to check this place out.... you should totally fill in the location option though and represent from Seattle! ;) :p

I don't think being vegan is any more expensive than not, in fact I'm pretty sure I spent more when I wasn't. So yeah, I don't buy into that myth either. I just don't have the luxury to spend without thought anymore, and organic fruit is pretty pricey most places you by it! I've saved a lot since going to produce stands though, much less than I was spending at PCC and WholeFoods where I do 95% of my shopping.

Anywho, I've gotten my bill down to under $50 a week, including the occasional dinner out, so I'm pleased. :)

Oatmeal Girl
01-24-2004, 01:58 PM
I just went grocery shopping and made a conscious effort to buy organic/local foods. I also made sure I bought the foods that were cheaper with the discount card. My bill was double what it usually is, yikes!

I wish good food was cheap and junk food was expensive.

jenzie
01-24-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Oatmeal Girl
I just went grocery shopping and made a conscious effort to buy organic/local foods. I also made sure I bought the foods that were cheaper with the discount card. My bill was double what it usually is, yikes!

That's the problem I was encountering too! Hit up produce stands if you can! :)

Oatmeal Girl
01-24-2004, 02:03 PM
In the summer there are farmer's markets around here, but in the winter I'm condemned to shop the grocery. Oh well!

jenzie
01-24-2004, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by Oatmeal Girl
In the summer there are farmer's markets around here, but in the winter I'm condemned to shop the grocery. Oh well!

It's a bummer that you have to wait 'till summer. :p ;)

I miss peaches!

sudonim3
01-25-2004, 10:17 PM
Hi Jenzie,

"You should totally fill in the location option though and represent from Seattle!"

Lately, I am not sure I want to admit to being human, let alone claim to be from a specific man-made location. Anyone else feel like they're living in an artificial man-made world now? I had an opportunity to do a little work raking leaves the other day and the smell of the Earth made my heart ache, so rare that smell is anymore.

"organic fruit is pretty pricey most places you by it!"

Yes, it is. That isn't more vegan than the human-feces-tainted non-organic produce imported from Mexico found at the local grocery store, though. The organic is a health issue, not vegan. I try for organic, too, but the expense is irritating. And I cooked an organic potato in the microwave one time and discovered a family of some sort of worm had been living in that potato. Damned if I do and damned if I don't. For me this is all ethics and not at all about health. So it's like, buy organic and murder the worms myself or buy inorganic and have the worms murdered for me by some pesticide.

"I've saved a lot since going to produce stands though, much less than I was spending at PCC and WholeFoods where I do 95% of my shopping."

I think PCC is a tad gimmicky and for the YUPPIE kiddies of the now-deceased techie boom. Did you read that series of articles about some poor abused cashier at the West Seattle PCC? Whole foods has that huge meat/seafood area and the stench makes me nauseous.

I like Fred Meyer because I can tell they care about losing customers to the alternative stores: every time I find something new and delicious and $$$$$ at some local specialty store, I find it later (and cheaper) at Fred Meyer. It's good to train the mainstream stores to take vegans seriously, even if they aren't aware that is what they are doing.

"Anywho, I've gotten my bill down to under $50 a week, including the occasional dinner out, so I'm pleased. "

Excellent. I try for $40 but don't usually quite make it.

jenzie
01-26-2004, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by sudonim3
That isn't more vegan than the human-feces-tainted non-organic produce imported from Mexico found at the local grocery store, though. The organic is a health issue, not vegan.

Oh of course, I'm well aware of that. :) I didn't become vegan for health reasons, but learning about diet and the effects it has on the body has made me more aware of everything that I choose to eat. Thankfully, I've haven't yet had an unpleasant experience with organic produce! :)



I think PCC is a tad gimmicky and for the YUPPIE kiddies of the now-deceased techie boom. Did you read that series of articles about some poor abused cashier at the West Seattle PCC? Whole foods has that huge meat/seafood area and the stench makes me nauseous.

I haven't read any articles about the West Seattle PCC cashier, it sounds unfortunate. I like PCC though, and the one I go has very friendly cashiers that recognize me. I simply believe in supporting co-ops when/if I'm able. :) As for Whole Foods and the meat/seafood department, I just don't go near it and that works for me.

I like Fred Meyer for the fact that they're willing to order requested items. Other than what I request though, they don't carry most of the foods I typically buy.



It's good to train the mainstream stores to take vegans seriously, even if they aren't aware that is what they are doing.

I completely agree! :D

The closest store to my house is Larry's, and I don't go there anymore because the prices are nearly triple other place! Yikes!

Exitof99
01-26-2004, 10:50 AM
Hi Jenzie,

When I first returned from college and moved out on my own in 1992, I was working low wage jobs and not making enough to eat, almost literally! I had to be extremely frugal, and fortunately, the local Price Chopper had a circular with 3 triple coupons in it, so one could save quite a bit if they shopped right. I haven't seen very many of those coupons recently, but I would sometimes spend only $10 a week for food!

I discovered a few ways to keep from spending cash over the years, and here is my list:

1. Don't buy cereal/sport/nutrition bars - buy cereal instead.

Most of these bars cost over a $1 a piece, even in bulk, while you can buy a whole box of cereal for $2.50 and up. Shop for the savings, Kashi products have been $2.50 for a while around here (check if vegan first, I'm a lowly veggie!)

2. Dried peas and beans

I used to make split pea soup often with carrot. It's so easy to make, and can last all week for pennies per serving!

3. Never buy McCormick spices if you can help it! Most Indian or Asian markets carry spices in prepackaged 1 pound bag for about $2 each! You can get your cumin for this cheap for that split pea soup...

4. Buy a farbic shopping bag and commit yourself to only shopping for what will fit in the bag. I keep my spendings to about $20 a week sometimes doing this.

5. Avoid the ease of Amy's or like products for tasty lasagna, make your own it large batches on your days off and freeze most, and keep some in the fridge.

6. Grow your own! Scallions can easily grow indoors on a window sill in the kitchen. I've tried garlic (which you can sprout too) but messed it up. Many other spices can be grown indoors too.

7. Never ever buy drinks other than water.

8. Read the prices per volume!!! So many items I've seen including the mega biggie cans of beans are not cheaper than the smaller 16 oz cans!!! Peanut butter seems to be cheapest with the medium size.

9. Get take out only, never sit down to eat in a restaurant (to avoid paying a tip) which is bad for servers, but in the world of limited funds, you can only do so much to help each other.

10. If you eat out, see #7! If you go to a bar, stick with one drink. As I've recently learned maybe alcohols are not vegan since they use isinglass (sp?) in the fining process. It appears that almost all Sam Adams, Seagrams (VO, Capt. Morgans, Crown Royal, etc.), and Absolut hard liquers are safe, but check out this page for more information (http://www.vnv.org.au/AlcoholByName.htm) and for beer (http://sbvdesigns.com/veg/veganbeer.html).

Hopefully that will help, it does for me. The only concern I have is that once you start cooking more at home, your gas bill can jump quite far! I swear that it's to the point that cooking vs eating take out Chinese is a losing battle!

jenzie
01-26-2004, 02:34 PM
Hey Exitof99!


Originally posted by Exitof99
1. Don't buy cereal/sport/nutrition bars - buy cereal instead.

I love cereal! I love oatmeal, too. :) But I do buy Clif bars because they're great when you're on the go. If I buy a whole box, the store I go to gives me a 10% discount. :)


2. Dried peas and beans

I don't like peas very much. :( I do eat a lot of beans though.


3. Never buy McCormick spices if you can help it!

I don't really buy spices at all. Hee.


4. Buy a farbic shopping bag and commit yourself to only shopping for what will fit in the bag.

I have two fabric shopping bags, but this wouldn't work for me as my Whole Foods one is HUGE, and can easily fit $120 of groceries! :p


5. Avoid the ease of Amy's or like products for tasty lasagna, make your own it large batches on your days off and freeze most, and keep some in the fridge.

Yeah, I'm not into Amy's and such. Most of their stuff isn't vegan anyways.


6. Grow your own!

Maybe I'll do that one day... It's such a good idea. :)


7. Never ever buy drinks other than water.

Well, I buy juice too. But yeah, water is always the way to go.


8. Read the prices per volume!!! ... Peanut butter seems to be cheapest with the medium size.

Yeah, I noticed that too! I used to always get the biggest thing of PB, until I realized that the medium one was actually a better deal!


9. Get take out only, never sit down to eat in a restaurant (to avoid paying a tip) which is bad for servers, but in the world of limited funds, you can only do so much to help each other.

Ah, I can't do that. My Gramma was a waitress, and I worked as a hostess for a while, so tipping is second nature to me. I even tip when I get take out! :p


10. If you eat out, see #7! If you go to a bar, stick with one drink. As I've recently learned maybe alcohols are not vegan since they use isinglass (sp?) in the fining process. It appears that almost all Sam Adams, Seagrams (VO, Capt. Morgans, Crown Royal, etc.), and Absolut hard liquers are safe, but check out this page for more information (http://www.vnv.org.au/AlcoholByName.htm) and for beer (http://sbvdesigns.com/veg/veganbeer.html).

Yeah, I usually only get water or tea in restaurants. And I don't go to bars often. Also, when I do, I have the added advantage of being a girl. ;)


Hopefully that will help, it does for me. The only concern I have is that once you start cooking more at home, your gas bill can jump quite far! I swear that it's to the point that cooking vs eating take out Chinese is a losing battle!

Yeah, when I cook at home I tend to get more and more inventive with my meals, and before you know it it'd be cheaper to go out! :p

I'm doing the fruits and veggies thing right now, some cereal/oatmeal, sandwiches, and burritos. It's working out well so far!

Thanks for the tips. :D

sudonim3
01-29-2004, 02:39 AM
Hey Exitof99,

A bit of synchronicity here.

<1. Don't buy cereal/sport/nutrition bars - buy cereal instead.>

I get oatmeal, etc in bulk (organic) and MUCH cheaper than any prepackaged stuff and also have the pleasure of buying less packaging. I buy (dark) chocolate candy bars, though :o)

<2. Dried peas and beans>

I've been wanting to do this. Looked up recipes for doing it. Still buying canned beans. I'll wish I had done it sooner when I finally do it.

<. Never buy McCormick spices if you can help it! >

Hm, good idea. I hadn't considered this.

<4. Buy a farbic shopping bag >

I have about 8 Trader Joes bags and I get a 5 cent per bag discount at Fred Meyer. Ask your regular grocery store if they give a bag discount. I did it not to save money, but to stop wasting so much plastic.

<5. Avoid the ease of Amy's >

I love Amy's soups. Quick. But yeh, I try to make my own stuff if I have time.

<6. Grow your own! >

My catnip plant (for the cats) is dead. The Lavender (need it. love it) is also deceased. My ferns and spider plants are happy, though! They appreciate good intentions.

<7. Never ever buy drinks other than water.>

Yup! I stopped drinking soft drinks (pop) around the time I went vegan. DOn't miss em. Once or twice a year I will indulge.

<once you start cooking more at home, your gas bill can jump quite far! I swear that it's to the point that cooking vs eating take out Chinese is a losing battle!>

Using the oven runs up the electric bill like nothing else. But I enjoy baking in the cold months.

One tip that's obvious: generic and store brands are best! (especially for things like aspirin, etc)

greentea
02-03-2004, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the info all!! I've been temping for almost a year now and I just took a drop in pay for the sake of having a job (also lost benefits because I changed companies) and I realized I just lost $30 a week in pay. Owwies.

Not related to food, but what about personal care items? What I've run out of I've switched to something more animal friendly, but I'm starting to run low on the stuff I haven't switched. I'm seriously hoping that my other w-2 form shows up soon so I can get my taxes back. Too much stuff to pay off!

greentea
02-03-2004, 12:06 PM
Also, is it really cheaper to make your own? Like, bake your own bread, make your own veggie burgers, etc? I have the time, I just don't have the money! =^.^= Sadly though, it's not enough time to get a second job!

dropscone
02-03-2004, 12:30 PM
Further to growing your own stuff - Swiss chard is where it's at! At least I hope so, because I just bought some. It's a bit like spinach, and it grows like a weed in my mum's garden so I'm going to try my hand at it.

It's a really good crop because it grows easily (I hope), and has a very long season. Also good because if I buy spinach I always forget to cook it in time and it goes limp and squidgy in my fridge, but now I'll be able to just go out and pick some. Finally, it'll be great because it will hide the weeds that normally grow in my little patch of earth :)

I've also got early cropping carrot seeds and beetroot. Woo. Excited now :D

Emiloid
02-03-2004, 01:16 PM
To answer greentea's question... making bread is definitely cheaper if you like really good bread. :) I can find tolerable bread for about $1.00-$1.50 a loaf, but if I want really good bread it's more like $4.00 a loaf! On the other hand, I can make great bread at home for probably $1.00 per loaf... but it does take a lot of time. The whole process (with two risings and baking) takes at least four hours, but it's only about 30-45 minutes of work.

If anyone is interested, I use a recipe from the Joy of Cooking and just make vegan substitutions for the egg, butter, etc. It's swell! I usually add a bunch of seeds, coarsely ground grains, and/or nuts to make things more interesting. Yum!

Ariann
02-03-2004, 03:30 PM
If you have a co-op or even a place like Whole Foods nearby you can buy dried beans in bulk (re-use your own plastic containers of course) and not just that! You can buy bulk pastas, flours, herbs, and spices and it is a WAY cheaper way to go and you can also often find really unusual spices and flours which perk up a cheap meal. There's no reason for cheap food to be bland.

I used to live on $25/week and what really started hurting me was the price of veggies. I started eating a lot more fruit because I found that I could buy apples, oranges, peaches, etc. (and bananas if you like them, but I don't) really cheaply in season from the normal grocery store. Sometimes blueberries or strawberries would go on sale for a buck a pint and I'd just buy ten and freeze them. I also started buying more greens (like collard and dandelion, the real cheap stuff) and potatoes and the like instead of the more pricey veggies like bell peppers and making sure I used every part of the vegetable. I relied heavily on frozen veggies which I found were a lot cheaper than fresh and just as tasty.

In addition, I almost completely gave up bread (because of the cost of good bread and I can't bake) and cereal and relied almost entirely on whole grains which can be bought much cheaper in bulk and are very filling. Rice and beans was a major staple and I cooked them every possible way in huge batches and froze the leftovers.

dropscone
02-03-2004, 04:51 PM
Ariann - You *bought* dandelion greens? I thought dandelions grew wild pretty much everywhere.

That's a good point though, there's a lot of wild food for free. I've still got blackberries in my freezer that we picked 6 months ago. Great for smoothies.

My mum gave me a book for Christmas called Wild Food by Roger Phillips, and as soon as more green stuff comes up I'm going to be identifying and sampling stuff :)

Ariann
02-04-2004, 11:34 AM
I sure as heck wouldn't want to eat anything that I could pick out of the ground in the city (I lived in Cleveland, OH at the time). All of it would taste like exhaust!

dropscone
02-04-2004, 11:48 AM
Yeah, I live in a city, and I wouldn't eat anything I could pick around the immediate vicinity (apart from my garden :) ), but in the middle of one of the parks would be alright.

sudonim3
02-05-2004, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by greentea
Not related to food, but what about personal care items?

Bar soap: Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Soap. Mmm nice mild scent and non-drying.
I think the "Ivory" bar soaps and such that are non-vegan are also not so heathy - I vaguely recall reading about them being unhealthy due to various chemicals, etc.

Moisturizer - for face:
Kiss My Face Ultra Light Facial Creme.
Nice citrus scent, does not cause greasy skin or pimples.

Moisturizer - body and hands:
Trader Joe's Moisturizing Lotion, unscented herbal blend with aloe.
pH balanced, biodegradable, nice mild scent, non-greasy.

Toothpaste:
Tom's of Maine, peppermint anticavity natural baking soda fluoride.
I mentioned this toothpaste to my dentist who is not vegan and didn't know I am. I was told it is one of the ones they recommend. It has no sugar in it, unlike many mainstream toothpastes, but I don't know why my dentist likes it.

Deodorant:
Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant stick. unscented.

I have to have unscented because perfumes give me headaches, but I think most of these come in alternate scented versions. All are free of animal byproducts and animal testing, according to their labels.

sudonim3
02-05-2004, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by Ariann

In addition, I almost completely gave up bread (because of the cost of good bread and I can't bake)

People keep mentioning bread and its cost. This may not work for the more finicky among you, but I buy good bread and freeze it. I toast it, lightly just enough to thaw or more for real toast. This way, I never waste even a slice of bread. One expensive loaf lasts much longer when green stuff doesn't grow on it.

I looked into bread making machines and such and may do that someday, but for now I really don't want more things in my life. I am trying to simplify.

portablekitten
02-05-2004, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by greentea
Thanks for the info all!! I've been temping for almost a year now and I just took a drop in pay for the sake of having a job (also lost benefits because I changed companies) and I realized I just lost $30 a week in pay. Owwies.

Not related to food, but what about personal care items? What I've run out of I've switched to something more animal friendly, but I'm starting to run low on the stuff I haven't switched. I'm seriously hoping that my other w-2 form shows up soon so I can get my taxes back. Too much stuff to pay off!

I have dry skin and baby fine hair and i love Dr. Bronner's liquid soaps. The one I am using now is castile and hemp w/peppermint. It feels and smells great and can be used as body wash, shampoo and a ton of other things. There are different varieties and all of them are great. My hair is short so it doesn't tangle but if you need a detangler, cider vinegar with water makes a great rinse and makes your hair shine.

My face care is Beauty without Cruelty and my cosmetics are BWC and Zuzu luxe. I use tom's deordorant, woodspice which i guess is supposed to be the male fragrance but i don't like the flowery scents, and Nature's Gate Spearmint toothpaste.

greentea
02-05-2004, 09:34 AM
Thanks so much for the reply, portablekitten. I have similar skin and hair and since I'm no longer dying my hair, I don't need to worry about Dr. Bronner's stripping the color as I once did. I've been wondering about Bronner's since I use the bar soap now but I dig the idea of having one bottle to do shampoo and body. I was also sort of concerned Bronner's would overdry me though. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

re: cider vineger rinse, what's the ratio of vinegar to water? Also should I put this in another bottle and mist it on or just mix it up and dump it through??

portablekitten
02-05-2004, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by greentea
Thanks so much for the reply, portablekitten. I have similar skin and hair and since I'm no longer dying my hair, I don't need to worry about Dr. Bronner's stripping the color as I once did. I've been wondering about Bronner's since I use the bar soap now but I dig the idea of having one bottle to do shampoo and body. I was also sort of concerned Bronner's would overdry me though. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

re: cider vineger rinse, what's the ratio of vinegar to water? Also should I put this in another bottle and mist it on or just mix it up and dump it through??

Same here about dyeing my hair. My last color job totalled my hair to the point it was breaking so bad you could see my scalp. I switched back to Dr. Bronner's and it is looking alot better. I did forget to say that i do alternate between the peppermint and almond. As for the vinegar and water, i just have a plastic cup in the shower and i just put a little vinegar, maybe a half tablespoon or so and fill it with water in the shower and dump it over my head and rinse. You can experiment with how much you use. Let me know how it works for you. Usually i don't need it with the Dr. Bronner's but i like the shine. Sometimes when i feel ambitious i do a hot oil treatment with a few teaspoons of jojoba oil, heat in micro just till comfortably warm, work it through my hair and let it sit for a bit, before my shower, then wash it out, it helps remove sebum from the hair folicles so new hairs can immerge and makes my hair soft. I don't do that more than once a week or even two weeks.

Ariann
02-05-2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by sudonim3
People keep mentioning bread and its cost. This may not work for the more finicky among you, but I buy good bread and freeze it. I toast it, lightly just enough to thaw or more for real toast. This way, I never waste even a slice of bread. One expensive loaf lasts much longer when green stuff doesn't grow on it.

I looked into bread making machines and such and may do that someday, but for now I really don't want more things in my life. I am trying to simplify.

Oh yeah, I definitely freeze bread, even now that I can afford to buy it every week. The problem though is that if there's bread in the house, I will just eat all of it. I'll have like three sandwiches a day, I can't get enough, so it is helpful both financially and waistline-wise to keep it out of the house.

Regarding appliances: unless you have ones that you can time to start while you're at work or something, I don't find them very time-saving. Even if I'm very busy at home, I can still afford the few minutes to put the beans on and then leave them for an hour or so or to set them soaking the night before. On the other hand, the pressure cooker is awesome and the rice cooker makes much better rice than I can and keeps it warm and moist for hours. My crockpot doesn't do much but make mulled cider.

greentea
04-27-2004, 10:28 AM
giving this a little bump...

I read about people who have these insanely low food budgets. How do you do it? I think my biggest downfall is too much packaged stuff and not packing lunches. Were I to do those two things, I could probably drop it down much faster. Looks like I may have to in the near future either way!!

zatoichi
04-27-2004, 10:35 AM
you can also eat at homeless shelters and leave a buck or two to cover the cost. and are there any hare krishnas in the neighborhood? if you can put up with their prosselytizing, you can eat with them for free.

Emiloid
04-27-2004, 11:13 AM
There are books on living frugally that you should be able to find at the library. They aren't necessarily vegan (although some advocate eating less/no meat), but they can give you some good ideas. I liked The Tightwad Gazette, and there are others with names like "Living Simply" or something... I can't rememebr right now. Anyway, they tend to talk about things like cooking from scratch, buying in bulk, growing your own veggies and herbs.... Basically, things you probably know about, but with specific ideas about how to do it.

Miso Vegan
01-09-2006, 02:13 PM
Anyone know where The Frugal Vegan went? Her books are found in a google search, but not her website....

Kat
01-09-2006, 03:01 PM
Bar soap: Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Soap. Mmm nice mild scent and non-drying.
I think the "Ivory" bar soaps and such that are non-vegan are also not so heathy - I vaguely recall reading about them being unhealthy due to various chemicals, etc.

Moisturizer - for face:
Kiss My Face Ultra Light Facial Creme.
Nice citrus scent, does not cause greasy skin or pimples.

Moisturizer - body and hands:
Trader Joe's Moisturizing Lotion, unscented herbal blend with aloe.
pH balanced, biodegradable, nice mild scent, non-greasy.

Toothpaste:
Tom's of Maine, peppermint anticavity natural baking soda fluoride.
I mentioned this toothpaste to my dentist who is not vegan and didn't know I am. I was told it is one of the ones they recommend. It has no sugar in it, unlike many mainstream toothpastes, but I don't know why my dentist likes it.

Deodorant:
Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant stick. unscented.

I have to have unscented because perfumes give me headaches, but I think most of these come in alternate scented versions. All are free of animal byproducts and animal testing, according to their labels.



OWW. So much of that stuff is so expensive here. It's eleven dollars for that Tom's of Maine Deoderant stick, for instance...and I've never seen a Kiss My Face product for less than ten dollars, unless it's a three dollar bar of soap. So I buy cheaper generics when I can...Shopper's Drug Mart in Canada has a brand (Life Brand) that does no animal testing (or so they claim), so I buy their shampoos and conditioners when I can find ones that have no animal ingredients. I also buy their vegetable glycerin soap; they have a nice coconut one and it's only a dollar or so for a bar. Avon also doesn't do animal testing, so I buy unscented deoderant and vanilla moisturizer from them.

Sadly there's no cheap generic vegan toothpaste, so I shell out the seven dollars for the 75 mL (4 oz) tube of Tom's of Maine. The bright side is that the toothpaste is quite foamy, so it takes only the smallest amount on the toothbrush in order to work up a good lather. By using such a small amount of toothpaste, I've managed to make the tube last for months.

I haven't been able to find a natural mouthwash here for less than eleven dollars, so I buy the Life Brand one which is only a couple bucks.

My mom buys the household cleaners, and I can't afford right now I buy a seperate set of cleaners for myself, so sadly I'm stuck with that stuff...BUT we buy vinegar in huge jugs, and I put that to work in as many ways as possible.

While on the subject of hygeine and household stuff, I bought a diva cup and a set of 8 cloth pads. The initial outlay was about a hundred dollars, but in a few months time, the products will have paid for themselves. I would have saved a lot more money if I had made my cloth pads myself, but I'm not great at sewing, and I wanted to try a few different brands to get a good idea of what style I prefer. Now that I know which style I like best, I think I am going to start trying to learn how to sew again so that I can make my own pads now as I need them. (I tried making my own pads before I bought these ones, but the style was ALL WRONG and they were horrible)

ConsciousCuisine
01-09-2006, 03:10 PM
I wish I could send care packages to everyone who lives in Canada or the UK! I can get bodycare products so affordably here!

Kat, I hope you love your Diva Cup as much as I do ;)

mishka
01-09-2006, 03:18 PM
Sadly there's no cheap generic vegan toothpaste, so I shell out the seven dollars for the 75 mL (4 oz) tube of Tom's of Maine.
Another reason you should move to Toronto, Kat ;) You can find Tom's of Maine toothpaste for less than $5... I've even purchased it for less than $4.

gur
01-09-2006, 03:26 PM
Another reason you should move to Toronto, Kat ;) You can find Tom's of Maine toothpaste for less than $5... I've even purchased it for less than $4.
:o

i always have to pay at least $6 - $7 in Ottawa. :grumble grumble: :blank:

is there anything wrong with just using baking soda to brush my teeth? will it wreck my enamel over time? when i had braces i used to dip my wet toothbrush into baking soda and just use that to clean my teeth. my dentist said i was the only kid he knew that didn't have little white squares on my teeth when he took my braces off after almost 2 years.

mishka
01-09-2006, 03:34 PM
is there anything wrong with just using baking soda to brush my teeth? will it wreck my enamel over time?
I don't think there's anything wrong with using only baking soda, if you can deal with the taste ;) The only thing you're not getting is much flouride... but you probably (sadly) ingest enough to offset, due to the water supply. Unless you don't consume *any* type of tap water. But even then, I don't think there are conclusive studies that show drinking flouridated tap water has much more of an affect on dental health than topical applications. My thoughts: if you are taking the time to clean your teeth regularly, flouride be damned.

Kat
01-09-2006, 03:37 PM
Tom's of Maine doesn't have flouride anyways.

Or do they make a line that does...?

gur
01-09-2006, 03:40 PM
Tom's of Maine doesn't have flouride anyways.

Or do they make a line that does...?

i think you're right. isn't fluoride a bad thing anyway? i go google now....

mishka
01-09-2006, 03:41 PM
there are some that do. They generally have the same flavours - a line with flouride and a line without.

Kat
01-09-2006, 03:44 PM
Heh, whaddaya know. We just have the non-flouride line here. Peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and fennel. I'm scared to try the fennel one :P

The others are nice though.

mishka
01-09-2006, 03:45 PM
I used to love Gingermint... haven't seen it in a while though...

mishka
01-09-2006, 03:46 PM
isn't fluoride a bad thing anyway? i go google now....
sorry for getting this off topic, but here's a link... The Flouride Deception (http://www.fluoridealert.org/bryson.htm)

Kat
01-09-2006, 03:49 PM
Anyone else read that as "flouride deceptacon"?

no? just me? okay.

back on topic:

CANADIANS. I can't stress to you how great the Bulk Barn is. I don't know if these are all over Canada or just in Ontario, but if you have one, go check it out. You can buy pretty much anything cheaply in bulk there. And they sell an egg replacer powder called King's Mill Egg Replacer, and a six dollar box of it replaces like 6 dozen eggs. It's a great investment and I've kept a box in the pantry for over a year once and it was still good.

gur
01-09-2006, 03:58 PM
thanks for the link mishka!

kat's right; the bulk barn is great! i sometimes get my silken tofu there, even.

Kat
01-09-2006, 03:59 PM
THEY HAVE SILKEN TOFU?! Now I have to go look. The local grocery stores all used to have it, but I've been unable to find silken tofu anywhere now for a few months, which is tragic because I've been meaning to make a chocolate peanut butter pie.

gur
01-09-2006, 04:08 PM
they do! the aseptic-packaged stuff. mori-nu? yeah, mori-nu. and it's sometimes on sale there. it's usually at the back of the store near the big tubs of peanut butter and pie filling etc. (often refrigerated for some reason).