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Thread: Veg*n in college

  1. #1
    veg l♥ve bekah-chan's Avatar
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    Veg*n in college

    So, my vegetarian best friend is convinced that he cannot afford to stay vegetarian in college, so he is already planning on being an omni again while in college instead of trying it first.

    Personally I think it would be cheaper (if you aren't eating mostly "convenience" and pre-packaged foods, of course) than eating meat.

    I know a lot of people have been able to stay veg*n in college, but am I off-base in saying it is cheaper/equivalent? Also, any suggestions as to how I can help convince him that it isn't necessary for him to give up his diet?
    I know his vegetarianism is important to him, so I really want to help him out here

    thanks!
    i'll bring home the tofurky if you bring home the fakin bacon

  2. #2
    Peaceful Warrior VegeTexan's Avatar
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    Hit em with a stick.
    That's gonna be my new advice for most future scenerios.

  3. #3
    veg l♥ve bekah-chan's Avatar
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    Haha thanks, I'll try it
    i'll bring home the tofurky if you bring home the fakin bacon

  4. #4
    hat-wearing potato eater dropscone's Avatar
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    Huh. I went vegan while I was at uni and certainly not rolling in money, and didn't have any trouble affording to eat. Basic stuff like potatoes, bread, pulses and even convenience foods like canned beans aren't going to break the bank. Don't we have a frugal vegan thread around here somewhere?
    "Like a cloud of blossoms falling
    Ain't it such a gorgeous morning?
    Hold your breath and reach for the blue"
    Blossoms Falling - Ooberman

  5. #5
    Peaceful Warrior VegeTexan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropscone View Post
    ... Don't we have a frugal vegan thread around here somewhere?
    searching for cheap here I found
    http://www.plantbasedpeople.com/show...ighlight=cheap

    http://www.plantbasedpeople.com/show...ighlight=cheap

    http://www.plantbasedpeople.com/show...ighlight=cheap

  6. #6
    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    Is he vegetarian or vegan? I don't see why he'd think it'd be more expensive. Meat is more expensive than beans and tofu and peanut butter and grains etc.

    Also Students Go Vegan has good inexpensive ,easy vegan meals.

  7. #7
    Plant-Based Person
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    Um, I'm vegan in college and spend $0 a week on it....this may be because I have a meal plan though. Also, meat is way expensive. Sure, if you buy like every vegan/vegetarian substitute product out there then it might get expensive but if you just buy "normal", meant-for-the-omni-masses but still veg*n products its definitely cheaper.

  8. #8
    Peaceful Warrior VegeTexan's Avatar
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    I often buy pricey mail order vegan meat and dairy substitutes that require postage costs.
    But since I always buy fresh fruits and vegetables when shopping locally (not prepackaged processed foods), and look for sale items, what I spend on food is well below what the average omni spends.

  9. #9
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Crazy revelation for me: A few years back I was talking to a guy who had gone through a few years of poverty. He was talking about the compromises he had to make food, and eventually got around to saying what his insanely low monthly grocery budget actually was.

    The number struck me speechless. Poor as he thought he was, it was still more than what my vegan ass was paying at the time. And I was not shy about splurging on the organic foods and specialty ingredients like saffron and whatnot.


    The moral of the story: 12-lb sack of rice and a 5-lb sack of lentils together cost about $10-$15, and will keep your tummy full for months. Find a slab of meat that will do that.

  10. #10
    I'm Bill McNeal! On crack! I like boys! purple dinosaur's Avatar
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    I'm currently at university, and I went vegan during my first year here. Since I only bought my own vegetarian food for about 2 months at the beginning of uni and then started buying only vegan stuff, I don't really have a lot to compare my current budget to. But the amount I spend on groceries seems to be a lot less than, say, the other people in line with me at the grocery store. I often see them buying ingredients for what looks like one dinner, and their purchases tend to come to ridiculous amounts of money. More, often, than what I pay for a whole week's worth of groceries!

    I think if I purchased a lot of packaged foods it would be more difficult. As it is, I think I'm alright with my once-a-month purchases of soy cheese and ice cream.

  11. #11
    eats a lot of prunes. Oatmeal Girl's Avatar
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    There are several cookbooks that are written specifically for students:

    http://www.amazon.com/Students-Go-Ve...2300288&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/PETAs-Vegan-Co...2300318&sr=8-2

    http://www.amazon.com/Students-Veget...2300344&sr=8-3

    And here are some websites:

    http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veget...collegeveg.htm

    http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qadining.htm

    I'm vegan and in college. Lately I've been shopping like this:

    - buying bulk beans and rice- with these, I can make basic bean 'n' rice dishes, burgers, "meat" loaf, etc. Vegweb has a ton of recipes that are based on these staples!
    - watching sales for other staples and things to make beans 'n' rice tasty (pasta sauce, baking staples, olive oil, etc.)
    - buying my fruits and veggies on sale at the local co-op (we get 10% off on wednesdays)
    - I buy oatmeal and flaxseed in bulk. I grind the flax myself and have this for breakfast almost every day. It's one of the cheapest breakfasts possible and it's so healthy!

    Hope this helps!
    "Nothing will benefit health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"
    - Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple dinosaur View Post
    I think if I purchased a lot of packaged foods it would be more difficult.
    I think that's it. I have a friend who loves to stock up on veggie burgers, frozen pizzas, bags of french fries and gyoza and whatnot. Her grocery bill is insane.

    But I never really think of that as a veg/non-veg thing so much as an expensive food/non-expensive food thing.

  13. #13
    PBPF Nerd....I guess. Kat's Avatar
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    I'm a vegan in college!

    I think the amount of money and time, plus whether or not someone lives in residence and has to depend on the cafeteria meal plan, both affect a lot how successful and healthy a college student will be with their veganism.

    I know for me personally, vegan pickings on campus are slim. I can have a hummus pita, a veggie burger and fries, a rice stir fry with vegetables, a salad, or a sub which only has vegetables on it. Sometimes I get the cafeteria workers to make me tomato sandwiches, and they tease me because all I want on the bread is tomato. no mayo, no margarine, no butter, no cheese...just tomatos. and salt and pepper.

    Anyhoo, if I were living in residence and were forced to eat that every day, I'd probably fall into quite a depression.

    As it is, I've got a downtown apartment with a vegan room-mate who is also a student, and we get along just fine as far as food goes.

    I think for me, I worry about cost of food less than I do about ease of preparation. I get horribly busy and simply don't have the time to cook elaborate meals anymore. So I depend a lot on various combinations of veggie burgers, salads, perogies, couscous, pasta, rice, raw vegetables, frozen dumplings, sauerkraut, carrot sticks, sandwiches, hummus, avocados, potatos.....not the most elaborate fare, but it's quick and easy to make, generally pretty cheap, and I can make things pretty tasty by employing the creative use of spices and condiments.

    I think your friend is copping out a little. I pay 99 cents for a pound of tofu, and probably 50 cents for a pound of lentils....how much is meat going for these days, anyways? Surely not 25 cents...

  14. #14
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    I think your friend is copping out a little. I pay 99 cents for a pound of tofu, and probably 50 cents for a pound of lentils....how much is meat going for these days, anyways? Surely not 25 cents...
    As of Friday January 16, 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture lists the retail price index for a pound of ground beef at $3.20.

  15. #15
    PBPF Nerd....I guess. Kat's Avatar
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    Ah, yes, so clearly much more cost-effective than tofu and lentils.

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