thinking about going vegan but need help

Hey all,
I’ve been reading articles about how wonderful veganism can be for your health (and the planet on top of that, stumble upon is a powerful tool haha). I’ve come to the conclusion that I would really like to become vegan, but I have a few problems I need your help to figure out.

I’m a college student, which means I have a very limited amount of money to spend. I’m also very new to eating things without meat or dairy in them. So I guess my question to satisfy both those problems would be is: how much does your grocery bill cost and what do you have on it?

I’m very busy so I can probably afford to go to the grocery store every 2 weeks. I’m also not looking to spend more than 150 per month, as that was about what I spent before.

If I can’t afford this, I might just wait until after college, but I’m hoping I can do it now.

Thanks for your help, and any other information on this process would be greatly appreciated.

I’m a vegan uni student as well!

My grocery bill… Hmm… hard to say because I work at a grocery store and I shop a little bit frequently. Fresh produce! :smiley: However, I probably spend about 25$ a week. Definitely not very expensive groceries. The most expensive part is replacing your carnivore diet staples with vegan diet staples.

I try to have on hand often some:
wild & brown rice mix
lentils/lentil mix
can of beans
good multigrain-y bread with flax seeds
organic peanut butter
olive oil
fresh fruit and veggies [for veggies I really personally like broccoli because you can put it in everything.]
DGLV [dark green leafy vegetables]
Soy/almond/or rice milk
Large flake oats
granola/trail mix/raw nuts etc

That’s just me personally. :slight_smile: I obviously eat other things, but those are just some of my favourites. I make a lot of pizzas, things with mushrooms, vegetable pot pie, stir fries, etc. Stuff that yields lots of left overs. Chilli is another favourite. :slight_smile: It’s not that hard to have a good budget! The hardest part is eating out, but that’s not an issue if you are broke like me. :wink:

Also, if you aren’t able to make frequent trips to the grocery store, buying some frozen veggies is always a good idea. I sometimes buy frozen broccoli or stir fry mix. Making soups is a good idea as well, as these can freeze really nicely in portion sized bits. :slight_smile:

Feel free to ask any other questions! :smiley:

If you eat ‘third world vegan’, you’ll spend much less on food. My grocery bill is generally about 100.oo, more or less, a month. By third world vegan, I mean whole grains and legumes, with fresh, frozen, or canned produce. Fresh produce can be bought at markdown markets. Most cities have these. You don’t have to buy those niche market vegan meat analogues. They are a nice treat, but if you are looking to save money, then buying whole foods and cooking from scratch is the best way. If you want a quick treat, buy ramen noodles. They are refined, but you can ditch the seasoning packet, instead using your own soy sauce, Ginger, etc to flavor them. Add some frozen peas, etc, and you have a good meal. Could add some cubed tofu for protein.

This is something I have been struggling with as well! I have only recently started the transition to veganism, but I somehow feel like I’m spending MORE on groceries, which can’t be right! I figured I have to be doing something wrong. Maybe it’s just because I’ve needed to restock everything.

I love snog’s analogy of ‘third world vegan’ and I think that will help me figure out my own grocery list much better. Thank you for posting this, I’ll be sure to keep checking for more example grocery lists. :smiley:

Hello Masterbd and welcome to the vegan world… Hope you’ll enjoy it… Thank you for asking such questions, it will not only help you but some other people out there who think that being vegan is that expensive… Well for me it is not… As I always suggest to the new comers, don’t stress yourself, you may always start by trying it slowly and having vegan food gradually… Fruits and vegetables are not that expensive right, they may be the main component of your diet… :smiley:

thanks for the help everybody.
I’m making my first trip to the grocery store today. There’s a Whole Foods right by me so I’m gonna give that a shot. I’ve heard it’s a little more expensive, but it tends to cater to vegetarians and vegans better than most grocery stores. I’ll just try to be as frugal as possible haha.
I’ll let you know how it goes and how much it costs.

Good luck to your adventure Masterbd :wink: Keep us updated…

Being vegan shouldn’t be too expensive. Here is some of what I usually eat during a week:

-Baked potatoes
-Hummus sandwhiches on whole-grain bread
-Whole-wheat pasta
-Beans and rice
-Rice milk
-Tofu with olive oil
-Fruit & nut bars

Very filling and I don’t think it costs too much. Taking vitamins are also something good to do but I think the vegan ones are more expensive. Hopefully what I listed seems helpful.

I am so proud of you veganarchists… giving advices even though you are young… not just advices but helpful ones… :smiley:

You can actually afford it you just have to discover all the wonderful things that await you in the grocery store. Unless you are eating organic, which in your case may be out of your price range, there should be no problem financially in fact you’d probably save money from not buying animal products. all the posts so far should have you covered!

I seem to go back and forth with it. I know I’ll get there eventually. One thing that helps is not to have any animal products in my home. Also, don’t do fast food and eat out only at restaraunts that are vegan friendly. Most Italian restaraunts are. I’m also a big fan of Sweet Tomatoes.

I find it is worth shopping around - tofu and TVP are very expensive in some shops and supermarkets. I can get large blocks of tofu very cheaply from my local asian store, and we have a health food shop selling dried goods like TVP, beans and cereals much cheaper than the supermarkets. Good luck!

Also, bulk food store usually cater WONDERFULLY to vegans. I find buying things bulk is much cheaper. You can get all kind of things there from all different beans, pastas, grains, flax seed and other seeds, nut and dried fruit mixes, flour/sugars etc, and the ones around here almost always have some different organic things in cans like sauces, gluten free things and natural shampoos and soap and things like that. :slight_smile:

I agree that you should avoid purchasing fake meat products, as that costs a lot. I have been on a quest to eat normal things without meat, and it has saved me money too. I feed myself who is vegan, and my boyfriend who is not ( but never asks me to make meat on the side when i make vegan dinners, he just has non vegan snacks.) We spend 60 a week. I sit down at the beginning of each week and make a meal plan, then shop accordingly. So here is an example:
noodles 1.19
canned tomato sauce .79
canned diced tomatoes w/ green chillis .59
fresh bulk mushrooms usually around .50
red onion ( i use for two recipes) 1.10
Tortillas ( not animal lard ones) 2.50
canned black beans .69
canned pinto beans .69
canned diced tomatoes with green chilis .59
rice (I have this at home, I usually use a cup and a half…I mix it with tomatoes and water then boil)

Also, take some time to look at store flyers. Some stores around here have awesome reduced rates on fresh produce. I hope this helps. I have started a blog and I am going to be adding all kinds of recipes on there. I have a very tight budget, so i have really had to do some research in teh money saving department.