Cheap Vegan Grocery List
Since the Cheap Vegan Pantry article has been so popular, I am (by request) following up with a Cheap Vegan Grocery List. Here I’ll explain the different strategies I use and items I buy to stay healthy on a budget.
When you go to the grocery store, have in mind what percentage of what types of food you plan to buy. This should mirror your ideal plate of food. My goal is to eat mostly whole foods (foods that have not been processed), as many organic foods as I can afford to splurge on, and as little sugar and processed foods as possible. Besides obvious sugar like corn syrup, sugars also include white bread/pasta, anything made with white flour.
Once you have mentally prepared yourself for grocery shopping, you start from the bottom up. I shop at a few different sources to get what I need for the best bargain. Luckily, all of these places are walking distance to my house. But do what works best for you! If you’d rather only go to only one place, that might be more valuable than the $10-20 bucks you save a week going to multiple stores.
Start Literally Dirt-cheap
To start, check your garden. Whether you’re just planting some herbs or you have a whole veggie garden, there’s nothing better than home-grown food. As Ron Finley says, “Planting your own food is like printing your own money …plus you get strawberries.”
If you happen to get to a farmers market, check out their $1 rack. Often times they’ll have good deals of food they have too much of.
Figuratively Dirt Cheap
Next I go to the 99cent and up store—and I know what you’re thinking, we just went from the garden to the dollar store, but I’m broke people! …plus they’re really not all that bad. Especially here in Los Angeles! People tend to get sketched out by the dollar store but you just have to use common sense. If something looks a little suspect, don’t buy it. A lot of the food is even the same brand as what you’d get at a grocery store, just overstock.
At the 99c store I buy:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Any pre-cut, easy to prepare veggies that look good (ex. Shredded purple cabbage, carrots, etc.)
- Tortilla Chips
- Canned beans (at my location they have a variety of organic beans for a buck!)
- Corn Tortillas
- Canned Tomato Sauce/Diced tomatoes
- Random canned goods I might need
- Soy Milk
- Brown Rice
If I needed anything else I couldn’t find at the dollar store my next stop is usually my local…
The Mexican Super Market!
In LA I go to JON’s in Chicago I went to Devon Market, but most cities have their own Mexican supermarkets where you can get produce for a little cheaper.
Here I buy:
- Bell Peppers
- Any other produce I have a recipe in mind for
- Frozen Veggies
- Almond Milk
- Baking Items
- Whole grain pastas
Lastly, if I’m feeling a little fancy, having a craving, or just can’t find it at those two places, I go to…
The Bougie spots: Trader Joes and Whole Foods
Where I get…
- Low sugarGranola (a lot of times granola has just as much sugar as cereal like frosted flakes or cocoa pebbles)
Dr. Praegers veggie burgers (where their motto is making the ingredients recognizable)
- Trader Joe’s Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chilli Salsa (because it’s BOMB)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Natural Almond Butter
- Ezikiel Bread
…any little things that I can afford to splurge on
Always look for bargains. If there is a discount rack, start there, then move to the sections you would usually go to and keep looking for deals. If you’re afraid you can’t eat the 2 for 1 case of fruit, remember freezing. You can always save it for a smoothie or banana whip later! Same goes for canned goods and non-perishable foods. Sometimes buying in bulk can save you some cash in the long run.
I thought vegan food was expensive…
A big misconception about being vegan, and why many think it’s so expensive to eat a plant-based diet, is because of the processed foods that are catered to vegan consumers. Foods like Tofurky, Boca Burgers, Amy’s frozen dinners, daiya, and other pre-made vegan “meats” and “cheeses” are simply more expensive than produce AND worse than that, they’re not as healthy! It’s easy to be a healthy cheap vegan, but start throwing in processed foods and sugars and you start to dive into expensive territory. So make the healthier and less expensive choice and eat your whole fruits and veggies!
people who eat crops picked by under payed, overworked, exploited and abused poor migrant workers (via bertoltbrechtfast)
nothing is cruelty free in capitalist society but DID YOU KNOW it takes 16lbs of grain to make 1lb of meat, 251 animals die to produce 1 million calories of chicken, and less than 3 animals die to produce 1 million calories of vegetables. so remind me what crops you and the animals you consume are eating?
here’s the thing: stop using exploited poc and migrant workers as an argumentative tool in the never-ending pissing contest against vegans. you don’t actually care about them, you don’t actually care about animals, and you don’t actually care about what choices cause the least harm. you also don’t understand capitalism and animal agriculture. like at all.
I actually hate the term “cruelty free” because it is inaccurate for the reasons listed. But yes, it is a pathetic argument “tool” used by idiots to try to “invalidate” veganism. Like you do realize eating meat and animal products exploits both humans AND animals far more than a vegan diet, right? Jesus.
I saw something similar to this yesterday. I don’t think people realize how fucked up this is. I see so many parents taking their children for a ride, teaching them their enjoyment is worth more than these animals’ freedom. I was one of those kids. I saw no problem with it because everyone else was doing it. If my parents thought it was ok, then it should be ok, right?
I’ve heard some of those parents say they feel sorry for those ponies, but “the kid has so much fun”. No wonder people are so incredibly selfish. We raise them to be that way. It’s my fun day. It’s my moment. I deserve to have a good time. Where’s the empathy.
Your own pleasure should never override someone else’s autonomy.
Those ponies look well fed, and well taken care of, I’m not a fan of the plastic leg chains, But then again. Those ponies probably go home to a nice pastured field and nice stalls.
It’s not always bad.
Let me tell you a little story.
This is Victoria. Her life pretty much consisted on what you’ve seen above: carrying children on her back and spinning around, spinning around, spinning around. She did that for 22 years.
I’ll say that again: 22 years.
Imagine being used as a ride for 22 years. Imagine being born into a world where your worth is measured by the service you can provide to a species who cares about nothing beyond their own pleasure, convenience and profits.
Do you know what happened to her after all those years? The person who used her, who, supposedly, took care of her, realized she was too old. She was no longer useful. Goodbye profits.
He put a rope around her neck and left her tied up day after day until she developed atrophy. Luckily for her, she was rescued and taken to an animal sanctuary.
Look at her eyes. Take a look at any picture these kind people post. I assure you the ponies I saw yesterday had a very different look. Because no nice pastured field or stall can make up for this.
I’ll say it again. Your own pleasure should never override someone else’s autonomy.
Hmmmm, 22 years walking around or less than 10 running from wolves and die while being mauled.. Yeah you animal rights “activists” have it on point
What you said was bullshit and you’re well aware of the fact. I -know- that you don’t honestly think this horse had two options; being incredibly exploited and then neglected or loose in the wild to die in a month. They could actually treat that horse as a companion and not a money machine. Even better we could stop viewing animals as commodities and stop breeding them altogether.
BABIES CAN BE VEGAN !!!!!!!
Proof for anon:
”It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.” - [Source]
What utter and ridiculous nonsense. How impossibly ignorant/brainwashed can you get? Feeding your child the pus- and antibiotic- and carcinogenic-ridden carcasses of animals is nothing short of child abuse. You are not a good parent if you are not a vegan parent. Period.
It is also not a “lifestyle”. Veganism is a moral philosophy and social justice movement that rejects speciesism and the human oppression of nonhuman animals. Vegans are those who agree with the philosophy of veganism and advocate against speciesism. Vegans attempt to avoid participating in speciesist acts to the extent that they are able as a logical implementation of this philosophy.
Thats my stance it makes logical sense to me, i can understand why some people would disagree but yeah
To throw them out would be far worse than wearing them; it would be wasteful, and it wouldn’t do a single damn thing for the vegan cause. I have a pair of leather sandals I’ve had for years, long before I went vegan, and I’m wearing them until the straps break off because it would be ridiculously wasteful. (To be fair, I wish mine were DMs instead of sandals. :P Do vegan DMs exist? Time for a Google search…)
You know all those vegans who claim to have no carbon footprint and earn six figures and are white and spend $3,000 a month on their special vegan groceries and think that poor people should starve if they can’t access vegan food?
Neither do I.
You vegan-hating jackasses on Tumblr are immature, ignorant, and denial-ridden. You offer utterly pathetic attack “arguments,” and one day, if you have any sense of morality or logic, you will regret who you are today.
If you think your taste buds are so incredibly important that their pleasure outweighs the entire life and suffering of an innocent being I don’t even know how you can get offended when people question your morals.
Ah yes, I remember when my ultra white husband and I decided one day on our yacht that we should become vegan to spite the starving plebeians.
Except he’s half Persian and we were living in a shitty apartment at the time. Did I mention I’m 31 and never been to Europe despite desperately wanting to travel my whole life? Because I’m not rich.
I’m also vegan.
you know what we need to eradicate? those militant vegan blogger bastards who dedicate their lives on the internet to solely tell people what to do and how to think GO GET FUCKED PLEASE I haven’t got an ounce of care for your elitist, classist, privileged…
There is zero evidence to support that veganism is more expensive than non-veganism. You can compare a $15 salad at a fancy restaurant with a 99 cent burger from McDonald’s and “prove” your point but the reality is that it is possible to spend the same or less on a vegan diet as on a non-vegan diet. In fact, nearly all the vegans I know are and poor and were already poor before they went vegan.
Seriously, give up. This is nonsense.
Hey, did you know we can focus on outliers all the day, but the fact is there are many more people who can go vegan and the only reason they aren’t is taste preferences and convenience?
Stop using us as a selling point, anon
Hey, did you know there are vegan foods that are not vegetables? Like, tons of them? And did you know that dietary change has been shown to reduce and in some cases eliminate the symptoms of autism? And did you know vegan activists aren’t actually targeting people with food-symptom diseases anyway?
In reference to normal taste issues, though, if someone has only consumed non-animal foods since the womb, there is no logical way that they can only bear to consume animal foods after they’re born. If a kid is a “picky” eater, blame the mother for offering them unhealthy options to “pick” from. Research has shown that taste preference begin in the womb, and even after the womb, the parent controls what foods their kid is exposed to. And guess what, if you set a plate of chicken nuggets and broccoli in front of a kid and then call them a picky eater for not choosing the broccoli, you have no one to blame but yourself.