Vegan on the Cheap

Hari Om yogis and yoginis,

as the economy is still not too well and my personal job situation still isn’t that great, I’m wondering about ways to save money. I know, food should be the least area to go cheap, but unfortuatly, I might have to.
I’ve already started to buy more ‘normal’ instead of organic and more seasonal and regional. Being on a vegan diet already saves me a lot of money (even though this is not the reason why I’m doing it) but I’m still looking for more ideas. Any suggestions? :smile:


Apples! Covered in unsweetened cocoa powder!
Chocolate covered stevia drops are also an amazing thing. They are expensive but can last a really long time. You can pour them into coconut milk or maybe even coconut milk powder and water. You can mix them with water and wash strawberries in them.

Also - the Indian diet works really well. A 10 lb bag of jasmine rice is about 20 bucks, and lentils are cheap in bulk too. Learn how to mix these together with a minimum of produce to make 1000 dishes. If you have an Indian district near you, then you can get spices in bulk as well as save a lot of money.

I’ve been vegetarian off an on for a long time but even when I am not trying to stick to a vegetarian diet I tend to eat very little meat for one reason; it’s cheaper.
You can get large ‘bulk’ bags of rice at most asian groceries (cheapest I’ve found is 20lbs for $15 but this is plain white rice, not jasmine). I prefer to buy large bags of brown rice as the whole grain completes the protein in beans.
Beans are also exceptionally cheap. Dry is cheaper at the outset but the energy used to cook them probably makes them more expensive than canned beans (and far more time consuming to prepare). Lentils are another option as suryadaya said but they are more expensive I believe.
Of course, pasta, potatoes, oats, and most grains are cheap (go for whole grains if possible, usually they are insignificantly more expensive). Frozen produce (v.s fresh) and in season produce are cheaper and I tend to find ethnic groceries are cheaper for some things than many regular groceries.
Another possibility to save money is to grow some of your own food. There are a variety of ways to grow herbs and veggies indoors and, of course, if you have the land for it you can grow outdoors. Some pretty interesting ideas I have found include wooden palette vertical gardens and miniature window hydroponic gardens (like those detailed at
Finally, and I may get some bad reactions to this, there is the possibility of dumpstering; salvaging food from dumpsters. Many restaurants, groceries, convenience stores, ect throw out perfectly good food on a daily basis, food that would otherwise go to waste. Many of these foods are simply nearing their expiration date and many are sealed, keeping out harmful bacteria they may pick up in the trash. Of course, there are safety measures and laws to take into consideration but it is a completely viable option. Heck, dumpstering is a good way to salvage many useful things. If you can get past the ingrained idea that such a practice is dirty, gross, or dangerous then there is a wealth of food to be had (and a wealth of info about it online). One man’s trash is another man’s feast.

Some supermarkets now lock their dumpsters or pour bleach onto the food to prevent “freegans” from taking the food…this seems such a sad waste…people should be allowed to dumpster dine if they want.

When I was working in London and cycling into “the city” for a class…it just happened to be closing time of the many high end sandwich shops(along fleet street etc) and they would put all unsold sandwiches into perfectly clean plastic sacks on to the sidewalk for garbage collection…I regularly stopped along with various others to pick up an evening snack/dinner…the sandwiches were even still cold from the chiller cabinet…perfectly edible.

Where can you find chocolate covered stevia drops? I have never heard of them before and as I cannot seem to process sugar well try to stay off of it, but I still have the occasional sweet tooth and those sound delicious.

Grow your own food, not only cheaper but very satisfying as well.

Eat simple. Porridge for breakfast. Rice, lentils and vegetables (carrots, beetroot,…) for lunch and dinner. If you eat bread, bake it on your own. A loaf of homemade organic bread is cheaper than a loaf of regular supermarket bread. I don?t know where you live, but you can seasonally find some fruits for free (cherries, plums). For more fresh, seasonal and regional vitamins try wild food as well.

I would suggest you to have only salads only once in a week. Remember only salad a whole day…

[QUOTE=Loretha;69973]Grow your own food, not only cheaper but very satisfying as well.[/QUOTE]

so true… grow your own garden and plant many perennials… I was very surprised the first time I picked salad greens… you just take a few leaves here and there and the plant continues to grow more and more leaves… it’s simply amazing how much abundance comes from one seed…