Photo
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-cheapTo 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 CheapNext 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.)
Salsa
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
Oatmeal
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:Bananas
Apples
Cucumbers
Bell Peppers
Any other produce I have a recipe in mind for
Frozen Veggies
Almond Milk
Cereal
Nuts
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…
Tempeh
Tofu
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
Extra tips…
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!

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.)
  • Salsa
  • 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
  • Oatmeal

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:
Bananas

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Any other produce I have a recipe in mind for
  • Frozen Veggies
  • Almond Milk
  • Cereal
  • Nuts
  • 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…

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • 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

Extra tips…

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!

Text

mi-figue-mi-raisin said: Right now in a vegetarian but I'm switching to a vegan diet when I go back to school in August. I'm excited, but there are one or two things I'll miss. A big part of my life is Gatorade since I spend a lot of my time outdoors; however, I'm not sure if it's vegan. The ingredient that concerns me is "natural flavor" because I don't know if that's vegan or not and I'm not sure how to find out.

Hey there,

Glad to hear you’re going to try going vegan when you get back to school. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re new to figure out what’s vegan and what’s not. There are lots of websites to help with that. If you google “is ____ vegan” usually it will lead you to a list like this: http://www.peta.org/living/food/beverages/

Peta (while controversial) often has good resources for knowing what is and isn’t vegan in food, cosmetics, etc.

My biggest piece of advice when you start your vegan diet is not to beat yourself up if you accidentally eat something that isn’t vegan(or even if you eat it on purpose). The label “vegan” doesn’t mean you can’t mess up once in a while. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me they went vegan and then they accidentally ate [insert dairy product], and figured they might as well just give up. Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s a big change and it takes time to get into the swing of it for lots of people.

To answer your question though, gatorade is totally vegan. Natural flavors are tricky, but generally if it seems like the natural flavors would be vegan they probably are. Like for Gatorade, that’s fruit flavored, so it’ll probably be a natural fruit flavor. But if you wanna be cautious, just look for lists like the one I included above.

Hope that helps! If you ever have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Thanks for reading Cheap Vegan!
Madison

Photo
Life strawberries & peanut butter: the Breakfast version of PB&J

Life strawberries & peanut butter: the Breakfast version of PB&J

Photo
Saturday morning breakfast ☀️

Saturday morning breakfast ☀️

Photoset

The Perfect Care Package for the Cheap Vegan in Your World

As a vegan on a budget, I know there is nothing better than getting a care package full of things that I really want but are just out of my price range. Here is a guide to making a healthy Cheap Vegan care package that’s sure to satisfy your favorite vegan. 

Granola Bars
A convenient breakfast or in between meal snack that we just hate spending with our own dime. Luna and Clif bars are great because they’re all vegan and the flavors are amazing. Key Lime Pie, Carmel Nut, or White Chocolate Macadamia nut are just a few of the interesting flavors Clif offers that vegans usually can’t try. 

Kale Chips
How did something made entirely of a garnish vegetable get so expensive? A gift of kale to the cheap vegan is a break from slow baking it ourselves.

Heat and Go Dinner
These Indian Dinners from Trader Joe’s are so good and so easy to make. Perfect for the vegan working doubles. Be sure to read the ingredients though, only the Punjab Choley is vegan.

Fancy Nut Butter
Specifically Justin's nut butters. These little single-serving packets are oh-so tempting every time you pass them at whole foods. The variety of flavors (all vegan) can't be beat making them the perfect treat!

That rhyme was totally unintentional…

High Quality Dark Chocolate
Fair trade, organic, dark chocolate can be a little pricier than an average Hershey bar. Nothing says “I love you”, like chocolate.

Granola
Next to tofu, granola is probably the most famous of vegan staples, but it can get pricey compared to regular cereals. It’s light-weight and can actually hold your friend over for a week of breakfast, making it a thoughtful and practical care package accessory.

Dried Soup Mix
Another light weight complete meal that you can send in the mail. Soup is the perfect comfort food sure to warm their tummy and their heart.

A Homemade Pastry
No care package would be complete without something homemade. Use www.vegweb.com to find vegan recipes for any treat! 

A Lil Somthing Extra
At the end of the day, a care package is just another way to show your love. Adding a personal touch like a hand written note, an old picture, or an inside joke will mean more than all the granola and chocolate money can buy.

Photo
My dill plant is wild 💛💚

My dill plant is wild 💛💚

Photo
Check out this fan photo from @yvonnerachelle following the New Orleans Style Beans and Rice Recipe from the Cheap Vegan Archive!
Quick Cooking Tips for Dried Beans
Soak overnight - this will prep your beans for cooking and also leech out some of the chemicals that give you gas.
Add Other Ingredients - Beans and rice are good, but beans, peppers, onions, garlic, celery, etc. etc… is better!
Don’t add salt until the very end!!! - This rule is super important! Adding salt before the beans have softened can make for gritty beans.

Check out this fan photo from @yvonnerachelle following the New Orleans Style Beans and Rice Recipe from the Cheap Vegan Archive!

Quick Cooking Tips for Dried Beans

  1. Soak overnight - this will prep your beans for cooking and also leech out some of the chemicals that give you gas.
  2. Add Other Ingredients - Beans and rice are good, but beans, peppers, onions, garlic, celery, etc. etc… is better!
  3. Don’t add salt until the very end!!! - This rule is super important! Adding salt before the beans have softened can make for gritty beans.
Video

Shout out to CVS for promoting Healthy Living over Profits!

Photo
Today is Cheap Vegan’s 2nd Birthday!!!
Thanks to all of the readers, new and old, that keep inspiring me to write more post and are open to learning about their food and investing in their health.Stay healthy, compassionate, and un-broke!Love,
MadisonCheap Vegan

Today is Cheap Vegan’s 2nd Birthday!!!

Thanks to all of the readers, new and old, that keep inspiring me to write more post and are open to learning about their food and investing in their health.

Stay healthy, compassionate, and un-broke!

Love,

Madison
Cheap Vegan

Photo
Bon appetite! 

 #cheapvegan #vegetables #vegetarian #vegan #carrots #asparagus #beans #beautiful #brusselsprouts #plate #organic #meal #cheap #easy #healthy #produce #freefood #free

Bon appetite!

#cheapvegan #vegetables #vegetarian #vegan #carrots #asparagus #beans #beautiful #brusselsprouts #plate #organic #meal #cheap #easy #healthy #produce #freefood #free