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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:29 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Budget food is my mofo theme this year. I've just finished a week on a food budget of €10 (= $13.50). Unfortunately for you guys, I blog in Dutch, but you should be able to read it with the help of good old Google translate.

Basic grocery list: http://vegetus.nl/vegan-met-e-10-per-week/
My menu for the week: http://vegetus.nl/budgetchallenge-week- ... voor-e-10/

I made my own bread, ate lots of legumes and got cheap produce from the market. I guess it varies locally (and seasonally) which produce is cheapest, but for us it's carrots and frozen kale, so I tried to be very creative with those.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:37 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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i think she's vegetarian at the moment, but her blog is still pretty darn vegan-friendly. melomeals used to have a "vegan for $3.33 day" for a while there: http://melomeals.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:43 am 
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Oh I'm glad melomeals is back! she took it down recently and I was worried it wasn't coming back. It looks like her FB page is still down but I'm guessing it is because she doesn't want outside commenters for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Lots of good ideas here!

One thing that might help save some money is if you could garden at all in your current living arrangement, even in the winter. If you have a spare bathtub (I know, who does?!) you could try bathtub gardening in the winter--the guy who wrote Speed Vegan did this and here's his blog post about it: http://veganascent.blogspot.com/2011/04 ... ening.html It might even work if you have some other area inside that could be utilized that way.

Another thing you could try is the idea of re-growing some veggies you buy, like green onions, garlic, even bok choy. This would be something you could have going on the kitchen counter and wouldn't take up a lot of space. There are diys for it all over pinterest, and here's a blog post that has links to instructions for 15 different veggies you can re-grow from scraps: http://pandawhale.com/post/3695/15-food ... rom-scraps (I've only tried with green onion and it works but I really want to try it with leeks, garlic and bok choy).

Hope these ideas might help!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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hopshackgirl wrote:
Lots of good ideas here!

One thing that might help save some money is if you could garden at all in your current living arrangement, even in the winter. If you have a spare bathtub (I know, who does?!) you could try bathtub gardening in the winter--the guy who wrote Speed Vegan did this and here's his blog post about it: http://veganascent.blogspot.com/2011/04 ... ening.html It might even work if you have some other area inside that could be utilized that way.



I could actually maybe do this. We have a couple tubs hubby has been saving for scrap, and a huge heated garage. HMMMMMMMMMM.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
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Now that MoFo is over I'm starting a budget challenge on my blog. Shouldn't be too hard for the first month as I have a lot squirreled away and not much on my social calendar, but if October goes okay I plan to carry on in November too.

Here's the intro post - http://dropscone.wordpress.com/2013/09/ ... r-october/

I didn't realise this thread was here until I did a search for budget. I've only skimmed it so far but have spotted some good tips and links. Will look closer tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I've decided to limit myself to only buying vegetables, almond milk, tea, and coffee for the next couple of months. Otherwise I will just buy whatever looks good to me and never eat all the stuff that's been lingering in my pantry for ages.

This week I spent $6 at the farmers' market on two bunches of kale, a kabocha squash, and some tomatoes. And I bought a half gallon of almond milk for $3. With just those things I've been able to make plenty of food for the week using what I already had. I hope I can keep this up. If I could get away with spending $50 or less in October, that would be ideal.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:54 am 
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ashley wrote:
I've decided to limit myself to only buying vegetables, almond milk, tea, and coffee for the next couple of months. Otherwise I will just buy whatever looks good to me and never eat all the stuff that's been lingering in my pantry for ages.

This week I spent $6 at the farmers' market on two bunches of kale, a kabocha squash, and some tomatoes. And I bought a half gallon of almond milk for $3. With just those things I've been able to make plenty of food for the week using what I already had. I hope I can keep this up. If I could get away with spending $50 or less in October, that would be ideal.


If you have a well stocked pantry/freezer, you should be fine! I managed to only spend about $20 on food in September and I'm still alive.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:37 am 
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I just started volunteering at a local farm that doubles as a homeless shelter and I am sent home with SO much free produce. It is stuff that is grown steps away from my apartment! A few coworkers and I have started a soup/stew/curry club back up again where we make huge batches of something when we are flush with ingredients and share it with each other at work all week. I feel like it works really well for me as I am known to make a massive batch of something (yesterday it was a delicious "beef" stew) but then get super bored of it. Yesterday's dish was crazy laborious and I can't wait to share it/eat my friends' stuff because sometimes when you are slaving over a dish for hours and hours it ceases to be appetizing. I don't have a slow-cooker but my friend does, so he almost always brings something tasty and filling with beans.

We buy our choice non-dairy milks (vanilla almond breeze for Jay, unsweetened or original Vitasoy for me) in cases when they go on sale at the health food shop we used to work at years ago. They still FB-message us when the sales are on! I've also found really cheap Vitasoy at Asian markets, but the expiration dates aren't always good.

For someone who really hates and often fails at budgeting, I always seem to have money-saving schemes at the back of my head. I think my hugest money-saver is hoarding free stuff. We get free booze from work, tonnes of free leftovers from our partner caterers at work, free bread from my brother in law who builds brick ovens, free event tickets/gallery passes/etc... from my sister in law and through promos at my work, produce from my volunteering, free cat food from my friend whose cat is always turning his nose up at expensive food/on a new diet, free expired stuff at work, free books/movies (the library!), etc. When it's stuff that actually will cost money (fair enough), I can afford to pay what's deserved for neat indulgences such as local preserves, a meal out, or the occasional piece of clothing or brand new book. We used to spend a LOT of our money on wine because we were wine snobs, and still kind of are, but we get a ridiculous amount of cider and wine from work now and I don't even remember the last time I went to the liquor store.
I have taken to looking for recipes that use a large amount of a particular ingredient since I frequently find myself with four bunches of beets (I pickled the roots/made a crostini spread as per The Inspired Vegan and sauteed the greens with garlic). I find books such as How to Cook Everything Vegetarian useful for that kind of cheap large-batch cooking. Sometimes a suggested add-on to a pot of rice noodles or whatever makes all the difference for a tasty cheap meal. I'm also much more into freezing stuff these days. We don't really have a large freezer but since all that goes in there is frozen fruit, leftovers, and things like Field Roast that was on sale, etc, I seem to always have room. We don't have a microwave at home so everything we freeze usually becomes a take-to-work meal.

I recently found a cheap source of vital wheat gluten so I make seitan in huge batches. It is REALLY helpful for my protein-needy husband (and probably you guys too, with all the training!) because we were spending way too much on tempeh and Field Roast sausages for him. I also always have some inexpensive but fresh Chinatown tofu marinating in the fridge. I buy MASSIVE things of tamari, sriracha, mirin, rice vinegar, noodles, sambal oelek, rice, dried and fresh mushrooms, lemongrass, etc... in Chinatown too, and big things of spices, peppers, and chickpea flour from the Indian grocer. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much of my precious downtime shopping, but I love the hunt for a bargain and the resulting stocked pantry that allows for some serious budget creative cooking. When I'm testing for cookbooks I make sure that every non-tester meal we make is super cheap, because I can't go omitting that one tablespoon of nigella seeds or vegan creamer or whatever ingredient I'll have to make a special trip for.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Often, if there's a discount on an organic fruit or vegetable at my supermarket, it will be cheaper than the non-discounted, non-organic equivalent. And there is always a discount on some organic produce or other. But then, the cashier will sometimes make a mistake and not realize it's organic, and I'll pay more before I notice her mistake. But then again, when organic is more expensive, she'll make the same mistake and I'll pay less. I think people who work in some supermarkets have simply never noticed the existence of organic food! They see an avocado, they enter the code for avocado, and never look at the sticker properly. Is it just here or has someone else noticed the same thing?
Otherwise, I am not very good at not spending much for food, except that I don't eat out. I'm grateful I don't have to be careful (not having a car, a house or children, not being the travelling type and having no interest for fashion) because I do enjoy buying exotic ingredients and trying new recipes all the time. And here ethnic shops are not cheap.
There's a book called Eat Vegan on 4 $ a Day, but I don't know whether it's any good.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:17 am 
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My Facebook friend has started doing the same budget challenge as me, and her writing style is much more entertaining than mine! http://thisvegan.wordpress.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:06 pm 
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An update!

D and I have been doing well with our $75/week budget! We went a bit over this week, since I'd been away and D didn't get groceries while I was gone. What's worked for us is planning our dinners in advance, and then making our shopping list based around that. We end up buying mostly veggies, some bulk grains/nuts, almond milk, tofu, peanut butter, some canned goods like tomatoes, etc.

The thing I think we need to improve on is snack stuff. It's hard to fit healthy snacks into the budget, since they all seem to be so expensive! The cheapest snacks all seem to be either sugary, or grain-based, which I'm trying to get away from, since I eat so much of both when I'm riding.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Did you ever check out the Fred Meyer loyalty card? Since they're owned by Kroger, they probably have a lot of the same e-coupons you can load to your card and Larabars always have coupons, usually .75 off of 3. I know Larabars aren't very exciting, but when they're on sale in the store and the coupon is loaded on my card, I get them. Also they're sometimes the 'free friday' item, every Friday Kroger has a coupon for something free and it's usually small, like a Larabar, but it's usually something vegan and hey, free is good no matter how small the item is.

I spent over $100 on a grocery trip for the first time in six months for Christmas, because I was getting nuts and other pricey things for the holiday and I just don't want to go to the store when it's cold. I think we're still averaging about $400/month or under with little effort, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:51 pm 
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I'm going to try to eat for $1000 or less this year. That's just for me. It works out to about $83/month. I might blog it but I fear it might get boring fast.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:14 pm 
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What's your blog link, ashley?

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:40 pm 
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I don't have one yet! I was thinking about starting one just for this project. Mostly to keep myself accountable.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:36 pm 
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For a family of four we spend $100 a week on groceries and sundries.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:52 pm 
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ashley wrote:
I don't have one yet! I was thinking about starting one just for this project. Mostly to keep myself accountable.


Dooooo itttttt - I'd love to see how you approach it.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Well I'm convinced! Now I just need a witty blog title.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:40 pm 
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This thread is full of great suggestions.

When my husband lost his job one of the things we did was always grocery shop on a full stomach. It makes it easier not to deviate from the shopping list.

Years and years ago I read the Tightwad Gazette books which were later repackaged into one book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette. These are collections of money-saving tip newsletters the author, Amy Dacyczyn (I had to look up how to spell her name), and her husband put together back in the 1980s or 1990s. Readers of theirs would also send in tips and the author and her family would try them out.

The author had some good suggestions when it came to grocery shopping as well as saving in other areas. She is an omnivore and some of her tips were too out there for us, while others likely won't be applicable anymore, but I suspect many still hold up. I recommend getting her book from the library; she writes well and the book makes for good reading.

If you are willing to invest in a pressure cooker, they make cooking beans from scratch go much, much faster. Lorna Sass's out of print cookbook Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen: Where Good Flavors and Good Health Meet is actually vegan and has a lot on pressure cooking beans from scratch. Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure is also good but vegetarian, not vegan.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:17 pm 
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LFL wrote:
Years and years ago I read the Tightwad Gazette books which were later repackaged into one book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette. These are collections of money-saving tip newsletters the author, Amy Dacyczyn (I had to look up how to spell her name), and her husband put together back in the 1980s or 1990s. Readers of theirs would also send in tips and the author and her family would try them out.

The author had some good suggestions when it came to grocery shopping as well as saving in other areas. She is an omnivore and some of her tips were too out there for us, while others likely won't be applicable anymore, but I suspect many still hold up. I recommend getting her book from the library; she writes well and the book makes for good reading.


Tightwad Gazette! My mom has those books, and I would sometimes read them as a kid when I was bored. I honestly think I read them more than my mom did. I was a weird kid.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:50 pm 
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I'll also chime in for "The Complete Tightwad Gazette". Quite truly one of my favorite books ever. It, along with the book "Your Money or Your Life", changed my relationship with $$$$. Highly suggested reading.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Moon wrote:
ashley wrote:
I don't have one yet! I was thinking about starting one just for this project. Mostly to keep myself accountable.


Dooooo itttttt - I'd love to see how you approach it.

Did it! Link in my signature.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:06 pm 
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^ enjoying it already. Your intro was relatable and funny (almond milk IS vital, BTW), your writing style is similar to mine and reads as being very conversational (to me) and I'm dying to know how you got wheat thins for a buck. Those things are $2.50 ON SALE here.

I also need more information on your Cheerios snack mix. Like.... How?

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:09 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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Thanks Moon! The wheat thins were from the 99 Cents Only store. It's hit or miss, but I often find good stuff there. I assume they get a lot of overstocks and closeouts. One time they had boxes of EB sticks and I bought 15 of them. I still have some!

For the cheerios mix, I mixed everything together with peanut butter and a little bit of applesauce, and baked it like granola. It actually came out really good!


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