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 Post subject: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:24 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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So, bf and I need to get a bit more serious about saving money. Our biggest monthly expenditure by far is food. I know that a lot of our spending in that area is because of less-than-awesome planning and also laziness, so I want to put us on a food-spending diet. I'm pretty sure we can eat just as healthily for half of what we pay now. I'm a bit out of the loop on vegan blogs, though. Anyone have any good budget-friendly blogs or books they'd recommend? How about good online or IRL resources for buying ingredients and supplies?

We are now in a position where we have space to store bulk stuff, so I'm wanting to stock up bigtime on things like canned beans, canned tomatoes, quinoa, rice, lentils, oats, flours, etc. but I'm not sure the best place to grab that stuff for super cheap. I can always do the bulk bins at my local grocery store, but it actually doesn't seem like that's all that cheap for large quantities. I'm able to pick stuff up in store, but am also fine to order stuff online.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:13 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I just came across the 1.50 a day challenge which might help
http://www.forksoverknives.com/my-1-50- ... re-budget/

I know a lot of people LOVE "vegan on the cheap" so you might want to check it out from the library.

To me, one of the biggest money savers is making my own beans and the freezing them. If you have a problem with produce going bad in the fridge before you use it all get in the habit of freezing it first and using it for soups and smoothies.

I eat a lot of tacos when I'm broke, here you can get 100 corn tortillas for about a dollar and bean & tofu scramble or potato + greens is super cheap.

Also, I shop at the Mexican meat market where everything is really really well priced. I bet it's the same with Asian or Lebanese grocery stores over there.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:30 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:49 am
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
My tips overlap LazySmurf's ideas: I soak my own beans and freeze them, make my own seitan, tempeh/Beyond meats are more treats instead of staples, and I shop at ethnic markets when I can. Its stunningly cheaper. (I don't have any great advice on blogs though.)


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:37 am 
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WELFARIST!
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I've been on a majorly tiny food budget for the past month. Here's what I do and have done in the past. When you make large quantities of food, freeze half the leftovers. This works great for soups, burritos, burgers. When you see things that freeze well on sale, buy those (deli slices, tempeh). I also peruse my cookbooks that have a money saver icon (pretty sure at least VCON and VEW both have this) and make a lot of those meals. Always have onions, garlic, and lemons around. Those are relatively inexpensive and it seems like most meals start with them, so they're good to have on hand even if you're not sure when you might use them. I don't know much about buying bulk (nowhere to do that here), but be careful about where you store things, so that you don't get weevils and whatnot.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:43 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Thanks, guys!

Lazysmurf, I actually read that $1.50 a day thing. It's an interesting read, but man, I need more veggies than that! I'm thinking of trying to do a week for $5 a day, though, and see how that is.

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If you spit on my food I will blow your forking head off, you filthy shitdog. - Mumbles
Don't you know that vegan meat is the gateway drug to chicken addiction? Because GMO and trans-fats. - kaerlighed


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:47 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I did a post today on veganmofo asking people what blogs they have discovered and it seems from the comments that there are a lot of money conscious ones, so check that out too.

http://www.veganmofo.com/giveaway-earth-balance-2/

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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I'm writing a cookbook on this at the moment but uh, I don't really know good blogs for this even though I've tried to find them. A lot of them focus on buying in bulk (not possible), couponing (not a thing here), etc.

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"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Not a creepy cheese pocket person
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These are older blogs that aren't really updated anymore, but when I was on a really tight budget I found Cheap, Healthy, Good and Hillbilly Housewife useful. Neither are vegan, but both are vegan-friendly.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Sick of Cupcakes
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Costco has really decent prices on bulk staple like organic canned beans, grains (incl. my nemesis quinoa), unsweetened non-dairy shelf stable milks and baking supplies. I have been trying to save $ on baking supplies & other weekly items like agave, coconut sugar and beans!

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 7:46 am
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Location: with my dog....on a trail
defo cook your own beans and grains. buy them from the bulk bins. even getting all organic is still a fraction of the cost of buying canned.

and agreed on produce being waaaaay cheaper at ethnic markets (is that un-PC? I don't mean to offend, I just mean not going to Safeway or the like).


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:05 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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vegan on the cheap (cookbook) by robin robertson is awesome.

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:09 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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do you have a publix grocery store near you? most of the bush's canned beans (15 ounces or so) are on sale for 80 cents per can and the muir glen organic tomatoes (fire roasted and plain, sauce/puree, crushed, diced, etc....) are $1.25 a can!

p.s. print coupons online and take them to grocery store..... i ♥ when something is on sale AND i have a coupon, big savings!

http://www.southernsavers.com/printables/

http://www.coupons.com/

p.p.s. like you mentioned above, not all the bulk bin deals are good deals, for the most part they are, but there are some things i don't buy in bulk because there is no savings.

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:21 am 
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Not a creepy cheese pocket person
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bookwormbethie wrote:
do you have a publix grocery store near you? most of the bush's canned beans (15 ounces or so) are on sale for 80 cents per can and the muir glen organic tomatoes (fire roasted and plain, sauce/puree, crushed, diced, etc....) are $1.25 a can!

p.s. print coupons online and take them to grocery store..... i ♥ when something is on sale AND i have a coupon, big savings!

http://www.southernsavers.com/printables/

http://www.coupons.com/

p.p.s. like you mentioned above, not all the bulk bin deals are good deals, for the most part they are, but there are some things i don't buy in bulk because there is no savings.

This is a good point. I used to ignore the coupon section because nothing was vegan-friendly. But now there are frequently coupons for vegan products, especially plant milks. I hardly ever have to pay full price if I'm flexible about which brand/kind I buy. It's not enough to justify buying a newspaper, but if you have access to the coupons without paying for them, it's worth taking a minute to page through them.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:24 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Do you guys have bulk bins in normal supermarkets? I have seen them once in an organic food store but they were obviously more expensive than in a regular store.

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"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:56 am 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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The only ways I have found to save money on food is by doing the following.

1. Buy conventional instead of organic.
2. Meal plan and stick with the plan no matter how tired or strapped for time you are.
3. Go grocery shopping once a week, buy everything you will need for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Stick to the list, don't deviate and don't ever shop on the fly.
4. Crock pot meals go a long way, make more of them.
5. Eat according to real portion sizes. It's kind of amazing how much food will be left when you only eat 1 serving instead of 4.
6. Nothing fancy, meals have to be basic and simple. Which means nothing will be amazing but you won't starve or anything.
7. Make dried beans instead of buying canned.
8. Buy bulk items if possible. Not like the big clubs where one container of oatmeal will last you a year. But buying nuts from the bulk bins at whole foods is much cheaper than buying a bag of nuts.
9. No prepared foods from the hot bars.
10. No fancy vegan substitutes, no vegan cream cheese, cheese, gardein, etc.
11. Buy online instead of in the store, if you have Amazon Prime shipping will be free for most orders.

I still can't get my grocery bill under $150.00 a week no matter what I do. But that includes all meals eaten for two people over the course of a week with no eating out at all. And some household items are thrown in there because I tend to buy everything at whole foods including vitamins, supplements, cleaning products, paper products, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:59 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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For me the biggest thing was to stop buying any fancy vegan stuff really. Soy yoghurt is a treat for me now. I buy everything I can get at the cheap supermarket, sometimes I go to an ethnic store. So I get tofu, soy milk, beans, grains, fruit and veg. The essentials. I can do 100 euros a month easily but then we end up going out once a week or something and eat a vegan burger.

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"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:47 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:13 am
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
For me the biggest thing was to stop buying any fancy vegan stuff really. Soy yoghurt is a treat for me now. I buy everything I can get at the cheap supermarket, sometimes I go to an ethnic store. So I get tofu, soy milk, beans, grains, fruit and veg. The essentials. I can do 100 euros a month easily but then we end up going out once a week or something and eat a vegan burger.



my splurge is soy yogurt and dang those $2 cups of so delicious, so pricey. can't wait for whole soy to come back with the big tubs!

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:48 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
Do you guys have bulk bins in normal supermarkets? I have seen them once in an organic food store but they were obviously more expensive than in a regular store.


at least where i am, no bulk flour/rice/bean/sugar/oats/etc..... bins in supermarkets. bulk bins at earth fare (like whole foods but smaller) and the bulk bins are a great deal -- especially when earth fare has the 20% off the entire bulk bin section -- that's when i stock up on nooch & vital wheat gluten.

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:52 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Posts: 1447
Location: Berlin
I cant get any soy yoghurt at the cheap supermarket here, but others got Alpro. 1,70 Euros (about $2,20) for 500ml (a little over 2 cups). I buy it sometimes when I'm there but even the natural one is sweetened and tastes a bit vanilla-y which is gross in some dishes. So I just eat it with some cinnamon as a dessert.

I need to go to the asia shop more often where I can get affordable tempeh.

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"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:52 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:13 am
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GraciaKai wrote:
The only ways I have found to save money on food is by doing the following.

1. Buy conventional instead of organic.
2. Meal plan and stick with the plan no matter how tired or strapped for time you are.
3. Go grocery shopping once a week, buy everything you will need for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Stick to the list, don't deviate and don't ever shop on the fly.
4. Crock pot meals go a long way, make more of them.
5. Eat according to real portion sizes. It's kind of amazing how much food will be left when you only eat 1 serving instead of 4.
6. Nothing fancy, meals have to be basic and simple. Which means nothing will be amazing but you won't starve or anything.
7. Make dried beans instead of buying canned.
8. Buy bulk items if possible. Not like the big clubs where one container of oatmeal will last you a year. But buying nuts from the bulk bins at whole foods is much cheaper than buying a bag of nuts.
9. No prepared foods from the hot bars.
10. No fancy vegan substitutes, no vegan cream cheese, cheese, gardein, etc.
11. Buy online instead of in the store, if you have Amazon Prime shipping will be free for most orders.

I still can't get my grocery bill under $150.00 a week no matter what I do. But that includes all meals eaten for two people over the course of a week with no eating out at all. And some household items are thrown in there because I tend to buy everything at whole foods including vitamins, supplements, cleaning products, paper products, etc.


i still buy organic when i can/afford to -- all the chemicals sprayed on produce is starting to freak me out and I'm super concerned about GMO. for example, i exclusively buy non GMO organic soy milk & tofu and if i buy conventional cereal i make sure there is no corn in it.

meal planning is also key.

i don't buy processed vegan cheeses, fake meats, frozen foods, etc...... i make my own.

make sure to have tupperware containers that are freezer safe to you can freeze leftover gravies, sauces, veg stock, etc.... that you make yourself. i freeze veg stock in 1 cup and 2 cup containers, and sauces/gravies in 1/2 cup to 1 cup sizes.

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:56 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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There's also chemicals on organic food. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/sci ... ood-fears/

I agree with mealplanning but I'd also advice against mealplanning for 7 days. Instead you could eat whatever you have left on the last days.

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"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 7548
Location: Portland
Thank you, guys!

We do have bulk bins at our local "normal" grocery, Fred Meyers, but I feel like some of the bulk goods aren't actually all that much cheaper than just buying a regular container. Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression that many bulk items are intended for folks who want to customize the quantities of things they buy, rather than as a money-saver, if that makes sense? Maybe I'm just insane. Anyway, I'm looking into buying some big (like 20 lb) bags of stuff like ww flour, rice, chickpeas, etc. We have a truck to haul them home, and we have pest-free space to store them, and I think that will be cheaper than bulk bin stuff?

We're having a full-on budget discussion tonight, but we've both been thinking about it, and so far, it seems like the biggest thing that influences our grocery spending is simply the number of trips we make to the grocery store. We're definitely planning to cut down on the number of times we go to the store.

I'm a bit worried about meal planning, since I tend to suck at sticking to it, but GraciaKai, you're so right that you really can save a bunch of money by just sticking to your plan and portioning it out.

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If you spit on my food I will blow your forking head off, you filthy shitdog. - Mumbles
Don't you know that vegan meat is the gateway drug to chicken addiction? Because GMO and trans-fats. - kaerlighed


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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We are in super savings mode because we are funding our way to Portland (you!) next year. So beside from the grocery savings thing we also cut out the following.

Cable - got a roku and accounts for hulu, netflix, and amazon prime
Refinanced our mortgage - saving us about 200 a month
No eating out
No movies
No new anything unless its needed to make the house better so we can sell it in the spring.
Got rid of a car, so now we are carpooling, less gas and insurance to pay for. I also lowered my auto insurance coverage to the basic.
I grew my hair out so I don't have to get it cut every month anymore.
Really we are just going without a ton of useless stuff in our lives for the sake of fulfilling a goal/dream. Sometimes it makes me annoyed when I want to run to starbucks with my co-workers and I can't. But I just keep telling myself that it's for a greater good and I just let it go. We started at the beginning of the year and so far I have almost 7k saved. Before cutting out everything and not paying attention to what I was spending I had no savings. Which just really tells me that I've been throwing money away for years because I'm still totally happy without all that crepe!

I will say that it's hard to be frugal though. Most of the time for me being frugal means I can't go out with friends and that does make me sad. No happy hour after work, no going out for dinners with friends or anything. Saying no to a lot of stuff!

If I weren't gluten free I'd be eating ramen for lunch everyday!

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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Location: Portland
Yeah, we're in sort of a similar boat. We're hoping to buy a house in the next couple of years, plus, I need a new race bike for next season (which sounds like an extravagance, but with my bf's shop discount, it's more economical for me to buy a new race bike rather than fix up the one I hammered into the ground this season. Sigh.), and we just generally want to be saving money and be more mindful of how we spend it. We were able to get a bit lazy in our old place, because it was shared and super, super cheap, so we had much more discretionary income, and it was easier to both spend it on whatever and put some of it aside. Now, we're in our own place, which is great (and necessary), but it's definitely a lot more expensive. We have enough to do what we want to do and start saving a little, but we need to get our heads in the game more, and I think we could pretty easily cut the amount of money we spend on food in half, and maybe even more.

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If you spit on my food I will blow your forking head off, you filthy shitdog. - Mumbles
Don't you know that vegan meat is the gateway drug to chicken addiction? Because GMO and trans-fats. - kaerlighed


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 Post subject: Re: Best Budget Blogs/Books/Resources
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
There's also chemicals on organic food. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/sci ... ood-fears/

I agree with mealplanning but I'd also advice against mealplanning for 7 days. Instead you could eat whatever you have left on the last days.


whoa long article, but thanks for the link. i also buy organic since i hope organic still means no GMO

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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