Saving money is almost everyone’s priority. Most people believe you have to be rich to be a vegetarian. As a post-college student, who put herself through school, I understand! I try to stretch my bills as best I can. I also try to set a monthly budget and stay in that budget each month. I’ve done this before and after I became a vegetarian. At first, I did not know how to budget! I had no idea what I was doing. I became a vegetarian alone and did not know anyone who was a vegetarian. I learned the hard way but, nonetheless, I learned. Now I am going to help YOU. No matter if YOU are a seasoned-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, meatless Monday individual or considering eating more veggies in your diet.
Learning the Essentials
Once I learned what my essentials were, it made things easier. All of my old essentials were no longer new essentials so it was like starting over. In the beginning, I spent a bit more money but it was an investment. For example- I swapped my soy sauce for tamari, olive oil for coconut oil and table salt for sea salt. After the swapping, I had to figure out what I needed in my kitchen all of the time in order to make a random meal on those, I-have-get-groceries days.
Here are a list of meat “replacers” (if you will):
- Portobello mushrooms
My pantry changed a bit, too. I try to stick to fresh ingredients but I keep my pantry stocked as back-up and, well let’s face it, it’s cheaper. Canned items are not only more cost effective but can also be time effective.
Here are a list of my pantry essentials:
- Can of Diced tomatoes
- Can of Tomato paste
- Can of white beans
- Can of black beans
- Can of chick peas
- Can of coconut milk
- Nuts (Walnuts, almonds and cashews)
- Almond milk (non-refrigerated-these are $2!)
- Gluten-free pastas
- Vegetable broth
- Brown rice
Frozen fruits and vegetables can be a better option to save money. In fact, frozen items are second best to fresh when it comes to nutrition. I have to say, I drink a lot of smoothies. I always stock my freezer with the frozen fruit so I am never out. As for frozen vegetables, I haven’t tried them in my smoothies but I’ve heard of people doing that. I use these when I cook lunch or dinner.
Here are a list of my freezer essentials:
- Mixed vegetables
- Acai berry packets
Tips & Items for Bucks
As previously mentioned, frozen fruit goes great for making smoothies. When I buy fresh bananas in a bunch, I don’t always get to use them before they turn brown. When I notice they have one too many freckles, I peel and dice the banana, place in a container and freeze them. Those are perfect for smoothies.
Often, buying the larger sized items saves money and trips to the grocery stores. Remember that the next time you are on a hunt for something. Items such as, large bags of frozen peas, frozen strawberries, organic ketchup, etc.
Gluten-free bread and pasta. I was apprehensive about gluten-free bread because the tastier ones were frozen. But now, I rarely eat bread and it would often go bad anyway because I didn’t eat it up before it molded. So technically, I was losing money there. Now, I buy the healthier gluten-free frozen bread and it lasts longer. I was afraid of what gluten-free pasta would taste like but for no reason. It taste just as good and cooks in half time as gluten pasta!
Almond milk and other non-dairy milks last longer too- even the non-dairy milks that are refrigerated. So get non-dairy. Good for your health and wallet.
Speaking of bucks…
According to PETA, vegetarians save about 100 animals per year! Although I did not become vegetarians to save animals, I do love animals very much. I was happy when I learned how many animals I saved. Semi-vegetarian save up to 50 animals per year! Even if you don’t necessarily care about animals rights, it is a nice thought. Think of it as your good deed of the day!
Good luck on your all your savings!