Hi guys! I got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday and spent a lot of my time prepping by staying on top of my reading and doing some extra. I apologize for the lack of posts. Needless to say, having a small surgery (my first ever too) has taken a lot out of me. I tried doing my usual weekend thang of organizing and cleaning but had to quickly shuffle back to my bedroom due to sudden cold sweats and nausea.
So, since I do not have the energy to cook or go out to pursue through drugstore’s vegan beauty products like I had hoped to, I am going to write a post on how to be cost-effective when shopping. I had to get a bunch of liquid food the night before my surgery since I am not able to eat solids for a week (I am already craving veggie burgers and mac & cheese). I went to one of the local markets of the Santa Cruz area called New Leaf. I do not shop at New Leaf habitually since it is a bit steep for my college budget but they do have great deals on certain foods sometimes. They had “buy x amount of this item for $___” for both soups and yogurt, which was perfect for me.
Deals are always great because saving even a couple of dollars will help down the line. It is always a good idea to see if markets in your area have reward programs too, like Safeway, which has a surprisingly large amount of vegan, cruelty free AND organic items. I do not always have the funds to buy organic or local but I do when I can. You can read more about which foods should always be bought organic here or search “Dirty Dozen” to find more sources about the topic.
In the land of makeup, companies like e.l.f. constantly have deals offered on their website and they are already super affordable! Taking advantage of these deals allows you to try out products and see how they work for you.
Deals are helpful but so is buying in bulk. Do not overdo it though and be sure to think about longterm versus short-term in regards to what food items you need. Buying canned goods in bulk is great cause they last awhile and buying fresh items in bulk can also be great but only if you know for certain that they will get eaten in time. Food waste is a huge issue! A great book to buy is Eat Vegan On $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones. It gives you tips on how to shop for food items which is really helpful. Not enough people use food lists or realize buying ingredients for a sandwich is cheaper than buying a pre made sandwich. One of the best “money-saving tips” that Jones gives in her book is checking the unit price of an item. I always apply this to fresh produce when there is the option to buy packaged or pick out your own amount.
When eating on a budget, most of the foods that are affordable are considered “bland” by a lot of people. That is why having a stocked spice rack is really effective. From my findings, the most affordable breakfasts are usually oatmeal or fancy toast (not all the options on that link are vegan but you get the idea). I am perfectly fine with that, personally. Sometimes avocado toast is more satisfying than a full breakfast of pancakes, tofu scramble, vegan sausage, and hash browns. Be open minded when making affordable meals. There are tons of resources on the internet for spicing up dishes and keeping it cheap. Just search “vegan on $5 a day” an you’ll be surprised what pops up. Plant Based on a Budget is one of my favorite sites to get affordable food ideas. That site and Eat Vegan on $4 a Day are my top recommendations for if you are lost on how to start shopping more affordably.
I hope this was a helpful post in how to keep it cheap when shopping around. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other book or websites that give tips on affordable shopping. Have a great weekend everyone!