update March 2018: now we shop at the farmers market and our local coop exclusively- we canceled our Costco membership. Budget is still the same though.
I often hear people say that they couldn’t afford to go vegan. Personally, I find that a whole food, high carb and low fat style vegan diet is a lot cheaper than when our family ate meat and dairy, or high fat vegan. The staples we rely on are some of the most affordable- bananas, potatoes, rice, beans, oatmeal, and frozen fruit. I budget for my family of 2 adults+2 small kids $150/week for groceries. To make this work, I employ a combination of Costco (i try to limit these purchases because of all the plastic packaging), bulk bins at my local co-op, and the farmer’s market/produce stands. This is what I bought this week: (first pic is from the farmer’s market, second from my Co-op and Costco combined). Mostly everything is organic, but sometimes I buy conventional if the organic option comes from far away or doesn’t look fresh. In this case, the almond milk, chocolate bar, and oranges are not organic.
1/2 gallon of almond milk $2.99
bulk tamari (i refill an old 20 oz kombucha glass) $4.31 lasts quite a while
1 bunch kale $2.39
2x bunches celery $1.98
1 big cluster of shallots $1.69
gardein frozen “chicken” scallopini (the kids love these and i buy them maybe once every few months as a treat- not the best choice but you have to live a little ;))
90% chocolate bar (Lindt) $2.89 for treats- SO dark and bitter but very silky
10 Fuji apples $6
large hand of bananas $2.69
2 GIANT heads of romaine $4.78
large block of local tofu, from bulk section (put in my own le parfait jar) $3.11
black beans from bulk section (in my quart mason jar) $3.85 for black bean brownies!!
dried cranberries in bulk (quart mason jar) $4.79 for salads
chickpea miso paste $6.39 (lasts forever)
bulk bin chocolate chips in a pint mason jar $6.10 (expensive! but i prefer to forgo packaging whenever possible-kinder for the earth) for black bean brownies
4 gallons bulk reverse osmosis water in our giant glass jugs $1.17
6 large sweet potatoes
1 head red cabbage
25 lb local navel oranges $8.99- a super deal! Not organic but super fresh and not sprayed with pesticides as per farmer.
4 lemons $1
6 limes $1
big bag of broccoli crowns $2.99
2 bunches asparagus
11 avocados $11
2 bunches green onions
1 kabocha squash- i love this steamed and drizzled with tamari, green onions and sesame seeds. add rice and tofu for a complete meal.
GIANT bag of yukon gold potatoes- potatoes are life in this house, lol. they get us through the winter. roasted, in soups, oven fries, potato salads with vinaigrette, etc.
1 lb mixed greens
1.5 lb cremini mushrooms
2 large (Costco) bags frozen fruit: mango, and a tropical blend of mango, papaya,strawberry,pineapple
large bag of dried apricots, large bag of dried prunes- the kids love these as an after dinner treat and I have recently become inexplicably obsessed with prunes?
I lost one of the detailed receipts so I can’t list exact prices for everything , but I came in at approximately $160. This is $10 over my budget for the week BUT some of these things (dried fruit, miso, tamari,choc chips,black beans) will last past the week and I came in quite under budget last week, so it evens out.
Some meals I’ll be making this week?
-celery, mushroom, cashew, tofu stir fry, seasoned with tamari and garlic+brown rice: one of our FAVE combos. Super flavorful, filling, fast, and balanced.
-our “house salad”- mixed greens, green onions, kidney beans, dried cranberries, whatever chopped up veggies you have in the fridge+ a maple syrup/balsamic vinegar/dijon mustard dressing (3-2-1 dressing)
-quinoa, black rice, lentil, shredded kale salad- seasoned with shallots, herbs, and a bright mustard-vinegar dressing. Probably will toss in some roasted asparagus or broccoli too.
-“house salad” + greek style lemon oregano baked potatoes- i use this recipe
-black bean brownies: seriously so good and i can let my kids have them for snacks because they are loaded with fiber, protein, and iron
-OJ+frozen fruit smoothies: such a easy and delicious combo. loving OJ+ froz mango+ vanilla right now
-avocado sushi, duh
-forks over knives PIZZA with chickpea flour crust- recipe here
I’ll probably make other things too, but I don’t like to plan every meal. I’d rather leave space for some creativity and intuition.
Hope this helps and please leave me a comment if you have a question or if there’s a specific topic you’d like me to post about!