RE: "Grocery Game" Vegan style?
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 at 1:12 PM
Yeah, unfortunately coupons are not very useful unless you're buying mostly packaged foods.
You might like this blog (note: mostly vegetarian/vegan, but she does occasionally post a meat recipe): http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/ She also highlights online coupons, etc.
I also found my grocery bill will down by about 1/3 after we switched. But I guess it really depends on how one ate before. It's admittedly difficult to compete costwise with fast food and the middle aisles of the grocery store--but when you consider what you're *not* getting in terms of health, and the likelihood that such an eating style will lead to disease, these choices are actually "artificially cheap." Knowing that doesn't help very much when money's tight, unfortunately!
The usual recommendations are some combination of 1) join a CSA/find a farmer's market at http://www.localharvest.org, 2) buy in bulk, 3) learn to cook/avoid convenience foods, and 4) focus organic purchases on "the dirty dozen", 5) reduce other areas of your budget that are less important than fueling your body and achieving good health. All good strategies, especially the CSA (ours is $14 a week from May-Nov for enough veggies to feed 2 adult vegans + stock the freezer some).
But the #1 thing that helped me reduce my grocery spending was research.
Comparison shop. Regular grocery stores tend to price anything considered "health food" WAY up.
In my area for instance, Silk soymilk or Amy's vegan frozen foods are $1-2 dollars more at my local Stop & Shop than they are at Wegman's, and they're least expensive at Whole Foods. Organic store brand tofu at Whole Foods is $1.49. Nasoya organic tofu at the other stores is $2.99 to $3.49. That's the OPPOSITE of what I expected.
This also goes for organics, including frozen organic veggies and fruits (which also save money when veggies and fruits are not in season). Costco/Sam's have vegan foods and organic salad greens, etc. I still find the Whole Foods store brand 365 or Trader Joe's to be less expensive than Costco in many cases, but for spices, condiments, and organic boxed greens there are good deals to be had.
Take the time one week to go to various stores and actually compare--take notes or save receipts. I was really surprised! I now have lists for each store and alternate trips to avoid extra running around.
Hope that helps.