Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vegan Kickstart Day 11: Money Talk

Though the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Plan utilizes leftovers, as you'll see again in today's post, it's definitely cost me way more than I typically spend on groceries in the average week. I usually spend about $85 or so for two weeks worth of groceries, but I've spent closer to $100 or more for the ingredients in weeks one and two.

Some of the extra expense has gone to pantry staples that I just didn't have, like buckwheat flour and oat bran. But I've shelled out the most on fresh veggies and fresh or frozen fruit for the varied meals and snacks throughout the cleanse. In a normal week, I might make two or three large meals and eat the leftovers for lunch and dinner all week. But the Kickstart plan has me making more dishes per week than usual. I enjoy the variety, but I couldn't afford to eat like this all the time.

Luckily, today was mostly a leftovers day, and that means saving money. Breakfast was the same old Smart Bran with Blueberries and Soymilk:

Lunch was leftover Creamy Broccoli Soup from last night and the last of the Missing Egg Sandwich spread on rye:

My snack was grapes — a new snack on the list. I ate lots of these at my desk and again after dinner during True Blood Tuesday:

Dinner was a little new since I made this Farmhouse Salad — a lettuce-less salad of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, capers, and chunks of multi-grain French bread:

I enjoyed my salad with more leftovers of last night's Quinoa Pilaf:

How much do you spend on groceries in a week? Do you rely on leftovers or do you cook every night?

26 comments:

Theresa said...

The cost is the main thing that scares me off of detoxes and cleanse programs. Andy and I tend to buy only seasonal produce, and generally only if it's on special. Our grocery bill for the two of us comes to about $80 a week, so probably similar to yours. When I'm home alone, I spend much less because I do what you do and eat lots of leftovers. When Andy's home, there's often just enough for my lunch the next day - and sometimes not even that!

Rick said...

since we're high-raw, we tend to spend quite a bit on groceries. we don't mind because we don't spend money on things usual people do like cable, eating out at restaurants, unnecessary shopping and collecting of "stuff", etc. i'd much rather spend $100 on groceries in a week that will all be used that week than go eat at a restaurant twice in a week and eating like crap the rest of the time at home...

Tender Branson said...

We spend about 80 dollars a week and usually have a lot of leftovers.

KTBuns said...

That's a lotta money for one lady! Although I've been known to spend $70 on groceries for a 2 week span... and god forbid I discover a new specialty health store - I can't help myself in that setting.

I'm glad to see that you're enjoying the Kickstart plan, though! Your posts are beautiful.

Vegan Georgia said...

I did the kickstart last March and it was kind of expensive, mostly just with having to buy pantry staples like you are saying. For two of us, I probably spend about $75 a week, but a little more in winter for fresh produce, since it's harder to get up here in New England. I try to save a little by shopping around at different stores, buying seasonally, and using cheaper alternatives like dried beans instead of canned, but it does get time consuming. I do agree with Rick though, it's better to spend a little more money on your food than on other things if you are able to, so it's not usually something I would sacrifice for. Not worthwhile in the long run!

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler said...

That's an interesting perspective, and I do agree with you. It seems like after the Kickstart, though, you'll still have lots of staple ingredients remaining to continue making these recipes for a little while longer, right?

Kim said...

I do spend ALOT on groceries all the time! There are 3 humans in my house and 2 dogs. I actually have my grocery reciepts right here for this past week and I went to four, yes FOUR different stores and spent $162! That does include everything though, not just food. Toilet paper, dog food, cleaning supplies everything! And I did stock up on some things like tofu and tempeh. I would probably save money on this plan. I do cook every night but I take the leftovers for lunch and if the leftovers get out of control I freeze them have them later as a meal. I know we spend alot on food but I think it makes us healthier and will save us money on doctor bills and hospitals and medicines in the long run! No cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease for us thank you!

Dianne said...

What I spend varies a lot. Sometimes I spend as little as $20 in a week on produce if I have a full pantry, but more often than not I have a party or something to bake or cook for and I have to run out and spend $20 more on that. I'd like to say I average around $50, usually making two trips throughout the week. Food is definitely my biggest expenditure!

Justin Fox Burks said...

We spend a fair amount of money on groceries. I try to spend money locally and with farmers at the market as well as picking out organic or low impact foods at the supermarket. It adds up quick. Going to W-Mart would be much cheeper, but I can't do it to my city or myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm also doing the kickstart (but from Israel, not the south - it almost seems like the same thing ;)) and I'm actually spending about the same on groceries as I spent when I wasn't doing the kickstart. That's about as much as you used to - 75-80/week. I actually spent a lot more than that a week when I was a vegetarian because of the insane cost of organic eggs and cheese (about 110/week).

As for leftovers, I used to be a "cook for one every day" gal but I've started working more and I just don't have the time for it. So I'm definitely utilizing leftovers. I cook a lot of stews for lunch and eat them throughout the week (I do this about 2x a week). Dinner is always a salad with beans and mashed potatoes, so that's pretty easy and time saving.

Djuna

Carrie said...

Thanks so much for all these great posts! I just shared your blog on the Kickstart Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/21DayKickstart

-Carrie (cmumah@pcrm.org)

Debra Kay said...

I take it in spurts-spend lots, spend very little. I'd like to even it out. Right now I'm buying a lot of premade stuff to see if I like it-if I do, I'll recreate the recipe in bulk.

Millie said...

it may cost more but you'll be so much prettier...keep up the great work.

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

I have been using the Indian Slow Cook Book by Anupy Singla for the Plan and the dinners seem nearly FREE!! I am always vegan, but usually we get a lot of nuts, seeds, and my hubby's weakness-Daiya Cheese.
But for about 2 months now, we have been having super healthy Indian with abut zero prep time. She uses dried beans, unsoaked, and the spices are pretty basic. I totally stumbled upon this book by accident as I only scour the vegan section, but you can make about 95 percent of this book vegan! It is seriously simple and especially good if you have a raw wife and a cooked man!! As easy way to prepare food for both of you! I am making many of the dishes on my blog.

www.getskinnygovegan.blogspot.com

Carolyn said...

There are seven of us in this house and a cat. One of our adult children lives with us (he's in university) and the other children are all teenagers. I spend between 130.00 to 200.00 a week, depending on the pantry staple situation. I also cook meat/fish once a week as 5 people in this house (including my husband) are omnivores :( It would be cheaper if I didn't have to buy that. However, the rest of the week they eat veg.
Right now my daughter and I are doing a cleanse which includes green juices which has upped the bill a bit. I do use leftovers, they are either used in lunches or recreated in a different meal.
Despite the extra work and somewhat higher price tag I feel that it IS worth it!

Marian said...

We can pretty much get by spending $60-$80 per week. It helps if you don't blow your budget by buying a lot of pre-packaged food. If you could buy a box of Kashi organic cereal, buy plain oatmeal or some other breakfast-worthy grain instead. Chances are, you already have everything else in your pantry that you would need to make hot cereal. It also helps to meal plan before you go grocery shopping and cook batches of food a couple of times per week - or at least think of several ways to use up something you bought a lot of, like collard greens or kale.

Gloria Kersh said...

I just wanted to say hello from a fellow Memphian, that now lives in FL. We went vegan in May and I keep finding awesome sites online, I happened across yours from my FB account and the 21-day kickstart post. I do spend a lot on groceries for just the 2 of us, but I love to cook and don't normally spend on movies, clothes, stuff.

I saw it snowed in Memphis. I still have lots of friends and some relatives there. Take care and keep up the nice posts.

Sarah said...

We spend so much on groceries, I don't even want to calculate it! Its so worth it though. We save some money by buying dried beans and pressure cooking them (in big batches then store in freezer cooked), we don't buy cereal or any microwaveable premade meals, or chips or snacks. We buy plain popcorn in bulk and pop 1/4 cup at a time in a plain brown bag, making our own vegetable broth (we put veggie scraps in a large tupperware in freezer and pressure cook when its full, then freeze the veggie broth). We also make our seitan from the powder, and avoid buying veggies and fruits when they are super pricey. Whew! :) Sounds like we eat boring gross stuff but really we eat yummy things, I promise!

Olivia said...

Deep discount bulk stores are my best friend (Here in Northeast Ohio we have local chains called ValuKing and Marc's). My budget in the winter when we have no garden is $160 a month for two people, and I stretch it by shopping at deep discount stores without shame (seriously... 69 cents a pound for fresh kale, compared to $1.49 at the regular grocer? $1 for a box of wheat pasta?!), and by never buying processed foods.

I cook for my husband and myself about 5 nights a week, and we eat leftovers the other nights. Lunches are either leftovers, sandwiches (I usually bake our bread), or salads.

Kara Hadley said...

I'm with you--I cook two or three meals a week and eat leftovers. I certainly don't mind the repetition. And neither does my wallet, since I usually only spend about $35-40 a week.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

haha. I spend 100 bucks a MONTH on groceries.. and use leftovers for everything.

Jenn said...

I never get out of the grocery store for under $100. Cleanse sounds like a great idea...

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

Typically, until about six months ago, I was spending around $90 a week on groceries for myself and my non-vegan husband. However, he works at whole foods now, so we get a 20% discount AND since he's at a grocery store daily, he buys his own non-vegan food. I keep my expenses at around $50/week now, but I could reduce that if I'd stop buying stuff because it's on sale or looks interesting. I'm also re-evaluating how I purchase produce because lately I throw an embarrassing amount of food away. I've stopped shopping weekly like I used to as well and it seems to help me use up what I have.

laura said...

I only buy items on sale that I use. So most weeks its $20 or less at supermarkets. I might spend $15 at produce markets every 2 weeks. We never waste anything and eat fresh veggies every day

foodfeud said...

I love to use up leftovers; my boyfriend not so much.
I'm recipe testing and part of a cookbook club for the next few months, so I've been spending WAY more than I usually do and WAY WAY more than I'd like to.
It's nice to have a variety of things to choose from in the fridge, but too much is too much when it goes bad.
However, like Rick - food is really my one big expense so I guess I'll just be extra vigilant in my other enterprises...
Your health is worth it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a college student with a limited budget, so I spend about $20 a week. I've learned to eat healthy, good food by buying bulk beans and grains from the local health foodstore and produce from the farmers market. The best part is eating my delicious "health food" in front of my processed food-eating roomies that normally spend double what I do a week.

I typically make a couple large batches of food then reheat them as the week goes by. This was I save time and know exactly what to buy when I go to the store.