Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vegan Finances 101

I'm cheap. I rarely buy new clothes, shoes, socks, and other necessities. When something breaks around the house, it can take months before I finally convince myself to shell out the money to replace it. I'm too much of a tightwad to spend money on cable. The other day, I bought a shirt on sale for $5! And I spent the rest of the night feeling guilty for spending $5 on clothes.

But I don't think twice about paying $5 for a delicious vanilla soy latte or $20 to $30 on one restaurant meal with wine or beer. I surely didn't have a single guilty thought about forking over $6.50 for this small loaf of vegan Garlic-Herb Foccacia from Lady Bugg Bakery in Midtown's Yolo yogurt shop:

I wasn't sure how much the loaf would cost when I brought it to the register. Though it was marked with a "6" sticker, I didn't realize that was a "6" or that $6 could possibly be the price. I had gone into the vegan-friendly bakery for a strawberry cupcake (which was delicious!) when I saw the red "vegan" sticker on the savory foccacia bread. When something is labeled "vegan" in a place that isn't exclusively vegan, I have to have it right away. The cashier could have told me $10 and I would paid that too.

When I got the bread home, I heated a small piece and bit into a garlicky piece of vegan heaven. Worth every precious penny, and so much tastier than that $5 shirt. Granted, the bread is gone now, and I still have the shirt. But delicious food makes for cherished memories for me.

Does that make me a foodie? If so, I promise I'm not the pretentious gourmond foodie type. I just enjoy the taste of good vegan food more than just about any other life experience. I live to eat.

Do you prioritize food spending over spending on other essential items?

25 comments:

VeganLinda said...

I am the same way! My husband laughs that I don't look at the price of food, but I did stop at the $45/lb. morel mushrooms at the co-op the other day. I just couldn't do it, although I'm sure they would have tasted fab! My clothes are from swaps or thrift stores, but my food is top notch. :-)

vegan.in.brighton said...

I'm SO with you on this one, I hate spending money on clothes but I'm happy to spend my money on lovely organic vegan food.

Brian Woz said...

That's totally me. A staunch penny pincher when it comes to everything except food (and gambling). I even get buyer's remorse after I use a guft card to buy clothes.

That bread def looks like it was worth $6.

Rick said...

prioritizing food spending over ESSENTIAL items doesn't make you a foodie, it makes you a food addict with warped priorities lol

i love you bianca but so many americans are addicted to food and don't realize the subconscious damage that does.

take care of your mind, body and house, first and foremost!

- rick

JohnP said...

I am the same way. I figure I am encouraging the retailer to carry good vegan food by buying it.

foodfeud said...

I think most of us would agree with you. At least it's a little more sensible than spending money on tchockes and knick knacks that just gather dust and take up space. If the food is gone, it means it was used and not wasted!

algalblooms said...

I am also the same way. It takes me months to convince myself that it really is time for a new pair of jeans when i can't patch them for the third or forth time. But i am constantly buying new baking ingredients or splurges like vegan peeps.

Glauce said...

That's me too! Maye it's a vegan thing ;-)

Lenna said...

Well, I haven´t bought any clothes in a year, but I never mind to spend a huge amount of money on organic food and a bunch of groceries that I don´t need, but just WANT:)

Liz said...

I won't hesitate to drop a bunch of money on vegan food and toys/treats for Gizmo or concerts but when it comes to everything else I am super stingy

Kari said...

I'm just like this. As I've been transitioning to the expense of special vegan products this year, I completely stopped buy clothes. It's been 9 months since I bought any clothing. But so so much good vegan food.

VeggieLow said...

i echo the others - i'm the same. my monthly budget has no section for clothes/toiletries/household items, but a ton of room for food and "fun" (ie alcohol). i wonder why i won't buy new clothing b/c i can't imagine paying $28 for pants (which is apparently cheap according to my fashion-y friends), but i paid $53 the other night for a meal... sigh, at least it was good! great post! looks yum!

Babette said...

I definitely do.

Candy Beans said...

I feel you. I'm wearing clothes that I've had for about 10 years now, but on Tuesday I had 3 appetizers, an entree, a dessert, a bottle of wine, and two cups of coffee at Horizons in Philadelphia. If you've never been there, rest assured that it's not the cheapest.

Lauren (PB&G) said...

I am the same way! I haven't bought myself new clothes since last year! But I'll gladly shell out $5 for some walnuts or $15 for a great vegan dinner!

That bread looks great, by the way!

MollyZilla said...

Unfortunately, I'm not as good with money as you. But food DEFINITELY takes priority. I would always rather spend money on food than anything else :)

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you did this post. I'm completely the same way. I obsessed about buying a beautiful second hand table for $25, but I would spend that on a meal without a second thought. I ended up getting the table, but my husband still makes fun of me about it.

Millie said...

I'm very frugal. I wait until things are on sale before buying it. And I mean down to the lowest price...its part of my nature and my upbringing.

saveyrgeneration said...

absolutely. I refuse to buy much needed clothing, but I'll spend money on copious amounts of Amy's burritos and Thai food.

Demetrius said...

Preach it B.!

the [sugar] apothecary said...

AGREED. I'd say 98% of my finances go the way of food items, whether it be for groceries, coffee, or visiting restaurants and bakeries. What can I say? A girl's gotta eat, and if she's gonna eat, she might as well eat the good stuff :)

LP said...

I do the same thing. I spend more on food than anything else. But I consider it an investment in my future. Having good, quality food now means (hopefully) fewer health problems in the future and a longer, happier life! Not to mention feeling better now, too :)

Danna said...

amen! thanks for this post. people spend money on stupid stuff. @rick- eating healthy vegan food IS taking care of your mind and body. not sure what you mean about house but as others have said, there's no need to buy crap for your house you don't need. i don't think bianca is addicted to food as you say.

Susan said...

I will happily spash money about for food and cookbooks and restaurants. I'm off the the US in just over a month and I have been making all my plans and working out my budget based on the food I am going to eat while I am there.

nadiwoo said...

The only thing I buy new is food and toiletries-and recently a new tarp to go camping. For me it's not just being a mega cheapo, it's because I don't need any more stuff, and the world doesn't need any more physical stuff.

But I hear you on the food splurging-$6 on some awesome vegan foccacia is totally better than $3 on a nasty burger :) and I agree with JohnP, anything to encourage retailers to stock vegan wares!!