Want to travel? You’re going to need to save up!
Here’s one way I make it all work out.
THE HAUL: Raisin Bran, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, Mango Slices, Applesauce, Freeze dried peaches, Trail mix, Spring rolls, fruit gummy, Chex-mix, California blend veggies, peppers and onions, spinach, samosas, whole wheat rolls, veggie straws, cookies, pasta, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, okra, rice, pinto beans, Lemon Ice.
$24 was all it took, for a weeks worth of vegan groceries from the dollar store. OK, it’s not fresh. I did what I could, like anyone on a budget, and these foods will provide my calories and nutrients for a week. Also, if I’m being real with myself… I eat a lot more than this in a regular week. On the other hand, those foods are usually bulky fresh produce, and this is a highly processed and calorie dense week. (Maybe next week will be a smoothie cleanse?) Side note: this is not my first time doing this “challenge.” Life is just challenging sometimes! It can be very expensive to buy vegan, organic, and local. Food that is actually nourishing generally runs with inflated pricing, and everyone has their own way of getting around this. For me, the dollar store is a perfectly acceptable place to get the exact same thing you’d buy at a grocery store, but cheaper- some of it is even the same brand name! The Dollar Tree is weirdly vegan-friendly, and, as long as you know what an ingredient list is and how to read it, you can make it work fairly easily. Though the store was packed on a Sunday afternoon, I did receive side glances for having a full basket of groceries. All other patrons were getting 2-5 items, and there I was taking up the checkout line for 24 items worth of time. Let’s get into it!
Recipes are going to be classic: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- I use basic pantry stables to spice things up
- Don’t forget I also have side snacks and desserts! (yesss, cookies & lemon ice!)
Day 1: Cereal, veggie straws & fruit snacks, rice and beans
- Use the canned Okra and frozen onions/peppers to help flavor the beans.
- And don’t judge, the chips and gummies were a great light lunch!
Day 2: Cereal, rice and beans, pasta
- Use the frozen onions and peppers to jazz up plain pasta sauce
Day 3: Granola packet, Pasta, burger and mix
- Basic burgers can be made from beans and rice, throw on some mustard -or-
- I have a garden in the bag with lettuce and herbs, grab what you got to top it off
Day 4: Cereal, burger and mix, Stir fry and rice
- The California blend veggies get some sriracha and soy sauce, then throw it on rice
Day 5: Applesauce and dried peaches, stir fry and rice, spring rolls
- Pan fry those spring rolls, baby!
Day 6: Cereal, samosas and spinach, sticky rice and mango
- Bake the samosas and pair it with the spinach, cream it and add curry powder
- Use the coconut milk to cook down some sweet and sticky rice
Day 7: Sticky rice and mango, bean burgers, soup
- Put any leftover ingredients in a pot and make some minestrone
- Toast those leftover buns up too! Mmmm soup with croutons.
What are your tricks to keeping your living cost manageable while saving for travel?