Heather from Healthy Eating.com presents some ideas on budgeting for vegan diets, what to NOT buy.
When putting together a vegan grocery list on a budget, what you leave off the list is just as important as what you put on.
Some of the foods that Heather used to buy and now skips to keep a vegan grocery list on a budget are:
* Pre-made sauces and condiments, like tomato sauce, salad dressing, ketchup, mustard and so on. I make my own tomato sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes, and my own sauces and dressings. I use things like avocado, miso or tahini to make delicious creamy salad dressings.
*Bread, pasta and pizza crusts - especially ones made with white flour. I use whole grains instead, and have been experimenting with a pizza crust made of whole grains. Phil still likes whole wheat pitas or wraps sometimes, and I like to do wraps with lettuce or nori sheets. I usually use whole grains as the base of any kind of pasta-like dish, but if I do want to have pasta I get Kamut or another whole grain pasta like buckwheat soba noodles.
*Cereals and instant oatmeal cost a lot more than whole grains, and have lots of added sugar, salt and oils. We eat cooked whole grains like rice or soaked rolled oats for breakfast, which are a much cheaper and healthier option.
* Cookies and granola bars can be handy when you're traveling, but I make my own healthy cookies at home to keep Phil happy. I can use the exact ingredients I want, plus they cost a lot less.
* Juice - we mostly drink water, and occasionally make iced tea or steep some fruit or herbs in water
Kraft dinner - actually, I never bought this because I'm allergic to dairy, but you can make a creamy sauce with pureed beans and get a cheesy taste with nutritional yeast.
* Meat - I don't think about replacing meat, I just make fantastic meals with all of the fun plant foods I buy.
* Dairy - I make my own rice or oat milk, use coconut oil in recipes calling for butter, and make a sunflower seed-nutritional yeast crumble for a cheesy topping on pizza.
* Eggs - pureed banana or ground flax mixed with a bit of water are great binders, arrowroot or kudzu will thicken sauces perfectly, and a bit of apple cider vinegar in baking will activate the baking soda and help muffins or cakes rise.
* Frozen french fries - I make my own fries, not only from potatoes but also sweet potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, zucchini, or other veggies.
* Salad greens in a bag or box - they're expensive and not very fresh, so Phil grows sprouts for us on the windowsill and I get whole heads of lettuce, kale and other greens.