One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feeding the Family for only $50 a week

Sunday is grocery shopping day. Every Sunday morning I wake up and the first thing on my mind is "what are we going to eat this week?" When it comes to buying food I have very little restraint. I come from a long line of food hoarders. Well, maybe hoarding is a strong word. Let's just say if the zombie apocalypse comes I'll be just fine living off the food in my house for a couple months. Sure, by the end we might be down to sun dried tomatoes and pretzels but food is food right? So needless to say the whole $50 a week thing should be easy right? Well...not exactly. Especially not when trying to feed a toddler. If it were just me I would nix the fresh fruits and vegetables and go for frozen or live off bananas for the rest of the month. But the little one loves her fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. She loves healthy, fresh food so I can't skimp on the fresh stuff for the sake of my budget experiment. We also try to buy organic whenever possible. I acknowledge that this probably isn't going to be able to happen on $50 a week but I sure will try! One of my greatest challenges will repressing the food hoarder in me. I have a blog named Vegan Guinea Pig for crying out loud! Which basically came out of the fact that if I see something interesting at the grocery store I'm going to buy it, try it and tell you about it. Well...that can be pricey as my last trip to the grocery store will attest to.

I'll be cross blogging for the entire month of July so be sure to check out the The Lady and Seitan blog too as I will be posting all my Paula Deen inspired recipes over there. I'll also be cooking from scratch as much as possible to save money, making double batches whenever I can and freezing them for later.

First things first - the menu. My daughter will be eating morning snack and lunch at school (they have a vegan menu so I don't have to pack her lunch...yep, pretty awesome) so that takes a lot of pressure off during the week and means I can slack off at lunch a bit more than usual. So here's my plan for the week.

Monday July 1st
Breakfast: Bran Muffins, Naked Tofu Scramble (from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), Homemade Kombucha
Lunch: Leftover Lil Mac's (recipe coming soon) and Chickpea Fries
Dinner: Fool Your Friends Tacos on homemade wheat tortillas with salsa and maybe some vegan sour cream, Friend Cream Corn (recipe coming soon)

Tuesday July 2nd
Breakfast: Bran Muffins, Naked Tofu Scramble (from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food), Homemade Kombucha
Lunch: Southwest Salad (a mix of lettuce from my garden, black or pinto beans, salsa, corn and a homemade chipotle vinaigrette. If I have any tortillas left over from Monday's dinner I might cut them thin, fry them up and top the salad with them)
Dinner: Chik'n Fried Steak (recipe coming soon) with Fresh green beans (from the garden), southern cornbread (recipe coming soon)

Wednesday July 3rd
Breakfast: Oatmeal Scones (made these last week and froze the leftovers), cantaloupe and breakfast sausage from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food (I made these a couple weeks ago and froze them)
Lunch and Dinner: No clue yet, crossing my fingers I'll have some leftovers from Monday and Tuesday to work through.

Thursday, July 4th
I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing for the 4th yet but I have a feeling I'll be making some black bean burgers and possibly some hot dogs from scratch depending on how much wheat gluten I have left. I made hot dog and hamburger buns from scratch on Friday and put them in the freezer so I don't have to buy buns either.

Friday-Sunday July 5th - 7th
Not exactly sure what I'm making yet. I'll have to take inventory of what I have left in the  pantry. I've already started to prepare the seitan for the chik'n fried steak (made a double batch so I can use the other half later) and I'm super low on Bragg's and getting low on vital wheat gluten. I want to make chik'n parmesan from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food. I have some marinara sauce in my deep freezer that I made a couple months ago so that would go perfect with it and more green beans should have popped up in the garden by the end of the week to give us more fresh veggies.  I'm also thinking of making a gumbo if I have the time and vital wheat gluten left to make the andouille sausage. I didn't buy celery and the celery in my garden didn't come in so if I make it I'll probably sprinkle some celery seed in the mix instead of going out and buying a big stalk of celery just for 1 or 2 ribs.
 2013-06-30 19.15.52
And that's my plan for the week! All in all I only spent $25.56 on groceries so far this week! I didn't buy anything organic this week but perhaps I'll have a little more leeway to do so next week. My goal is to not go back to the grocery store until next Sunday but even if I have to I'm still way under my goal so I have plenty of wiggle room. Oh and in case you were inspecting the receipt above. Yes, I did make the cashier void out my onions because she rang them up wrong just to save 18 cents!


  1. You are brave and creative. I don't think I could feed myself on that budget, but only because I live 3 blocks from a Whole Foods. I'm impressed with your budget meals!

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