Vegan Grocery Haul and how to save money on groceries

As you perhaps already know, I did the 1 week vegan challenge not so long ago. I intend to do it again in July, so that I could have more experience to write about. And of course, I really enjoyed it, but you’ll read more about the effects and how I felt after the challenge in another post.

This post is meant to answer the question What do vegans eat?, at least to a certain extent. The second part of the answer will be a post with all the recipes I’ve tried 🙂
The beautiful picture at the top of the page is from Unsplash.com 🙂

This is the grocery list I came up with after researching many recipes and selecting few of them so that I can make the most popular vegan recipes. After that I sat down with a piece of paper and divided it in 4 columns – bio store 1, bio store 2, grocery store and what I already have in my pantry.
I opened the online shops and compared prices etc. This helps a lot and also ensures that you don’t pay extra, more on the topic in a second.
I am convinced that this grocery list covers all the bases, so to speak. I didn’t buy anything fancy such as vegan ice cream or acai powder for 20 euros per 100 gr, I kept things simple, healthy and budget-friendly to show you that ‘Being vegan is expensive’ is a myth.

Here you are:

Fruits

What I buy each week pretty much depends on the offers in the supermarket, but here are the things I’d buy for sure.
– Lemons – for my glass of water in the morning, for salads and for marinades.
– Apples – for oatmeal or as a snack (with a dip of peanut butter and yoghurt)
– Bananas – for oatmeal, smoothies, or as a snack
– Kiwis
– Strawberries
– Avocado – for salads, buddha bowls or as a spread on a toast.

Occasionally, I would buy mango, oranges, blueberries etc. I love fruits, days can go by without me eating anything else.
I usually have frozen berries and frozen banana in my freezer, too.

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Vegetables

– Mushrooms – I LOVE mushrooms, they must be in top 3 favourite vegetables. I use them for risotto, stir fry or just baked in the oven with other veggies.
– Red bell peppers – for salads, to dip in hummus, to bake in the oven. Another favourite of mine, I can eat red bell peppers all day long.
– Tomatoes
– Cucumbers
– Zuchhini – for baking, for risotto or for a salad, after I grill them.
– Potatoes – I’ve never had special feelings towards potatoes, but I have recently fallen inlove with baked potato fries, as well as foil baked potatoes.
– Sweet potatoes – for the oh-so-popular sweet potatoe fries, and for a warm and cozy chili.
– Greens for salads.

I am not a big fan of frozen veggies. They are indeed perfect when you need to whip up a side dish quickly – just use some tomato puree and it’s done in 5-10 minutes. However, I don’t like the taste of the mixtures out there, but if you (unlike me) love broccoli, go and get a bag of it!

A little tip for saving money on vegetables and fruits: Most stores do crazy discounts at the evening to free enough space for the fresh production on the next day. The thing is, these veggies and fruits are perfectly fine, they are not too ripe/dirty/bad/etc. Perhaps you knew this already, but I have just recently discovered this – I went shoping for food on Saturday evening (stores are closed on Sunday in Germany) and I bought p-e-r-f-e-c-t avocados for 0.40 euros (regular price: at least 1.30!) and asparagus for 1 euro (regular price: 2.50-3 in season, 4-5 off season).

Canned goods

– Chickpeas – To make hummus, burgers, to roast them in the oven and use them as a snack or to throw in in a buddha bowl for some extra protein.
– Pre-cut tomatoes – these are a total life and time savers. I use them all the time, they make a perfect base for a sauce.
– Coconut milk – same goes here. It’s incredible how creemy your dish can be without using a drop of heavy cream.
– Corn
– Kidney beans – Beans need a hell of a lot of time to cook so using canned ones is super convenient!

Grains

– Paraboiled rice
– Jasmin/Thai rice
– Arborio/Risotto Rice – You obviously don’t need that many types of rice, but if you want to make a risotto, you NEED to use risotto rice 🙂 Throw in some vegan parmesan and you’ll never know the difference.
– red lentils – love, love, love. I shared my favourite recipe here.
– quinoa – for salads or for a chili
– bulgur/couscous/buckwheat – for salads. Great protein source. Their taste is kind of… well, missing, but after you mix them with another veggies, your salad tastes great! (Actually, my favourite salad right now consists of buckwheat, tomatoes, kidney beans, avocado, bell pepper)

Fake meats and dairy

I don’t intend to eat these often, but I bought some because I wanted to try as many things as possible during this week.
– Tofu – for scrumbled ‘eggs’ or a stir fry.
– Schnitzel – perfect for a quick meal, together with some greens and/or potatoes.
– Soy/Almond milk or any other milk substitute – for coffee and to stir in my oatmeal. For protein shakes, too (even if you are not vegan – cow milk may be too hard on the stomach so try to substitute and you’ll feel a lot better 🙂 You need to experiment here, I’ve tried some awful soy milk, but recently I’ve come across two brands which I really enjoy. And soy milk is far less expensive than almond milk.

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Others:

– Vegetable Stock – I buy it from my local bio shop, because I don’t want it to have any strange ingreadients and/or too much salt.
– Oats – For oatmeal and home made granola (that’s so delicious!)
– Spices – You have no idea how important spices are and I don’t just mean salt and pepper. You need to have thai curry spice, garam masala, chilli flakes etc.
– Vegan Nutella, ’cause… you know.

More tips:

Be careful when you buy ‘fancy’ vegan foods such as Nutella, Mayo, coconut milk etc, you can often find them in regular store for less money! (In my grocery store you can find coconut milk for 1.20 and in my local bio/healthy store it costs 2 euros. Same with soy milk. The store with the cheapest bio tofu has the most expensive almond milk and so on. You get what I’m saying.) Of course, these bio stores are great when you are looking for something really strange/special, but please don’t spend more than you need to, just do your research before you buy.

To sum up my tips:
– Check out prospects/app for discount in stores.
– Shop fruits and vegetables in the evening/late afternoon (you won’t find these discounts anywhere else, just because it depends on what’s left in that store.)
– Do your research, compare prices and make a grocery list. In one word – PLAN.

I hope I was helpful, guys. As always – please share your thoughts and ask any questions below.

Innah

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