Since neither Dan nor I is currently working, our food budget is super tight. Being vegan and generally health-conscious, it's easy to g...

The Grocery List

Since neither Dan nor I is currently working, our food budget is super tight. Being vegan and generally health-conscious, it's easy to get carried away. Give me an unlimited budget, and we'd be eating marble potatoes, organic miso paste, extra fancy black lentils, and heaps of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Alas, life has dealt us a different hand for the time being. And we decided to take our lemons and make lemonade.

I wrote last week about cooking for leftovers, and in it I defined some basic amounts it takes for us to cook enough for lunch and dinner for two, from one meal. If you did the same thing, you should now have a general idea of how much starch, protein, veggie and sauce you need for each meal. That's a great place to start for a grocery list.

Starches: pick 7 of the following
4# potatoes ($0.40/lb)
1# pasta ($1/lb)
1# rice ($1/lb)
12 ounces bread ($1.50)
1# polenta ($1/lb)
... there are other options (e.g. quinoa), but they're much more expensive

Proteins: pick 7 of the following
2 packages tempeh ($2 each)
2 packages tofu ($2 each)
1 package Tofurky sausage ($3)
3 cans beans ($2 total)
2/3 # dried beans/lentils ($1)
... we have also started making seitan, but wheat gluten is, again, really expensive!

For sauces, we have many of the ingredients on hand (soy sauce, oil, vinegar, etc) and replace these as they run out. We also buy cilantro, green onion, 1# peanut butter, 2-3 avocados, 1# onions and garlic.

For breakfast, we eat oatmeal, and we go through about 5 pounds of oats a week.
We also eat twenty bananas, 1# walnuts, 1# sunflower seeds, 1# of raisins, 10oz. of coffee and a quart of soymilk with breakfast.

We try for two to three 150 gram servings of fruit per day per person, so about 12 pounds of fruit per week.
Similary, we try for seven or eight 75g servings of vegetables per day per person (slightly more than the recommended amount), so between 15 and 20 pounds of vegetable.

We split our shopping between stores to get the best prices, and to source some weird ingredients like nutritional yeast. We're also considering buying some of our grains online in 50# bags (especially oatmeal) since it's been difficult to find tolerably priced steel cut oats.

However, that forms the basis of our weekly shopping list. All told, it puts us at around $100/week, including some frivolous purchases like cooking wine and organic jam. Hopefully our costs go down over the summer as fresh garden produce and herbs start filling out our meals. In the meantime, we'll be enjoying lots of frozen produce, beans and rice.

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