I get emails everyday from people wanting to go vegan, but don’t know where to start. I hear you all and I completely understand where you’re all coming from! The internet is a massive place and there is an overwhelming amount of information out there; sometimes trying to make sense of it all and decipher which of it is even true to begin with can be extremely frustrating. I spent months researching and trying to take in as much as I could before I first went vegan, and even today I’m still watching YouTube videos and keeping up with studies about plant based diets. Nutrition is forever evolving and there will always be something new to learn!
Since I know firsthand, the struggle of trying to adapt a new lifestyle, a major part of my website is dedicated to making that transition easier. In the upcoming months I’ll be adding an entirely new section to the website filled with vegan resources. Everything from my favourite websites and recipes, to meal plans, grocery lists, and documentaries. It will essentially be giant library of vegan resources that will continue to grow with my website. I want to make going vegan as easy as possible for everyone and show the world how incredible this lifestyle is.
Until I’ve put the finishing touches on that, I still want to share some of my tips with you. Today I want to share with you my typical weekly grocery hauls as a vegan. I get a lot of questions regarding how much food I buy, how I afford so much fruit, whether or not to buy organic, etc etc etc. One of the most common misconceptions about veganism is that it’s “too expensive”.
I am a university student living on a student budget and I find a way to make eating vegan affordable, so if I can do it, anyone can. I spend between $50-$80 weekly on groceries for only myself, depending on the season and what staples I’ve run out of. I included the photo below for reference, however this was from my most recent shopping trip I did after Bali. I’d been gone for almost a month, so I needed to stock up on a few extra things I wouldn’t normally purchase on a weekly basis. Everything in the photo cost me $120, and will probably last me more than week.
Most of the staples I buy such as rice and pasta, will last me a while. I also stock up on things like corn, beans, and pasta sauce when they’re on sale. I tend to stay away from the fake meat and dairy products and only purchase them every once in a while. I keep certain items such as vegan cheese and butter on hand just for cooking or late night grilled cheese cravings, but meatless chicken nuggets and meatless meatballs are something I’ll only purchase one or twice a month. I’ll admit, So Delicious coconut ice cream makes into my cart more than I’d like to admit, but vegan ice cream is still ice cream and shouldn’t be the core of your diet, I can’t stress this enough!
Here is a list of all the staples I always keep on hand:
- Brown Rice – A bag of rice will go a long way and is super easy and quick to make. I highly recommend purchasing a rice cooker; it’ll make your life so much easier! I make rice all the time for burritos or burrito bowls, or just to stir-fry with tofu and veggies.
- Oats – I don’t enjoy oatmeal as much in the summer months as I do in the winter months; in the winter I love bowl of hot, gooey oatmeal for breakfast! The rest of the year I use oats to bake with.
- Brown Rice Pasta – Ask anyone who knows me, I have a love affair with pasta. Seriously, it’s so quick and easy and delicious, the entire first month I was on my own I had a giant bowl of pasta for dinner every night.
- Nutritional Yeast – This is a lifesaver, especially for new vegans! It tastes exactly like cheese; you can sprinkle it on top of pasta or use it to make cheesy sauces for mac n cheese!
- Coconut Oil – This is the key to life. I use coconut oil for everything, literally everything. I use it for cooking, taking off my makeup, moisturizing my skin, conditioning my hair, the options are endless.
- Maple Syrup – This is the only sweetener I use, I use it for baking and it in my oatmeal, and of course with my homemade pancakes.
- Almond Milk- This is the only “milk” beverage I use and it’s one of the cheaper options compared to soy or coconut milk. I mostly use this for blending banana ice cream or making pasta sauces
- Peanut Butter- Does this really need an explanation?
- Bagels – I’m obsessed with bagels. I don’t know why, there’s just nothing like a warm bagel smothered in peanut butter or Earth balance. I keep these on hand for mornings when I’m running out the door.
- Canned beans – Black beans are my go to for burritos and stir-frys, but I also love to roast some chickpeas for a quick, crunchy snack.
- Canned corn – I eat this right out of the can sometimes, I just really, really love the taste of cold canned corn; it’s weird I know. But I also love to throw this in stir-frys and burritos.
- Granola/Cereal – I’ve never been much of a cereal eater, but I love topping my acai bowls with granola and found the Love Crunch granola is equally as tasty on its own with some almond milk.
- Pitted Dates – I’d never even tasted a date until I went vegan and let me tell you, I was missing out. I lovve eating dates on their own, chopping them into acai bowls, or blending them into caramel sauces.
And here is a list of the produce I buy weekly. My weekly shopping trips are mostly just to stock up on fresh produce, as my staples usually last me a while. This list may vary depending on what fruits and veggies are in season, but I always buy an offensive amount of bananas. I get weird looks from the cashiers at the grocery stores, but bananas are cheap, easily accessible, and loaded with healthy carbs! They’re also extremely versatile. I eat 3-5 a day in acai bowls, on top of peanut butter toast, with oatmeal, or frozen and blended into smoothies or banana soft serve! The quantities I’ve provided are for reference purposes only. This is the amount of food that personally works for me. I have a post coming up soon regarding calories on a plant based diet, but for now I’ll leave it at this: I do not count calories.
- 25-35 bananas
- 1 pint of strawberries
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 1 watermelon
- 1lb of red grapes
- 3-5 apples
- 1 dragon fruit
- 2 avocados
- 1 bag of spinach
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 red onion
- 2-3 sweet potatoes
- 3-5 yellow potatoes
I’ve combined these lists and a few more of my favourite items into a handy PDF file for you to download and take with you on your next shopping trip! The list is quite large because I wanted to provide you with a variety of options, but of course you don’t need to purchase everything on that list! Go with what you know and what you like, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try some new things either!