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Cost of being vegan and what to buy!

During Veganuary there are so many new products popping on to the shelves and lots of folk trying veganism! I think this is amazing. Having been dairy free for almost 10 years and vegan for 3 I have seen a huge surge in the products on sale and the choice. I have also noticed a huge shift in the labeling of food which makes finding those accidentally vegan products easier to find!

There are several things to consider when doing your shopping which shouldn’t be anything new to you! Firstly, you don’t want to live on junk food! Whilst the pies, pasties and pizza’s hitting the shelves look tempting remember it is just like eating the non-vegan equivalent. You wouldn’t eat them every night then so you probably shouldn’t now either. These products are also super expensive. Personally, I also limit how many meat replacement foods we eat. Whilst they are tasty and make a quick meal it does limit your nutrients and increases your weekly food bill!

I try to include 1 tofu dish and 1 meat replacement dish a week into our evening meals. A large block of tofu which feeds 4 of us is £3.00 and a bag of vegan meatballs is £1.50 so not about to break the bank.

The other meals we eat are made up of beans, lentils, rice, and mushrooms. It is often joked that I will turn in to a mushroom one day the amount we eat. Mushrooms are so versatile. They can be eaten whole, sliced, diced or even minced. They hold flavour, are a good source of protein, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B-6, and magnesium so they are a good food to fill out your dishes with!

You can get so many recipes for vegan food. When I started I went out and bought lots of weird and wonderful items that looked vital for all these complicated dishes. Not only was it wasteful as you used them so infrequently it was totally unnecessary in reality most meals can be made quickly, easily and with basic items you can buy in your local Coop!

So what do I buy and what is in my cupboards?!

Dried Foods

  • Plain flour
  • Self raising flour
  • Baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Arrow root powder
  • Cornflour
  • Caster sugar (some aren’t vegan so do check)
  • Brown sugar
  • Oats
  • Dried pasta
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Gnocchi (Aldi’s is labeled vegan)
  • Red lentils
  • Green lentils
  • Tinned beans (kidney, chickpea, butter, cannellini, black)
  • Baked beans
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Passata
  • Jam
  • Peanut butter
  • Marmite
  • Chutney and pickles (onions, gherkins etc)
  • Tinned coconut milk
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Brown Sauce
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa powder
  • Hot chocolate (Cadbury and Coop are both vegan)
  • Birds custard powder
  • Golden syrup
  • Molasses (not vital but we make quite a bit of gingerbread!)

Herbs and Spices

  • Mixed herbs
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Garam Masala
  • Cardamon pods
  • Soy sauce
  • Veg stock cubes (Sainsburys are marked vegan)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Mirin (not vital but we love sushi)
  • Nutritional yeast (i love this stuff)
  • Tomato puree
  • Pesto (vegan although we buy sun dried tomato paste!)

Fresh Food

  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers (Only red and yellow here as no one likes green!)
  • Greens (Broccoli, kale, spring greens, cabbage etc)
  • Salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions)
  • Fruit (we stick to plums, apricots, apples, pears, oranges etc and try to stay in season)
  • Bananas (we go through a lot of bananas)
  • Vegan cheese (we like the Sainsburys grated vegan cheese and also the Violife range)
  • Vitalite
  • Jus roll pastry
  • Jus roll croissant dough (these last two are one off’s!)

Frozen Food

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chili
  • Peas
  • Sweetcorn
  • Stir fry mix

Vegan Specific Food

  • Tofu
  • Vegan sausages
  • Vegan meatballs
  • Vegan chicken pieces
  • Vegan yogurt (we like Koko)
  • Vegan milk (we like oat)
  • Vegan mayo
  • Vegan ice cream (Swedish Glace is our favourite)

Other Items

  • Bread – most bread is vegan
  • English muffins
  • Crumpets (check for vegan ones)
  • Crisps
  • Popcorn
  • Biscuits (hobnobs, oreo, party rings are all vegan)

Whilst this list isn’t complete and I will buy other bits and bobs depending on the week and what the children want to eat generally speaking our weekly shop is made up of topping up the dried foods and fresh fruit and vegetables. We don’t have vegan cheese every week and we don’t eat a lot of yogurt or ice cream and I try to limit the processed food to once or twice a week. Being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive and you certainly don’t need to chuck away everything in your cupboards when you start! Take it a step at a time and a meal at a time! You will soon know what you like and don’t like and save the complicated expensive dishes as your show stoppers!

2 thoughts on “Cost of being vegan and what to buy!

  1. It’s honestly all about trying out different preparations and combinations of the foods that are vegan (THERE ARE SO MANY!) and ofcourse I mess up from time to time & cook something that tastes disgusting. But you learn so much from it!


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