Veggie on a Budget

By: Caitlin L.

It seems that we are entering yet another year in a dismal economy. I don’t mean to be the Debbie Downer of the bunch but we cannot ignore the truth. This can only mean that we have to pinch pennies and clip coupons in all aspects of everyday life- including food. Being a vegetarian on a budget is easier than you think, you just have to think outside the box. Here are some tips on how to save on your next trip to the grocery store.

Don’t be afraid of the can. I admit, I’m guilty as charged. Canned fruits and veggies don’t seem very tempting when you see an array of fresh produce as soon as you enter the supermarket, but they are so much cheaper and oftentimes just as tasty. Canned products are the perfect way to save loot when cooking up some of your favorite recipes. With winter in full force, chili is the perfect dish to cook up for a hearty dinner. This recipe is cheap, easy, and above all else, tasty.

1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes

2 Cans of Red Chili Beans

4 Tablespoons of Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons of Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper

Mix in a large pot and bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it stay at that heat for at least a half hour.

Make a list. I what you’re thinking…duh! But here’s the thing, it actually works. Pre-planning meals for the week not only eliminates the head scratching when thinking about what to eat everyday, but it will also ensure that you don’t buy a boatload of food that you won’t eat. So before you head out to buy your eats for the week, see what you’ve got in your cupboards. You may have more than you think.

Buy a cookbook and get your chef on. Having a good vegetarian cookbook will allow to make substantial and satisfying meals that you may not have thought of on your own. Say goodbye to the t.v. dinner and say hello to meals that you will want to eat over and over again. Try “1,001 Low Fat Vegetarian Recipes” by Linda Yaokam. After purchasing this cookbook, the words, “I can’t find anything to eat,” will leave your vocabulary. For something a little bit more basic, give “Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet” by Nava Atlas a shot. These recipes are perfect for quick weekday meals. Try making some of the meals from these books in advance and freeze them. That way if you’re in a rush or aren’t in the mood to cook, you won’t fall victim to greasy takeout.

So there you have it, a few simple ways to change the way that you eat and shop. Now what will you do with all your extra cash?

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