FIRE.069 Vegan Budget Buster

“Oh how expensive it must be to eat vegetarian (plants) all the time.”  Are you thinking “here goes an entire paycheck to Whole Foods” to get the organic new superfoods of the month?  This is what so many people believe.  Maybe it’s our marketing culture.1

 

Then it occurred to me, what do poor people stereotypically eat?  Rice and Beans, Spaghetti, Peanut Butter sandwiches…aren’t all of these vegan meals?

Smarts

You may have read that I lost over 140 pounds about 20 years ago.  I changed one food item to a better version each week.  The power I possess is that I never changed back to the bad version.  I never changed from whole wheat bread back to white bread, or from brown rice back to white rice.  I’ve said before “the financially smart lifestyle is VERY similar to eating smart lifestyle,” though a smart diet is much harder to maintain than money smarts.

As we transitioned into our “summer challenge of no meat” or dairy as well, this was normal for me based on my very clean eating style (‘diet’).  We already ate LOTS of fruits/vegetables and whole grains.  The new addition was increasing our beans/lentils.  [Insert Instant-Pot miracle here]

Options

I’ve found that there are SO many meatless versions of foods available in the grocery stores now.  I’ve also noticed that more often than not, they are not truly healthy/clean alternatives.  They are often “natural” but loaded with Sugar Oils Salt (SOS).  The marketing machines of the US definitely want to provide options that they can push on us to increase their earnings.  They will meet our needs (meatless) but may not be better for our long-term health prospects (or wallets).

 

Health and Money trends may be aligned.

So now I eat interestingly enough meals to be satisfied.  I often have whole grain bowls (rice, quinoa, etc) with a scoop of legumes (beans, lentils), some veggies tossed in (cauli, broc, greens, potatoes, other colors) and top it off with a little sauce of worldly flavors (the weaker part of my meal).  I eat Mexican, Asian, bbq, citrusy, spicy, sweet, dark, tangy, etc. depending on my mood.

I’m not sure the cost of these meals/bowls, but I have to think they are in the range of quarters/50cents for rice/beans/sauce.  I’m lucky, having eaten clean for some many years, I don’t feel deprived.  I get my fuel easily and then go about my day.

 

Side note:  Strangely as a non-meat eater, I don’t like, or eat salad.  I’m a strange vegetarian…a strange version of a vegetarian.  I guess in so many ways I am just a different breed.

So my suggestion for your wallet and far more importantly, your health, try a few hearty, heavy, thick meatless bowl meals and see how it works for you.  What’s the worst that could happen, extra cash and less weight?

 

  1. Use your Amazon Prime/Prime Visa at Whole Foods.  It’s my understanding Amazon Prime discounts apply at Whole Food stores.  This is a great way to get super specials and the Amazon cash back discounts…maybe bundle the sale price AND cashback.

 

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.

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