Thursday, January 28, 2010

She works hard for the money...

Hey guys! I hope you're all doing well! I successfully completed my longest distance thus far in my training, five miles, on Tuesday of this week--woohoo! Life is starting to get insanely busy, with my two jobs and rehearsing in the evening, AND preparing for upcoming auditions...geesh. It's going to make it very difficult to get my runs in, along with COOKING instead of buying food out. I really need to save money, though, so I have to be as careful as possible. By the end of May, I hope to have about 4,500 saved.

Speaking of money...
Being a vegan can sometimes be expensive, but familiarizing yourself with certain options can make it incredibly affordable--maybe even moreso than vegetarianism/meat-eating!:

1. Shop at Trader Joe's. Organic products are incredibly cheap there, almost always less than you'd be able to at stores such as Whole Foods. I think their Organic Extra Firm tofu is something like 1.79! I also found raw agave nectar there for maybe 2.99, which was amazing.

2. Buy bulk grains. Big bags of brown rice are cheap. If you're interested in more expensive grains like quinoa or kamut, go to whole foods where they sell it in bulk. Buying it in those boxes in the natural foods section is way too pricey...
Your other option is shopping at a place like Costco. I'm not a member there, but the people I live with are, and they buy tons of quinoa cheaply.
Speaking of bulk, buy your specialty flours or even regular flours this way too, and nutritional yeast.

3. Veggies Veggies Veggies! These bulk up your meal and can cost very little. Try to do organic when you can. Sometimes these are priced ridiculously high, but just last week I got an organic bundle of both spinach AND kale, and they each just cost me about a buck.

4. Beeeeeeeeeeans....yum. Dried beans! SO CHEAP! UNLESS you buy them, again, in the natural foods section. I bought some dried fava beans out of desperation last month, in a small bag from a brand that does a lot of specialty flours, and boy did it cost me a lot.

5. Get creative. This is something I'm now learning myself. Invest initially in a variety of spices. This way, you can start with a typical base: grain/veggies/beans or tofu, and then jazz it up with different spices.

6. Keep convenience foods to a minimum. Vegan convenience foods are great, but unless you're making a lot of money (and I'm an actress...I don't) frequently buying them is going to drain your bank account.)

Does anybody have any other suggestions/ideas? I'd love to hear them!

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