So much has changed for me since I last wrote in this blog. Thank goodness, is all I can say! In January, after my birthday, I started down the beautiful and twisty-turny path to veganism. Life is better. I am better. But that is a post for another day!
Today I am here to write about food plans and budgets – an area in which I am no expert but am infinitely interested! I would love to know more about how other people navigate these waters so I’m going to dive right in.
First of all, a few things to know:
- There are three plant-fuelled adult humans in my household.
- I do most of the shopping and cooking.
- Tesco delivers my shopping. In my ideal world, I would drift about with my wicker basket to farmers’ markets and pick up vegetables that were plucked from their earthy slumbers only hours before, but I’m (slowly, hesitantly) coming to terms with Real Life. That means a bit of give and take with the convenience issue.
- A lot of the ingredients below are things I already have in stock, like rice,oats, gluten free pasta, herbs and spices. Most of what I buy in my weekly shop is fresh vegetables and fruit, almond milk and the odd thing like vegan sausages.
- This is by no means a ‘you should do this’ post, nor is it comprehensive in regard to prices or meals. This is purely a post to help anyone who might be starting out in the planning department, or who is looking for some new ideas for affordable or healthy meal options.
This is something that used to have me tearing my hair out, but with time so short at the moment I have narrowed down my meals to things that take approximately 15 minutes to prepare. This has made life much easier!
Typically, I would either have half a banana with my porridge or skip fruit altogether but in the spirit of honesty, I am currently eating some berries with my porridge so I’ve included that! I know that a lot of vegan/plant-based people opt for a smoothie for breakfast, but my own blood sugar can’t cope with that in the morning so I like to stick with oats. 🙂
Flahavans Organic Porridge Oatlets 1kg : €2.59 (30g = €0.08)
Keelings Blueberries or Raspberries 300g: €5.50 (75g = €1.30)
Tesco Cinnamon 40g : €0.65 (4g =€0.07)
Tesco Sunflower Seeds 300g : €1.50 (10g =€0.05)
Total €10.24 Total per serving €2.67
This is the hardest part of the day for me in terms of planning, so I would love to hear what others eat! I love eating leftovers from dinner, but it’s not always possible. Here are a few sample lunches from my typical working week.
Tesco Twin Pack Avocados :€2.00 (half =€0.50)
Dee’s Leek and Onion Sausages :€3.99 (3 sausages =€2.00)
Ryvita Multigrain 250g :€1.95 (4 slices = €0.35)
Ballymaloe Jalapeno Relish 280g : €3.19 (15g = €0.17)
Total: €11.13 Total per serving €3.02
Sundried Tomato Pasta
Doves Farm Rice Pasta 500g : €3.29 (50g = €0.32)
Tesco Sundried Tomato Paste 190g : €2.60 (15g =€0.20)
Tesco Wonky Mushrooms 300g :€0.89 (150g =€0.45)
Tesco courgettes loose : €0.63 (half =€0.32)
Total € 7.41 Total per serving €1.29
At the moment dinner has to be on the table in about 20 minutes or less, otherwise I may end up eating one of my family members/students in desperation. Happily, I have a new-found love of dinner thanks for vegan yums! 🙂 I now like the ease with which food can be prepared in a hurry, or taking my time on occasions when there is more time.
This is fast, easy, delicious comfort food. I like to make coconut rice with mine, and sometimes I use cannellini beans which are more readily available (and cheaper.)
Tomato and Mushroom Pasta
I love this! It takes 15 minutes max! I use a tin of chopped tomatoes, just because it keeps a bit longer and is handy to keep in the cupboard.
THIS IS THE BEST!!! MAKE IT! IT’S SO BRILLIANT! I skip the kale because I’m not a big fan. I like to make this at the weekend and keep either in the fridge or freezer until it’s big moment arrives 🙂
Don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Chana Masala when it’s put in front of them. 🙂
Mexican Rice and Beans
This is so easy, and so adaptable to whatever may be in your fridge. I like to make it in vast quantities and eat for lunch the next day.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
This looks expensive at the beginning, but half the recipe and you will still be freezing leftovers and having it for lunch the next day. It is definitely worthwhile. It is definitely worthwhile making the full thing if you want to eat it for dinner on Sunday too 😀
Snacks and Drinks:
My snack this week has been a slice or two slices of Deliciously Ella’s Superfood bread. I made this last weekend and I think I have enough to see me through this week too. It costs about €5 to make a loaf, which works out at about 50c per slice. It’s pricey, but it’s one of those things that keeps you going if you’re trying to avoice snacking on sugary or salty junk food.
In the morning or afternoon, if I’m feeling ok, I like to have an almond milk latte using a cup of Unsweetened Almond Breeze. I don’t have if every day, but it’s a treat 🙂
Occasionally, I bake but I almost always use things in my store cupboard. Vegan, gluten free baking can get quite expensive so I tend not to do it very often, meaning that the ingredients tend to last for aaaages.
I haven’t stopped eating out. I have a current favourite sandwich that I have had twice in the last two weeks. It costs €4.50 in the Quay Co Op and feels extravagant. Totally can’t eat any more due to wheat-sadness but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I think on average I spend maybe €10-20 per week on eating out. I suspect that will go up closer to Christmas, but that’s the current number, including coffees/teas/eating out.