College Vegan on a Budget: Back to Budgeting

A series of posts on my adventures in balancing a college-sized grocery budget with my obsession with Whole Foods. 

So if you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t done a CVB post in awhile because of Christmas break. While at home, my parents were amazing and bought most of my groceries for me so I haven’t had to work on my budgeting skills in over a month. But school has officially started up again and it’s time for more grocery posts!

I won’t show you my huge Whole Foods haul (because I already put everything away) but I also hit up Sprouts on Sunday for a few items I couldn’t find at WF and I got a lot for (relatively) little.


sprouts haul


What I Got: The Good Bean roasted chickpea snacks (so glad I finally found these), Pure chocolate brownie bars*, dried mango slices, Amazing Grass green superfood packets (for those busy days when I can’t get my greens in), Alvarado Street essential flax 50 calorie bread, Vega Vibrancy bar, soft tofu, Bob’s Red Mill ground flax meal (love the huge package), bulk almonds and salted in-shell pistachios, Frontera hot sauce (the cleanest hot sauce brand–no added sugar!)

What I Spent: $33.01

Verdict: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again–Sprouts is really amazing for my budget. They offer some things I’ve never seen at Whole Foods, and often for a lot less. The store in my city is a lot farther away than WF but it’s worth it to make trips there weekly to save some money. 

Do you have a Sprouts or other cheaper health food store near you? Do you ever use green superfood packets?

21 thoughts on “College Vegan on a Budget: Back to Budgeting

  1. I am so impressed with how well you grocery budget because I am horrible at it. I seriously can’t spend that little and have enough! I think its the produce that kills me since I dont’ really buy packaged stuff. Just wondering, do you get produce? How much of your budget do you spend on that? How do you make it last and not be wasteful? Thanks so much for the tips.

    • Produce is hard too! I didn’t get any on this trip since I was already stocked up, but on the previous trip I bought kale, oranges, bok choy, pineapple, yams and frozen blueberries and spent about $20 on all that which is kind of expensive but usually I just look for what’s on sale and compare prices between similar items to get the best deal. And to make things last, I like to buy some fruit and veggies frozen–they don’t go bad and are easy to prepare. And I also try to prep my fruit and veggies when I get home, like washing them and storing them so they’ll be ready to go and will last longer than just sitting out. Hope this helps!

  2. I’ve never heard of sprouts, but I do a lot of shopping at Harris Teeter here and sometimes Trader Joe’s and Earth Fare, they are a bit cheaper than Whole Foods. Whole Foods just costs too much for me and is inconvenient. Produce is definitely hard to buy on a budget though! I do find that keeping some things in the fridge helps them stay fresh longer.

    • Whole Foods is definitely pricey, but here I don’t have many inexpensive and healthy grocery options other than Sprouts so I try to only buy things at WF that I can’t find anywhere else or that are the same price at other stores. I wish I had a TJs near me though–I know they have great prices and selection.

  3. No Sprouts around here – I don’t think it’s a Canadian thing? And isn’t going home and being able to mooch off parents the best? I’m 28 and living out on my own and I still take advantage of my parents’ generosity :mrgreen: Actually, I think the reason they try and push so much food on me is because they think I’m incapable of cooking anything more complicated than Mac&Cheese. Pft.

    • Yeah, I think Sprouts is a western/southwestern U.S. thing–too bad though, since it’s a really good store! Haha and I love that too, I will definitely take advantage of that while I can…hopefully for awhile!

  4. P says:

    I’ve never used greens packets but they must come in handy on those long exhausting school days (totally know how that feels!). I actually like Grocery Outlet a lot. The ones near me have a good health food selection…not to mention, I was able to get Chobani cups for $0.79!!

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