College Vegan on a Budget: Lots O’ Newness

A series of posts highlighting my progress in budgeting my plant-based, clean-eating grocery trips.

Happy Sunday, guys! I know the East Coast is getting hit hard by Nemo, but we’re also (semi) buried in snow here in CO–so if you’re anywhere that’s gotten snow this weekend, hope you’re staying warm and safe.

So you all know how obsessed I am with trying new products, right? Yeah, it’s kind of a problem. Well, not really because I’m adding more foods into my rotation and figuring out what I really love, but it can be a problem for my budget. This week, I spent a little over $100 which I’m trying not to do (my goal is $80 or under) but I actually didn’t do too much damage at Whole Foods, which is good. However, I did buy a bunch of new-to-me items, all of which I’m loving so far. Not all of them will be regulars on my lists but they’re all winners for sure.


The haul.

The haul.


What I Got: kabocha squash (0nly 88 cents/pound!), jalapenos, jewel yams*, avocados, Madhava raw honey*, shredded coconut*, Good Bean cinnamon roasted chickpeas, Vega One chocolate protein powder packet, dried apples*, Medjool dates, Larabars, Vega vibrancy bars, raw cashews

What I Spent: $49.88

Verdict: New-to-Me Items–raw honey, Vega bars (berry flavor). Usually I can spend $30 or less at Sprouts, but the dates and honey really put me over my usual amount. Not that I’m complaining though–the honey is really good and dates are a staple in my life, and cheaper here than anywhere else. The produce was where I definitely saved a lot though.

Whole Foods

New finds...

New finds…


What I Got: Purely Elizabeth pumpkin fig granola, bombay spice kale chips*, Kit’s Organic chocolate coconut bar*, Justin’s vanilla AB squeeze packs, Kaya sprouted pumpkin seeds*, So Delicious mint chip almond milk ice cream, 365 brand crunchy PB, raw coconut aminos*, canned green olives, dried white Turkish figs, crystallized ginger, nutritional yeast, raw mesquite maple walnuts, Theo vanilla nib dark chocolate bar, orange cinnamon Mexican-style dark chocolate, baby spinach*

What I Spent: $61. 27

Verdict: New-t0-Me Items–granola (love that it’s only sweetened with coconut sugar and made with ancient GF grains), kale chips (mmm, but expensive), Kit’s bar (haven’t tried yet), crystallized ginger (hopefully good for when I have stomach issues), raw walnuts (also good), dark chocolate bars (when is chocolate ever bad, and the ingredients are Ashley-approved). See, I didn’t do too badly at Whole Paycheck, and that’s even with a few higher-end purchases. The kale chips won’t be a regular purchase, as I can make them easily at home, but I was feeling lazy and really wanted an easy snack.

What’s something new that you’ve tried lately? Do you prefer kale chips from home or from the store?

16 thoughts on “College Vegan on a Budget: Lots O’ Newness

  1. jkaiser12 says:

    Wow some of these new items look great! I just tried brad’s raw kale chips which are killing my budget – along with not wanting to suck it up and pay for a whole tub of vega so just buying a few packets at a time. Costs me so much! But there’s some many things you get that I want to try so you will have to tell me what you think of them. The vega bars, the kale chips brand and granola brand are things i’ve never tried before but look good! and those roasted chickpeas from sprouts look so great. Very jealous, wish I had one. For the raw honey, how does it taste different than regular honey and differ in nutritional stats? Just curious.
    This makes me want to go to whole foods but I have to wait another week until I get paid.. mhmm!

    • Brad’s kale chips are the best, but this other brand is a couple dollars cheaper and still pretty delicious.

      I love the chocolate Vega bar so I’m hoping the berry flavor is good too. They have really good stats too–10 grams each of fiber and protein with really healthy ingredients and not too much sugar. And the granola is really good too, not too sweet but really flavorful and crunchy. The raw honey is also more flavorful than regular honey, but I think the stats are about the same. I just know that raw honey has a lot of health benefits, like strengthening the immune system and helping with seasonal allergies!

  2. Aja says:

    I’ve never had kale chips. I should try them. I haven’t been able to add too many new things into my diet lately. I’m hoping that will change soon but we’ll see.

  3. Uh, the NORTHEAST COAST is getting hit hard by Nemo :). The Southeast coast on the other hand, is outside running in shorts and short sleeved t-shirts, or biking. I think everyone was biking today… hehe.

    Kale chips are really tasty! I bought some at Trader Joe’s, they were not as expensive there as Whole Paycheck (err, foods), and a smaller bag which was good bc I didn’t know if I’d like them. Well, I loved them, lol! Honey is pricey anywhere, kinda like pure maple syrup, so glad you were able to get that and all that produce for that, Sprouts sounds like a neat store.

    • jkaiser12 says:

      I didn’t know trader joe’s had kale chips!! Are they in the chip section? Wow I need to hunt these down

    • I’m jealous that it’s so nice where you are–it only snowed a few inches here and it’s almost all melted but it’s FREEZING 😦

      I’m still waiting on a TJs here–CO’s supposed to get two of them soon-ish and even though they’re both about an hour away from me, I need to check them out at least once!

  4. Today I bought a new-to-me 5$ bottle of kombucha because the flavour seemed yummy 🙂 Hahah you have to admit though that berry mint sounds cool 😀

    • That actually sounds really delicious! Hope it was good 🙂 I have yet to try kombucha but I did try a mango coconut Kevita (sparkling stevia-sweetened probiotic drink) and I actually kinda like it so I’m hoping I’ll like kombucha as well!

  5. Kabocha for 88 cents per pound? Not only that I won’t be able to get any until Autumn but I’ve never found it that cheap around here before. I think I need to move ;).

    Something new I tried lately – but didn’t have to pay for as my mum was kind enough to do it – were raw so-called Chi Balls. They consist from various kinds of sprouted seeds (including chia hence the name), dried fruit and ayurvedic spices.

  6. Looks like you picked up some good stuff! Just curious, how do you come up with your budget? Is it just based on how much money you make a week? Also, do you have your own apartment or are you able to use some of your parents food as well?

    • My budget right now is really more of a goal, because I get a set amount of money at the beginning of the semester for living expenses, which includes rent and utilities and food, and I just want to make sure I don’t blow all that money and have nothing left for rent! And I do have my own apartment, but my parents kick in some money here and there for food, at least when I’m home on break!

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