College Vegan on a Budget: A New Low

One college vegan’s mission to save money while still maintaining her clean eating standards.

I’ve really been needing to reign in my spending habits lately. Between a $40 iHerb purchase last week (mostly necessary, but some were impulse buys to get the free shipping), picking up a few personal care items at Target the other day that set me back $30 (including some heavier free weights–woohoo, I’m progressing!) and going out to eat a few times with friends (not a bad things, since I need to get more comfortable with this), the last thing I needed was a giant grocery bill this weekend. And luckily, I was smart with my spending and walked away spending just over $80 for the week. This has become my new weekly goal, so let’s see if I can hit it more often than not!

Sprouts buys under $30.

Sprouts buys under $30.

*=organic

Sprouts

What I Got: dried apple rings, Medjool dates, hazelnuts (for vegan healthy Nutella–stay tuned!), Kevita strawberry acai coconut probiotic drink*, raw cacao powder* (this brand was much cheaper than my fave Navitas Naturals), poppy seeds, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, Wholly Guacamole avocado verde salsa (one of the best salsas I’ve ever had!)

What I Spent: $26.86

Verdict: Again, Sprouts can be a big money saver. The salsa was literally $1–and it’s the best $1 I’ve ever spent! They have the cheapest nothing-added dried fruit and nut selection and their produce is dirt cheap, but is just as good as anywhere else. 

Whole Foods haul under $55.

Whole Foods haul under $55.

Whole Foods

What I Got: Kale Krunch cheezy chipotle kale chips*, 365 brand light coconut milk x2*, cashew butter, liquid smoke (for eggplant “bacon”), WFM brand almond oil, Hail Merry vanilla maple almonds, Hail Merry raw chocolate macaroons and chocolate tart, raspberry balsamic vinegar, Thai curry cashew mix, raw cashew pieces (on sale!), raw vegan brownie, pineapple chunks (also on sale), eggplant*

What I Spent: $53.47

Verdict: One of my cheapest Whole Foods trips for weekly staples ever! I even bought a few splurge-y items (ahem, raw desserts!) but still stayed under $60 and got a lot of things that will last awhile and stuff I needed for recipes I want to try out. 

What’s the best salsa you’ve ever had? What new recipes have you been trying out? 

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10 thoughts on “College Vegan on a Budget: A New Low

  1. I’m always so impressed by your budgeting! It’s definitely something I’ve been focusing lately as well. The past week wasn’t my best (I splurged on some new clothes and went out to eat quite a few times) but oh well! That’s life. (:
    You got so much delicious stuff for $80 though! The thai curry cashew mix from WF is like crack, I swear!

  2. I’m definitely going to have to come back and take notes when I’m shopping for myself, haha. You’re so good at budgeting. I’m crazy money conscious, though, so I doubt I’ll have too much trouble.

  3. This is impressive! You got some really good eats for cheap! I could certainly use some tips because I always end up spending way too much on groceries!

  4. So many products I wish I could get. Salsa is by far my favourite condiment lately and while I don’t have the hugest choice I’ve found a good organic one. I may or may not be guilty of dipping vegetables straight in the jar – oh, the benefit of living alone.

    The latest recipe I’ve tried were vegan Avocado Brownies: http://peachypalate.com/2013/03/01/almost-defeated-by-a-brownie/
    I’m not sure whether you have coconut sugar but I’m sure you’d enjoy these. It was my first time baking with avocado – a huge fear food of mine – and the resulting brownies are great.

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