I love being vegan! Veganism is a lifestyle where you believe animals have rights, and therefore do not use or exploit animals for anything–food, clothing, makeup, etc. In a diet, that means I don’t consume meat, eggs, dairy, honey, or anything else derived from animals. However, I don’t feel restricted–I consume a large variety of other foods that leave me more than happy and satisfied. I love finding creative new ways to make meals or save money on groceries, so I thought I should share some of those tips with you!
Make some flour.
For me in my college apartment, I find myself not using flour regularly. It’s a hassle to buy organic flour and then have a huge bag of it that I use so slowly. However, I always have a large canister of oats on hand. Oats are cheap and versatile, so I really recommend them. To make flour, I simply put oats in my blender and blend until they’re smooth. Bam! You’ve got perfect oat flour. Oat flour is healthier for you, helps lower cholesterol, and can let you feel more satiated. Why not just easily make your own???
Freeze your produce.
While I sometimes share fresh fruits and veggies with my roommates, the amount in a container is often too much for me to eat before it goes bad. When my produce starts getting overly ripe, I simply put it in the freezer! Frozen fruits (especially bananas!) make the best smoothies. Frozen veggies can be saved, too! They make soups and cooked dishes, and can even be included in your smoothies. Frozen produce can last for so long so you don’t have to waste anymore!
Buy frozen veggies.
I know a lot of times people are hesitant to buy frozen vegetables because they seem like they’d be less fresh, tasty, or nutritious. Well, boy, do I have good news for you! The amount of nutrients in frozen veggies is the same (if not more than!) is present in fresh veggies. This is because the veggies are frozen and preserved right when they’re at the peak of ripeness, while the fresh produce has been in transit and probably artificially ripened. I’ll buy five pound bags of mixed vegetables or broccoli (my favorite) that last me for weeks. I can steam, stir fry, or bake the veggies, without worrying about them going back before I can use them or having to spend a fortune to eat healthy.
Buy & cook in bulk.
When comparing price per ounce, larger quantities often cost less. If you buy the larger packages of things like beans and rice, you can cook all of them at once and store them. This makes it really convenient to grab something quick for dinner, and you get to save some money!
Cook your beans and use the stock.
After you cook all the beans you bought in bulk, you can use the leftover “bean water”. It can be used as a great base for soup, for cooking rice in, in breads, and for watering plants. The water becomes bean-y, starchy, and protein-rich, so you can definitely use it for other things.
Make some cake.
I could not believe this worked the first time I tried it. To make a vegan cake all you have to do is buy a box of Duncan-Heins cake mix and add 12oz soda. If you’re making a dark cake (like chocolate), use a dark cola. If you’re making a lighter cake (like vanilla) use a lighter soda (like ginger-ale). Peta2 has some really awesome cake ideas, too! Y’all, these cakes are easier and cheaper than their non-vegan counterparts.
Use a banana.
I’m honestly addicted to bananas. What do you do when all your favorite recipes call for eggs?? If you’re baking, bananas are a great replacement! I use bananas in place of eggs, oil, or sugar in pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads… It’s a really great, healthy alternative to traditional ingredients or egg replacements.
Or make some cheese.
Honestly, I’m not that big of a fan of nuts. However, cashews have changed my life. I played around with some different recipes and ended up using my blender to smooth out some cashews. It makes the most perfect, spreadable cheese. All you have to do is soak the cashews over night and blend until smooth! You can add any seasonings you want. Add some garlic to make a tasty dip. Add some strawberries for a nice bagel spread. The possibilities are endless and delicious.
This app is super handy dandy! If you’re shopping or cooking at home and are wondering if something is vegan, you can scan the barcode and find out if they product is vegan. Most experienced vegans can tell by looking at the ingredient list, but sometimes there’s ambiguous ingredients or ingredients you’ve never seen before. This app makes it really easy just to check it out quickly.