Guys, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m poor as poor as poor can be. And no matter how hard I try, the stores still won’t take my money.
I mean, they should consider themselves honored to have the rare “pi dollar bill” with its skillful art work and improper Latin motto (should be “Te occidere possunt, sed te edere non possunt.” Look that one up, it’s worth it.) That thing will be worth bazillions someday!
Keep an eye out for the bazillion dollar bill, on its way to a Courtney near you.
Counterfeiting aside, I’ve found a lot of ways to make the actual US tender in our house stretch. It’s a misconception that vegetarians spend more on groceries than the average family. I actually spend less on groceries now than I did when I ate meat. I also spend a lot less on fast food, antacids, and we currently have a huge surplus in the beef jerky portion of our budget. (Mike: “Why did we even budget for that?”)
But still, there are naysayers who use money as one of many excuses to continue their eating habits. That’s why I’m trying out a new feature on my blog–Money Saving Monday. Will it be awesome? Maybe. Will it be complete and utter tripe? Hey, that’s totally a possibility, too. I’m really just winging it over here.
Today, I’m going to give you some reasons eating less meat, and healthfully in general, is better for your budget–other than the horesh*t reasons Health Professionals give about saving money on future health care by taking care of yourself better (blah blah blah blah etc). I’m going to give you something useful–an honest answer to the question, “However can you afford it?” that will make the person asking it look like the biggest idiot in the universe. Because in the end, healthy eating habits are all about making the other person look bad. 🙂
And so, I present to you…
Courtney’s Top Ten Reasons Veganism is Cheaper than What You’re Eating Now
1. As far as I can tell, there is no vegetarian equivalent to the “Surf and Turf” at a restaurant. Nothing you ever eat will cost even half as much as that monstrosity. Actually, even if you continue to eat meat, you should probably just never eat that. Ever.
2. You know what’s not particularly cheap? Butter. You know what is? Canola Oil. You know what the difference is? A cow. In fact, if you do a per cost analysis, Olive Oil usually comes out cheaper than Butter, even. Especially when you consider how little of it you’ll be using, now that you’re a super healthy person who doesn’t dip their onion rings in bacon grease.
Am I telling you to spread the oil on toast? Oh lord no, that’s disgusting. But, you’d be doing fine to switch it out in baked goods. In fact, most of the time they can be swapped for unsweetened applesauce or some mashed banana. I’m not even kidding, there is NOTHING cheaper (or healthier) than that.
3. Beans and rice cost almost nothing and you will be eating them constantly. Seriously, half of my protein comes from beans. If you’re using cans, and unless you have loads of free time you probably are, you’re paying between 80 cents and a dollar a can, which is three and a half servings. Whoever can name me one animal source of protein that cheap wins one pi dollar bill. If you have the time and inclination you can get those beans even CHEAPER by cooking them yourself and freezing what you don’t use. Crazy!
4. Peanut butter goes on everything and costs about $3.50 a jar. You can’t get the same combo of protein and healthy fat from anything else you’re eating for that price. And I’m not kidding when I say it goes on everything. Recipes to come…uh…someday!
5. The only cheap meat at the grocery store is terrifying. I speak from experience, here. I’ve bought that cheap meat, I’ve grimaced while preparing it and I’ve tried to eat it without fear. But the fear is there, and it is real. Anyone who’s ever accidentally bought and ingested bad meat is with me on this one, I’m sure.
6. Protein is not nearly the issue carnivores make it out to be. Protein is in almost everything I eat, including my grains. If anything, I’m more concerned about Iron, but I get plenty and that multivitamin I was taking before I stopped eating meat is just as effective on herbivores.
7. The increased amount of fiber you eat will allow for easier…stuff…to happen. This will save you hundreds on plumbing repairs, since nothing is more costly and embarrassing than dealing with constant…blockages…
8. You need a separate cutting board for meat and veggies in most households. Not mine! Total savings=$10 of sweet, cross contamination free, goodness.
9. I hardly ever eat fast food anymore. Back in the dark ages, when I weighed 240 lbs and loved bacon, this was a huge deal, as I ate it at least twice a week, more if I was depressed. Now, it’s such a hassle that I just never want to deal with it. I save 10-20 dollars a week on that. Worth it!
10. I managed to get healthy, starting with my decrease in meat consumption, without having to spend money on a gym membership, nutritionist, or personal trainer. I just started following the rules of Michael Pollan (whose books are great! Read them!), and the weight, fatigue, and stress of being so unhealthy began to fall off of me. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” When that epiphany came, everything finally fell into place.
Thanks for bearing with me today, readers. In future Mondays I’ll tell you where I shop, why I shop there, and where you can get weird items on your grocery list at a discount. I may not be an extreme coupon-er (I have a life) but I certainly know how to be thrifty when I need to be. It’s all just part of the “broke” aspect of being crunchy, hip, and broke!
Happy Monday, loves!