This is one question I get a lot.
In short, no. I actually save quite a bit of money even though I eat a lot of organic produce.
Back in my carnist days, a whopping nine weeks ago, I was eating meat 2-3 times a day.
That was mostly chicken, some turkey and thanks to my boyfriend, Michael, red meat 2-3 time a week.
We were spending $250-$300 on meat per month.
Now, my meals mostly consist of veggies, grains and beans.
We don’t spend a ton of money on “faux meat” because it can be expensive and it totally weirds me out that humans can manipulate soy to taste like sausage.
We’ve tried a few items from Publix (shout-out to them for having vegan items by all the produce!)
We’ve tried veggie hot dogs and vegetarian smoked apple sausage from Publix as well as “Parmesan cheese” and “ground beef”. The beef worked well in a chili I made and Michael really liked the hot dogs — smothered in onions, mustard and sour kraut of course.
We are currently obsessed with these organic vegetable dumplings.
I’ve found some great stuff at Trader Joe’s, too.
My tips for saving money:
- Eat what’s in season.
- Buy in bulk, especially things like rice, quinoa, onions, nuts and beans if you’re OK with preparing your own. I’m not so I stock up on Trader Joe’s organic beans when I go.
- Invest in a salad spinner and a produce saver rather than buy already cut and washed lettuce.
- Don’t go crazy with faux meats, find a few versatile types like “ground sausage” that you can cook in different ways.
- Broccoli slaw.
- Take advantage of frozen fruits and veggies. Fruit is great for smoothies or overnight oats. I eat frozen edamame for snacks or part of a meal all the time.
- Pasta is cheap! I don’t like eating regular or even whole wheat pasta very often so I’ve been using edamame/mung bean fettuccini noodles or black bean noodles because both have a ton of protein. Zero Pasta is good too, but a little more money.
- Get creative! My lunches typically consist of a bunch of leftovers thrown together to make a meal.
- Let go of the idea that every meal needs to revolve around a “meat”. I can’t tell you how many times my dinners have been a giant plate of veggies with a side of beans or some other protein source.
- Look into organic produce co-ops. I was part of a fantastic one until a big box bought it out, decided not to deliver and raise prices. While I was involved though, they delivered fantastic organic produce once a week for $20. So worth it! UPDATE: I found a new organic produce share group and I get a TON of producer — so much that I split it with a friend! It’s fun because it has forced me to learn how to cook with things I’ve never worked with before and my fruit and veggie intake has probably doubled.