If you want to stop overspending on groceries, here is exactly how I do it.
Recently fellow coworkers and strangers have been asking me, “how do you do it? How do you spend only $50 a week?” I try to explain the basic principles, buy in bulk, shop sales, the co-op discount, ect., but everything still feels impossible to them. Thus, I’ve compiled an excel spreadsheet of four separate weeks of grocery shopping, so we can get all scientific and analyze these bad boys. I’ve even made a pie chart. Yeah, my science degree is kicking ass right now!
A little note and confession. I do get a 10% military community discount at the co-op (they give them out for low income people as well) and a 10% volunteer owner worker discount, so that I cumulatively get 20% off all my groceries. However, all of the costs listed below are the costs BEFORE that discount was applied. Either way, using your local discounts too (work it people!) is another way to stop overspending on groceries.
|Average||Percent of total budget|
|Rolled Oats (bulk)||2.73||2.54||1.17||0.48||1.73||3%|
|Olive Oil (bulk)||1.26||1.76||2.35||2.77||2.04||4%|
For the picture oriented people….
#.5 It is not toilet trees, it is toiletries. All my life I wondered. Now I know.
#1, Mom you would be proud of me. What good little girl has her largest expenditure as vegetables? That’s right, me!
#2, People often do not purchase organic coffee because they believe it is cost prohibitive. With an average of 1.5 cups per day, I support my coffee habit with a weekly contribution of about $2.26. Given, I use a French press, soak the crap out of my freshly ground beans, then that lasts me almost a whole week. If you are worried about your coffee budget, I would advise doing the same thing, or at least letting the coffee grounds soak in the hot water for at least 30 minutes before running them through a filter. The longer you can soak, the stronger your coffee is with less beans.
#3, I spend a crap ton on spices. Given that I included in spices fresh garlic and ginger, but clearly a vegan and/or budgeted diet needs a lot of work to “spice” things up. This would be completely prohibitive if you were at a conventional grocery store and had to buy a $5 jar of spices every time you wanted something different. Thus, get your butt to a whole foods or co-op, where you can buy only the spices that you need. We all know people with spices that sit in their cabinets taking up space and going unused for years. Don’t be that type of person!
#4, Tofu, even bulk tofu, is a luxury item, not a necessity. Obviously I don’t buy it that often, and when I do it is because I’m feeling a little flush with funds.
#5, The most startling realization of all, is that the majority of my calories come from beans, grains, and flour, and those items cost the least out of everything. Cumulatively, they take up just 7% of my budget. That means that if I wanted to, I could survive (albeit very boringly) for weeks on just 0.07*53=$3.71 PER WEEK. This is bean and rice bulk POWER PEOPLE! Thus, if you are looking to save money on groceries, go no further than dried beans, flour (for making your own bread, rolls, pasta, tortillas, etc.), and grains. If you eat meat, fine, but change out your lunches for a vegan rice and bean meal. Your budget, the planet, and your health, will thank you.
This Week in Updates: Anger is good for PRs
So thank you government and military, I have ass to grass squatted more weight this week than I ever have before; 135 pounds to be exact. That is just 7 pounds more to go until I am squatting my body weight! It’s exciting to see all these changes and muscle growth, while still bike riding to work some days and feeling like a superhero by saving the world with my vegan diet. My protein count is still around only 85 grams per day, and I weigh 142. That’s about 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body mass, and I am still making awesome muscle gains. And I’m a girl. Thus, I think, slowly but surely, I’m breaking this crazy American protein myth.
The Recipe: Homemade hummus and millet bowl
Let’s talk vegan protein. For vegans, chickpeas are king, giving a whopping 12 grams of protein per cup. Millet isn’t so bad either, with 6 grams per cup. Furthermore, if you make your own hummus and buy both the chickpeas and the millet dried in bulk, you have a delicious, nutritious, and crazy cheap meal going for you.
To make your own hummus, I suggest Real Simple’s easy 5 minute hummus recipe!
Quick summary? Food like this hummus millet bowl is nutrient rich, filling, and SUPER CHEAP.
- Homemade Hummus
- Chopped Veggies
- Ground Black Pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Decide how big a bowl, or how many bowls you want to make. Use this to determine your quantities.
- Make your own hummus by following real simple's five minute hummus recipe. Or whatever other quick recipe you prefer.
- Make millet.
- Chop up vegetables, spice to taste, and enjoy!