If you are thinking of transitioning into a Vegan diet before or during January when a lot of people go vegan for the month or maybe just interested in a more plant-based lifestyle in general, then this grocery guide we have put together is for you!
There might be a lot of you that are very new to this type of thing and kind of overwhelmed with this lifestyle.
So, we hope that what we want to share with you really helps and we want to show you that actually it’s perhaps simpler and easier and affordable than you might have thought.
*We both adopted more of a plant-based diet years ago because we started to use plant-based supplements alongside our whole food diet and reduced our red meat intake and later realised in fact almost two-thirds of our daily diet had become plant-based before we even realised what had happened!
**Now, although we continue to supplement as we have alway's done most of our supplements have become Vegan friendly thus making us two-thirds Vegan.
A vegan lifestyle is really not that difficult if you plan it properly.
A little bit of research, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.
What we want to show you all comes from just one big grocery store, meaning we did not go to a Whole Foods Store or a natural food store of any sort.
We just went to a plain old big grocery store.
Of course, those places are great and wonderful for a lot of things. But the majority of the time we just shop at a regular grocery store.
You don't need to go to those expensive stores to maintain a vegan or a more plant-based lifestyle.
I'm also going to go through how much everything costs at the very end.
So, I hope you guys enjoy.
This is all totally old school cheap, lazy vegan style.
So, you get an idea of vegan food costs.
*Another Spoiler alert!!
it's really not expensive to shop like this these days.
So, firstly let’s start with grains.
Bread is really important. But a lot of people think bread is not vegan friendly.
That's just not true. A lot of bread, especially store-bought bread is vegan friendly, just make sure you check the ingredients, but most of the time it is actually vegan friendly.
So, we always like to get whole grain just because it's a little bit healthier.
We also have some pastas. Again, people think pasta is not vegan friendly. Most of the time it is just make sure and check the ingredients.
By the way if you're a new vegan and you're confused at the ingredients list, if it says “may contain” it means it is an allergy issue.
For example, they may have produced the pasta in a factory that also produces something that contains an explicit which doesn't mean that the end product contains eggs.
They're just basically covering themselves by telling people okay, we do produce eggs in the same factory. So, if it says, “may contain eggs” or “may contain milk”, you're still good to go.
Unless you are actually allergic. We still purchase things for example, which says “may contain eggs”, but it doesn't actually contain eggs.
So that’s a green light for vegan lasagne noodles oven ready?
We love lasagne. We love making lasagne.
It's one of our favourite things to make especially for non-vegans because it always tastes so good!
Do you know there's so many ways to make a delicious vegan lasagne!?
We also have some whole grain spaghetti.
What about rice?
We bought some sushi rice because we wanted to make sushi.
So, rice is very different depending on the brand that you buy, depending on the kind, this is sushi rice.
It's basically like Japanese rice, Japanese or Korean rice is going to be stickier.
That's the kind of rice we like, so yeah, this is going to be white rice.
We normally like to just eat brown rice, but for sushi, white rice is good food with noodles.
It is very convenient.
Noodles are so convenient.
Especially the ones that are already pre-cooked.
It literally takes not even two minutes to cook up. It's cheap. It's super quick. It's so good.
We love food on noodles so much.
Honestly, this is like the Cheap Lazy Vegan, it's a staple.
It's really good to have especially for the days when you get lazy.
We always like to prepare for those days when we don't want to cook, when we just want something really quick and noodles are great for times like these.
Rice is wonderful, but it takes a long time to cook.
Food with noodles means you can make a meal in less than 10 minutes with Udo noodles.
Ok, so this is kind of miscellaneous.
We want to talk about Nori sheets.
These are roasted seaweed sheets.
This is great for sushi guys.
So, if you want to make sushi rolls, Nori sheets are so delicious, and they're really, really great.
You can cut them up into little pieces and just put them on top of your rice, things like that.
Alright, let's move on.
Next, we have got Tofu, we love Tofu!
Tofu in packages last a long time as long as you don't open them, they do last a really long time in the fridge.
Just check the expiration date before you buy.
Usually it will be about a month before you need to consume this.
Once you open it up though it only lasts a few days in the fridge.
So that's one source of vegan protein.
A lot of people wonder about the protein.
So, let us go through other sources of vegan protein.
There are different kinds of beans and lentils.
We've got black beans, we have kidney beans, and we also have green lentils.
Canned are good which means they're just ready to eat, we can literally just open them up and eat them.
We love having canned beans and lentils in our cupboard so that again for those days when we don't feel like cooking and just want a meal in 10 minutes we are all ready to go.
But sometimes you have extra time so that's why dry beans come in handy and they will be even cheaper than canned.
So, dry chickpeas, you can't eat these unless you cook them first.
You will want to soak them for about eight hours if not longer, and then you cook them in a pot with lots of water. Let it come to a boil and then once it comes to a boil, you want to turn it down to a simmer, let it simmer for almost an hour or until they are really soft.
They're going to double in size compared to when you started.
The reason why I want both dried and canned is because generally, dry beans tend to be cheaper.
So, if you're looking to save money, or if you eat a lot of beans, it's actually really good to have dry beans that you cook in bulk, and you can actually freeze them too.
I would portion them out and freeze them.
That's what we do quite often so that whenever we are ready to eat them, it's pretty much like having canned means all ready to eat.
Simply take them out of the freezer, heat them up and you're ready to go.
But sometimes we don't have cooked beans already in the freezer, okay, because our life isn’t always together.
And that is why canned beans come in handy.
Our go-to ones are chickpeas, tofu and lentils which are all essentials.
We love these protein sources which are absolutely necessary, and we would throw them into pretty much every single meal along with nuts and seeds as well, which we have enough of in our pantry.
Also, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
We love having some form of canned tomato and tomato sauce handy.
Because this is really good for so many different types of Chilli dishes.
If you want to make a pasta sauce or virtually any tomato-based sauce, then diced tomatoes and tomato sauce are really great ingredients to have.
We use them so often. They are really good.
Ok, now let's move on to another area.
Avi milk is really, really good to have in your in your fridge.
And you can also get ones that you don't even need to refrigerate.
So, if you just want to keep them in your pantry until you are ready to have it then that's also good such as Almond milk.
We love frozen veggies and fruit.
These are really great to have with your smoothies, for example we've got a berry blend in our freezer along with mixed fruits.
They are so cool as fresh berries go bad really quickly. So, it's good to have frozen ones to throw into smoothies. And of course, frozen veggies are also a must as they are really good to have around especially for those lazy days and again, produce goes bad really quickly and maybe you're busy. Maybe you don't go grocery shopping very often. Maybe you just don't find yourself cooking enough for you to have fresh produce in your fridge all the time.
Frozen veggies are such an essential even if you do have fresh produce most of the time, which we normally do, but sometimes you might not have had time to go grocery shopping and that’s where frozen veggies come in as they still have nutritional benefits.
Some people say that frozen veggies are actually more nutritious because they are frozen at the peak time after straight after picking when they are at their most when they are most nutritious.
We don't know if that is true.
Next up is Hummus which is a really, really great vegan essential.
Roasted pine nut hummus is just awesome.
You don't just have to use it Hummus as a dip. You can use it as a spread. You can even use it like a pasta sauce.
If you're in a big rush you can just take hummus, some pasta and just mix it together, maybe make like a pasta salad and it makes a really, really good sauce.
One thing to note is that so many sauces, dressings, things like that are vegan friendly by nature.
For example, we always like to have a jar of pasta sauce just ready for a rainy day.
If we are feeling lazy or in a rush, it’s literally so easy to just cook up some pasta and then throw in a bit of sauce, maybe throw in some beans, some lentils and maybe throw in some veggies and here we go we've got a full-on meal that's ready in say 10 minutes.
Have you tried Sweet Basil Marinade?
Do remember though to check the ingredients for your pasta sauces as sometimes they do contain some milk or some ingredients that you might not want, just make sure you take a peek at the ingredient list.
After a while of being vegan you'll be able to look at an ingredients list really quickly and be aware to look for milk ingredients or eggs or things like that.
So, pasta sauce we always like to have in our pantry.
It’s great to have some hot sauces like Frank's Red-Hot Sauce or Tabasco.
You can make cauliflower wings with this.
We love spicy sauce.
Also, balsamic vinegar is a must, use it as a dressing or maybe make some other sauces out of it. It's good to have around and we also have some sweet chili sauce.
We don't know if you guys have tried sweet chili sauce but it's so yummy. It's so good on so many different things. We can sometimes use it as a dressing or even to dip our veggies in.
We love it so much.
So what else is good?
Well, Blueberries are easy to eat and packed with anti-oxidants.
Broccoli is good too.
We would not normally buy organic.
Avocado’s are great.
Spinach is our must have green’s!!!
We love throwing spinach into smoothies.
We love to stir fry spinach.
There is no waste with spinach as you can freeze it as well if it's starting to wilt after it’s been in the fridge for a while.
Simply freeze what’s starting to wilt and use that in smoothies!
If you like mushrooms, then King Oyster mushrooms are good with really good texture or simple white mushrooms.
Also, Green onions which are self-explanatory.
Ginger which you can throw into smoothies. You can throw ginger into a stir fry which we love, and it tastes so yummy!
Now how about some Chinese vegetables?
Baby bok choy? Which we love so much. We don't know what it is about baby bok choi or bok choy in general, it's so good.
Pick some veggies that you really like and stick to those because you don't have to force yourself to eat stuff that you don't like.
Next, Chinese Broccoli. You will have to cook it with a lot of oil and water and some garlic and it's delicious and served a lot in Chinese restaurants.
Do you like Cucumber? We love cucumbers. They're so refreshing. They're so easy to eat so convenient. We always feel so clean when we eat cucumber.
So, ok Guy’s this was our entire grocery haul and is going to last us a really long time because it has a lot of staples.
This cost us £63.31 for all of this food, which we think is really good, especially considering we included some major staples here that are going to last us a long time.
For example, the rice, we've got food with noodles, we've got lots of beans, frozen veggies, sauces that are going to last a long time.
So, it's really, really affordable guys, it does not have to be expensive following a vegan diet if you plan ahead and shop smart right?
Also, it's not like we were even trying really hard to be super frugal either.
We were just shopping for things we needed.
Some of you might be thinking that £63.31 seems like a lot of money but actually when you think about how much food we can make with all of this.
We can make so many many different meals!
These are some essentials for a fast, easy and cheap Vegan grocery haul and we hope you guys found this blog helpful J
So, that was our Vegan grocery haul guide.
But of course, this is not the be all and end all as we eat a lot of other things as well.
These are just some basic things that we like to buy on a regular basis.
Lots of Love,
Stephen & Karen X