One of the major complaints I hear about veganism is how expensive it is, for any number of reasons, ranging from "I need to restock my pantry" to "vegan food just costs more." Personally, I have found that going vegan is actually a money saver. Meat is expensive! While vegan processed food can often times cost more (although I push back on this, too, as more mainstream places like Target have started carrying numerous brands at good prices), if you tend towards a more whole foods, plant-based diet, you will find that purchasing vegan staples is actually quite inexpensive, without needing to rebuild a pantry from scratch with exotic ingredients.
Now where you purchase those ingredients makes a difference, of course. For example, if you get fresh in season produce at a farmer's market, your bill will certainly go down. When things are out of season, I lean very heavily on frozen organic produce, which is of excellent quality with a great price to match.
Of course, where you buy your food will make a difference, too. I unabashedly love to shop at Whole Foods, and I truly believe you can do well there, pricewise. Greg is not as entirely onboard as I would like. However, when he goes to other grocery stores, I'm not convinced he's saving much money, and he's rarely finding things I like and need, like frozen organic produce or BPA-free cans.
And then, like a beacon of light, we found the place that settled the score for both of us: Costco. I've heard the stories about how great Costco can be for a vegan, and frankly, there are other blogs that have done a great job of breaking down how wonderful Costco can be. I think East Meets West Veg probably has my favorite post on this topic, so I will direct you there for the best guidance. But after Greg visited Costco with his dad to do a little reconnaissance work, I just wanted to regale you with some of our tremendous finds to show why we joined (and finally take full advantage of our deep freezer), in short order!
Most people associate Costco with the Kirkland brand - and no shame there, as Kirkland has great stuff. But Costco also has tremendous name brands. Behold: Muir Glen Tomatoes! Six cans for $6.89, my friends. And there were other great brands, too. I have Mori-Nu Tofu and Gardein coming out of my ears!
Definitely do not eschew the Kirkland brand, however. Otherwise, you would miss out on one pound of vanilla for $6.99.
Or, our most amazing purchase of the day: 48 ounces of minced garlic for $4.49. THAT IS NOT A TYPO.
Did I mention Costco's amazing fresh produce selection? I love me some cherry tomatoes, and we got this huge package of them for $3.99.
These veggies patties are just the best! Pick up 12 for $13.99, just like we did. A bit of a splurge, yes, but they are really tasty without any weird franken-ingredients.
And Costco's organic frozen selection is simply amazing as well. Our freezer is full of broccoli, corn, peas - you name it, we have it! We also picked up this neat organic quinoa and kale mix. Part of the reason I don't cook with quinoa more is I often forget to prepare it ahead of time and have it ready to go. Not only is this quinoa easy to zap...
So what can I say, except get thee to Costco and get saving on your vegan diet, pronto!