A few weeks ago, my mom tagged me in a link about how to spend $15 on making vegan lunches for the whole week. And I don't mean PB&J, I mean healthy satisfying meals. Being a vegan on a budget, I was definitely excited to check it out. Here's the link:
I think the math is off personally, for me, I would say it's like $25+ but that's because I love avocados and I buy more of those, and I buy organic beans. I hate onions, so I kept those out. Basically, I bought my black beans and my garbonza beans were $.99 each. I had to buy a different brand of white kidney beans, which ran me $1.49 since they didn't have them in my preferred brand. I got a huge hot house cucumber for $.99 and 2 green peppers were 2/$3, and my orange pepper was $1.49, which was on sale last week but sadly not this week. I also bought avocados which were 4/$5. I got cherry tomatoes for $3.99 which I also split with my mom so well say $1.98 and spinach was 2/$6 so I gave my mom one, so say $3 for me. Plus, the bread which is $3.99 and my rice/quinoa mix that I buy is $2 a box I believe. However, I get 4 preportioned bags per box, and we'll see I use 1 pack per week, which well divide by 4 and we'll say $.50 per pack. I also got white bean hummus, which was 2/$6 and I gave one to my mom so $3. Total is $26.42 - however, I'm already out of cucumber so I should've bought 2 more at $.99 which would give me $28.40 had I purchased the extra cucumbers which I should have.
The other reason I believe it's higher than they say is that I don't keep cut vegetables long. I eat my cut cucumber and cut pepper within a day, two at the very most and that's pushing it. As soon as you cut a vegetable, no matter how you store it, it loses and freshness and bacteria can grow. I don't play those games. I started this Sunday, and already I'm done my cucumber and one of my peppers, and it's only Tuesday. Also, they weren't using whole avocados in their meals, and I don't understand how someone saves avocado for later. Not only are avocados the most amazing food and I can't help myself but to eat an entire avocado, but saving some for later gets nasty. They get brown and they turn fast. Just eat the whole thing, it's good fat anyway.
In addition, I don't keep beans open long either because of bacteria. They're open two days, maybe three, and to me that's pushing it. I know that I'm a freak with food, my husband tells me that all the time. But, I just don't take risks with food born illnesses.
Also, this list doesn't include snacks! Who eats a sandwich without chips?! I gotta have something with a crunch! And you always need a little something sweet afterwards! And, I drink water all day, but I like something with a little flavor for my lunch and dinner. I got juice boxes for lunch. Not that all of this is adding up to a high cost, but I would say that you can do this for about $30-$35 a week. I was even eating these meals for dinner too. Still, the cost of doing it this way versus buying food out every day is still much cheaper. And, you're getting quality meals, not garbage. Depending on your dietary wants and needs, you may be able to keep the cost around the $15 that they say. Me personally, I can't. But, you should absolutely experiment with what works for you.
So far, I've made some great and easy meals using these recipes. And, I'm tweaking them just a bit so that they fit what I prefer.
I've made the chickpea bowl and a hummus sandwich, and left out the black beans so I could save them for other meals.
I've been having chickpeas with cucumbers, orange peppers, avocados, cherry tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper. I also made a sandwich on lightly toasted bread, with hummus spread, spinach, cucumbers, and orange bell peppers. That sandwich was so good!
I also have been having spinach salads, since you always need your greens, and hummus with veggies as snacks. So, I'm not only getting lunch out of these but snacks too.
I plan on cutting up my green pepper today, sautéing some of it for my rice bowl with black beans and avocado. That will probably be my dinner, and I'll have some leftover for dinner tomorrow. And I'll have some raw green pepper and black beans, with some tomatoes, and spinach for a salad for lunch.
The best thing about these options are not just that they're affordable but they're healthy staples that can be used for several different meals and they're interchangeable. Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be difficult. Do you have time to stay home and cook 5 star homemade meals every day? I don't. I work for a living, and I take care of a husband, 4 cats, and my apartment. Fast, healthy, cheap, and easy is my goal!