I'm vegan and I spend about $175 a month on groceries - here's exactly what I buy
- I'm a vegan living outside San Francisco, and I spend about $175 a month on groceries.
- I cook most of my meals at home and typically rely on a few key staples that I use over and over again.
- I get my groceries from two markets near me: Trader Joe's and Safeway. Here's exactly what I buy.
That's why I only need to spend about $175 a month on groceries.I have a few reliable, easy meals I make often: baked veggies and tofu, rice with stir fry, baked sweet potato fries. I try to experiment with the few items I have to work with in the kitchen - for example, adding a different vegetable to the mix or opting to steam, rather than bake, one or two of the existing ingredients - to stave off boredom.
The hardest obstacle to staying on budget is pre-made foods like veggie burgers, pre-chopped produce, and microwaveable meals, so I have to be more conscious of those items when I go to the store. I've cut most of those out of my usual grocery list to keep costs low, but I try to give myself at least one or two of those quick meals a month. That way, I can relax for those days when I've got three deadlines, piles of laundry to do and my dog has a vet appointment.
I also try my best to stick to my grocery list, shop seasonally, and put blinders on when I go past all of the tempting last-minute buys that used to entice me. That said, I'm willing to go a bit over my budget if I need to stock up on things like spices, sauces, or other items that tend to last at least a few weeks but cost more up front.
Here's a breakdown of my typical $175-a-month grocery list in Brentwood, California, about an hour outside of San Francisco.