Frugal Foodie Mama: How Being a Veghead (Even Just Part-Time) Can Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How Being a Veghead (Even Just Part-Time) Can Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

I am happy to be hosting a guest post today from the lovely Christa of Crisduh, where she blogs about everything from food to fashion to vespas. (Yes, you heard me right.  Vespas. ;) ) It is not a big secret that I am not a vegetarian, but we do eat meat free at least two times a week (but not always on Mondays ;) ).  Pssssst... Christa is letting us all in on a little secret.  Eating vegetarian at least a few times a week can really cut down on your grocery bill.  
I will let Christa take it away....
People always ask me if it's terribly challenging to not eat meat, which is surprising to me because I find my diet particularly easy and on top of that, it's affordable. We probably spend $50-$70 per week on groceries for the two of us, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are my 3 favorite vegetarian-friendly recipes that are incredibly easy to make, affordable, and delicious: 

1. Chickpea Tacos I use chickpeas a lot when I cook and when I came across this recipe, I was thrilled to find one more way to use them. Courtesy of the Happy Herbivore website, this recipe is quick, tasty, and easy to multiply if you have company or if you're just super hungry. Ingredients:
  • 15 ounces chickpeas ($0.99)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce (have on hand)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice ($0.30/lemon)
  • 1 recipe taco seasoning($1.19)
  • 8 whole taco shells ($3.50)
Total cost = $8.98 Serves 3 - 4 ($2.20/person) Click here for the full recipe

2. Tofu Tikka Masala Tofu is great in Indian dishes because they are so full of flavor to be absorbed by the tofu. This is by far one of my favorite dishes of all time. There was a while there when we ate it more than once a week.
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu ($2.00)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (have on hand)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger ($0.50)
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced ($0.50)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (have on hand)
  • Spices: 1/2 teaspoon chile powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (have on hand)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic tomato sauce ($0.99)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (have on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (have on hand)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas ($1.99)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk ($2.50)
Total cost = $8.48 Serves 6 ($1.41/person) Click here for the full recipe 

3. Spiced Black Bean Burger I wasn't always a fan of black bean burgers, but this one was an instant hit. I love cumin, so I think that is what makes me dig it the most. I add whatever veggies I have around the house to this, like corn. You can definitely modify this to your taste and I usually double it so that I have leftovers for lunch or to put on top of a salad.
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans ($0.99)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion ($1.00)
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs ($2.50)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup bottled chunky salsa ($3.00)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (have on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (have on hand)
  • hamburger buns or salad
Total cost = $7.49 Serves 2-3 ($2.50/person) Click here for the full recipe So there's the proof! A meatless diet can be affordable, easy, and yummy. For more of my favorite recipes and food ideas, click here. Note: I am technically a "pescetarian," which means that fish is a part of my diet, but I love sharing these plant-based recipes with people because they are the most affordable and easiest to make. Bon appetit!