Budget Grocery Shopping For Dummies

19 Mar
So FLUFFY. Fack.

So FLUFFY. Fack.

I was reflecting today on how much more manageable and varied my diet is since I made the switch to being vegan.

To give you an idea of what I can buy with only $40 a week, I wrote up a comparison chart. Examples of a weekly shopping list when I was a meat-eater compared to now…

$40 THEN:

  • 1 pack of chicken breasts (6)
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans
  • 5 cans of tuna
  • 1 bunch of romaine lettuce
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Couple tomatoes

$40 NOW:

  • 2L. almond milk
  • 7 oranges
  • 12 bananas
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bunch of romaine lettuce
  • 2 packs of portobella mushrooms
  • 5 cans of beans
  • 1 package of red lentils (lasts me way more than a week)
  • 3 cans of olives
  • 2 bags of frozen peas
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans

and more sometimes, if I get stuff on sale…

I love that I can get such a huge variety of different fruits and vegetables now. Usually I only need to buy spices every 2 months or so (depending). And other items such as lentils, oats, nut butter, rice, etc. are only really bought once a month. The only things that are replenished regularly are fresh fruits and veggies, and beans. So all in all I spend $40 or LESS every week on groceries, and I can get a LOT of nice stuff!

Being able to afford things like asparagus, fruit, and mushrooms is just so exciting to me. Being a broke girl on a budget, this is by far the best I have ever eaten.

Anyway, just had to share. I’m sure I could even penny pinch my grocery list down to $25 a week and still eat well. It is certainly a huge pro to this lifestyle.

I’m aware that not everyone chooses to eat this way. In that case, if you are on a budget, simply limiting the crap you buy is a good start. Think nutritional value FIRST. Quality over quantity, my friends.

Some tips for cheaper shopping:

  1. Don’t shop hungry.
  2. Buy in bulk. No more small packages if you can get the bigger one and save $20 in the long run.
  3. Cook in bulk. Freeze.
  4. Think nutritional value first. Pop Tarts taste good. They’re shit though and are a waste of money.
  5. Even if you are not a veggie like me, beans and lentils are cheap as fuck. And they do pack a good nutritional punch. Consider adding them in for some extra protein.
  6. Frozen veggies are a great alternative for fresh ones. Though optimally you’d buy fresh, fresh produce is more perishable and pricier. Better to get something than nothing.

Make note, comrades! Groceries don’t have to cost $100+ a week. Keep it simple.

Training for the day…Week 4, Day 1 of The Cube:



Snatch-Grip Deadlifts: (was supposed to be from a 2″ block but I didn’t have one)


Squats: (up 2 reps per set from 2 weeks ago)

bar x bunch

Front Squats: (low rest)



Workout was good, but everything was a little bit rushed since I didn’t have long before I had to get back to work. Didn’t get to do my planks at the end, but I will try to squeeze those in some time later today.

Song picks of the day:

^^ Going to see these guys in April. Awh yeeeeaah.

PWO meal…kale, romaine lettuce, black olives, chickpeas, and gala apples tossed in a light vinaigrette. Magnifique. 


For the record, it’s a whole can of chickpeas. My salads are anything but bird-sized.


5 Responses to “Budget Grocery Shopping For Dummies”

  1. Connie Braaten March 19, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    are you still doing carb backloading? I remember reading somewhere you did that, and I wondered if it still works well with being a vegan

    • thecookiemonster March 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Doesn’t work well unless you follow a warrior diet style of eating (I.e extended fasting or veggies only during the day, feast at night). I find that for my digestive system and energy, my best results with this way of eating have been having smaller and more frequent meals.

      • deb roby March 22, 2013 at 1:55 am #

        I was really upset when I read the CBL stuff and they admitted not to knowing if it would work with women at all. Being post-menopausal, I’m the most challenged hormonal type to program fat loss for.

  2. Elizabeth March 20, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Why did you decide to become a vegan? You are inspiring with your strength! I’m working on mine.:) That salad looks delicious!

    • thecookiemonster March 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you! A mixture of ethical reasons as well as health reasons. And I figured if I could cut out animal products and still be strong/healthy, why not? 🙂

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