Sally, a guest poster at Get Rich Slowly, wrote a wonderful article on eating vegetarian on the cheap.
I'm a vegan myself, and I think her article is a great introduction to vegetarian eating in general and how it can save you money (meat is expensive!).
Her top strategy is to eat locally-produced foods as often as possible, which is also great in reducing oil consumption and global warming. She and her husband do this in three ways:
- Shop at the local farmers market.
- Purchase local foods through joining a community-supported agriculture program, or CSA.
- Pick them ourselves.
- We buy frequently-used items in bulk at Costco and, if those foods will spoil too quickly, split the items and the cost with friends.
- We make liberal use of cheap vegetarian proteins: four servings of organic tofu will set you back $2; beans are even cheaper than that.
- We attempt to keep our meals as empty of refined foods as possible.
- We freeze leftovers in individual-sized, labeled containers.
- Last, and possibly the least intuitive, we buy high-quality, high-cost items when doing so will mean the difference between an okay meal and a great one.
Get Healthy and Fit, Part 1