Groceries 04/23/14Includes prices + My flexible menu for the week + Shopping FAQ


Grocery shopping is often a daunting task when you’re just becoming familiar with a new way of eating. Even if you’ve been doing the whole healthy vegan thing for a while it can still be easy to fall into a bit of a grocery shopping rut. I grocery shop every week but I’ll only be doing up a blog post for my groceries bi-weekly.

Some of the most common questions I receive on my tumblr are on the topic of grocery shopping.  I often get asked how much I spend, how often I shop, how do I decide what to buy, and whether or not I do any menu planning. I’ve included my answers to all of these questions at the bottom of the post under Shopping FAQ. Hopefully these grocery posts will help to answer any questions you may have or just help to provide some sort of inspiration if you do feel you’re in a rut.

Each post will include each item’s price as well as the trip’s total cost, in Canadian dollars. This is meant to give you a point of reference to help you budget for your own grocery trips. The cost of groceries will depend largely on where you live, where you shop, and what sorts of perks and sales your grocery store offers, as well as your ability to grocery shop efficiently.

When I sit down to write my grocery lists I usually have a couple of lunch and dinner ideas for the week and I pick up certain groceries specifically to make those dishes. Besides that, I tend to stick to my basic staples that I’ve found to be really versatile with a lot of mix & match value. I’m certainly not a strict meal planner but I do like to have an idea of what I’ll be making during the week, so I’ll also include my flexible “meal plan” for the week. You’ll notice that I’ve included some links with the meal plan, some of these go to recipes, some go to recipe sections here on the blog, and other links to similar meals from Garden of Vegan. Hopefully this will provide some inspiration for your own shopping trips!

If you have any other questions about planning your own grocery list, make sure to read my shopping FAQ at the end of the post or check out my grocery related resources: Building a Healthy Grocery List and Vegan Lifestyle on a Budget. Still have a question? Submit it to our new Q&A Resource!

My Flexible “Meal Plan”

Breakfasts:

  1. Yogurt parfaits (coconut yogurt + fresh/frozen berries + nuts/seeds/granola)
  2. Fruit smoothies (almond milk/orange juice + banana + fresh or frozen berries/frozen mango)
  3. Broccoli & Daiya Cheddar Mini Quiches
  4. Sprouted grain toast + avocado slices + salt/pepper
  5. Sprouted grain toast + Earth Balance + apricot jam,  fresh fruit + coconut yogurt

Lunches & Dinners:

  1. Spinach, Avocado, and Brown Rice Salad with Seasoned Tofu
  2. Veggie wraps (whole wheat tortillas, spinach, avocado, green bell pepper, shredded carrot, hummus/vegan ranch, seasoned tofu/chickpeas/tofurky slices)
  3. Veganized Doukhobour-style Borscht with sprouted grain bread + Earth Balance
  4. Spring Julienned Vegetable Soup + veggie sandwich (sprouted grain bread, spinach, avocado, green bell pepper, shredded carrot, hummus/vegan ranch/vegan mayo/mustard)

Snacks:

  1. Chopped fresh fruit (pineapple + strawberries + navel oranges)
  2. Fruit smoothies (almond milk/orange juice + banana + fresh or frozen berries/frozen mango)
  3. Trail Mix (raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds, semi-sweet dark chocolate chips, banana chips, dried cranberries, dried cherries, pistachios)
  4. Chopped veggies + hummus/vegan ranch
  5. Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Recipes I’m Working On:

  1. Veganized Doukhabour-style Borshch
  2. Whole Wheat Banana Bread
  3. Spring Julienned Vegetable Soup

My Grocery Trip

Includes my full grocery list, individual item prices, total cost, ingredient amounts, and featured products.

Fruits

Bananas (8 small) – $2.19 Pineapple (1 medium) – $1.96 Strawberries (2lb) – $3.97 Navel oranges (2 large) – $1.69 = $9.81

 

Vegetables

Broccoli (1 bunch) – $1.26 Jalapenos (2) – $0.44 Carrots (2lb bag) – $1.97 White button mushrooms (1lb) – 2 @ $1.28 Dill (1 bunch) – $1.48 Baby spinach (1kg bag) – $5.98 Avocados (5) – $3.47 Grape tomatoes (1 pint) – $1.97 Green bell peppers (2) – $2.22 Celery (1 stalk) – $1.18 Green onions (2 bunches) – 2 @ $0.57 Curly Parsley (1 bunch) – $0.97 Zucchini squash (1 medium) – $1.05

Not pictured: Cabbage, green (1) – $2.35 Onions, yellow (3lb) – $2.97 Beets (2 small) – $0.56 = $31.57

 

Tofu, Beans , & Legumes

Extra-firm tofu, non-GMO (350g) – 3 @ $2.27 each = $6.81

 

Vegan Non-Dairy Products

Unsweetened almond milk (1.89 litres) – $3.78 Unsweetened cultured cococnut yogurt (440g) – $3.89 Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread (425g) – $5.99 Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds (277g) – $4.99 = $18.65

 

Other (canned goods, spices, condiments, etc.)

Not pictured: Soy sauce, light (500 ml) – $1.39 Natur Le Fruit Jam, Apricot (235 ml) – $3.49 Diced tomatoes, canned, no salt added (796 ml) – 2 @ $1.22 each Garlic powder (150g) – $2.00 Onion powder (150g) – $2.00 = $11.32

 

Featured Product

Anna’s Original Pepperkakor – Ginger & Almond Thins (150g) – 2 @ $1.67 each

I picked these cookies up from Safeway after seeing them on sale at 3 for $5. I was drawn to these cookies for a number of reasons: the packaging (I’m a sucker for matte packaging), the ultra-thin cookies (perfect for serving with tea or coffee), and the flavours (you can’t go wrong with ginger, and almond is one of my absolute favourite dessert flavours.) Hoping that they would be vegan, I went to check the ingredients. They were vegan!

I’ve only tried the Ginger Thins so far and I really enjoyed them! I’ve been dipping them in unsweetened almond milk and let me tell you, it is a seriously wonderful combo. They have a really light and delicate texture! They also have this super cute marketing gimmick on one end of the packaging:

“To make a wish, place a cookie in the palm of your hand and tap it gently with your index finger. If it breaks into three pieces, your wish will come true. Lycka till!”

As far as store-bought, pre-packaged vegan cookies go, these are certainly going to be a new favourite.

 

*Total Cost = $81.50

*This is the total cost to feed 2 people for 1 week.

Shopping F.A.Q.’s

How often do I grocery shop?

I usually shop once a week, but this does occasionally change depending on my schedule. I like to shop at least once a week as my kitchen tends to get really sparse if I leave it any longer than that. I’m thinking of experimenting with doing small grocery trips every 3-4 days to see how that works out.

How much do I spend?

This really varies depending on which items I’ve run out of. If I have to stock up on lots of staples it can be a little higher than usual, but my next grocery trip tends to be quite small. I usually spend between $70-$100 per week and that feeds both myself and William.

How do I decide what to buy?

I usually pick a few different dishes that I feel like eating that week and base my grocery list around that, while still stocking my usual staple items. I often try to choose a few different meals that share common ingredients so that I don’t have to buy lots of ingredients in small quantities.

Do I menu plan?

Same idea as the question above. I don’t actually menu plan because I never know what I’m going to feel like eating each day! But I do know which types of foods I like to eat. Instead of planning exactly what I’m going to make for each meal and/or day of the week I just choose a few dishes to make throughout the week, depending on what I’m in the mood for.

I always plan ahead to have the ingredients for a couple of dishes that I find easy and quick to make. I like to have a few things that require very little effort so that even when I’m tired or in a hurry I still have something healthy and delicious that I can make.

Where do I shop and where do I live?

I do most of my weekly shopping at Superstore and I make regular trips to Costco. Occasionally I’ll do a little bit of shopping at Safeway. I live in in a relatively small city in Alberta, Canada.

These grocery posts are meant to be informative and helpful in your own grocery trip planning. I’m working on a complete resource detailing my essential vegan pantry items. If there’s something else you like to see included here, please let me know!

Visit my other grocery related resources: Building a Healthy Grocery List and Vegan Lifestyle on a Budget, or Submit a Question to our new Q&A Resource.

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