1. Buy by weight
It’s almost always cheaper! Reliably established: products by weight are on average cheaper by … 89%! That is, consumers greatly overpay for beautiful individual packaging (- approx. Vegetarian). In addition, when buying by weight, you are free to buy exactly as much as you need for the coming days, while products bought in large packs “in reserve” run the risk of spoiling later: for example, this can happen with whole grain flour.
It is especially advantageous to buy by weight products such as nuts, seeds and seeds, spices, whole grains, beans and other legumes. At the same time, be aware that some vegan products are still quite expensive, even by weight, such as walnuts or dried goji berries. So you should always look at the price tag so that there are no surprises at the checkout.
2. Buy seasonal
Just forget about fresh berries in winter and persimmons in summer. Buy what is the most ripe and fresh this season – it’s healthy and cheap! Fresh seasonal vegetables such as cabbage, pumpkin, potatoes and so on are sold very cheaply in certain months. In the supermarket or in the market, it is better not to focus on buying familiar, favorite products. Instead, stroll down the aisles and see what’s in season and cheap. The difference in prices for domestic products is especially noticeable.
Also adopt a strategy of “total emptying the refrigerator”: cook dishes from several products and vegetables at once: for example, soups, lasagna, homemade pies, or healthy and favorite combinations of “protein source + whole grains + vegetables”.
Finally, the “evergreen” strategy: love to eat foods like carrots, celery, leeks, potatoes, broccoli – they are “in season” all year round and they are never expensive.
3. Remember the Dirty Dozen and the Magic Fifteen
Buying certified organic vegetables all the time is great, but it will cost you a pretty penny. You can do it smarter: take a list of fruits and vegetables that most often contain heavy metals (if they are not certified as “organic”) and a list of the 15 safest vegan foods (you can, in English; it is compiled by the organization). It is clear that it is better to buy products from the Dirty Dozen list not in a supermarket, but in a special farm shop or market. But 15 “happy” products rarely contain harmful chemicals, and – for the sake of economy – they are not so dangerous to take in the store.
»: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, peas, spinach, strawberries (including Bulgarian), kale () and other greens, as well as hot peppers.
asparagus, avocado, cabbage, melon (net), cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, onion, papaya, pineapple, corn, green peas (frozen), sweet potatoes (yam).
Another rule: everything that has a thick skin can be bought “regular”, not “organic”: bananas, avocados, pineapples, onions, and so on.
And finally, one more thing: the farmer’s market is full of products that are actually organic, but are not certified organic. It is often significantly cheaper. In particular, it can be “organic” eggs, as well as milk and dairy products.
4. Cook from scratch
It is often convenient to get canned peas from the refrigerator or pantry, soup base in a jar, ready-made rice “only warm up”, and so on. But all this, alas, will save only time, but not your money. And the taste of these products is usually not so good! If you often don’t have time to cook, it’s best to prepare meals ahead of time (such as a steamer full of rice) and refrigerate whatever you want to save for later in a plastic container.
Know-how: you can cook brown rice, put it on parchment paper and freeze it as it is in the freezer, then break the resulting rice “plates” and tamp it into a freezer container, squeezing out excess air. And ready-made vegetable dishes or beans cooked ahead of time can be preserved in special jars.
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