Vegetarian Cooking: Are You Kidding Me?

by David Bakke

vegetarian cookingI have been focused on lowering our household expenses for several years now. One would think that I have already come up with most of the ways that you can save a buck.

Over the years, I have made significant progress in our monthly grocery bill-a place I think most of us have yet to discover, and one that can yield some healthy savings. I have done things like doing my shopping at 3-4 different stores, couponing to a limited extent, actually paying attention when I’m going down the aisles, and so on.

Recently, my wife and I decided to actually shift our diet as well. Originally, the motives were not financial but we have seen the financial benefits. We never really ate too much red meat to begin with-it was mostly fish, chicken and fresh veggies. But, we took the plunge recently and went vegetarian. Not strict vegetarian as we didn’t eliminate dairy or eggs, but no more chicken, fish or red meat.

Let me tell you-the savings were almost immediately evident. I didn’t track it closely, but I would venture to say it was easily a 15% drop in our monthly bill.
Now, I ‘m sure the first thing most of you are saying is that it can’t be done, we don’t like that many veggies, we’d run out of things to eat and so on.

Let me address some of these concerns:

First-if you start off most of your meals (besides breakfast, of course) with a large mixed salad, you are well on your way to filling your tummy. Mix it with your favorite veggies, and add some other fillers if you must to make it tasty. Bleu cheese crumbles go good with just about any veggie, raisins are a nice complement, and you can always throw some nuts in there. Topped with your favorite dressing, it is a tasty starter.

Second– there are a variety of vegetables out there that you may like that you don’t even know about. Eggplant, for one. I never thought in a million years that I’d like eggplant until I tried it. It’s a very sweet vegetable and one of our favorites now. Asparagus, although usually a little pricey, is another one. I buy it every time I see it on special. Step out of your comfort zone and you might be surprised at what you’ll find.

Third-there really are a TON of things that you can do with veggies. Get yourself a vegetarian cookbook if you need to, but consider just subbing veggies where you’d normally have chicken or fish or meat. Vegetarian lasagna is awesome, and you can make a nice veggie burger if you tie it in with some Tofu (don’t freak out-it tastes good, too). And, you can still have the fries with your burgers if you want!

So, if you’re out there trying to save a buck, consider going vegetarian or at least adopting more vegetables into your family’s diet. It is obviously healthier for your body and surprisingly healthy for your family’s budget as well.

To learn more about these and other personal finance topics, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Be A Mule: A Common-sense Approach to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Income in Your Everyday Life.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: