Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Shopping Tips

One of the main fears busy moms have about adopting a vegan diet is that it will be too time-consuming and too expensive. However, as many Americans have turned toward healthy lifestyles, Vegan and organic foods have become widely available at local grocery stores. Because these are high-quality foods, they do tend to be pricier, but utilizing a grocery coupon for produce or organic products can help cut costs.

Where to Shop for Vegan Foods

Knowing where to shop can help you save a bundle on healthy, vegan food for your family. Here are a few places to consider shopping:
·         Bulk food stores - Bulk food stores, such as Costco, are a great place to stock up on staples such as whole grains and rice. If you're squeamish about digging in those bins after everyone else (I am!), note that many bulk stores have prepackaged containers of various sizes available, instead of the loose items.
·         Organic food stores – Healthy stores, like Whole Food Market, are a one-stop shopping paradise for vegans; however, they do tend to be more expensive than standard grocery stores.
·         Farmers' Markets - Stock up on fresh produce from the farm fruits and vegetables in season at your local farmers' market.
·         Online shopping - Online vegan stores are popping up frequently. Some of these are great sources for hard-to-find items. Even is getting into the food staple business, with attractive prices and free shipping for orders over $25.

How to Save Money on Fresh Items

While fresh produce can be expensive, seeking out and printing online coupons can go a long way to reducing your overall grocery bill. Contrary to popular belief, coupons are not just for junk food. There are many, many coupons available for produce, organic foods and even a few vegan products. Coupons also abound for staples, such as peanut butter, rice and pasta. Some organic food companies, such as Cruz juices, Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen also make coupons available for customers. You'll also often find coupons for meat substitutes by Morningstar Farms.

What to Buy for Protein

One of the first questions those considering a vegan diet ask is about how to get enough protein. Getting enough protein is easy. In fact, most Americans on a non-vegan diet eat way more protein than their bodies need. For good vegan sources of protein, shop for:
·         Whole grains, such as quinoa, barley and brown rice
·         Legumes and beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils and chick peas
·         Soy products, such as tofu and tempeh. Don't forget about edamame (fresh soy beans.)
·         Nuts, raw or in products such as peanut butter and almond milk
·         Seeds, such as sunflower seeds and
·         Meat substitutes. Check the freezer section of even your basic grocery store, for a good selection of tofu-like, vegan products, most of which are made from soy or nut protein.
Going vegan doesn't have to be difficult—or expensive. With a little planning, it's easy to eat a varied, healthy diet of organic and natural foods.

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