Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pantry Must-haves

To be honest, grocery shopping has gotten easier and harder. Easier because I used to stand in the meat section for 30+ minutes trying to find the best deal on meat for the price that wasn't going to kill us and that I could figure out how to cook. Veggies are just so much easier to me because they are versatile and I hardly have to worry about food borne illnesses.  Harder because I'm constantly reading labels and forcing myself to expand in my cooking skills of foods to add variety and new tastes. I've used a lot of "new" ingredients to me such as lentils, flax seeds, and beets.

Someone at church the other day asked if we eat grass. Soooooo, with that, I wanted to share with you a list of food items that are always in our home. The things we actually eat. And no...grass, leaves, and acorns are not on there. As soon as we get low or out of these items they go on my list to buy next time at the store. These items help us to make lots of kinds of foods and are the bases to all of our recipes.  We do also have lots of 'sometimes' or 'splurge' items. Cereals, chocolate chips, cinnamon almonds, avocados, and chocolate soy milk are just some examples. Splurge and sometimes because as you can see most of them aren't the best for us :).

Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Wheat Pasta
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Flour
Yellow Corn Meal
Flax Seeds

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Canola Oil

Soy Milk
Vegetable Stock
Orange Juice
Non-dairy coffee creamer

Dried Beans
Canned Beans

Spaghetti sauce
Canned diced tomatoes
Seasonal Produce (varies)- currently, we tend to eat a lot of winter squashes, sweet potatoes, onions, leafy greens, broccoli, radishes, peppers, beets, carrots, and many other fall/winter produce.

Peanut Butter
Granola Bars
Chips and Salsa
Soy sauce
Local honey (technically not vegan, but we're not trying to save the animals or anything :) )
Coffee and tea
Nutella (definitely not vegan, but we just can't let it go!)
Lots of spices

I'm sure most vegans have more elaborate pantry items and really expensive cool ingredients, but well, we just aren't that classy. We like to keep it simple with a rice, bean, and veggie bowl for dinner.

Our grocery bill is the same as before the lifestyle change because the extra cost we use to spend on meat, cheese, and yogurt now goes to pay for non-dairy milks, higher quality grains, and if we buy organic produce.  Probably the biggest change in our budget is our eating out bill.  We are lucky if we eat out once a week whether it be lunch or dinner. It's just too difficult. So I like to think we are saving money.

Next time I'll share with you what I do with these items and some of our favorite recipes. :)

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