Thursday, October 31, 2013

Whole Food Dollar Store Week Long Challenge: $25

I will definitely be making a Vegan Broccoli Soup! 

So, as long time readers know, for several years, I ate a vegan diet for $3.33 a day, or $100 a month.  I have always been passionate about frugal, healthy food and it really gets to me when people think they can't eat a whole food, plant-based diet on a budget!

Now, I have to clarify this.  I am not talking about people in Food Deserts.   I am certainly not saying that EVERYONE has access to food like I do.

So, earlier today, I stopped in at the Dollar Store to pick up a notebook and reading glasses.  I decided to look at the food selection.  This store in in a neighborhood definitely caters to minorities, but it is not in an inner city or a food desert.  In fact, there is a supermarket in the same shopping plaza.  (Although, I rarely shop there due to their high prices.)

I also received an email asking me about how to eat a Plant - Based diet on a budget, so that was in my mind as I browsed the aisles.

I was amazed at the selection of foods, and it reminded me of how I shopped when I was doing Vegan for $3.33 a Day.   The main difference, was that I bought fresh produce.  This Dollar Store only had frozen produce, but I have been inspired to spend $25 for the week starting Monday  the 4th.  I will shop on Sunday evening.

I will allow myself SOME pantry items:

  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Spices
  • Hot Sauce 
  • Stevia
  • Flax Meal
I am going to keep this 100% whole foods.  The way *I* define whole foods, is no white flour, sugar, white rice, white pasta.  

Here is the shopping list I have come up with in my mind.  This is obviously subject to change given what they have on hand when I shop, but I KNOW that I can create a lot of awesome food with these ingredients:

  1. 1 pound dry beans
  2. 1 pound dry beans
  3. 1 pound dry beans
  4. Soy Milk
  5. Soy Milk
  6. Rice (only if I can find non-white rice)
  7. Sunflower Seeds
  8. Green Olives
  9.  Roasted Red Peppers
  10.  1 lb. Frozen Broccoli
  11.  1 lb. Frozen Broccoli
  12. Jarred Garlic
  13.  Frozen Pepper/Onions
  14.  Frozen Peppers/Onions
  15.  28 oz. Canned tomatoes
  16.  28 oz. Canned Tomatoes
  17. 28 oz. Canned Tomatoes
  18.  Canned Sauerkraut
  19.  Pickled Jalapenos
  20. Pasta (only if I can find non-white pasta)
  21.  MISC. Frozen Veggies
  22. MISC. Frozen Veggies
  23. MISC. Frozen Veggies
  24. Frozen Fruit
  25. Oatmeal 
Each item is $1.  

Stay tuned this coming week to see what I make with the items!  I know I will miss fresh produce the most. 


  1. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. AWESOME! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you make with that! inspiring...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  3. I am excited to see how you plan your meals. On a tight budget, I would prefer to nix the olives and sunflower seeds and try to buy potatoes, carrots and cabbage. I don't like to be hungry!

  4. Unless I'm using veggies or fruit in a salad (or eating them directly), I often buy frozen during the winter months. I'm less likely to waste the produce plus I have a lot more control over how much I use. The cost savings are a bonus.

    I'm glad you're doing this. I'm looking for some inspiration, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    1. Just realized one part of the first sentence doesn't make sense -- by "directly" I actually mean "raw." Basically, I usually can't taste the difference between using fresh versus frozen veggies if everything ends up cooked. (Unless maybe in a stirfry, but even then only sometimes.)