Budget challenge day #0: preparations

Hi folx,

Welcome to the first day of my budget challenge. I’m doing this challenge to show that veganism doesn’t need to be expensive and hopefully I can come up with some interesting cheap recipes, because usually I’m a spoiled brat when it comes to food. I don’t know where I got that though. Though honestly the reason I decided to do this all of a sudden after putting it off for so long is partly necessity as well as being sick of my own procrastinating all the time. So, here we go.

The reason I started with day #0 is you can’t prepare cheap food without food, so I set out the weekend for grocery shopping and a small amount of prepping if necessary. I’m going to do this challenge for two weeks, during which my budget will be €84,-. This budget makes for one euro per person per meal on average and it does include drinks, but not toiletries and cleaning stuff, which I usually do include in the food budget. This is about half our usual budget. I’m not using anything from my pantry during the challenge and I will only be shopping locally, so nothing online. However, halfway through I do host a housewarming/potluck, so that will be a cheat day, I will make up for that by extending the challenge by a day.

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First I went to the regular cheap grocery shop (the Dirk for any Dutch people out there), where I got the basics. As you can see in the pictures I got 5kg of potatoes, a bag of sugar, oats, tea, cinnamon, paprika, curry, corn starch, breadcrumbs, salt, ketchup, lemonade, sunflower oil, spaghetti, 4 cartons of tomato sauce, 3 kg of strong flour (I find it easier to work with than regular flour), mustard, two cans of corn and two jars of peanut butter. I had intended to get some spice mixes, but they didn’t have any interesting ones in jars, just portion bags, so I went with the cheapest spices instead, which they didn’t have a lot of. I also intended to get dried pulses here, but they didn’t have the ones I wanted, which were red lentils, black beans and kidney beans.

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Then we went to the Asian food shop for among other things rice, which I hoped to be cheaper there, which was a mistake. But at least we have good quality rice now: 4,5 kg of Thai Jasmin or Pandan rice, which is one of my favourite types of rice. I also got soy sauce, soy beans to make soy milk, hot sauce and garlic. I wanted to buy frozen garlic, because it’s cheaper, but they were out unfortunately, but let’s be honest, not having garlic isn’t an option. Unfortunately they did not have the pulses I wanted (except for the soy beans of course) or any yeast here either, so we’ll have to make another trip to yet another supermarket.

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The supermarket didn’t have any black beans unfortunately, so I got two bags of kidney beans instead, I’ll soak some of those tonight so I can use them right away tomorrow. They also didn’t have the large bags of dry yeast I usually use, so I got some fresh yeast instead, but it was only 19ct per block, so it’s not a very big deal. I’m not sure if it will be enough, but I didn’t want to buy too much, so we’ll see.

So far I have spent €50.83, which is quite a bit and leaves me with only a little over €33 left, but most of the groceries will probably last us both weeks, so I think we’ll manage. Tomorrow I’ll go to the produce shop for some fresh food. I considered getting frozen veg, but I know I won’t eat it, I’ve bought it before and it just stays in the freezer forever, so I’d rather have a bit less fresh veggies. The day after that I’ll get a couple of blocks of tofu at the Asian food shop, because tofu is awesome once you get used to it.

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When we got back I took a shower and decided to chill on the balcony, because it’s ridiculously hot for April.

Look at how fast our veggies are growing though.

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Then we made pizza to finish some stuff we still had in the fridge that would go bad during the challenge, supposedly for lunch and dinner, but what was supposed to be lunch became 4.30. I’ll see when I eat the other half. I don’t want to eat it tomorrow though, that would be cheating.

Oh, one last note, I finally more or less worked out how the menu works, so you will be able to find all recipes separately from the blogs on my page as I post them. From now on I will add any recipe I post there as well. Well, that’s it for today, I hope to see you tomorrow for the actual start of the challenge. Bye!

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