News flash: Veggies are cheap! »
My cheapness—ahem, frugality—has been well-documented. I’ve even defended veganism’s monetary cost (read: It can be really cheap to be vegan). Now Forbes, the New York Times, and others agree with me: Veggies are cheaper than a fast-food dinner. In your FACE, people who say they can’t afford to be vegan!
The Forbes article cites data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Researchers examined 94 vegetables in the study; Turns out, more than half of them cost less than 50 cents per one-cup serving, and none of them cost more than $2.07 per serving.
People who say they can only afford junk food don’t need to switch to “free-range” chicken, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef. They really just need to eat something besides fries, Doritos, and McNuggets, such as kidney beans (protein!), sweet potatoes (vitamins!), and carrots (fiber!).
Yeah, a lone cup of veggies is obviously not as filling or macronutrient-dense as a pr0n-approved cheeseburger. But throw a few convenient foodstuffs together—frozen rice, some of those frozen peas/carrots/corn/green bean concoctions, a can of chickpeas, and a bottled curry sauce, for example—and BAM! Dinner is served quickly, cheaply, and healthfully.
The flip side? You have to actually do some work yourself. Boo-fuckin’-hoo. Did I mention that the article says frozen veggies are often cheaper and more nutritious than even fresh ones? Get a freezer, a microwave, and a copy of The Garden of Vegan, and learn to cook something already! Your wallet and the animals will thank you.
Give yourself the gift of a DOWNER »
I know not everyone watches as much TV as I do so I’m not sure if you’ve all seen the latest KFC commercial.* It’s a peach. Just kidding, it’s crazy! They tell you to “give yourself the gift of time,” this holiday by getting their $19.99 “Festive Feast” for your special dinner. They want you to make a TRADITION out of it. Dudes, that’s fucking TRAGIC. I can only imagine that you would only buy this meal for Christmas or your holiday of choice if you really had to because you can’t cook and can’t afford anything else. That is such a downer, KFC. Like I said, TRAGIC. It’s especially a tragedy considering the cost of KFC to your health and the planet is way more than $19.99.
This is my favorite scene in the commercial:
They have this winter wonderland thing going on with snow and all and then this giant snowball drops down! But wait! That’s not a snowball! Gross.
The truth is that you don’t have to eat KFC’s “feast.” If you have no money and aren’t the best cook, you can still make a great family meal. Actually, in my family, on Christmas eve our traditional meal is spaghetti! Spaghetti is cheap! Math time! Let’s look at the figures:
Walgreens sells Barilla spaghetti (16 oz.) for $1.59 and Ragu pasta sauce at two jars for $3; that’s $4.59 with extra sauce to boot! They also have garlic salt for $.99 and olive oil for $3.49, and my corner store sells french bread for $.99; for $5.47 you’ve got garlic bread (with plenty of olive oil left over). For vegan meatballs, I’m afraid you won’t have any luck at Walgreens—though in SF and NYC, you might find some at your corner store (we live like liquor store kings!). VeganEssentials.com has Nate’s meatless meatballs for $5.29 so I’d imagine they’d be priced similarly at the grocery store. All together, that’s $15.35 and you’ve got sauce, olive oil, garlic salt, and probably meatballs left over. BOOM! Yummier and cheaper than the KFC meal!
So this year, give yourself the gift of spaghetti! Yay!
*That link is probably temporary. But see it now!
Store review: Layonna Vegetarian Health Food Market! »
Shit! I can’t believe I haven’t written a review of g-d Layonna! What is wrong with me?! Don’t answer that! Layonna’s fake meat is known by veggies and vegans the world over. Seriously. If you tell a vegan in motherfucking Kathmandu that you are from the San Francisco Bay Area they will be like, “OH MY GOD! YOU ARE SO LUCKY TO LIVE SO CLOSE TO LAYONNA!!!” This is not a joke and only a slight exaggeration. And yes, that is how they speak in Kathmandu.
Layonna is located in downtown Oakland. It’s tiny but filled from floor to ceiling with every kind of fake meat imaginable. Fake peking duck, fake scallops, fake monkfish (what?), fake bacon, fake baby, fake chicken drumsticks and more! They have an impressive selection of cheap fake beef jerky and stuff like mushroom broth and lots of types of noodles. Some good cheap ramen too! This place is a wonderland. Just like John Mayer sings so passionately about. In fact, that song is about this store, pass it on.