Food, Lists, Veganiness

Save Money and More: My Top 5 Vegan Food Hacks

Everywhere I turn, I hear people say, “How can I be more like Go Jules Go? What’s up with this vegan thing? What do you eat? Do you save money?”

I’ve only been vegan for two years, but I’ve been a foodie for 35 and counting, which means you can be dang sure I’ve found a way to eat fabulous fare even after parting ways with my old standbys, cheese and bacon.

Whether you’re interested in improving your health, spending less money, or putting your dollars towards preserving the planet and protecting animals, just a few vegan food choices here and there can truly rock (y)our world (and your wallet).

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase the linked product, at no additional cost to you. I only ever link to products that I truly love. Like this.

Go Jules Go’s Top 5 Money-Saving Vegan Food Hacks

1. Frozen potato and onion pierogies

pierogies

Poppy’s brand pierogies are currently EIGHTY CENTS a package at my local New Jersey ShopRite. Caramelize an onion, maybe toss in some bell pepper or spinach, and put your carb-o-phobia on hold while you enjoy this filling meal for two. (I dip mine in ketchup…shhh.)

2. MUNG BEANS (yes, they demand all caps)

mung-beans

I buy these little green gems in bulk from Whole Foods and, when combined with onion, garlic, ginger and coconut milk, you have yourself a fine ass curry. They taste like a delicious split pea-bean hybrid, and they’re a nice change of pace from your standard lentils and legumes. (In fact, Just brand is coming out with a vegan scrambled egg liquid made out of mung beans!)

3. Peanut (satay) sauce 

peanut-sauce-bowl-2

Need I say more?  Use some of that leftover fresh garlic and ginger from your mung bean curry, and – bam! Put over pasta, stir fry, rice/grain bowls, even raw cabbage/veggies for a salad… you can’t go wrong. You can prepare ahead of time if you’re entertaining (it’s a major crowd-pleaser) and it even freezes pretty well. My go-to recipe is a lot like this, with some lime juice and cilantro thrown in.

IMG_4742
When it comes to peanut sauce, the sky’s the limit! (With Sriracha hearts because I’m a show-off.)

4. Banana ice cream

banana-ice-cream
What? You think it looks like… YOU’RE SO IMMATURE.

Do you like watching freezer-burned bananas turn into creamy dog doo deliciousness? This “recipe” is that magical! Peel a couple of ripe bananas, cut them into chunks, and pop them in the freezer for a few hours. (I don’t recommend leaving them in there for more than 24 hours.) Then, put them in a food processor and let it go. Wait at least a minute or two, and you’ll have yourself some silky smooth banana fro-yo. You can add chocolate chips, peanut butter, cocoa, strawberries, your lost dreams of ever working on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whatever. It’s miraculous! (AND cheap. AND healthy. You’re welcome.)

5. V-Dog kibble

Uncle-jesse-v-dog

Hear me out. After gobs of research and learning that vets prescribe plant-based kibble to dogs with skin conditions, I switched my 8-year-old pooch, Uncle Jesse, to V-Dog. (Whereupon he immediately rejected the old stuff.) That was over a year ago and he’s crushing it, with a flawless bill of health from his normal vet. While this decision wasn’t financially driven, it turns out V-Dog costs about half of what I was spending on high-end animal-based kibble. (It smells so decent I might actually try it. If I do I promise to blog about it.)

vegan-Uncle-jesse

And because I love you – a bonus hack!

6. InstaPot Hummus

InstaPot
KNEEL BEFORE ME AND BEHOLD MY AWESOME POWER TO ROAST, RICE COOK, STEAM, PRESSURE COOK, STERILIZE, SEAR, SAUTEE, AND SLOW COOK!

If you’re one of the proud new owners of an InstaPot, the countertop multi-cooker on crack and Amazon’s #1 Christmas gift for “The Person You Care About But Also Resent Because They’re Implicitly Forcing You to Feed Into the Consumerist Machine to Prove Your Affection,” this recipe is for you! My manager who totally reads this blog and did I mention she is the cat’s meow? sent me this amazing InstaPot hummus recipe using dried chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans). The trick is using the warm, cooked beans and cooking liquid to whip ’em into a pillowy bean dream after they’re done in the iPot (I’m trademarking that). Grab a bag of dried chickpeas for about $1.00 and don’t do what I did yesterday, which is cave to convenience.

hummus-rip-off
Guess how much. No, no. Just guess. FOUR DOLLARS. FOUR. DOLLARS!!

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Have you tried (or would you try) any of these? Have any other plant-based hacks?

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32 thoughts on “Save Money and More: My Top 5 Vegan Food Hacks”

    1. Dear Manager,

      We should really unpack this dynamic so we can lean into next year’s goals with renewed energy. I want to make sure we’re not reinventing the wheel as we develop stretch opportunities and S.M.A.R.T. objectives for 2018 and beyond. Perhaps if we assemble a quorum we can quickly reach consensus on a path forward that best embodies our shared mission.

      I welcome your thoughts and am happy to set up a call to discuss further.

      Kind Regards,
      Go Jules Go, PMP

  1. Always great to see a person who reinvents themself or, at least, a part of themself. Btw, that pic of you at the top of the post? Gorgeous! Whatever you are doing, keep it up. Still would buy you a dinner here at a very nice restaurant if you are ever this way. 🙂
    Anyway, I have now-tried method of saving that works for me. I have narrowed down what I can eat (diabetic) and what I like – combined them and I only buy a few few foods now. They may be somewhat expensive, but I don’t waste money on stuff I “might” eat.
    Just a thought.
    Scott

    1. There is really something to be said for simplicity all around. In fact, I’m thinking of paring down to one outfit and calling it a day. Unfortunately for my coworkers, that outfit is a Snuggie.

  2. I’ve been attempting one vegetarian day per week and it’s hard for this meat-lover. Thanks for the inspiration.

    BTW, love the new avatar. You look fabs, Miss Jules!

    1. That is awesome, Peggles! I’m so curious what some of your favorite meat/dairy dishes are, in case I have any recipe ideas for swaps that aren’t a total joke (oh suuuuure tofu tastes just like prime rib…)!

      P.S. – Please don’t tell anyone that that photo is over 2 years old and likely taken after eating a BLT. I still wear that shirt so that counts as recent, right?

  3. Hi, Jules
    I just came across your site, it was interesting reading it. Mong are very healthy protein. If you make mong sprout then it becomes more rich in vitamins. I am a vegetarian since my childhood. And I love being one.

      1. Hi,Jules
        If you want,I will be happy to help you as I do it weekly. If you want,I will make a picture blog of the process. It’s very simple don’t worry. It takes two days to sprout properly.

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