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Eating Vegan Below the Poverty Line, Part 2

Monday, December 07, 2020

Well, I'm through the first two days of eating below the poverty line. l am not enjoying the lack of variety, but I knew I wouldn't, and I'm not taking in enough calories, but there isn't anything I can do about that. Sunday ended at 910 total calories for the day. Monday was 1,018. With my activity level (the number of miles I walk a day) I'm coming up around 1,500 calories short. I'm deficient in every nutrient except carbs and fiber.
I thought I had done a relatively good job of planning, but I really didn't. I didn't even consider buying potatoes and I could have gotten a 5lb. bag at my Walmart for $2.94. I would have had to give up some other items that I bought, but it would have been a smarter purchase. The reason it didn't occur to me is because I typically don't buy bagged or prepackaged produce. I like to pick my own, though I pay more per pound by doing that. I'd have happily given up that bag of frozen mixed peppers and onions which turned out to be about 80% onion. Can anyone tell me if this is typical of frozen mixed vegetables? For the bags to be weighted towards the cheaper veggie, or is it possibly a brand issue? This is a no name brand (TJ Farms). Would there be a better distribution in Birds Eye or Green Giant? Once again, I don't buy a lot of frozen vegetables, mostly fresh so I just don't know. One thing I already know I will take away from this is a better appreciation for what I have.

Lunches the first two days were bean and rice tacos.

Dinners so far have been pasta with vegetables. I'll mix that up tomorrow and make stir fry, though it's mostly going to have onions in it from that awful frozen bag.

The bulb of garlic has been the MVP so far. That was $0.48 well spent!

My neighbor across the street goes to a food pantry every Saturday morning to get a box of food and we were chatting a bit today and I told her what I was doing so she offered to take me there this weekend so I can see the operation and what comes in the boxes. She said it varies from week to week, but some standards are always in the boxes: potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, milk, and eggs. I'm looking forward to going.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Interesting. I usually buy one onion and/or maybe 2 potatoes at a time because that is really enough for just me, and this is if I know I really need them for a recipe. I don't buy much frozen anything but then I can afford fresh. I do buy frozen strawberries at Walmart. Dried beans are cheap, they just require work.
    I've done vegan before but missed my very rarely occasional beef dish. I usually buy Jimmy Dean Turkey crumbles and use for most beef dishes when I want some 'meat' and I know that is not vegan. When I make chili that is what I use for sure! TSP was sometimes used in place of meat, but I didn't really like the idea of it so I stopped.

    Excellent Chili recipes here by the way.

    127 days ago
    Thank you SUNNYCALIGIRL. Yes, it was a Dollar Tree brand. Good to know that it's not typical of most frozen foods.
    This is turning out to be a real eye opener for me. I'm so glad there are food pantries and assistance programs for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford decent food.
    131 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/8/2020 6:28:34 AM
    I live below the poverty line because I am disabled. I go to a food pantry as a regular thing. Did you buy TJ Farms at a Dollar Tree? It sounds like a Dollar Tree brand. I just wonder because that is NOT typical of frozen goods from places like Walmart, what you see is what you get there. You are very blessed to get fiber, that is not a big thing from food pantries. Have you considered buying bags of dry beans? Make ahead and freeze packs for items like stews and chilis. You can get a thin pizza crust, usually pizza sauce, and MAYBE some actual cheese and not processed cheese food at Dollar Tree, and add fresh veggies and cheese from else where. I go to the two best food pantries in my town, nothing is ever fixed, but I get donated food from Trader Joe's, usually pre-made salads. Lots of fruit in the summer (tons) which I froze for smoothies. The only thing I don't like is that the pre-made stuff and produce is all eat yesterday, today, or tomorrow. I am sure it's different everywhere, your local pantry sounds like a good deal. Good luck and G-d Bless.
    131 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/7/2020 9:05:18 PM
    131 days ago
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