Eat your greens, don’t spend them


Melissa Sagaseta

Vegetarianism can become expensive and financially unfit for many. Becoming aware of how much money goes to food each month can help the consumer plan out a budget.

Melissa Sagaseta, Features editor

Alternative eating habits and plans like vegetarianism often frighten shoppers away because of assumptions of high costs and little rewards. Have no fear: Planning out a food budget can keep people on track to filling the pantry with healthy food while saving money in their wallets.


Using leftovers to create new meals

Leftovers can become a cook’s best friend in the kitchen and in his or her wallet. When cooking large amounts of vegetables, rice, or other vegetarian meals, grab a plate, and immediately freeze the rest. Rice and veggies stay fresh for up 5 to 7 days, and soups and stews can last months once frozen. This ensures freshness and helps in avoiding mold growth.

Jotting down meal plans help consumers reuse the food that would otherwise end up in the trash. Create original recipes and experiment with ingredients and the possibilities surprisingly become endless.

Not buying all organic food

Although organic produce decreased in price these last few years, consumers who turn to vegetarianism live on a tight budget. Organic food may seem like the healthiest option, but over-spending may cause an unhealthy financial situation. Research the potential benefits and disadvantages of various ingredients found in certain foods and jot them down. On the next trip to the store, spend more time reading the labels and spend less out of pocket.  

Buying in bulk

Buying in bulk can save money and limits the amount of food thrown away each month. Costco, Whole Foods, and Sam’s provide large amounts of goods at a considerably fair price.

Comparing Costco prices to Publix prices, Costco offers a larger amount of produce at lower prices. The benefit lies in the consumer when deciding how much they want to buy, thus purchasing the efficient amount without throwing food away; freezing foods comes into play here.

Rice, beans, grains, and crackers purchased in bulk save a considerable amount of money. Consumers can leave rice in the pantry for months when not in use. Use caution when buying fresh fruit and vegetables or dairy in bulk. Expiration dates for these goods last less than dry foods.

Utilizing Farmer markets

Popping up in Canton, Woodstock, Marietta, and now Acworth, Farmers’ Markets provide fresh and organic vegetables and fruits at low costs compared to items at grocery stores. Pick items in season to find the best deals.


With vegetarianism growing in popularity, grocery stores and restaurants now cater to the once small group of individuals. Prices for healthier options continue to decrease and become considerably affordable for consumers. Eat consciously by budgeting consciously.