So far your blogger has remained faithful to the cause. But I thought it prudent to get advice on keeping on the straight and narrow, saving cash, and also get some tasty recipes to try out, so I got in touch with Vegetarian Society.
They sent me some fascinating facts about the veggie life and moneysaving tips. Interestingly, as well as concerns about animal welfare, many people are turning veggie for environmental reasons. According to the Society, it takes 2.5 times as much land to produce food for a meat-based diet as for a veggie one and 5 times as much compared to a vegan one, because mammals are inefficient converters of feed to meat.
My rationale for becoming veggie for a week was simply that meat is expensive. But the Society says there are more frugal possibilities, especially if you grow your own. Supermarkets trim their veg – like leeks – to make it look more presentable, but this is wasteful. Green leek tops are fine cooked in soups and casseroles and you can save seeds from squashes, swedes etc, either to grow or to toast for toppings on salads. Peelings can be boiled up to make stock – something I never realised! And, of course, you can compost them.
Avoid expensive convenience foods. Cook from scratch, in bulk and freeze as much as you can. The Society advises making a big basic onion, tomato and carrot base at the start of the week which you can use in different recipes, such as chilli, soup, curry etc.
I’m only veggie for a week, but if you’re considering it longer term, buying in bulk aids the budget. Wholefood suppliers can provide you with big bags of nuts and pulses, and if you have veggie friends you can buy in bulk together from a supplier like Survival Wholefoods.
What’s more, all of us can cook carefully to save energy. Match the size of the pan to the size of the hob ring and use lids for fuel efficiency so heat isn’t wasted. Use a steamer on top of the pan to cook other vegetables and save energy. Plus avoid the temptation to put hot food straight into the freezer. If you let it cool down the freezer won’t need as much energy to freeze it.
Here are some great veggie recipes…I’ll let you know how I get on with trying them!
Tempted by the veggie lifestyle? Got any good recipes or tips for saving money on a vegetarian diet? Or are sausages too close to your heart?