Tuesday, October 2, 2012

VeganMoFo VI: Couponing for the Soul

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that the absolute best thing you can do when it comes to budget eating is know what's going on in your pantry.  Because I never know when bills will win out for the month, my pantry always has a few staples.  Despite the fact that I haven't done much cooking this year, I have a wide array of spices, flours, oils and vinegars.  I always keep a 20 lb container of all purpose flour on hand and a variety of dried beans.

Whenever I think of cheap eats, I think of soul food.  No matter what culture you come from, I guarantee the soul food is the cheapest of the cheap.  Soul food feeds the belly and the soul.  So much of the history comes out of hard ass living.  My soul food is the food of southern blacks.

Not much of a story here.  I made some cabbage, black eyed peas, and cornbread.  Because most soul food is of the beige persuasion, I added some carrots to the cabbage and some parsley to the beans.  Instant freshness and color!  But now onto the real goodness...  This meal was so freaking cheap because of some coupon action.
sweet and cakey cornbread
What I Had:
olive oil
crushed red pepper
red onion
creole seasoning
all purpose flour
black eyed peas

What I Bought (price based on amount used):
organic cabbage-$0.59
organic carrot-$0.26
organic parsley-$0.38
organic cornmeal-$0.32
almond milk-FREE!!!

this definitely lets my soul glow
TOTAL MEAL COST (SERVES 4): $2.74 or $0.69 each!

So usually I'd tell you to skip out on organic except where it really matters, but I forgot some ingredients from the cheap-o supermarket and had to get some stuff from work.  I work at a health food store and almost all of our produce is organic, so the prices are based on what I paid with my discount.

However, the true story is how I got 2 shelf stable Almond Breezes for free.  This customer came in the other day with free coupons for a variety of products.  I was really nice to her, so she gave me some coupons.  I ended up getting BioKleen laundry detergent, Glutino breakfast bars, and Ezekiel bread for free. Plus, the Almond Breeze was on sale and it came out to BOGO free with a $1 off coupon.  However, my employee discount made it so I got everything for free PLUS I got $1.17 back in change!  FORK YEAH!

Never underestimate the power of the coupons.  Also, check your local dollar store.  The one by my place has those huge tubs of ORGANIC salad greens for a single dollar.  Aww yeah!


Kittee Bee Berns said...

oh yes! i did some coupon shopping myself yesterday.

your meal is one of my favorites. i need to make some cornbread, haven't had any for awhile.

also how do you keep such a big bag of flour fresh and free of bugs?


panda with cookie said...

Cabbage is where it's at when on a budget. Make some cabbage vijita if you get a chance. Super cheap and tasty.

Lizzie Bordello said...

So happy to see you back, Mo!

I can't believe how delicious this super simple meal looks to me right now. LOVE black eyed peas, and cabbage...think I'm gonna have to recreate this one!

Amanda said...

Whoa! Impressive shopping! This meal is a testament to the fact that healthy, delicious vegan eating doesn't have to be expensive.

Joey said...

I'm recently persuaded of the genius of cabbage, but now I'm out there with the fervour of the convert. I love the look of these dishes - what a combination!

Amey said...

awesome! nothing like coupon freeeeebies! They are the BEST! Also, that cornbread is amazing looking!

Candy Beans said...

This looks great! I've been doing the cros-cultural soul food eating quite a bit lately for exactly the reason you mentioned - they aren't breaking my budget. Incidentally, I'm loving your price breakdowns!

Kendy P said...

I love coupons - I wish I found more coupons for the stuff we buy! My mom found some vegan butter spread at the $1 store recently...I never heard of the brand and was stocked up so I did not make it over there...

Kelly said...

That's some epic couponing, lady! Impressive.

That cornbread looks so perfect, I need to make some soon.

mollyjade said...

I haven't paid full price for plant milk in so long. I love all this competition for my milk dollars!

The Veganista Mama said...

So happy to see other vegans who coupon! Nice score on the almond milk! This meal looks amazing!

Mandee said...

Coupons have always seemed amazing to me because we just do not have them here, sometimes stores have sales or discounts but we just do not have coupons!

Your meal looks like the kinda thing I would love to eat, Mo!

Dawn said...

That looks so yummy! Great that inexpensive food can be good too.

MeShell said...

That looks great. Soul food is ridiculously good, and it always feels so substantial.

Coupons are amazing (but it seems they are especially amazing in the USA.)

Southern Purple Veggie said...

Nice! It's always good to get free stuff when you using coupons.

Katie said...

I had to play the Eat From the Pantry game this weekend and I made warm polenta with red kidney beans, broccoli, a little bit of daiya, and a taco seasoning mix I made myself. Super comforting!