The number one complaint we hear from friends and fam trying to go vegan or live a low waste lifestyle is that it’s so darn expensive. Here we're sharing our personal cheat sheet with some favorite ways that you can reduce waste without hurting your wallet.
- Build your zero waste pantry. Join a local co-op or CSA for big deals on fresh produce and bulk goods. We love the National Co-Ops (find yours here!) as well as our local farmer's market CSA's (search for your town's CSA in google). If Imperfect Produce or Farm Fresh to You delivers in your neighborhood, that's another great, affordable option with minimal packaging.
Smart and Final, other wholesale/discount stores sell things like beans in huge batches so you get more with less packaging, and the serving size is much cheaper.
In Los Angeles, we have a brilliant market - India Sweets & Spices, which has lots of bulk spices, herbs, beans and flours for much cheaper than buying the name brand items in your traditional grocery stores.
- Spice up your life. Visit Frontier Co-Op or Mountain Rose Herbs to buy your favorite spices in bulk. You can go to co-ops or local refill stations to do the same. By experimenting with spices, you can always change up your cooking by experimenting with new flavors and tastes so you'll never get bored.
- Keep it saucy! Cooking at home is easy when you have go-to sauces to keep rotating flavors and textures in your home cooking. Our go-to meals at home include veggie sautees or steamed veggies with a high-protein grain base (think, lentils, beans, rice or quinoa) and a delicious sauce to top it off. Our girl, Chef Lynette, is the sauce QUEEN at Superfood School. She makes sauces with no added oils and simple, common ingredients.
- BYO utensils - you can get up to $.50 discounts for bringing your own container, especially coffee cups to go. That adds up!
- Don’t buy pre-cut, pre-washed veggies that are often more expensive (and covered in packaging). Instead, sharpen up your knife skills with quick video tutorials so that you can become a pro at prepping food at home.
Experiment with new recipes that utilize parts of your produce that you usually don't use. Make soup stock with stems, seeds, odds and ends - make extra and keep frozen for veggie stock whenever you need. Chop up your stems and stalks and add them to salads. Smoothies with frozen veggie odds and ends also work great. Zucchini bread smoothie? Yes please!
Befriend your freezer - if you buy more greens than you think you can eat, freeze half immediately. Same with bread and other perishables. You can use frozen veggies in stir-fries and in smoothies.
Make your cleaning products on the cheap at home. Vegetable wash, laundry detergent, surface cleaner all can be made with common household ingredients.
Explore our favorite kitchen tools to make cooking and meal prep a no-brainer. This will help you save time while also reducing your reliance on store-bought, packaged food!
Any other top tips and tricks? Message us to share your go-to hacks for zero waste cooking at home (213) 373-5327 or via the blue Facebook messenger box below :)