on the cheap

I discovered a new little something that has already saved me money. While I try to do most of my shopping locally, I do end up ordering some stuff online—and I live in Portland, where we are lucky enough to have veg-friendly stores (where else are you going to find a vegan mini-mall?). Most of you probably have a tougher time finding stores that carry your staples.

Then online you have Vegan EssentialsFood Fight!, and Cosmos. Not only are they totally worth the cost—you know they’re not taking profit baths, and you get to shop with the knowledge that you’re furthering the cause by supporting small vegan businesses—but they can be pricey, and maybe you can’t afford to buy the bulk of your groceries through them.

This weekend I discovered something while searching for my joint-support pills: Amazon carries them. And for many of their vitamins, you can subscribe, meaning they’ll automatically ship them every month, three months, whatever you decide…for 15% off and free shipping (quit anytime and pay as they ship). While I was at it, I searched “vegan” and found things like bulk packaging of  Dr. McDougall’s soups, a 6-pack for $8.50 if you subscribe. They’ve got Tom’s of Maine deodorant and Avalon Organics shampoos, things I never would have thought of looking for so I pay full price at Whole Foods.

You’re not going to find everything you need there. And it’s not like I’m going to stop shopping at my favorite vegan shops, but this helps stretch my dollars that extra little bit I need them to stretch right now.

penzeys-spices

And here’s something I’ve written about before: Penzey’s Spices. I recently popped by (they’re all over the country) to pick up some cassia chips, which I can’t find anywhere else, and stock up on some other stuff. This haul came in at about $35. Sound like a lot? That averages out to $5 per bag…about what you’d pay for a little bottle of any of those, yes? And quality is not lacking.

Anyway, if spending a little more up front makes it easier to make yummy, healthy, cheap meals at home, I’m all for it.

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