Hi, I’m Rachel. Though certainly inspired by and supportive of Brooke’s latest obsession with couponing, I’m going to be blogging here from a slightly different perspective: that of a notorious cheapskate and health conscious vegan. Over the years, I’ve noticed that I have the ability to remember the prices of regularly purchased groceries at every store I have ever gone to (like, literally I still remember that Amy‘s Mac and Soy Cheese (not vegan) was $2.50 at Grand Union in VT when I was in college there almost ten years ago). I also really enjoy going to grocery stores when I visit different cities on vacation just to see what they have and how much it costs. Not sure how normal it is. Anyway, some notes to accompany my entries: I do not eat any animal products, which includes all meat, dairy and eggs. I also try to avoid processed and frozen foods. As of the past year, I have given up buying refined grains and any products containing corn syrup at the grocery store. Additionally, I have recently become conscious of “the dirty dozen” AKA produce that has the most pesticide residue after being washed. My current (neurotic) struggle is how to reconcile avoiding all the bad things with being really cheap, as I eat a lot of fresh food and don‘t like the idea of ingesting weird chemicals, but also don‘t love the idea of paying $3 for a single organic bell pepper. If you’re still with me after all of this, awesome!! Long story short, I avoid 90% of the grocery store and am probably ineligible for 95% of coupons as a result, but I’m hoping to be a voice of the every day cheapskate and “picky/conscientious eater” who still likes to eat well around here.
I believe I have a valuable perspective to contribute in terms of weekly deals at Fred Meyer as well as at some of the specialty stores around Portland. Since the idea of doing regular “vegetarian nights” seems to be catching on lately among non-vegetarians, I’m hoping to share some creative and cheap ways to prepare really good and healthy vegan food that doesn‘t suck and won‘t break the bank. If Brooke doesn’t fire me for making an entry like this, I’m planning to update here periodically with my shopping scores around town and the meals that result, so keep checking back!