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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Co-Opping


As Heather has mentioned in a previous post, we're broke. And while we'd like to say that we always shop organic, buy local, and avoid such evil establishments as Wal-Mart, the truth is, a savvy and financially challenged vegan must find ways to adapt.

We've scouted areas for the cheapest buys. We purchase cheap rice milk and soy milk at Wal-Mart, along with Boca and Amy products when necessary. We also keep an eye out for organic canned beans and whole wheat pasta, which sometimes makes an appearance. Our local Earth Fare and/or Whole Foods is where we get our novelty items. And veggies come from any of the farmer's markets we can find (one of which is open year round off of highway 40 between Greensboro and Kernersville). Harris Teeter, the local grocery market has great deals on many sauces, pastas, and fruits and vegetables. Costco is a good place for us to get baby spinach, frozen fruit, oranges, almond butter, and Cliff bars (my usual breakfast). And finally, we have our local Co-Op, Deep Roots.



Deep Roots has just about everything we like, from organic and local produce, to Sun Burgers, to Vegenaise, to Primal Strips and most other delicious vegan items. While it isn't huge, it has most of the things you look for when you're trying to cook for the week, and we shop there often. The one thing that makes it awesome, and the greatest thing on the planet is the spice section!

While I realize that most savvy shoppers have explored the bulk spice aisles in their favorite grocery stores, this has been a fairly new endeavor for us. For years now, we've spent big money on little jars of spices, thinking that spices were just expensive and we'd have to deal with it. However, Deep Roots has a wonderful bulk spices section that includes most anything I'm looking for, including beet powder, to my pleasant surprise the other day! And to top it off, the items in this section are cheap! I bring in a spice jar that I already have, the cashier is nice enough to pre-weigh it for me, and then I fill it up with my favorite spice. In the end, I wind up spending usually around 10-20% of the amount that I spend in the grocery store, and since I'm re-using the same jars over and over again, I'm reducing a little waste as well. I highly recommend it for anyone in the Greensboro area.

If you don't live in the Greensboro area, fear not! It's very likely that you too have a nearby Co-Op or some sort of natural market. Perhaps it'd be worthwhile to check it out. You might find spice bargains of your own!

Until tomorrow!

6 comments:

  1. very jealous, Co-ops are few and far between in England and bulk food buying really isn't done very much for some unknown reason. Luckily I have a health food shop that will order in most products I'm looking for but I still find it hard to get organic herbs and spices and tend to end up ordering them online... Thanks for telling us about your Co-op!

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  2. Oh, I'm so sorry you don't have those! I certainly feel lucky to have it close by. Some of the natural food stores do well also. Best of luck in finding cheap spice then. We love to cook, and we really enjoy Asian-influenced dishes, so we use lots and lots of spices. I know how expensive it can get. Thanks for reading!

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  3. soymilk is cheaper at walmart than at costco? does your costco not have the 12 pack of aseptic cartons?

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  4. Costco does have the cheaper soymilk... but rice milk aseptic cartons are only 1.99 at Wal-Mart, and we drink both. However, you're right about the soy milk.

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  5. Our Coop is great. We are on a budget, so I try to buy on sale while still getting organic and healthy. I love your blog.

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  6. Krys-
    Thanks so much! We definitely are in the same boat you are budget-wise, and it can be hard to get all organic and healthy... I guess we all just do the best we can. :)

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