I live in poverty and have lived in poverty for most of my life. Although right now I am vegetarian, I know how to cook many vegans foods from the short time where I was vegan. Living in poverty isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard to be both vegan and poor, or at least vegetarian and poor.
With this list, I am not going to require any ingredients that cannot be found at a local dollar store or convenience store, and will not require the use of anything other than a pot or a pan, a spatula, and some eating utensils. So no need for rice cookers and blenders, and no need to worry about finding TVP, Tofu, Seitan, or Tempeh.
- Oatmeal with Fruit
Oats cost very little per pound. You can actually get them at the dollar store for a dollar a pound. Other places might have them as high as 1.50 a pound. Each pound of oats has about 10 1-cup servings of oatmeal. I like to buy canned peaches to cut up and put inside, which can be bought for anywhere from a dollar to a dollar and fifty cents. Sugar doesn’t cost a lot, and if you are struggling you can get it for free at most fast food places.
So a bowl of oatmeal with fruit should not cost you more than about 8o cents to a dollar per bowl. Oatmeal itself would have about 10 grams of protein, and about 8 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving.
- Bean Soup
One thing I really love to make is soup. I can make a very delicious and nutritious black bean soup by using black beans, mixed vegetables, and a ton of spices, including Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onions, Salt, and Pepper. It tastes a lot like canned versions, and it can feed alot.
I got a 2 pound bag of frozen vegetables for 2 dollars, but you can use canned as well, which you can get for about 60 cents a can. The beans should be about a dollar to 1.50, and you can use whatever spices you desire, but I will add on about 20 cents for that. A huge pot of black bean soup, which includes about 3-4 bowl servings, should only cost you at most 3.00 to make the whole pot, so about 75 cents a bowl. This too will be high in protein and really good!
- Rice with a Navy Bean sauce
You can get a pound of rice for about a dollar, and navy beans are about 1.50 a pound dry, or about a dollar per can. Mix either canned or cooked from dry navy beans with about half a pound of those frozen mixed vegetables, add some Canola oil, and some chili powder, salt, and Tumeric, and you got some nice filling rice and beans.
If you have a food processor or blender, which many of us in poverty don’t, blend the navy beans into a thick sauce with some canola oil (or not if you dislike oil or are avoiding fats) and the spices to add with the veggies an put on top of the rice. That way you can have a high fiber, high protein sauce to add to rice, and possibly noodles as well. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, simply mashing up the beans and adding some water can work as well.
Altogether, a big pot of rice with navy bean sauce, which should be at LEAST 4-5 servings, should not cost more than a dollar per bowl.
- Black Bean Burgers
Most black bean burger recipes call for an egg. You don’t need an egg. You can replace the egg with barbeque sauce and you’ll be fine. black beans are about a dollar a pound dry, or about 80 cents a can. You can also buy a loaf of bread, which is about 7 cents a slice, and crumple up a few slices to add into the burger as bread crumbs with some spices. Or you can just buy store brand bread crumbs, up to you.
Mash the black beans and other stuff together, it tastes better with some minced or sauteed onions if you can find them, but they are not required. Brown rice mixed in is also good. I really like this recipe here, but you will have to alter some ingredients if you cannot find them at a convenience store.
Just blend them all together, make them into patty shapes, grease up a pan, and cook them on low/medium-low heat, and place them either on buns,or between two slices of bread with come condiments. Each burger should not cost any more than a dollar.
There are plenty of very low cost yet very great tasting and filling vegan options that you can get at the local convenience or dollar stores. So for vegans who are struggling with buying food, this is a good way to eat delicious vegan options for cheap.