The hardest thing I’ve had to do since transitioning to veganism is of course, shopping for vegan food. Normally, I walk into Target without a shopping list (mistake #1), grab a ton of snack food off the shelves (mistake #2), grab some juice that claims to be 100% juice on the front (mistake #3), and grab a bunch of quick meals like frozen pizzas, frozen Stouffer’s meals that are like homemade but not: i.e., frozen lasagna, frozen chicken alfredo, etc. (mistake #4), and grab frozen chicken, chicken nuggets, ground beef, pork chops, etc. to build meals around (not really a mistake but when you’re vegan, you can’t eat that stuff).
Of course I’m not going to force or make my kids or husband become vegan, all I asked of them was for their support, but I had to head to the store when I realized the only thing vegan we had in the house was some fruit in our fruit bowl, some frozen veggies, spices, and water. I can’t do much with that!
Here is where the app, Is it Vegan? came in handy. The only downside of the app, as I mentioned in a previous post, is that the barcode scanner only recognizes about 10% of what I scan. Otherwise, I had to manually enter the barcode number from each item I picked up which was a little time consuming.
My first grocery trip was to Target. I mainly picked up some cans of chick peas, veggie burgers, almond milk, cereal, Clip Bars, and the Vega protein powder. I had two other protein powders that we bought from GNC a while back but they weren’t vegan so I had to toss them. I didn’t know anyone that could use them and they were each half way gone.
I ran out of time at Target-it took me about an hour and a half to shop for myself and stuff we also needed around the house. This was harder than I thought-especially because I’m not one to make a list.
My second trip was to Walmart. One thing you have to realize is you don’t have to shop at Whole Foods to eat vegan. I will only step foot in a Whole Foods if there’s something I need and only WF sells it.
I gave myself a little more time in Walmart than I did in Target so I wasn’t rushing. Again, I used the Is it Vegan? app. Pasta is a staple and a must in our house and it’s one of my favorite foods so I had to find a pasta that was also vegan. One thing I found that was a little easier than the app was just going to Google and typing, “vegan pasta brands”, “vegan pasta sauce brands”, “vegan bread brands”, “vegan sugar brands”, etc. It will more than likely take you to the Peta 2 or Peta website where they tell you what brands are vegan. Just be sure when you read it, you buy the exact thing it says is vegan.
For instance, I typed in “vegan pasta sauce brands” and one of them was Newman’s Own Sockarooni sauce. Not all Newman’s Own sauces are vegan. I believe this was the only listed. So just because you see Newman’s Own, don’t just grab every sauce you see by Newman’s Own.
I read somewhere that most pasta is vegan but I didn’t find that to be true when shopping. I ended up getting the Barilla Veggie pastas. They are made with pureed veggies and are the main one’s I could find that were totally vegan. Again, be careful! Not all the Barilla pasta’s are vegan friendly but most are. When in doubt, check online, with an app, or read the ingredients.
This was my haul from Walmart, not including the Vega protein powder which I got from Target. Yes, I got vegan sugar and vegan butter!! I had picked up some bread for toast and realized I couldn’t use regular butter so I had to find a vegan version and thankfully Earth’s Balance has about 5 different vegan choices but my Walmart had 3 of them so I chose the original version.
As you can see, it’s all a learning process. I’m thinking about keeping a food journal or a list of products as buy them so I’ll know in the future what I can buy. I have a polaroid printer that prints the mini polaroid photos so I’m thinking of taking photos of foods and keeping like food journal/diary to keep up with products I buy. If I do, I’ll be sure to post about it.
Walmart seems to have a better variety of vegan friendly foods than Target so I think that will be the main place I get my staples from. Like I said, I will only go to Whole Foods if there’s a product I can only get there.
My next research will be vegan wines! Yes, I love wine so I am going to have to find a vegan alternative eventually (don’t judge me!!)
Do you have any must haves that you purchase from Walmart or Target? Share them with me please! We don’t have a Kroger, Trader Joe’s or Aldi where I live so I rely on Super Target first and Walmart as my backup.
I’ll be sure to share other grocery hauls with you all!!