Being Vegan While Away At School

So, things have been hectic! It’s been a while since we’ve had new posts so I’ve been trying to make a better posting schedule for myself, and while school makes me a very busy bee; it leaves me quite a lot of time for things like this on my days with no classes.

School has been a little more of a challenge than I originally expected it to be. I’m not quite in college, but I’m away at a grooming academy and I’ve been put in a hotel with only a microwave, a mini fridge, and a Keurig. I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years asking me how I would be able to handle living as a person with low income, with your only means of cooking being a microwave. This was always a very hard question for me to answer and I would do my best (suggesting sandwiches, frozen meals, etc.) but never really understanding the difficulty until I had to go though it myself.

It’s not easy, and being vegan doesn’t make it any easier. But it IS doable! This would be a no-brainer if money weren’t an object. Amy’s and Sweet earth have enough meals to fuel me for a lifetime, but $4-5 dollars a meal, 7 days a week really adds up. With just under $30 to spend a week on food, I can tell you I had to sacrifice a little of my healthy and environmental purity (but not much) this month because when I tell you I’ve been living on processed foods, I mean it.

What made this so tricky is that the staples I live by otherwise are now less accessible to me. Now, you could always go the canned and frozen food route if you have a freezer, but I don’t. The one we have now would possibly hold one narrow frozen dinner box, so this option isn’t viable to me since I also don’t have a car so I need to buy all of my groceries at once when transportation is available and time permits.

So all in all this was a pretty challenging one, but these foods are getting me through it so far.

(Pictured: my “pantry” aka one of the hotel’s drawers.)

– Canned beans (chickpeas, refried pinto beans etc.) > $1

– Canned vegetables (corn, peas etc) > $1

– Rice (premade that you can warm up). A little more pricey than regular rice. I got the packs above for $2.50 but you might be able to find them cheaper

– Soups (Amy’s, Campbell’s vegan varieties etc.) > $3

– Ready meals (Tasty Bite indian food vegan varieties. DOUBLE CHECK LABEL some are just vegetarian. Uncle Bens ready meal varieties like Spanish and vegetable rice) > $3

– Nissan Oriental / soy sauce ramen. (ONLY Nissan. Maruchan Oriental flavor is NOT vegan) > $2 for a 6pck

– Cliff bars $5 for about 6

– Instant oatmeal > $4

The vegetables I don’t do so much only because I don’t have seasonings or sauces. You could also do potatoes since you can microwave a baked potato in no time, and that’s also a very cheap and healthy meal! I always keep some almond milk in the fridge for coffee, but that would also come in handy for cereals! Beyond that I would suggest juices or fresh fruits as well as high protein snacks (dried nuts, trail mix etc.).

Sandwiches will also come in handy. Bagels as well as these are low in effort and tend to be high in servings. Nut butter and jelly sandwiches/bagels as well as vegan sliced meat sandwiches will last long for a relatively low price. They don’t involve any type of cooking and only require simple storage so they’re perfect if you’re low on energy for the day.

All in all, like I said this is a complicated but doable task! Just make sure you’re buying foods that will fill you up. No living off of Oreos and Sweet Chili Doritos in your dorm! Unless you really want to, in which case here are some more accidentally vegan snacks for your 1am test prep indulgence.

And if your circumstances are a little better and you’re just looking for meal ideas as a low income vegan AND you have a stove, check out this article next!

As always; leave us a comment if there’s anthing we should add to make this article better! And good luck on those mid-terms!

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