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  • FIRST POST
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 9th Nov 16, 5:00 PM
    • 193Posts
    • 1,169Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Vegan Living & Ethical Buying
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 16, 5:00 PM
    Vegan Living & Ethical Buying 9th Nov 16 at 5:00 PM
    Hi,

    I'm not sure if there is a thread which covers this already but I am a vegan who tries to consume as ethically as possible and wondered if there is anyone else out there trying to do the same thing in as much of a money saving way as possible!??

    I have recently had an increase in income and have therefore decided that from this day forward I will no longer purchase anything from any organisation that doesn't produce their goods ethically. It means that I will no longer use supermarkets; will either buy fresh products from a local organic box scheme or local organic producers; toiletries, household products and dry/tinned goods will be from a wholesale cooperative or a local health food shop.

    Tomorrow I will look at a greener energy provider- I can't afford solar panels at the moment but I can look at renewable electricity suppliers. I already bank with an ethical bank and am basing all my choices on ratings via the ethical consumer website.

    I know that this isn't going to be easy, not using any mainstream shops is going to take a lot of planning but I think its worth doing and hope that I'm not alone!!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
Page 5
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 10th Dec 17, 1:19 AM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    it's an estimated bill - it's less than I expected but as I had a couple of years off work prior to this year, it may be reasonably accurate.... I'll just have to hope for the best!
    Originally posted by squirrelgirl
    Normally you can phone your supplier and give your own meter readings. I do this periodically to keep the bills reasonably accurate.
    • rachlikeswinter
    • By rachlikeswinter 10th Dec 17, 8:46 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    rachlikeswinter
    I've not been on here a while. Have found something potentially useful for anyone interested in nutrition however:

    https://cronometer.com/

    Basically you can enter the things you eat and see how well you're meeting nutritional needs. It's free to use - although has a paid option for extra features. Since I mostly cook things I eat, I've entered my own recipes. It's a bit of work to do that, but after it's done, it's done. I don't track every day, more do a sample here and there. It's helped me figure out the whole being vegan and eating properly better, I feel more confident I'm getting it right now. Actually, I think my health has been improving, and since I've been eating a better balanced diet that's probably the cause.

    Anyway, just passed the first year of being vegan. It's going well, found lots of recipes I like and new foods I never used to eat.
    Originally posted by Ben84
    That’s so useful thank you - I’m often more interested in the micro nutrients I consume (magnesium, omegas etc) rather than macro nutrients, protein/fat etc - I sort of subscribe to the ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ way of thinking when it comes to Cooking. Focus on getting balanced vegan nutrition locked down, and your calorie/good fats/protein stuff sorts itself out.
    • 166million
    • By 166million 10th Dec 17, 9:07 PM
    • 1,206 Posts
    • 5,061 Thanks
    166million
    Hi squirrel girl, I have subscribed to the thread and will be reading back for tips. I am planning to start buying my toiletries from Lush does anyone have thoughts on this company?

    I really need to stop the waste, of food, packaging, all for convenience.
    Last edited by 166million; 10-12-2017 at 9:31 PM.
    **Debt Free as of 15:55 on Friday 23rd March 2012**And I am staying that way
    377 166million Sealed Pot Challenge 2018 No. 90: Emergency fund £637
    My debt free diary http://http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3630099
    • rachlikeswinter
    • By rachlikeswinter 11th Dec 17, 7:57 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    rachlikeswinter
    Hi squirrel girl, I have subscribed to the thread and will be reading back for tips. I am planning to start buying my toiletries from Lush does anyone have thoughts on this company?

    I really need to stop the waste, of food, packaging, all for convenience.
    Originally posted by 166million
    I use a lot of Lush products - mostly their solid products; shampoo, conditioner, face scrub, soap etc. They last for ages and you buy them ‘naked’ so no plastic.

    I really like Lush and I think their ethos is very commendable. However they are a vegetarian not vegan company - check the packaging. Also they do also use SLS and some parabens sometimes - it depends if these things bother you.

    Plastic is everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid, even single use plastic, as a normal urban living person, it’s extremely difficult to go 100% plastic free; but any attempts toward that are to be encouraged! Good luck
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 11th Dec 17, 10:50 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    That’s so useful thank you - I’m often more interested in the micro nutrients I consume (magnesium, omegas etc) rather than macro nutrients, protein/fat etc - I sort of subscribe to the ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ way of thinking when it comes to Cooking. Focus on getting balanced vegan nutrition locked down, and your calorie/good fats/protein stuff sorts itself out.
    Originally posted by rachlikeswinter
    I'm glad it's useful for you. It's one of those things I'm thankful I discovered, would recommend it to anyone actually, not just for vegans.

    My experience of the areas I needed to work on are quite different to the ones you've mentioned. Also, interestingly, the things I though I needed to improve weren't really the things I did need to improve. I was already pretty good with vitamins and minerals, but needed to increase calories and to improve the amount of protein in general - and specifically the amounts of certain essential amino acids. I also, unusually I think, needed to eat more salt. People's diets vary widely, so people who are tracking their diets to see how they're doing will discover different things. I used to more readily follow advice like "eat less salt" or "this food is full of good nutrients" but in some cases people don't eat enough salt, and the food in question may just be largely a source of nutrients they're already eating plenty of when they actually need other ones. If you give the site a try, would be interesting to hear if you confirm the things you've been thinking, or discover something quite different, like I have.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 12th Dec 17, 12:27 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    ben84...congratulations on your year as a vegan!! that app sounds good - really helpful for people who are early on in their vegan journey and concerned about their nutritional intake regarding the electric bill....I can't submit a reading...it's a smart meter and even the meter readers can't read it!! I'll just have to go with the flow and hope for the best!

    166million....welcome aboard! I can't give you any advice about Lush products....I did buy them many moons ago but the solid bars were just no good for my hair....it's incredibly thick and unruly so I use faith in nature products ethically they are sound but I know what you mean about packaging etc....I buy mine in bulk to reduce the packaging as much as possible but it's one of those things that is a constant battle

    I am pretty fortunate that we have a good market stall which we get a lot of our veg etc from (organic, locally produced) so no packaging there and I buy most of my other groceries in bulk wherever possible....I did buy some stuff a while back from an 'ethical' supplier and I was horrified by the amount of plastics....everything was bagged up in plastic...other than the laundry products which I assumed was to protect the rest of the stuff if they leaked - it was all totally unnecessary...suffice to say I haven't used them again and have told them why!

    Not much to report really... still going through my stocks of food....I have planted some more leaves to keep me going for a couple of weeks and will be venturing into the garden to sort a bit of a veg patch ready for next year as soon as the weather improves a bit

    Wherever possible, I am making thing from scratch but work has been particularly crazy recently so getting time to make tofu etc is proving a bit difficult....however, I have a few days off over the chrimbo period so will get some made and frozen for the next few months.

    Anyhoo....better get on with some stuff soon....having a bit of a lazy day today...I'm off work as my bathroom is being re-done but can't get into the kitchen as it's full of bathroom fittings so I'm making the most of the enforced down time!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • Tiglath
    • By Tiglath 17th Dec 17, 1:59 PM
    • 3,555 Posts
    • 11,584 Thanks
    Tiglath
    Hi all - I'm a fairly new veggie wanting to do Veganuary, but I'm a bit stumped as I'm intolerant to a lot of things a typical vegan might eat. Can't do wheat, pulses, legumes, corn, soy or sea vegetables. Can only eat a small amount of brassicas, nuts and hardskinned veg. Just not really sure how to begin, so any words of wisdom really appreciated.
    Looking forward to a move to the country!
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 19th Dec 17, 10:20 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    ben84...congratulations on your year as a vegan!!
    Originally posted by squirrelgirl
    Thankyou! I think it's been more than a year now, but I've not been keeping exact count. What I can say is it becomes easier with time, and now feels totally normal and easy to do.

    I have also discovered another useful thing recently - pressure cookers. I like beans and they're more important in my diet now, but cooking them was a pain. Canned ones are easy, but expensive and lots of cans to throw out, so that's partly where the money is going, in the bin. So, dried are better for that, but slow to cook. The pressure cooker is so much faster, and because it's timed the results are very consistent. It's great for beans, just bring it up to pressure, cook for three minutes, turn off the gas and let it slowly depressurise itself. The beans are perfect, and I don't have to stand around cooking and stirring them for over an hour.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 20th Dec 17, 2:58 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Tiglath...have a look on pinterest...all sorts of vegan recipes on there so some are bound to suit

    Ben84....I always do my beans in the pressure cooker then freeze them in portion sizes for ease of use....very easy to defrost quickly for speedy meals an

    Solstice is almost upon us and I'm looking forward to the fresh start...frugal living for the next 15 months while maintaining my ethical stance...it's going to be a major challenge but I'm feeling very positive about it!

    I've bought almost everything for solstice now....just a few bits remaining which should be less than £30 and that's the whole thing paid for....I'm determined to start this challenge with nothing outstanding!

    I'm taking an inventory of everything I have in on Sunday then I'll make menus and shopping lists along with my budget. I'm doing a suma order at the end of February....I'll get all my tins, laundry stuff and toiletries along with some dried goods for the year....the garden will be utilised as much as possible as will the greenhouse. I'm going to keep a spending diary so that every single penny is accounted for....no more spur of the moment spending on the grandbaby either....I'm having a separate budget for him to keep me from going mental!!

    Anyhow, I need some sleep so I'm off...
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 25th Dec 17, 9:03 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Inventory will be done today.....decided to have a day off yesterday following the 2nd round of solstice celebrations!!

    I'm pretty sure we have enough leftovers to last until tomorrow at least - we had some yesterday for dinner. I also have a few spare veg knocking around in the fridge so I think I will make some soup on Wednesday and freeze it for lunches next week. I'll be menu planning later today - once I have been to see dd & dgs this morning, it's back home to do the food stuff and sort my budgets for the year.

    I'm really going to be tough on myself reducing waste this year - I'm intending to throw no food away at all. If I can't use it in time, it will be a case of either freezing it, making it into a jam/chutney or dehydrating it for use later. I'm going to prevent shopping unless I am truly out of all other options and I will utilise as much local produce as possible. Although I do this already - I have started to get more 'exotic' items from the veg stall which I am going to try to steer away from as much as possible this year - I'd like to think that we can eat using food which is grown here and is currently in season - I will miss my avocadoes though!! I've been told that there is a ethical website which sells home-grown pulses but I need to check that out. There are going to be a number of things which I cannot buy a home-grown alternative for but I'm going to give it my best effort once all my current stocks have been utilised.

    Anyhoo.....I'm off to get ready and see my babies....have a lovely Christmas everyone!!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 26th Dec 17, 7:09 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    The inventories are done and the first weeks menu is planned....no additional purchases required

    I have spoken to dh today about what I want to achieve and he is totally on board which makes life a lot easier...I'll have to remind him constantly but at least he is happy with the direction we have 'found' an additional £132 per month which brings the deficit down nicely and makes achieving 15k in 7 months more doable....we have spoken at length regarding grocery shopping and about sticking to the budgets....we both think that we can get by on £20 per week for the next 2 months at least so we're going for it!!


    The next two months are using up stock then a major bulk buy from suma....toiletries, laundry and cleaning products, tins, jars and dried goods. I'm doing it as an annual shop....enough of everything to see me through the year with fresh food top ups in between. That's a great way to maintain an annual food budget and ethical consumption my opinion!!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • ard123en
    • By ard123en 26th Dec 17, 10:49 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    ard123en
    Is your annual shop Inc in the 20 per week ?
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 27th Dec 17, 7:28 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Hi ard123en - no, the annual shop will happen once the stocks have gone, we'll hopefully be spending £20 per week while we are using them up which I estimate will be two months Our actual food budget is £300 per month but the less I spend on that, the closer I am to my savings target
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • debtfreeforlife
    • By debtfreeforlife 3rd Jan 18, 2:16 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 917 Thanks
    debtfreeforlife
    Squirrelgirl, that sounds like a fantastic idea - I'm jealous! I used to do something similar at my old house, but now I'm in a flat, I just don't have the space for a big bulk buy so need to do smaller more regular orders. Which is of course more expensive I've decided to recommit to ordering a weekly veg box from Riverford, which is expensive but I'm also banning myself from takeaways this year, unless I have friends over. So although my grocery bill might go up, my entertainment/takeaway bill will probably go down.

    I might look at doing an order direct from Suma to see if that's cheaper - at the moment I go through Ethical Superstore because they have extra stuff that I usually want (white vinegar/baking soda/toothbrushes etc.) and I buy toiletries from Lush. I have stopped using conditioner to reduce costs, and noticed no difference whatsoever from when I did use it!
    GC Feb 18: £204.97/£200 | Mar 18: £207.93/£200 | Apr 18 £165.53/£200.00
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 6th Jan 18, 8:32 PM
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    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    I have stopped using conditioner to reduce costs, and noticed no difference whatsoever from when I did use it!
    Originally posted by debtfreeforlife
    A lot of shampoos contain some conditioning ingredients anyway. From using various shampoos, I've also started to suspect those aimed at men tend to be 2-in-1 - even if not said on the label. I think manufacturers know men are a bit less in to hair care on average and just kind of expect it to work. These days I mostly use the Paul Mitchell shampoos, they're ridiculously concentrated, a litre bottle lasts me a couple of years, so I don't actually mind the £20-30 price tag, it's not as crazy as it initially looks. They've never actually done animal testing, and many of their products are vegan, but not all, so I always check the ingredients.
    • debtfreeforlife
    • By debtfreeforlife 7th Jan 18, 8:07 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 917 Thanks
    debtfreeforlife
    Yeah, I think so as well, Ben. My father's been using a joint body wash/shampoo for years and his hair looks fine. I won't be going back to using conditioner again, it's just not necessary for me at the moment. And a litre bottle lasting a few years is really impressive!! No way mine would last that long- downside of longer hair!
    GC Feb 18: £204.97/£200 | Mar 18: £207.93/£200 | Apr 18 £165.53/£200.00
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 8th Jan 18, 3:15 PM
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    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    Yeah, I think so as well, Ben. My father's been using a joint body wash/shampoo for years and his hair looks fine. I won't be going back to using conditioner again, it's just not necessary for me at the moment. And a litre bottle lasting a few years is really impressive!! No way mine would last that long- downside of longer hair!
    Originally posted by debtfreeforlife
    Hi debtfreeforlife - that's a point, my hair is relatively short, so I might be getting two or four times as many washes out a bottle compared to some people. Also, since I recently bought a bottle (I buy them online) I checked last order date, they're actually lasting about 18 months, not a full two years. I'm still happy with that. A little blob about the size of a 1p coin washes my hair and short beard with lots of lather. Whatever your hair length though, some of the more expensive shampoos do go a lot further than the supermarket types brands I used to use - which narrows or even balances the price difference in the end. I think a lot of people - including me in the past - will think "£30 a bottle! I'm not buying that!" and actually the difference in price isn't so big. I find I can also get by with less if I spend some time working it in properly.
    Last edited by Ben84; 08-01-2018 at 3:18 PM.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 9th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Well I'm already over budget for groceries!!

    I've spent £21.95 on entertainment (houseguest); £48.26 on household/toiletries and £23.31 on food. I'm also about to add almost £80 to that as the ethical superstore has a 20% sale on faith in nature shampoo & conditioner at the moment and I am just about to order the 5 litre bottles of both It will last me a good few months and will save me a fortune - it's normally £5.08 for 400ml and I'm getting 5 litres for £39.96

    My hair is very long, thick and coarse - not having any conditioner on it would destroy it i think!!

    I am doing okay at the moment - other than Saturday night and Sunday morning, we have eaten purely from what i already have in store and I am pretty sure that i can continue that for the rest of this week at least - it definitely looks like my main regular expenditure is on soya milk - I was making my own but I just can't seem to get it tasting the way i would like it; perhaps i will have another experiment at the weekend as that would save me shed loads of cash.....

    i made another leek & potato soup at the weekend and also a seitan casserole with red wine, potatoes, sweetcorn, leeks and peas. We have eaten the casserole now (finished it at lunchtime) and will have some soup this evening with the rest of the salad (orange, date, apricot, beetroot & macadamia nut) with leaves. I'm considering what to make for tomorrow and Thursday - I'm making injera today for Friday (the wats are already in the freezer) - so it's just some mooching required - I think that I still have some butternut squash in the fridge so I may do squash and red bean saute with sticky coconut rice tomorrow and see what we have leftover for thursday

    Right, onwards & upwards!!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 9th Jan 18, 2:12 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 3,616 Thanks
    Ben84
    Well I'm already over budget for groceries!!

    I've spent £21.95 on entertainment (houseguest); £48.26 on household/toiletries and £23.31 on food. I'm also about to add almost £80 to that as the ethical superstore has a 20% sale on faith in nature shampoo & conditioner at the moment and I am just about to order the 5 litre bottles of both It will last me a good few months and will save me a fortune - it's normally £5.08 for 400ml and I'm getting 5 litres for £39.96
    Originally posted by squirrelgirl
    I really like the faith in nature dishwasher gel, it's the best eco-dishwasher product I've tried.

    Past few years I have managed to switch to almost entirely ecological cleaning stuff around the house. Personal cleaning stuff, shower gel and shampoo however, I've not really gone green, it's hard enough finding something that suits my difficult skin! But as stuff to put down the drain goes, I've not really found a clear answer on the environmental impact anyway, not much in the way of studies has turned up. Haven't use anything with plastic microbeads in years - but beyond that are non-green face washes and shampoos any worse than green alternatives? I don't yet know.

    Well, I haven't knowingly used anything animal tested for a long time - but getting straight answers from manufacturers isn't always easy on that subject. I'd be curious how other people who've been asking have succeeded - or not - with this? Some just never email back. I did send entirely polite emails, so either they got lost or they prefer to remain unclear. I may well turn to some eco-products simply because they're often clearer on this question. Original source however are very clear they don't animal test. Ultradex dental care are clear too that they don't. However, my favourite skin care product - super facialist, have gone from very clear on their website to a bit vague last time I looked. It does appear to have coincided with a site redesign and new copywriting though. They currently state they're "against animal testing" but in the past I've found that hasn't always meant companies never do animal testing. I've just sent them an email asking for more details. Hopefully I get a clear answer, and hopefully it's all good news.
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 9th Jan 18, 7:22 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    Does any one else still wear leather products, even though they are now vegan?

    I have leather shoes, belts and a jacket that I bought before I knew any better. I decided to wear them until they basically wear out and are beyond repair and then replace them with vegan alternatives.

    So far since being vegan I have had one pair of leather shoes re-heeled and I have replaced another un-repairable pair of black work shoes with vegan ones. I have just bought 2 new vegan belts to replace 2 split and tatty leather ones.

    My other items are in too good a condition to just throw away but they're not in good enough condition to give to a charity shop. Plus it's bad enough to have an animal die to provide these clothes, but worse for it to have died for nothing if I just throw it all away. I don;t really like wearing them though.

    I can't wait for them all to wear out and get me away from this moral dilemma!
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