March 04, 2008

I Could Never Be A Vegan, But I Could Almost Manage Vegetarian, if I Had to

I like meat. Give me a good medium rare steak any day. Meat in these fair isles is, however, quite expensive. Actually everything here in London is quite expensive, food in the grocery stores being no exception.

So we've been living on a fairly vegetarian diet, because a bag of carrots for 99p goes farther than a small amount of chicken breasts for 5 pounds. I have found though, that I've been using a lot more dairy than ever before -- more cheddar cheese (it's hard to resist trying all 15 varieties of cheddar my grocery store carries), more cream on my scones and in my tea, more butter on my crumpets.

I never harbored any desire to become a vegan or even a vegetarian, but at least I know where I really draw the line. I definitely feel the need for dairy in my diet at the very least. I do wish if I were going to try this experiment again though, that I had more of my normal cooking implements around me. I haven't wanted to by any spices and I have no measuring implements, so our big meals have largely been easy things like pasta and salads.

The kids would, naturally, not object to more meat in their diets, but they also haven't complained too much for which I'm glad. Our proteins have come largely from nuts, dairy and eggs and they are eating a lot of fruits and veggies every day, which other than the dropping of meat from the diet, is not a large change from before.

Even with sticking to simple things and cutting out most of the meat, groceries around here are very expensive and because I have to walk to the grocery store and have a limited amount of space to carry things, I wind up going shopping almost every day. Most days I spend between $20 and $40, and most of that goes towards fruit, vegetables and bread for sandwiches. But considering that a cheap meal in a restaurant would probably run about $60 for our family, grocery shopping is definitely the way to go.


$20-$40? That's really in dollars, not pounds?

Posted by: Jeana at March 4, 2008 10:01 AM

I was translating. Right now the dollar is about half what the pound is, so I spend about 10 to 20 pounds every day. A few days I haven't had to go to the store at all and a few times I've had to buy paper goods and diapers and things like that and then I've spent about 35 pounds.

Also, I have bought meat or fish a few times and we've been eating out after church on Sundays, so we usually have meat then. We haven't gone full out vegetarian.

Posted by: Jordana at March 4, 2008 10:21 AM

I'm so glad to know that. My husband is getting a 25 pound per diem for meals while we're there, and I was hoping we could get by on that for our grocery budget. It sounds doable, from what you're saying.

Posted by: Jeana at March 8, 2008 08:13 PM