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Hi I'm new to this site but it looks great! So I've been an on again off again vegan for the last year. My family isn't so it's hard to make food for everyone and then make something different for me. Plus it tends to cost more. Does anyone have any ideas??

Hi Tonilynn, 

It may depend on where you are in the world, but I find that if I don't buy special vegan products (fake meats and cheeses etc) it's actually cheaper than it was in my meat-eating days: a 1-pound pack of green lentils at about $3 dollars gives me 5 protein- and iron-laden servings, way cheaper than 5 servings of meat. I buy mostly unprocessed or lightly processed food, vegetables and fruits mostly when they're in season (not all the time though - avocados don't grow here at all, and I MUST have avocados :)), and dried foods (rice, beans etc.) in bulk when possible. My food is pretty cheap this way.

I don't have the same problem with family, but if I did, I would try to make meals that are almost the same in the vegan and non-vegan versions: you'd be using separate pans, but other than that not really much additional work. Examples would be:

- Chinese-style stir-fries, with cashew nuts or tofu for you, chicken for the family, all other ingredients the same

- pasta with tomato sauce (and other veggies), with green lentils for you, ground beef or bacon for the others

- chili: onions, garlic, chili, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans for you, add ground beef for the family (eat with rice, avocado, cilantro, and the family can add cheese if they want) 

- home made pizza: fun to make with kids if you have them, and you can just leave the cheese off yours. Big green salad on the side for everyone. 

- hamburgers for the rest of the family, a fried or grilled portabello mushroom for you - all of you can have (vegan) buns, ketchup, pickles, lettuce& tomatoes & sliced avocado with them, with oven-roasted potato wedges and salad or other veggies on the side. 

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