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Save Money - Be A Vegetarian Part Time

Published 8/23/07 (Modified 3/9/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Yesterday I had dinner with an Indian friend of mine at a pretty nice Chinese restaurant. I've known him since we were little kids in junior high school. Every time we'd get together for a meal, we'd usually end up eating a vegetarian meal since he's a vegetarian. Now, I'm a meat lover myself, preferring a nice pork, beef, or seafood laden meal to something bereft of all finger licking goodness. However, everytime my friend and I go out to eat, I'd always find myself ordering a vegetarian dish out of courtesy.

Vegetables Dishes Are Cheaper Than Meat Dishes

What I didn't realize or notice until recently was that he was actually saving a rather large sum of money by sticking to a vegetarian diet, albeit unintentionally. It's not a secret that vegetables, tofu, and fruits simply cost less than meat products such as chicken, pork, beef, and seafood.
While we were at the Chinese restaurant, I glanced down at the menu and compared prices. Since were were both going to share our dishes, we were obviously going vegetarian. Prices for vegetarian dishes such as ma-po tofu or the bok choi with black mushrooms were only $8.50 each. Keep in mind that this was a pretty nice restaurant in a very nice part of town. A quick flip back to the meat entrees showed prices such as $12.50 for a chicken entree, and a$13.75 for a beef dish. Yes, it's only a few dollars, but in the aggregate and over the years, a dollar here and a dollar there can really add up into major money.

Vegetarian Groceries Are Cheaper Too!

I tagged along with my friend when he went grocery shopping one time and noticed the exact same thing. Even his grocery shopping habits resulted in a much lower final bill compared to mine. While I was buying pepperoni pizzas, salmon, and chicken breast, he was buying chickpeas, lentils, and carrots. The price difference between meat and vegetable products was quite astounding!

This got me thinking. I wonder how much I could truly save if I switched to a vegetarian diet, at least part time? Obviously I could not give up meat altogether (meat tastes too good!), but I knew I could at least adopt a semi vegetarian palate when I went out to eat. Rather than sit down and calculate with abstract numbers, I decided to embark on my social experiment. If you are curious , I would suggest adopting this approach to find out for yourself. You'll be surprised at how much you could save if you adopted such a diet. Besides, vegetables and fruits are very nutritious and good for you! It's a win-win plan.

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