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Saving money as a vegan isn’t totally necessary, because our food isn’t as expensive as you’d think, but hey, why not keep a little money in the bank to fuel projects like the drinkaphone?

Every grocery store I’ve ever been to has them: the discount produce rack.  Sure, they might look a little wrong, but there are lots of ways to hide that: freeze ’em for later, put ’em in smoothies or sauces, or just cut around the really bad bits (though frankly, there’s usually a good enough selection that you don’t need to pick the really nasty looking ones.

Tomorrow I’m going to share some tips from my non-vegan stepmother, but here’s what happens every time I announce a multi-parter: someone in the comments gives it away and then it looks like I’m stealing the idea from them by posting the exact tip before the next video goes live.  Well, the joke’s on you this time, because I already recorded the video and you can tell because I’ll be wearing the same clothes and my magnificent beard will still be there.  All you’ll have is bragging rights, so go to it: what’s my next tip going to be, and if you’ve scored anything as magnificent as 8 organic lemons for a buck, now’s the time to brag in the comments!


Winning the Grocery Game

March 5, 2010

I can’t remember the last time I talked with another vegan about this and they didn’t admit to playing the grocery game.  It’s one of those instinctive things that we just do, maybe as humans, maybe just as vegans, but hey, it’s a fun way to pass the time.

What’s the grocery game?  Simple: when you’re waiting in line at the cashier, look at the purchases of the person in front of you.  If everything on the belt is vegan, it’s a win!

For me, it doesn’t really matter if they’re just buying a bottle of soda; I like to win so I make the rules easy.  Some people have higher standards, so they’ll work out elaborate bonus point scoring systems incorporating raw foods, unprocessed items, etc.  You probably have your own guidelines, and today’s post isn’t about how to play the grocery game, it’s how to really win.

“Winning” the grocery game is a missed opportunity

Nobody likes to talk about this, but there aren’t a lot of vegans out there.  I hear from lots of you (via replies to the newsletter, mostly) that you don’t even know a single other vegan in your city or town.  And yet, I’m sure some of you have “won” the grocery game and then went on with your lives wondering why you can’t meet more vegans.

It’d be awesome if we could turn those chance victories into lasting friendships, wouldn’t it?

There are lots of reasons why this doesn’t happen.  Starting a conversation with a stranger is outside of a lot of our comfort zones.  We worry that it can come off a bit stalker-y.  The other person might not even be vegan.  The other person might be insane.  Maybe it’d make veganism look bad. And so on.

For those reasons, this isn’t a post about how to talk to strangers (in all honesty, pickup guides are probably the best resource for that – as I’ve said before, I recommend The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (affiliate link); it’s not a how-to guide but it’s an entertaining story and I got a lot of outreach ideas from it, believe it or not.)

Instead, I’m recommending that you be open to being approached when you’re shopping. Remember, the person behind you might be playing the grocery game too!  Here are a few ways to create opportunities:

If you’re with someone else, mention veganism in your conversation while you’re waiting.  Position yourself as best as you can (I know, it’s a narrow aisle, but be aware of your surroundings) so the person behind you can interrupt your conversation.  Try talking specifically about a particular product, and how you’re wondering what it’ll be like, or how you like to serve it.

If you’re by yourself, please don’t talk to yourself in lieu of option one 🙂  Instead, try standing sideways, facing the belt, so your back isn’t to the person behind or in front of you.  Relax.  Smile a little.  Now’s not the time to check your email or read one of the magazines or any of those things that means someone will have to interrupt you to start a conversation.

If you decide you want to start the conversation, try asking about a product the other person is buying.  It’s easy, relevant, and gives the other person a chance to decide if they want to talk to you.  If they’re a grocery game player too, they’ll be able to scan your purchases at this point and then you’ll have done them a favour of creating the opening.

This is the kind of thing that might come up in your lives once or twice in a year, or maybe a decade, but it’d be a shame to miss out on.  It’s a simple thing to be aware of, so next time you’re shopping and you’re playing the grocery game, remember that the people around you might be doing the same thing.


Vegan grocery shopping: be brave

March 3, 2010

This week we’re going to look at vegan grocery shopping with some practical tips and fun things you can do to make the most of your shopping experience – the majority of you don’t have access to an all-vegan grocery store, which means you’re stuck in a shop with the usual dairy, egg, fish and […]

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