Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester. org

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from EPOCA!

IMG_20171129_124458
pics: R.T.

Hello all,

I am writing to you all to express thanks for all you have contributed toward ending Mass Incarceration.

I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy, Safe and productive New Year.

At this time I have an ask of you all. EPOCA has committed to purchasing presents for over 150 children of incarcerated men and woman.

There has been an increase in need for assistance as single parents, due to incarceration and low-paying jobs, are feeling the economic pinch.

IMG_20171212_095229

So, I am asking you all for a donation of a small gift, [which can be dropped off at our office at 4 King St., Worcester] …

… and/or a small donation by check or through a credit card using our paypal button located on our website – exprisoners.org

It is not the receiving of a material item/gift on the holidays that we are striving to achieve as much as it is the relief, joy, happiness and feelings of inclusion that will be seen on both the child and the parents faces as they open their gifts.

It is truly tough times for these folks.

So Please, assist us through your donations, if you are able to afford to do so.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Kevin Lynch
IMG_20171217_083330

Chef Joey – always in style!

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
From Chef Joey: a culinary blast from the past (with new pics):

Holiday leftovers

Text, recipes and photos by Chef Joey

Thanksgiving! Ok, glad it is over – not going to lie. Same people, in two weeks for Christmas. However, there is a cathartic element about the whole turkey dinner. Growing up European, we made turkey and enjoyed the day off from school, but the whole ceremonious process was lost on us. When I married, to an American family, I was thrust into the warmth, love and “tradition” that did not exist in my upbringing.

image-4
After dinner: Chef Joey’s Gigi hangs out in her princess bedroom/home office with two of her four pups and opens up her laptop to read new emails.😉🌸 We love the tea pots on the adorable table – short and stout and tres princess-y!

Every family has their traditions, albeit different from the Pilgrims with their venison and eel – not Butterball and squash. Sorry, people! I have been to numerous homes where we were served relish trays before dinner. I’ve visited my Lebanese friends – homes with more hor’s d’oeuvres than you can imagine! Then dinner! I’ve dined with Asian families serving traditional dishes, then the “American Dinner.” It is all wonderful!

But the best part about turkey dinners: Leftovers! We all strive for the 25-pound turkey that is affordable. This bird is good for dinner, turkey soup, turkey pie, and let’s squeeze in a tetrazzini – or even croquettes.

So you have a turkey carcass:

Clean off as much meat as possible. Boil the bones in a pan that just covers the carcass …

Add 2 whole, peeled, scored onions …

… and 3 cloves of garlic.

Cook for at least 30 minutes.

This is the base of your turkey soup/pie/tetrazzini.

For the soup:

Take at least 1 cup of turkey meat, chopped up

Add carrots, celery, cubed potatoes with 6 cups broth

Cook until veggies are tender and there you have it!

For the pie:

Add peas and arrow root or corn starch to thicken

Toss a pie crust on top of your pie plate filled with yummies – and there is dinner 2.

Tetrazzini is the same as the pie. However, it has parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) mixed in and is traditionally served in a puff pastry shell. Let’s make it real and serve it on a piece of toasted bread. Starch, protein all on one plate.

image-3
Treat time: Gigi doesn’t get refined-sugar-y stuff but plenty of fruits, yogurt, cashews…

I mentioned croquettes …

Take your leftover meat and toss it into a food processor

Add 2 eggs per cup of ground meat

Add 1 cup cooked oatmeal or 1 cup WET breadcrumbs to the mix. Roll into balls and fry or bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Silly, easy, and cranberry sauce with a little mayo makes a tasty little dip!

The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester – always in style!

New Flyer

Help Raise Funds and Awareness for our Holiday Giving program at
“Club for the Holidays” on Thursday, December 7!

For 11 years, our organization has been providing Club youth and families with support through the holiday season.

Last year, we provided gifts to 2,000 Club kids, and support to 200 families.

This year, we need even more help. We’re hosting “Club for the Holidays” on Thursday, December 7, at our Harrington Clubhouse, 65 Tainter St., in order to help more Club families.

Beginning at 6 p.m., our cocktail party will feature hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and our first holiday tree auction, during which guests are invited to bid on artifical holiday trees. Businesses and individuals from around Worcester will be donating the decorated Christmas trees to be auctioned off during the first hour of our event.

Proceeds from the holiday tree auction will benefit our Holiday Giving program.

Tickets are $10/ piece or FREE when you wear an ugly holiday sweater.

Questions? Please contact Ellin Terrill, Director of Marketing & Special Events, at eterrill@bgcworcester.org

InCity Charles Football
Charles, a club member!

Main South: the block party at Stone Soup!

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

I was pleased to have been able to attend on September 16 the block party at Stone Soup at 4 King St., in the rear parking area of the renovated and fully functional building that had nearly burned to the ground some time ago. It was a long process of renewal that saved that building from the wrecking ball. It took a lot of time and a lot of effort to secure the funds needed to make this happen. It was a Herculean effort that has paid big dividends for the neighborhood …

DSCF5520

… with its programs being housed there.

Stone Soup is the headquarters for Earn-A-Bike, which is a really cool program that teaches children how to repair/build bikes, and the kids who volunteer end up with a free bike. It teaches kids the importance of hard work and saving for what you want in the world. There are many life lessons taught here, as they instruct the lucky recipient children in the art of making something whole again from a bucket of parts scavenged from other bikes that have been donated in various states of disrepair. They learn how to fix their own bicycles, too, and that can have an advantageous effect on their future development because they get to see what makes things work and understand a bit about how to make them work with a little effort. Plus they learn skills that can be applied at work or future jobs. It really is a unique program, one that should be emulated across the country, if you ask this author. It is a great program that, unfortunately, is being underutilized.

DSCF5521
Woo Rides at the block party!

There is also the EPOCA organization, which advocates for removing roadblocks put in place that prevent ex-felons from gaining employment and housing in their attempts to re-integrate back into the community after their release form prison. I support this organization fully due to my own oldest brother John Jr. having been killed in August of 1973 when I was 12 because he COULD NOT get a job in an economy where they were so plentiful you could quit a job in the morning and have another by that afternoon, starting the very next day.

That was 1973 Worcester, with factories running three shifts around the clock, such as Robinson Thread, Worcester Knitting and many more in the Industrial Parks that dotted the Worcester Landscape.

DSCF5513
Folks learning at the Stone Soup gathering

My brother faced the challenges the EPOCA folks face today, where after release from prison, and having paid for their crime with their time, they find they face a monumental obstacle that prevents them from obtaining employment and housing based upon their criminal convictions with a bad CORI report.

EPOCA works to address these issues so that the recidivism rate will drop. It is a truly worthwhile effort, as I believe in rehabilitation for all!

In the accompanying photographs, you will see the crowd that showed up for the burgers, hot dogs, Table Talk pies, Polar Soda’s, and other goodies – all free to the neighborhood …

DSCF5512

It was a good time to be had by all. You had a chance to mingle with your neighbors!

Parlee Jones, our own CECELIA/InCity Times writer had a spot at the table with her goods for sale which appealed to the women present (there was nothing there that interested me as a man). It was good to see my friend and colleague Parlee Jones …

Parlee for Rosalie
Parlee at the podium! ICT file photo

… whom I have a great respect for – and also a Bob Marley oversized cigarette lighter (she doesn’t smoke – it is for her candles). I wish I had known Parler was going to be at the event so I could have given it to her. When I got it, I said, Oh, Parlee would love this, she LOVES Bob Marley (and puts on the city-wide celebration every year at the WP library) … so I picked it up at the yard sale I was at for her. (This was like 2 years ago, I really need to get my gift to her pronto!)

There is a gentleman who is the owner of the “Woo Rides” who came by on his Pedi-cab to offer free rides as an inducement to generate some business for his fledgling enterprise of carting people around Worcester.

DSCF5514
There was a sound truck in the next driveway over that was used to carry the message of various speakers to the crowd. It was provided by an on call 1 hour notice D. J. service that I failed to get the name of, but if you need that type of service I am sure the good people of Stone Soup can tell you how to get in touch with the D.J.

It was a great time at Stone Soup! More than 200 people celebrated! I support all they do in our community, and I know there are other groups that I have not listed here that work out of that building as well.

I hope you found this article interesting and that you support Earn-A-Bike with donations of bicycles in any state or condition. Don’t throw your used bike out! Please donate it for the children of Worcester at Earn-A-Bike.

I also hope you support the EPOCA 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that supports ex-offenders who are trying to reintegrate into society and face challenges that, if not removed, lead to higher rates of recidivism. It is in the best interest of all to get people the help they need to STAY out of prison and become productive tax payers once again!

Please email Ron O’Clair – Ronaldoclair@hotmail.com – with any comments.

City Councilor Michael Gaffney drops another bomb


IMG_20170913_181419
A few days ago: Rose walking her mutts. With the leaves turning color, her thoughts turn to the fall city election … pic: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

No, it is not the usual City Councilor Michael Gaffney political hate bomb, right before this Tuesday, September 19, the last date all Woo city councilor candidates at large must officially declare their intent to run for mayor. No, this time, it’s not Gaffney: demonizing minorities, refugees or immigrants; accusing the editor of a local paper of being a sexual predator after the paper runs A FEW PARAGRAPHS! on him that he doesn’t like – Gaffney does this to cost the editor his job and stop the stories – not to help women; lying about and twisting the intentions of present Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; cynically thinking he’s smarter than every one else in the room so he boldly obfuscates and manipulates his way into the voters’ psyches.

No. It’s not the usual Gaffney scheme, taken straight out of the Donald Trump Shit on the Other – Prey on the Weak Handbook. No. This is something new: Gaffney’s declared that this fall, this election season  – when he runs for mayor of Worcester for the second time – HE WILL NOT BE TAKING ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA – pertaining to his mayoral run!

That’s right: He will be answering zero Q and A-where do you stand on the issues? candidate surveys. He will be participating in zippo candidate profile pieces, shunning any kind of forum hosted by any paper, radio or TV station  … saying NO to any media-sponsored forum that will help voters make informed decisions in the voter’s booth this November. 

A guy who runs for mayor of the second largest city in New England but refuses to tell the voters what he is gonna do, if elected mayor! That’s Gaffney!

Endorsements? Screw ’em! The Gaffer, who never shuts up when it comes to spreading falsehoods about his perceived political enemies, is clamming up when it comes to talking facts, ideas and goals for Worcester! Unless he is planning to spend $40,000 on advertising, like he did last election cycle, so he can control his message, totally. Because he’s got the dough. … Very presidential candidate Donald Trump! Money money money.

Boycotting voter education, while doling out a ton of voter miseducation on Turtle Boy!

Even though Gaffney thinks he’s merely poking a thumb into the local media’s eye ball, grabbing control of his message, he’s  hurting himself. You wonder: What is Mike Gaffney so afraid of? What is Mike Gaffney trying to hide, ashamed to admit, unwilling to own? Why can’t he be a part of this very American tradition? What doesn’t he want to discuss?

Obviously, quite a lot. Basically the way he does politics – his political m.o.

For starters:

Gaffney’s Sanctuary City lies/race-baiting debacle that messed up Worcester for weeks;

his vindictive political style and bashing of poor people a la his political supporter CHANGE WORCESTER FB PAGE ANONYMOUS AUTHOR PAUL COLLYER – a guy who is so NEGATIVE about Worcester it hurts!

… or may be it’s Gaffney equating – like his buddy Aidan Kearney, owner and writer of Turtle Boy – minorities and poor people with crime and stupidity, an America on the cusp of moral collapse

… or, like Aidan Kearney, like Donald Trump, it could be Gaffney’s stoking the prejudices of people who fear a changing Worcester/America – and refusing to admit to the fact in order to keep feeding the red meat to  his political “base”

… or, coordinating hateful stories with Turtle Boy … and Paul Collyer’s FB page, Change Worcester, becoming an echo chamber – though Collyer has often been the original source from which some of the puke was first puked up.

When you think about it, every puke-y, ugly Worcester political  hate-storm, every nasty Woo political scream fest, every depressing headline about one Woo group pitted against another can be traced to City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Or, if not the source, the Gaffer’s fanned the flames of misunderstanding and prejudice. For political gain. To win.

Now why would we want a guy like this to be Mayor of Worcester?

Worcester is the second largest city in New England. A complicated, diverse, growing metropolis! We deserve better! Incumbent Mayor Joe Petty is better – he is a BETTER man than Gaffney will ever be. He’s a bigger man, a man whose heart is not capable of hatching all the shifty, soul-shriveling political schemes of a Mike Gaffney. And, for this Woo voter, that’s what it comes down to: Petty is perfect for my city of 2018 and beyond not just because he’s a guy with the smarts and collaborative instincts to create a Woo on the move but because he’s got Modesty and Grace. Grace: a quality the spiritually vacuous Gaffney knows nothing about. Being a good person who never exploits the OTHER in our society, the weariest and weakest among us: refugees, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the men, women and kids struggling with drug addiction. Mayor Joe Petty works hard to make our city a millennial playground, but he also keeps his eyes on our kids in our schools, our families in our inner-city neighborhoods, our workers who need good jobs and job training … even our pups in our dog parks! He is a GOOD PERSON WHO DOES RIGHT BY EVERYONE. In a multicultural city, with a minority-majority public school system, a lot of poor folks who the global economy has abandoned … during these awful Trump Times in which cities are gut-punched daily, courtesy of our insane President, we need Grace in City Hall. We need Joe Petty.

We don’t need schemer, never-dreamer Mike Gaffney!

Clark U – always in style! Fall dialogue symposium!

IMG_20170910_121305
Cece, what are you doing in this listing?!! pic: R.T.

Clark University’s fall dialogue symposium to focus on the “public good”

Lectures, art exhibit to highlight how the arts, humanities unite us in common pursuits

This fall, Clark University’s Higgins School of Humanities’ dialogue symposium “Common Pursuits/Public Good” will consider how the arts and humanities contribute to the public good through acts of advocacy and teaching; creation and critique; contemplation and scholarship.

“A commitment to the public good premises a system of shared values, even as those values change and, sometimes, come into conflict with each other,” wrote Meredith Neuman, director of the Higgins School of Humanities. “Consensus can be elusive, and compromise difficult, but the pursuit continues.”

All events listed below are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, they will be held on the Clark University campus in Dana Commons, 36 Maywood St., Worcester.

Exhibit

“ENGAGE: An exhibit by William Chambers”
On display from September 12 through November 21
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Socially engaged art exists at the intersection between powerful symbolic statements and quantifiable political change. Part installation, part performance, wholly participatory, this exhibit will feature two works by artist William Chambers – “Service Station” and “Repairs” – that explore the power of art objects to foster conversation on important issues and to allow for the unexpected. This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. (Chambers will give a lecture on Wed., Nov. 8.)

Community Conversation

“What’s In It for Us? A Community Conversation on the Public Good”
Thursday, September 28
7pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
How do we support, utilize, and recognize contributions to the public good? Clark University professors Barbara Bigelow (Graduate School of Management) and Toby Sisson (Studio Art) will share their respective expertise in dialogic process and community-based art as facilitators of the discussion. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and Difficult Dialogues.

Discussion

“Why Bother with Prison Education?”
Thursday, October 5
4:30pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Arguments for the value of prison education generally focus on larger social benefits, such as reduced recidivism, but arguments might also be made for the less quantifiable but no less transformative outcomes for individuals themselves. Poet Jill McDonough (UMass Boston) and Arthur Bembury (Executive Director of Partakers, a non-profit organization devoted to helping volunteers mentor incarcerated students), will lead this conversation on the fundamental role of education in the prison system. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Department of English, and the Hiatt Center for Urban Education.

Panel

“Why Get Involved with Prison Education?”
Tuesday, October 17
4:30pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
In this follow-up to “Why Bother with Prison Education?”, Clark University Professor Shelly Tenenbaum (Sociology), former Clark student Claude Kaitare, and Steffen Seitz of the Petey Greene prison tutoring program will discuss the various goals of prison education programs, offer reflections on their own experiences, and discuss volunteer opportunities. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Department of Sociology.

Readings

“Terror Rising: The Village Mob”
Wednesday, October 25
7pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Professors Gino DiIorio (Theater) and James Elliott (English), and Jennifer Plante (The Writing Center) will read scary stories that turn our attention from the fear of the monster to the fear of the mob. This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.

Off-Campus Lecture

“Community and Memory: The Bullard Photographs”
Sunday, October 29
4pm
Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church
55 Illinois Street, Worcester
Cheryll Toney Holley (Sonksq and historian of the Nipmuc Nation and Hassanamisco Band of Nipmuc Indians) and Professor Janette Thomas Greenwood (History) will lead this discussion of how the recently discovered William Bullard photographs of Beaver Brook residents (1897-1917) can help reconstruct this neighborhood, its families, and their stories, suggesting lessons we can learn about community and memory today. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Department of History. Rediscovering an American Community of Color: The Photographs of William Bullard, 1897-1917 will be on display at the Worcester Art Museum from October 14, 2017 to February 25, 2018.

Lecture

“Race/Memory/Public Space”
Friday, November 3
12pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Cultural historian Mabel O. Wilson (Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation), who has written about the National African American Museum of History and Culture and was a designer of the University of Virginia’s Memorial for Enslaved African American Laborers, will examine current and historical intersections of race, architecture, and the public realm. This event is part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series and is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of the Provost, Africana Studies, and the Department of Political Science through the Chester Bland Fund.

Lecture

“Health Care for Good: What We Need to Learn from Radical Clinics”
Tuesday, November 7
7pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Author, performer, and practitioner Terri Kapsalis will draw upon the history of radical clinics linked to political movements, such as the Black Panther Party and the Women’s Health Movement, to address the continued need to expand economic and geographic access to quality health care and to offer a vision of what radical health care has been and can be. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities; the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies; and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Lecture

“Art as Social Practice”
Wednesday, November 8
7pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
William Chambers, instructor at Massachusetts Bay Community College and Visual Arts Chair at the Bancroft School, will consider how socially engaged art has the power to interrogate privilege and inequity as well as identity-based pretexts for social and political discrimination. This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.

Also at Higgins this semester:

Lecture

“The Science of Undeath: Zombies and Animated Corpses in Historical Perspective”
Wednesday, October 18
4:30pm
Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Winston Black (History, Assumption College) will discuss how and why medieval scholars debated corpse animation and hence understood the porous boundaries between life and death. Clark University Professor Deborah Robertson (Biology) will offer commentary. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, Early Modernists Unite, and the Departments of Biology and History.

What will you give the Easter Bunny this year?

20170406_173138
Lilac, 4-6-2017 pic: R.T.

Reposting for Easter …

By Kendall Bryant

Easter is almost upon us, or as we in the sheltering world say, “Brace yourselves — it’s rabbit season.” I’ve rescued rabbits for 10 years, and I volunteer in the small-animal room at my local shelter. And every spring, it seems as though, for many cast-off Peter Cottontails, the bunny trail leads straight to our door.

While most of us consider cute, scampering rabbits to be one of the quintessential signs of spring, it can be a tough time for many of them. The ways in which we inadvertently cause them to suffer — for everything from fur to floor cleaner — would make any bunny hopping mad.

Let’s start with the Easter Bunny. Every year, breeders and bunny mills churn out irresistible baby rabbits for parents to put in their children’s Easter baskets. And every year, for several weeks after Easter, shelter workers take in a deluge of these same rabbits — after they have chewed through electrical wires, books, baseboards, doorjambs and all the Easter lilies.

What breeders and pet stores often fail to mention as they’re ringing up those fluffy little bundles of Easter joy is that rabbits, like all animals, have some particular needs. They chew incessantly (their teeth never stop growing), and they have special dietary needs (think less lettuce, more hay). They require constant mental stimulation and space to run around in, and they get depressed when confined to a cage. They can live for up to 12 years.

So, when Bugs turns out to be more work than parents bargained for, he usually finds himself tossed out like a stale Peep. He might be dropped off at an animal shelter, relegated to a cage outside or simply turned loose in the wild, where he won’t stand a chance against starvation, harsh weather and predators.

But buying bunnies on a whim and then abandoning them once reality sets in is just one way that we cause them to suffer.

Many of the fur accessories, trim and jackets that you see in stores are made from rabbit fur because it’s often cheaper than other animals’ skins. Rabbits on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to tiny, filthy metal cages and often have their necks broken while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain. On angora farms, rabbits scream and writhe in pain as workers tear the fur out of their skin. I couldn’t wear a coat made of rabbits any more than I could wear one made of golden retrievers.

Rabbits’ mild manner and the ease with which they breed also make them a favorite victim of experimenters, who use them to test chemical products, burning their skin with noxious chemicals and dripping substances into their eyes, even though superior non-animal testing methods are readily available.

And it should go without saying, but anyone who cares at all about rabbits shouldn’t eat them. The House Rabbit Society and other rabbit advocates have been fervently protesting outside stores that sell rabbit meat.

We humans have long had a hard time thinking straight about other animals — we keep some as “pets” while serving up others on our plates — and our treatment of rabbits shows just how schizophrenic our relationship with other species can be.

So this Easter, let’s give rabbits a break by vowing not to wear them, eat them or buy cosmetics or household products that were tested on them. (You can check to see if a company is cruelty-free by using PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies searchable database.) And if you’re really ready to give a rabbit a lifetime of care, hop on down to your local humane society or rabbit rescue group to adopt one — preferably right after Easter.

****
These companies don’t test their products on bunnies … Support them!

petaLiving-social-15CrueltyFreeCompanies

*******

A kind of Easter Parade!

How I Saved Money by Going Vegan

From PETA.ORG:

Shekalia-at-market-830x623

By Shekalia

Back in the day, I wasn’t necessarily swimming in cash. I was a student, so you can imagine how empty my pockets were. When I found out that animals suffer miserably on cramped factory farms for our food, I was determined not to let my financial situation deter me from going vegan. But I was surprised to learn how affordable vegan foods are and that I could actually save money by ditching animal-derived foods and planning my meals.

I created a budget and became a money-saving ninja. And now I’m here to pass on what I’ve learned. Here’s how I saved money by going vegan:

Brainstorm Meal Ideas Before Making Your Grocery List

Some folks make the mistake of creating a shopping list without actually thinking about what they’re going to cook. Don’t do that. Instead, sit down and think, “What dishes do I want to make?” By doing this key first step, you’ll avoid overspending at the store and start saving money.

Here are some ideas for meals that are cheap and easy to make:

Stir-fry: This can be made up of anything, and it only takes one pot. Just chop up your fave veggies, heat up some oil, and start frying. Add some cooked noodles and tofu.
Pasta: You can buy pasta for as little as $1—and pasta sauce is just as cheap. Add veggies like onions and mushrooms for texture.

Chili: All this dish requires is beans, veggies, and spices, and voilà—you’re done! You can’t beat this simple go-to meal, plus chili can be used in a variety of ways: Put it on fries, on Fritos, on nachos—the list goes on. If cooking isn’t your thing, most grocery stores carry “vegetarian” chili that’s actually vegan. Just check the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients.

Don’t Forget the Staples — and Buy in Bulk

Food is usually cheaper when you buy it in large quantities — and if your kitchen is always stocked, you won’t be tempted to order expensive takeout when cravings hit. Stock up on staples like beans, grains, nuts, and frozen fruits and veggies. (I like to buy quinoa in bulk because it can be more expensive in smaller amounts.) Sometimes, I prepare a large portion of beans and rice to eat with other dishes that I cook during the week. This saves me time and brain power, as I don’t have to come up with a meal from scratch.

Shop Sales

We all love a good deal. Plan your grocery shopping around when stores and markets have sales. And don’t skip the dollar store — most stores carry staples like beans, rice, pasta, and frozen produce as well as other vegan options. Go to your local dollar store and browse the aisles — you never know what you may find.

Cook!

mentor-featured-imaged-830x400

I started cooking when I was 6 and was quite the little chef — although it involved mostly meat-based dishes. When I went vegan, I realized that preparing meat-free meals is far simpler. Cooking your own meals saves you money, too, while sparing your body the negatives effects of eating unhealthy takeout.

While cooking at home will save you money, there’ll be moments when you need to grab a bite to eat on the go. Taco Bell, Subway, and other vegan-friendly fast-food places have meals that’ll fill you up for just a few bucks!

Try Mock Meats and Tofu

MOCKMEATCOLLAGE-830x830

Mock meats like those made by Gardein and Tofurky are great sometimes. Don’t focus on replacing meat with mock meat, though. Instead, concentrate on eating more whole foods — and don’t forget about our friend tofu. One block can cost as little as 99 cents, it’s extremely versatile, and it’s also a better, cheaper substitute for meat that can be found at pretty much any grocery store.

By going vegan, you’ll be able to eat well for cheap and you won’t contribute to animals’ suffering. Knowing that piglets’ tails are cut off without painkillers, male chicks are ground up alive, and cows are separated from their calves inspired me to change my lifestyle — and as a result, I was able to cut my spending in half. I no longer buy meat, dairy foods, or eggs, which accounted for most of my budget in the past. I now buy and prepare affordable, nutritious plant-based foods. What could be better than saving money and being kind to animals and my body?