Want to Go Vegan, but Live in a Small Town? Read This!
The general store is the size of a shoe-box, while the nearest supermarket is a two-hour drive, and if you told your neighbors you were thinking of going vegan, chances are they’d mistake it for a place and reply, “Oh that’s nice… Where is vegan?”
First of all, we’re proud of you! Second of all, we understand that at the very beginning, transitioning will be challenging, but with the right planning, it is possible.
The best way to figure out how to do something that seems hard is to ask people for advice who are already doing it. So, that’s exactly what we did! We asked some seasoned vegans who live in isolated towns for their best advice to help others who are interested in veganism, but don’t have the luxury of large grocery stores.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Visit your local farmers’ market to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies. If there isn’t a farmers’ market in your town, then ↓
2. Connect with locals who grow their own fruit and veggies and offer a trade. Consider growing some for yourself too.
3. If you’re lucky to have a small general store, stock up on the essentials like beans, rice and flour. If the store doesn’t stock canned or dried beans, get to know the shopkeeper and kindly ask if they’d be willing to order some in for you. If not, then ↓
4. Explore online shopping! Amazon will probably be the cheapest option for vegan essentials, but if you’re not a fan of Amazon, consider ordering through Thrive Market which offers a large range of vegan groceries, and currently ships to all residential and commercial addresses in the United States! Also check out Vegan Essentials, which ships almost anywhere in the world.
Try to order in bulk if possible to reduce shipping costs, and if it’s affordable for you, then ↓
5. Treat yourself to a monthly (or three-monthly) subscription box like Vegan Cuts or Snack Sacks and receive new and delicious vegan snacks or beauty products to enjoy, delivered straight to your door! Vegan Cuts ships almost anywhere in the world and for free within the United States., and Snack Sack ships to all residential and commercial addresses in the United States.
6. If it’s practical, then plan a monthly grocery haul once every few weeks or couple of months and throw a couple of coolers in the trunk to keep things fresh on the drive home. Also, don’t forget to make the most of opportunities when visiting family and friends in larger towns. Keep those coolers handy! If you do a large grocery haul and are worried some things will perish, then ↓
7. Set some time aside to do a big cook up and freeze it into portioned containers. It will make life much easier when you need a quick and convenient meal.
8. Keep a note on the fridge of the items you’re running low on, or new products you’ve seen online that you’d like to try so you know when it’s time to make your next order or plan your next trip.
9. It might sound hard, but with a decent blender or food processor and some go-to recipes, you can make your own vegan ice cream, cheeses, nut milks and burgers. Note that some of these products are sold online with expedited shipping if you’d rather not do the food preparations yourself. But, if you like to cook, look online for simple recipes. You’ll be glad you did when you get a craving!
10. Finally, join an online forum to speak with like-minded people. Community is important when you’re going vegan. Even if the possibility of another vegan being in your town is one in a million, search Facebook and Meetup.com anyway for local groups in your area. You might be pleasantly surprised! If you search and have no luck then consider starting your own, even if you’re the only member at first. There might be other people just like you in a few months’ time wondering if there’s anyone local they can turn to for support. This will make it much easier for them to connect with you, and by then you can probably help them with a great deal of advice and make an understanding friend! The group may grow as time progresses. You never know!
If you have another tip to help others living in small towns who are interested in going vegan, please email us and we’ll do our very best to keep this blog updated.