For whatever reason, a day ago I decided it was time to test out the Vitacost service. For years now, our e-commerce store for vegan grocery store items have changed but we kept going back to iHerb. Since moving to the outskirts of Los Angeles County, we have found iHerb to be extremely slow in delivery. It’s strange as iHerb is located in Kentucky and Los Angeles and it is the longest delivery, compared to when we lived in Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Besides the slow service, along with less options becoming available, we decided to make the change over and test Vitacost out in Las Vegas, Nevada. Apparently most California residents receive one-day shipping and the nationwide free shipping over $47.00. Sounded too good to be true, so we dove right in.
All products we purchased were something we have ordered previously, except the Now Nutritional Yeast. Thankfully most of the products were around the same price as iHerb or even cheaper – so BONUS! Don’t get me wrong though, iHerb is a great service however just not where we live since it can take almost 2 weeks for delivery! Patience isn’t my strong point so… on to the products.
Now Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast has been a staple in our household since we turned vegan around 10 years ago now. It can be used in dressing, sauce, or on top of anything in exchange for cheese. We use ours to create a vegan macaroni and cheese sauce that is phenomenal! It is the one dish I probably would have missed when going vegan if it were not for nutritional yeast. You can search the my website for more recipes and/or Pinterest.
Dr. Bronners’ Peppermint Castille Soap: Castille soap is something which has been around for years however many people are not aware of this long-lasting soap. If this is a new product for you, let me just tell you a few amazing selling points: made from essential oils, certified vegan, no animal testing, non-GMO verified, and certified fair-trade. At first the price is bit hard to digest, however, the 32oz bottle lasts our family about 6 months. The liquid needs to be diluted with water, a lot! A lot! To do this, I simply use a small 3.5oz bottle made for travel, fill it 1/4 full, then fill the rest of the 3/4 with water.
Bob’s Red Mill TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein is something we do not use often, as it is processed, but it does a great job of making vegan pepperoni and vegan “hamburger” crumble. An entire bag is less than $3.00, an amount that will create at least 5 batches of vegan “meat”. It is a great cost-effective method to be vegan but not go broke in the process of buying store-made processed proteins in the stores. On lazy days, feel free to add tvp straight from the bag right into soups.
Badia Ground Cumin: Badia is a new company to us, however cumin is cumin, right? The ingredients include cumin, ground. This is a spice we use in a lot of recipes, it is said to help with digestion and might even help fight against cancer. Some people suggest it might help fight against respiratory diseases too but I believe there has not been proven in research studies. In our kitchen, I like to add cumin to our tofu scramble (gives off a sulfur taste, an eggy flavor), to curries and/or soups to add a robust nutty flavor. It works in just about anything.
Barbara’s Bakery Snackimals: Snack, junk food that makes life a bit more happy. Genki Husband brought these home once from a trip to California when we lived in Ohio (you know he’s a keeper when he brings you vegan goodies), since then I had been addicted. These can only enter our house on special occasions, since I will eat the entire bag of two servings in one setting. These taste strongly of vanilla and are just the most amazing vegan cookies you can find on the market (or that I have found). The bags are travel bag small, however I did see a larger bag on Vitacost which could be a bit dangerous unless you have a lot of people around to share. Note: The package does not specifically state this is vegan but if you look at the ingredients, it does suggest everything is vegan – I’m guessing the vegetarian label is from the fact the cookies are made on the same machines as dairy products, so it’s just saver to label it as vegetarian. (Lots of companies do this too)
Better Than Bouillon Chicken Free Broth: Our go-to brand for vegan broth is Better Than Bouillon. The company makes vegan mushroom, beef-less, chicken-less, and vegetable broths. We used to be able to get 3 of the 4 at Walmart but it has been a bit more difficult to find anymore. In Indiana, the Walmarts did not carry any vegan options but Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia all carried it. Thankfully our store in California has just started carrying it, I think the manager heard we were in town. We keep this broth on hand at all times, spare jars for the cooler seasons. Meat-eaters won’t even know the difference- so buy in bulk.
Simply Organic Dill Weed: The herb is a core in our household in the winter months. My German grandmother always harvested it from her own garden, both as a spice and herb. I’m not sure if it will grow in the SoCal desert but I’m going to need to do something to reduce our grocery bill since we eat so much of it. There’s not a dish I can’t think of that would not benefit from using it. One of our favorite dishes in the winter is dilly stew.
Deva Vegan Vitamins: Deva is a vegan vitamin company that I have used for years, since the company many tiny tablets that this lady can digest easily. The tiny tablets are amazingly small for a multivitamin so if you are like me and have issues swallowing pills, these are for you too. Otherwise you will just love these vitamins – super easy to swallow and are top quality! Love this brand!!
That’s everything, I think. If any of you have used Vitacost, I would love to know your opinion. Or, if you know of another online company that is cost-effective but with vegan options please let me know in the comments section.