I'm not vegan (I'm a vegetarian), but I highly reccommend Sarah Kramer's "La Dolce Vegan" if you're on a budget. Most of the recipes in there are pretty simple & quick, and almost all of the ingredients are thing you can find in your local grocer. The most expensive ingredients she uses are dairy/egg substitutes (like soygurt, soy-milk, soy-cheese, etc.), and if you're a vegetarian, you could probably just use the "real" thing instead.
I'm also a big fan of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks, especially World of the East Vegetarian and World Vegetarian. The only problem with her recipes is that a lot of them call for more obscure ingredients, and some of them can be pretty time-consuming. But even if you don't have the time/money to make everything in her books, they're worth a look, because they're very, very informative (she gives basic cooking tips, health tips, substitute suggestions, etc.).'
Anyway, as far as what I eat on a daily basis, I usually eat a lot of wrap-sandwiches with hummus and raw veggies. I'm anemic (and it's not because I'm a vegetarian--I was anemic before I made the switch), so I also eat a lot of dried fruits , which are high in iron. A lot of dry fruits can be a little on the pricy side (especially my favorite--dried cherries), but if you fish around farmer's markets, you can often find them at a lower cost.
I'm also a fan of throwing together a simple stir-fry with whatever I have lying around the fridge--onions, tomatoes, snap-peas, broccoli, etc. I have a light appetite, so a stir-fry with a light sauce (usually tomato sauce or soy sauce) will fill me up, but if you want to make it heartier, you can pour it over rice, cous-cous, or pasta.
I could ramble on and on about cheap, good vegetarian food, but I'll cut myself off here. If you want a little more detail, feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org
) for tips & recipes. Good luck!