Brainstorming about spending less on raw
Powerlifter, I'm in New Jersey, but Hmart has stores across the country. http://www.hmart.com/company_new/shop_main.asp
Most areas have some type of decent Asian market. They always have the best greens and fruits in season.
Also, if you want the cheapest freshest nuts, go to an Indian grocer. Best dates, go to a Middle Eastern grocer. When I was making a lot of almond milk I was getting almonds at the Indian grocer for 3.75 per lb.
Where I live the rotten fruit and vegetables are at our local organic produce stand. It's a great idea in theory but every item of food in that place should be in a compost and not eaten. I tried different days of the week too. The rest of the stores here only sell one or two organic items and they're usually old. (I contacted my stores to request organic produce. Honestly, there is very little demand for it where I live.) I tried to eat some conventional produce and it tasted how I imagine Windex to taste. I tried celery and grapefruit and it both tasted like that. I'm currently commuting 40 minutes from my home and paying a $5 bridge toll when I need food. It's bad for the environment and wasteful. If I go to every store in my area I come home with 2 organic produce items from a store (not the produce stand with old food.) I have planted some food items. It grows a little bit to supplement the diet but certainly not enough to live from. This turned into ranting. lol. I am grateful that there is a Whole Foods 40 minutes away though, but I feel guilty driving there. That location is approximately 90% organic in the produce dept and fresh. Of course it was probably picked long before it was ripe, but that's still much better than the other options.
"Where I live the rotten fruit and vegetables are at our local organic produce stand. It's a great idea in theory but every item of food in that place should be in a compost and not eaten. I tried different days of the week too. The rest of the stores here only sell one or two organic items and they're usually old. "
What a shame. I'm so lucky for the organic shop which is a half hour walk from me. Have you a garden leafy? Maybe you could grow your own. I would grow my own if I had a garden.Even a yard is good- some plants can grow in big pots or bins.
co-ops are great if theres one near you, reh.. if you can eat "with the seasons" it also heps too.. look at what is typically available during certain months of the year, and plan your meals around that. youll lessen your carbon footprint, and save a lot of money.. for example, im in canada, and its berry season right now, so local blueberries are cheap, cheap, cheap.. and they arent being imported from california.. if it were the winter months, id be looking more at root vegetables and so on. theres often flyers/websites listing what's avaialble in what months for your region. it also helps ensure youre getting much fresher produce!
often times with co-ops too, theyll have a large shipments of a particular item week to week, and that item will be at a highly discounted price.
my thoughts on bananas are this.. only eat them if you can get organic ones. this is purely a personal opinion, and my mother to this day will only buy organic bananas, simply so she doesnt have to hear my ranting from another province.. but bananas are TERRiBLE for the environment and plantations are notorious for their use of slave labour.. companies like del monte will use up to 5 gallons of pesticides per hectare on the plants, then cover them in plastic bags to keep the bugs off.. as bananas are typical grown near coasts, these bags often end up in the ocean, and suffocating wildlife like sea turtles. banana plants also have very shallow roots, and loosen tons of soil every year, which also ends up in the ocean..
i wont continue to scare you with the horrors of bananas.. but theyre for sure one of the foods i would say only eat if you can get them organically <3
let us know how you get on! oh also, do you have a dehydrator? cuz buying stuff in bulk then freezing it/dehydrating it could save you tons of money too!
"my thoughts on bananas are this.. only eat them if you can get organic ones. this is purely a personal opinion, and my mother to this day will only buy organic bananas, simply so she doesnt have to hear my ranting from another province.. but bananas are TERRiBLE for the environment and plantations are notorious for their use of slave labour.. companies like del monte will use up to 5 gallons of pesticides per hectare on the plants, then cover them in plastic bags to keep the bugs off.. as bananas are typical grown near coasts, these bags often end up in the ocean, and suffocating wildlife like sea turtles. banana plants also have very shallow roots, and loosen tons of soil every year, which also ends up in the ocean.. "
I'm 100% with you on this loorin! I learned about this at a Friends of the Earth conference and have not bought non organic bananas since. I shall write to Del Monte and express my concerns with them.I knew about how the people are treated- these companies spray the pesticides actually when the people are working on the plantations and they get ill from the chemicals- they get sprayed as well as the banana plants. I didn't know about the bags though- that is APPALLING.
i know!! banana plantations are supposedly worse than cocoa plantations for their work conditions. its funny how often were bombarded with "sweat shop this, sweat shop that" but rarely is it brought to light about where are foods come from... organic bananas for all!
oops! where *our foods come from. xo
One really easy cheap meal idea I use a lot: Cut up 1 apple. Pour honey over it (basically sweeten to taste) and then add cinnamon. Add a tensy little bit of water and let the apples "marinate" a bit in the water/honey/cinnamon mixture. Finish off with a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts and you have sort of a apple cobbler thing. Or you can just slice up apples and put a little honey on the slice with some cinnamon.....tastes great!
That does sound nice dixie- and here's another idea inspired by yours- how about hollowing out the apple's flesh- popping it in a blender with a little honey, cinammon, nutmeg, nut butter/nuts and then putting it back in the apple with some sugar free dried raisins on top? Or hollowing out a melon and blending up apple, pear, melon flesh and putting that back in the melon case to serve?
Loorin - Wow, I had no idea about the bananas. Thats crazy! I will definitely be buying organic bananas from now on. I've heard banana tree's grow well in AZ too as long as they're well watered, so maybe one of these days I'll try it out. (o: I try to buy with the seasons, but sometimes the fruit/veggies are expensive no matter what lol. Berries are still pricy when they're in season. I can eat one of those little containers for $4 in one sitting and I'm still hungry :P Unfortanutely I don't have a dehydrator yet, but I plan on getting one this fall or winter, I know it will help alot with preserving fresh food (:
Dixiegirl4christ and Greenwood - both of those ideas sound delish!
Update: I've been eating more raw for the last week while staying in the budget, 90-95% (:
reh- I've seen blenders for about £20 but I don't know if they are any good- getting a mixer next week that will whizz up pepper/vege pates, fruit soft and hummus. It is only £4.15. So for the moment I cannot make nut pates...:(
Berries are delicious but not very filling!
I'm glad you are staying in the budget reh...I'm hoping my food will last me til next wed! (giro day). A week yet to go for the next shop.
bananas, bananas, bananas! so cheap, and filling. whenever I am low on money, I pretty much live off of bananas. I can always afford nanners.
always pay attention to what's in season and locally grown, and always keep an eye on what's on sale.
also if you have some time in your schedule, you could look into a CSA program near you and work a little bit each week at a farm to get produce for your work. I do it every saturday and I get LOTS of produce weekly for only 4 and a half hours of my time each week.
when I do have to go to the grocery store though, I go online and check out the weekly ads at all the local grocery stores and find the ones that have the best sales on the produce that I'll eat, etc. you can shop and compare without even going from store to store just by looking at the ads online. and I usually ONLY buy what's on sale, and it usually has to be a darn good sale too lol
also another thing I do. When I get veggies and fruits that keep for a longer time, I usually store them while I munch on the stuff that goes bad quicker, and then I have some food for later (think beets, turnips, kohlrabi, carrots, oranges, melons, etc) If I'm buying the food rather than getting it from the farm, when I have the money to I usually like to stock up on these denser veggies and fruits that keep well for longer so that I have food as "emergency" food for when I don't have the money to spend on all the other good stuff.
root veggies store SO well.
blended soups are usually pretty cheap to make and can last you a couple/few meals. I make LOTS of cucumber-cilantro soup and kohlrabi cream soup. the kohlrabi soup especially (adapted from a recipe on this site) is super cheap and easy to make. (one kohlrabi, 1/2 and avocado, fresh spice of some sort, fresh garlic)
I'm a HUGE cheapskate so I had to learn very quickly how to make the raw diet work on low budget. It's pretty easy to do with a few simple tricks :)
Great tips tweedle!
thanks :) like I said I'm the world's biggest cheapskate, I am always looking for ways to save a penny or two... people think I'm weird because I wash out plastic bags and re-use them. not only does it save money, but the planet too :)
Any other tips on cheap, filling(or calorie dense) fruits? I think dates might be affordable down here; and buying juice should be cost effective as well.
"I just found out that in the food stores they throw out fruits and vegetables every day and that I can have it all for free. If I don't take it, it is used to make fuel or someting. This week I got four huge boxes full of fruits and vegetables they were going to throw out. If one tomato in a pack of six is a little bad, they throw out the whole pack for example. Most of the stuff in the boxes were still fresh and good to eat so now I have the frige and the freezer full of fresh food (and my neighbours too;) )"
That's awesome, greenwood!
-buy in bulk stores (Costco, Sam's Club),
-wholesale produce distributors,
-pick your own farms (best discounts by far!),
-relying on bananas for the bulk of your calories ($.44 per pound at my Costco)
Well folks- I'm spending MORE on organic fruits and vegetables but it seems to be working out cheaper- how can that be you may ask? Well..I pay my local organic shop £20 a fortnight for a HUGE box of organic fruit and veg and they deliver it to my door for £1! The amount is ENOURMOUS and I get loads of variety. I'm high raw, so I freeze the broccoli and cabbage to steam at a later date. I only have to buy some organic brown basmati rice or lentils, fruit juice, hummus (I'm getting wholefood shop bought til I can get a blender and make my own), organic peanut butter and ryvitas and herbal tea (I'm getting into it now...).
I got so much I had trouble finding space for it all in the kitchen. It is such good value- the amount I got would be more than £20 for non organic produce. And the young man that delivered it brought it on a bicycle with a trailer attached to it! I had the most delicious radish I've ever had in my life in my salad this Friday.It is long shaped like a carrot and oh so sweet and mild.
Hey guys- I'm on a budget of about $50 a week so I leave out alot of the nuts but beans and lentils etc. are EXTREMELY cheap- just soak and sprout. Get the larger containers of lettuce- they are more expensive initially but will save you $$ in the long run. One large container lasts me at least a week and it's only $6.99 for either spinach or mixed baby greens.
You can also do the farmshares- I do one for $49 every two weeks as well- it's been a week and my fridge is still really full. The noori sheets etc. are probably a little more expensive but you can just use it once a week or something.
Kale is a bit more expensive but just use a few leaves in your blender so you get the benefit but spread it out a little more-
Buy the cheaper almond milk- mine isn't organic but I can't afford to make my own- it would be rediculously expensive. Also, for the seeds- try getting a friend to split it with you- you will get more for less.
Hope some of this helps!
some people have trouble digesting raw sprouted grains/beans. For me I simply soak for 8 hours and boil the lentils, they are delicious. II dont over eat anymore since I added the cooked lentils.
Make sure you are paying attention to the seasons--I'm here in AZ too, but down in Tucson. Things get way cheaper in season so when you start seeing things go on sale, grab it and eat a lot for awhile. I rotate through Safeway, Albertson's, TJ's, the co-op and a place called New Life--over time, you'll start to see the patterns that places put things on sale--and remember, you only have one section of the store to look in :) I am not sure if they have Sunflower in Mesa, but it can have cheap produce--just remember, you must be using their produce in 2-3 days as they seem to get things that are more delicate--they have a huge organic section though. the Co-op used to seem really expensive to me, but when I went mostly raw I realized that the produce is so insanely high quality--it lasts and they list where things are from so I can buy local even if it isn't organic (though most things are organic anyway).
Apples are starting to come in season--yum. Peaches are in season too and good! I'm going to miss watermelon though! I personally love cabbage and find it to be a lovely filling green--I buy a red and a green head and keep them around. I just started trying to eat 80/10/10 and I'm finding it to be cheaper in the sense that you can focus on buying fewer things even if you have to seriously up the quantity.
Do check the list of the highest pesticide use veggies and see if there is anything that you like that you can "get away" not always buying organic.
if you live in an urban area i suggest checking out a site like yelp.com and trying 'produce' and mark the 1x$ button. i've lived in nyc for years and just discovered 4 wonderfully cheap produce markets within biking distance (zucchini for 39c lb, peaches 49, and fun fruit like creamy/custardy mamay sapote). I use my coop and middle eastern market for nuts/dried fruit/lentils.
i've been lazy lately but i used to arrange to pick up what was left at the end of the day from the farmers market nearby. most local store owners are pretty rad about it.
also, at least in nyc, dumpster diving is really 'fruitful' (ha ha), whereby i've found garbage bags of perfectly fine bananas, portobello mushrooms, and apples. some stores over order (especially around the holidays) and while they *should* donate to local groups like food not bombs or shelters, they often throw it all away. last year right after thanksgiving - a large dumpster full of beautiful sugar pumpkins - not a blemish on them.