When you mention a raw, organic lifestyle, most people think it’s too expensive to follow such a plan. Actually, if you think about what you aren’t buying once you convert over, you’ll see that it’s actually not as expensive as you think. It also depends on what you decide to pick up at the stores. And as for the recipes, you will learn that you can substitute a cheaper item. Nuts can add up, but you can easily use sunflower seeds in place of most other nuts, with a slight change in the taste, but not enough to matter, in my opinion. And as you become acclimated to the raw food diet, you will also find that you no longer need all the fancy recipes and you are happy with eating more simple foods. I have found that when you first start out eating raw, you will crave the more high fat foods, like nuts and avocados, but as time goes by and your body is getting the nutrients that it has been needing for so long, your cravings disappear and you don’t require as much food. (Yet another reason eating raw is not as expensive as you think.)
Another thing to consider. You will not be stopping at fast foods, you will not be picking up those frozen diet meals and you won’t be purchasing all those “convenience foods” that add up. You’ll also save tons of time because you’ll be surfing the produce department instead of winding through all the isles and isles of mass produced, processed, high profit, low quality so called foods.
Here are a few tips to help stay on a budget and still eat raw.
1. Look for the reduced fruits and veggies at the grocery store
There is usually a nice selection and you can dehydrate veggies that are no longer fresh enough for raw consumption. Fruits can be cut up and frozen for smooties or raw ice cream recipes or just too much on. Frozen bananas as well as grapes are a nice snack. You never know what you’re going to find, so be flexible and have fun with the surprises. You may just try something you would never consider when you’re getting it for much cheaper.
2. Find a raw food group within your area and share bulk items
Raw Food interest has expanded and most likely there is a group in your area that meets on a regular basis. Buying bulk and splitting the cost and items are a cheaper way, and you’ll also have a nice support group where you can go and taste recipes at potlucks and learn tips and tricks as well.
3. Farmers’ Markets, local farmers and neighbors
Farmer’s Markets are a great way of finding the cheapest prices on seasonal foods. It’s such a nice change from cold, unfriendly grocery stores. And anyone that grows their own garden always seems to have more than they can eat and are willing to share the overflow. My father keeps the neighborhood supplied with tomatoes every year and I make sure I get my share as long as they’re in season! When it’s garden time, be on the lookout for little mom and pop garden stands that you may have not paid attention to before. Here is a website to locate a Farmer’s Market in your area: http://www.localharvest.org/ or http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/
4. Foods that you don’t have to purchase organic
Organic is great, but there are some vegetables and fruits that are more contaminated from pesticides than others. Each year the EWG (Environmental Working Group), puts out a list compiled by the government of the least and worst contaminated foods for pesticide residue. Here is this year’s list of the least contaminated: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. I’m also including the list of foods that should be purchased organic to ensure your safety. These are called the dirty dozen and if you purchase any of these, buy organic so you won’t be getting chemical and pesticide overload. On this list are: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, leafy greens, grapes, carrots, pears.
Improve knowledge about organic food nutritional benefits http://nutritional-habits.com/natural-organic-food
5. Obvious tip: grow your own!
Even if you have the tiniest of spaces, you can grow your own vegetables. Container gardens are great and can be placed just about in any location that gets plenty of sunshine. There are several websites to get you started and it will save you lots of money. Just do a search for container gardens and you’ll be on your way.
6. Sprout your own sprouts
Sprouts are an important part of your diet when you are looking for nutrition dense foods. They’re easy to do.
I hope this will be a help to you as you venture into the Raw Food Lifestyle. Remember to have fun, be creative and relax and enjoy!