Are you looking into the raw food diet however fearing the price of the ingredients? Do not worry; there are tricks to finding the perfect healthy foods for less than half the price of what you pay on a traditional American diet.
So, you are thinking about eating a raw food diet, you have made a wonderful choice that you will not turn away from if you do it in steps. At first, when my family started eating raw food, we were unsure if we could afford purchasing the healthy fresh foods instead of the processed foods that we traditionally bought.
New to Eating Raw Foods
Since we were new to eating raw, the first week we tried out a few recipes and tested the waters. We were surprised that the grocery store had all the ingredients that were required. Although we have been eating healthy, do to our ignorance neither my husband nor I had heard of Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Agave syrup and so on. It was a big surprise when we went down the raw food section of our grocery store and found all these ingredients. To our surprise, we found the prices to be slightly higher for raw foods than processed foods. The longer we thought about it, the more it made since though.
Processed Foods Can Be Full of Chemicals
When purchasing processed foods, the food products that can practically live in your house for years and still be safely consumed are full of chemicals. Therefore, the processed foods are able to stay on the shelves for longer, since they are packed with long-living chemicals. For instance, a few months ago, I heard my neighbor talking about store purchased bread that was bought over three months ago. The neighbor stated that she had indeed used the bread and the taste was absolutely no different than the first time she purchased it. In my case, the homemade bread that I make in my house only lasts about one week, unlike three months. It is shocking that people are still eating these chemical filled foods to fuel their bodies. I can understand that grocery stores have less of an overall cost, since processed foods are not perishable and will not deem a loss; therefore they have increased the prices of raw foods.
During our next few weeks, we found that we were looking around other grocery stores for more options. Since we were not impressed with the prices of the first grocery store, we thought we could find better prices someplace else in our smaller city. Here is what we found to work and save us money (without purchasing chemical filled products):
1. Shop around and look for better deals. We found that purchasing nuts at a non-grocery store was cheaper than a traditional grocery store. Prices will vary among stores so do not be afraid to go to two different stores in your city to save a lot of money.
2. Stay away from organic food stores. Lately, through my research I have found that a lot of smaller whole foods stores are a big gimmick. In our city, the prices were almost ten times more than other grocery stores carrying the exact item. There are some reputable larger organic stores, just pay special attention to the stores you are entering. We found that Goji berries can be purchased in an organic store for around $17.99 for about 1/4 a pound. In contrast, we found that purchasing in a Chinese herbal store we can purchase a pound (raw) for around $5.00!
3. Buy in bulk! We love buying nuts and dried fruits and veggies in bulk. We do not have a food dehydrator yet, however we are saving at the moment to purchase a professional quality one. So, without a food dehydrator we must purchase from the store. We have found that purchasing the exact amount for one week is not necessary. It is easy to store these already dried items and they are cheaper in bulk. Since nuts are really expensive, it is important to purchase in bulk for them. Look around for a warehouse in your area that sells fresh raw nuts. There are some online also, just remember to look around.
4. Try finding someone in your area that is on the same raw food diet. It is easier to purchase online if you are purchasing in larger portions. Ask stores, especially those online, about discounts for larger purchases to reduce the costs. Then, when you get your ordered supply, divide up and enjoy your cheaper products.
5. Purchase only the amount of fresh products that you need for that week. It is amazing how much less food we throw out now that we are on the raw food diet. Before the diet, we were throwing out half of most of the meals that I would make. Not that I am a bad cook, you just can only eat so much of one thing. Try to purchase (unless dry foods) only the amount that you need. You will save money by not wasting.
6. Try to eat foods that are in season. Prices really go up on foods that are not in season, try to eat around the seasons. By eating along the seasons, you save money and you feel better like nature intended.
7. Try to add more and more greens into your diet. So many of us raw food dieters eat too many nuts at first, which is very expensive. By adding more green foods into the diet, your body will feel better and you mentality will be better.
8. Try blending entire fruits instead of juicing fruits for drinking. For instance, try blending up an entire orange instead of juicing a million oranges to drink one glass. The entire fruit has more health benefits and will save lots of money.
9. Try new raw foods. It is amazing to go into a new grocery store and try new foods. Seeking adventure, my husband and I are always purchasing something from the grocery store produce section that we have never seen before on other occasions. For instance, instead of purchasing zucchini all the time, which is expensive in the winter, try eating opo squash or another type of squash. It is fun and can save you money in the long run.
10. Try creating a grocery list for the week that includes all the recipes you are going to eat that week. When picking the recipes, try to find recipes that have similar items. For instance, when purchasing bok choy, try to find a few recipes that have that ingredient. That way you can purchase in bulk and you will find that you will save money.
These ten tips are the first start to my suggestions on how to stick to the raw food diet. As my family voyages through this new journey into a healthier lifestyle, my education will increase and I hope to share this all with you. Try these tips and see how much you can save each week. My family total on a traditional diet was around $70-80.00 per week. We brought that price down to around $30-50 per week. It is usually around $30.00 per week though. We are eating healthier, more in quantity and saving money. So, since you have chosen the raw food diet, go out and save money and get healthy doing it. Just remember to write back and let us all know your tricks and tips.