I have been asked how I shop, what I eat, and what people can do to eat healthy on a budget. I wrote this blog to address all of these issues.
Here is what I do for my family, three adults who all eat a lot:
In the morning we have a smoothie with strawberries, banana, fresh apple juice, kale and a raw egg. I also put in total nutrition powder, and UDO’s oil with DHA. The smoothie is delicious and will give you all of the nutrition you need for your whole day. Never ever eat raw eggs unless they are organic. I don’t mean free range, or cage free, they must be organic, or they are dangerous. Raw organic eggs are extremely good for you. Raw eggs are a super food, and a great way to get very easily digestible protein. Once you cook them they lose almost all of their value.
For lunch we have a big salad. I found a huge bag of organic spinach for $3.99 at my local farmers market and I get a bunch of other stuff too, like kale, rainbow chard, bok choy, beets (fresh beets are soooo good, but the canned kind, yuk!), carrots, onions, etc. I make my own salad dressing which I found saves me money and I found very cheap all natural sheep feta cheese I put into the salad sometimes, but not always.
Read 80% Raw Food Diet for the salad dressing recipe and other information.
For dinner, three times a week, I try to make a new raw foods recipe. Since money is very tight for me I only experiment with one new recipe a week. I always spend more when I try something new, so I don’t do as much experimenting as I’d like. Some things on this week’s menu include raw pesto pasta (zucchini shredded for pasta), coconut curry pasta with Annie’s brown rice pasta, and a veggie stir fry with rice. I also make beens and rice a few times a week.
About 80% of my diet is raw, and about 70% or more (depending on availability) is organic. I snack on fruit and some raw nuts during the day (when you eat nuts and seeds they should be unpasterized and soaked).
As I said, whenever I try a new recipe, or change the menu, I spend more, every time. But then, if I buy the same kind of stuff, it gets cheaper and cheaper (practice). You start noticing what will work for less the more you get used to eating a certain way.
I spend about $160 to $180 a week, sometimes $200. I am lucky to have a local farmers market that has really good deals. I also get small apples instead of big ones, and I look for the sales, but I’ve never once used a coupon (I don’t know why, but . When I can’t make it to the farmers market and I choose Whole foods I can drop $300+ with thesame shopping list that would have cost me $180 or less at the farmers market. When I shop at Kroger the cost may be about $260.
This week I noticed that strawberries where 50% more but grapes were on sale. This week I am making my smoothies with grapes. If you have not been spending the last 6 months paying attention these kind of price fluctuations, it’s difficult to catch this kind of thing and make the adjustments.
With packaged processed foods that most people buy the prices don’t fluctuate. Thanks to subsidies and spoilage, organic fresh raw produce is typically much more expensive then a packaged processed dead food (ironically, it costs more to grow conventional, but subsidies have screwed up prices).
I also suggest you keep your receipts. When you need to go grocery shopping again take a look at the old receipt and figure out what you liked and what you didn’t finish, etc. This will not only save you money buy showing you what not to purchase and how much of certain items to buy, but it will also help to put you remember what the prices were on your last trip.
I hope this helps. It’s a tough issue, and there aren’t too many easy answers.
Be sure to check out Organic on a Budget