Eating Raw and Organic doesn’t have to break the bank for you. Here are 14 great tips to help.
1. Keep it simple. Eating a couple of bananas or apples is an easy and inexpensive option for breakfast. As well, keeping your snacks to plain fresh fruit or veggies (carrots, celery, etc) will also help keep your costs down while keeping your nutrients and energy both sky-high.
2. Super foods can be expensive (goji berries, maca, raw cacao, etc) so keep an eye out for that. A good rule of thumb here is to keep in mind that with super foods, a little goes a long way. For this reason, consider ordering with a friend and splitting the cost and the super food. Personally, there are times I enjoy them and times when I don’t have them for months on end. I can really stretch a bag of raw chocolate or maca.
3. If you’re HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) then you have some additional inexpensive options. Shop in the bulk aisle of your health food store for things like organic quinoa, lentils, grains, etc. Remember that you’ll likely eat out less at restaurants with this diet and that alone will help you save money.
4. Grow your own sprouts. This is a great and inexpensive way to add loads of nutrition to your diet. Load up on these for salads, soups, and smoothies. Very inexpensive. Buy the organic seeds in the bulk bins at your health food store or buy online. Fun! Learn how to grow your own here.
5. Buy nuts, seeds and dried fruit in bulk online. Check places like Sun Organic for increased savings as you buy larger quantities. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit have a long shelf life, especially when stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so stock up and save.
6. Check the store you’re shopping at for their own brand of organic. For example, the 365 Whole Foods brand and the Safeway Organic brand seem to consistently have the best prices as compared to the competition.
7. Substitutions are a great way to save money. When making a recipe that calls for expensive nuts, you can often easily replace them with less expensive sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
8. Be content with minimal variety. Organic spinach banana smoothies are inexpensive, and my Fluffy Green Smoothie (recipe here)doesn’t cost much either (especially in the fall when apples are in-season). Having something like this for breakfast, snack, lunch and/or dessert can save money. For add variety, change it up by adding cinnamon one day, nutmeg another, vanilla extract yet another. Throw in a date in or some soaked raisins for pizazz on other days.
9. Buy fresh produce in bulk. Ask the store you frequent if they’ll give you a deal for buying certain foods by the case. (Just make sure it’s a case of something that you can go through in a timely fashion so it doesn’t go to waste). Consider this for bananas or greens especially if you drink lots of smoothies or green juice.
10. See if local neighbors, family or friends will share the price of getting cases of certain foods. When you do this, you can go beyond your local grocery store and contact places like Boxed Greens or Diamond Organic. Maybe they’ll extend a discount if your order goes above a certain amount or if you get certain foods by the case. It never hurts to ask.
11. Pay attention to organic foods that aren’t very expensive to buy relative to conventional prices (bananas, for example). Load up on those. Make salads, smoothies, and soups with ingredients that tend to be less expensive such as carrots (year round), bananas (year round), zucchini and cucumbers (summer), apples (fall), etc.
12. Be smart when picking what you buy as organic. Some conventionally grown foods have much higher levels of pesticides than others. For those, go organic. Then, for foods that aren’t sprayed as much, you can opt for conventional. Avocados, for example, aren’t sprayed too much so you could buy those as conventional. Check out this list for more details.
13. Buy things on sale. Pay attention to which organic foods are on sale for the week and plan your menu around that. Every little bit adds up!
14. Buy seasonally; hence, don’t buy a bunch of organic berries out of season (eat more apples and bananas in winter). Also, consider buying frozen organic fruits, especially when they’re on sale!