Who doesn’t like saving more money? If you’ve recently gotten interested in the raw food diet and lifestyle and are trying to find more ways to save money doing it, here is a collection of money saving tips for you. Finding a way to make this diet sustainable for you and your wallet is probably one of the most important factors in making it work for you. The other two factors are that you have to make it fun and healthy/balanced!
1. Invest in a dehydrator and make your own chips, crackers, cookies, dehydrated nuts, etc. A good idea would be to copy down the ingredients of packaged raw food snacks and make your own version of them at home. It can be more fun this way and you can make enough for some friends too.
2. Borrow raw food and other health/spiritual books from the library instead of buying them and reading them once from the bookstore or online. You’d be surprised at how many raw food books the library system has. Most library websites have a request function that will transfer the book(s) you want to your local branch and notify you when it’s ready to pick up.
3. Additional book options: You can organize a book exchange with some other health-conscious friends. Or you can buy those books you know you want for your personal collection from an online bookstore like Amazon.com.
4. Buy your supplements online and preferably in bulk, if possible.
5. If you don’t need or want that much product, create co-ops with your friends, buy in bulk, and split the shipping.
6. Make your own beauty products out of the foods you now have in your kitchen.
7. Make and exchange food with friends in order to try out new recipes and save on money and time: Either make raw food recipes in big batches and share among friends, or organize your own potluck and invite some friends. To make it easy on them, you can give them some easy recipes to choose from or direct them one of the many raw food recipe websites online.
8. Buy used kitchen equipment: Check online, at local health food stores on the notice board, or ask your friends and family if they have a food processor, blender, or juicer they don’t use that you could borrow.
9. Join a wholesale club and save big on family-sized bags and boxes of fruits and vegetables. You will probably go through these just as fast as a family would! You can find avocados, dates, organic spinach, raw nuts, some frozen fruit, and select organic fresh fruit at these stores.
10. Create your own personal raw food recipe books with all of your favorite or most appealing recipes by copying and pasting all of your favorite recipes posted online onto a word processing document. You can use the find function just as you would the index of the book.
11. Always search several websites online for the best possible price before buying online (especially supplements). It’s usually the same product online versus at a raw food restaurant or health food store.
12. Make your own Rejuvelac and/or Kombucha if you can. Do a search online for ingredients and instructions. It’s very easy and economical to do. It could save you money on Probiotic supplements as well.
13. Sprout your own sprouts. Each tray of sprouts will only cost you about .20-.30 cents each and $4-5 dollars at the store.
14. Shop where the organic food is most affordable first: Buy whatever good organic food is available at the farmers market or smaller produce stores before going to the big chain natural food store. Then figure out your menu or recipe ideas for the week, based on what you have to work with in your fridge.
15. Buy all your spices and nuts, seeds, grain, and dried fruit in the bulk section of your big chain natural food store. Because you’re not paying for the packaging, it’s a lot less expensive.
16. If available, buy mint, basil, rosemary and other fresh herbs in the bulk section of the natural foods grocery store for substantial savings.
17. If you can’t afford to buy all organic produce (some are quite hard to even find organic), switch to buying conventional product for those fruits and vegetables carrying the least amount of pesticides when grown conventionally: broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, banana, kiwi, asparagus, sweet peas, mango, pineapple, sweet corn, avocado, onion. Buy only organic for the “dirty dozen,” produce found to carry the highest amount of pesticides when grown conventionally: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes.
18. Love your sea veggies? Avoid buying the $5 to $6 bags unless you are experimenting with new ones. Buying online in bulk (2-4 lbs at a time) is most economical. You could also split the order with someone else to share the cost of the shipping and handling.
19. Forage for free wild foods for super nutrition (e.g. dandelion, clover, purslane, stinging nettles, etc.) . Use some of these greens in your salads, smoothies, and juices and save money in the store.
20. Sign up to receive newsletters from raw food online stores for announcements on special sales and promotions. Be notified and take advantage when you need to restock on supplies!
21. Get involved in a loyalty marketing business such as Elements for Life and get access to superfoods and supplements at a discount. OR get started in your own at home business to start making money so you can afford spending more on healthy foods and superfoods. Get free education on raw foods and superfoods with these sorts of companies as well!
22. Don’t forget to all of those other areas you’re saving in now that you’re living more of a raw vegan lifestyle: gas bills, doctor and hospital visits, prescription medicine, OTC medicine, coffee, soda, candy, (and other junk food,) expensive cooked food restaurants (not that you won’t go to these again but you won’t be ordering $35 entrees and appetizers and desserts there).