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Making raw work on a budget (some thoughts)

eechoeecho Raw Newbie

I just created this this blog entry. It seems that questions like "How can I make this work on a budget" is very common. Hopefully some of these ideas will help:

Throw out your TV and eat better

If you feel that you should be eating healthier but think its "too expensive", here are some things you could toss away to save money and accomplish your goals:

1) Cable TV

Your life is a lot more exciting than what's on TV! If there's a couple shows you like, watch them on the internet!

2) Car

Take public transportation. The machine you live in is way more important than a machine you drive; your body's fuel is more important than a machine's fuel (when did that priority get switched around?) Also, if you wouldn't put gravel in your car's tank, you shouldn't be putting junk food in yours (see #3).

3) Junk food

Despite your relationship with its product, that company doesn't love you nor does it care about your personal life or your future. All they want is your money and they don't care how they will get it, even if it means using lots of chemicals, stimulants, and horribly processed ingredients which will addict you and give you many health problems. You are worth it! Just say no!

4) Cell phone

You can learn a lot more about someone during a bike ride than a phone conversation. Get a land line, and if you think you need a cell phone for emergencies, then get one with prepaid minutes and use it just for that.

5) Eating out

If you have $10, spend it on buying 7 pounds of organic fruit versus 1 pound of mash at a restaurant.

6) Beauty products

"It's the inside that counts" means just as much physically as it does spiritually.

7) Where you live

In my opinion, life with the bare essentials (heating, clothing, and good food) is far better than "living at large", if the former means great health and vitality but the latter means living every day with the same worn-down feeling. If you can't afford better food but a lot of your money is going to rent, then consider moving. Moving to a smaller place isn't as bad as moving to the hospital.

8) Entertainment

Movies, events, shows, etc. These things might be great, but odds are you'll find equal or greater satisfaction with the right people using your imaginations to have fun for free.

That's all for now. None of these things are inherently bad, but they are luxuries and the comfort that they can provide is secondary to the comfort of a healthy body and an active (lively) lifestyle. Just experiment with your life a little; I bet you'll enjoy the results. Good luck.

Deuteronomy 8:10 - When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.


  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    i loved reading this, eecho. i still live with my parents, but when i get my own place, i can see myself living really simply.

  • Butterfly3588Butterfly3588 Raw Newbie

    Thanks for that helpful advice eecho. I am trying to cut down on the eating out myself, you never know exactly what they are putting in your food. It is nice to meet another Christian as well. How long have you been a believer?

  • I agree, it's one of my passions to yell; "RAW FOOD DOES NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE!!!". Thanks for writing. I want to add-

    ~ Talk to farmers in your area, like, really- go to farmer's markets and ask them for 'distressed produce', 'cosmetically challenged', or stuff that doesn't sell by the end of their day, at a reduced price, and remember to offer buying in larger quantities of their 'seconds'(same stuff, perhaps a few bruises but otherwise good produce), at a reduced rate.

    ~Same goes to natural foods stores- ask about their bruised or discount fruit and veggies! The clerks might just know what you are talking about, many stores give these to their employees, because who can afford the prices of many health food stores?! Employees know this. How much do you think they are getting paid? If they have a policy of not doing this, well, it might sound weird but ask them if they put those kinds of things in a bin for rabbit food- like the veggie trimmings and such, ALONG WITH the bruised/ cosmetically challenged fruit and veg. I have gotten so many free bags of produce like that!

    ~ Sprout- for the love of your health, and your bank account, sprout!!! Try setting up a few jars and mixing up the kinds of sprouts you eat. It's amazing what a variety you'll get, how cheap it can be, and how good you'll feel. Some that I like are:


    -Red clover

    -microgreens- this you need trays and a little soil, like growing wheatgrass, and seeds are cheap, so is a little bit of potting soil and a few trays that you can reuse. I'd recommend making them part of your household decor and watering them like your houseplants

    -Fenugreek( a few in with other sprouts, too intense on their own I think)


    -mung beans

    -Mustard(try making your own mustard!)

    -amaranth(in small quantities, can be a bit spendy but a nice flavor and decor)

    -quinoa(in small quantities, can be a bit spendy but the sprouts are like white sprinkles so pretty and crunchy, though, I don't think all that tasty)

    -sunflower seeds- seriously, just soaked a few hours and sprouted a few hours, will make them healthier and tasty

    -many others(notice I didn't even mention alfalfa) like kamut, spelt, broccoli, triticale, peas, wheat.. , but remember that bigger grains are more acid-producing, so smaller grains if you eat grains at all are preferable.

    -Try the website sproutpeople.com :) awesome:)

    It's nice to have some sprouts that'll be flavorful around, like a few mustard or radish sprouts in your meal will spice things up!

    ~ DO NOT BUY PREPACKAGED RAW TREATS- man I feel evil saying that, but the fact is, if you are needing to eat well, AND inexpensively, that is not the way to do it! It pisses me off how so many people think raw food has to be so expensive because they feel used to buying prepackaged food, and raw treats are soooo expensive(the materials they used, granted, can be pretty darn expensive too, so I can't call the people who make them bad at all, they need to make a profit of what they make too, but that doesn't mean that you should spend your entire grocery budget on dehydrated crackers and cookies). If you are inclined to have raw treats that need a dehydrator- my best advice is to either go on craigslist or to the second hand store and get a dehydrator- a $30 dehydrator is equal to not too many batches of your favorite premade raw treats, even with teh added expense of buying whatever food you need right? Also, try to keep your dehydrating simple, the simpler the better really, spending a ton of time in the kitchen can take away from your life! You'll find that some recipes have a million steps and have a lot of cleanup. Others are just process and spread, then flip. I bet you'll find that the fancier things are just as good done simpler

    ~ Take some alkalizing superfoods, like a glass of barley grass juice or spirulina, every day. A little every days goes a long way.

    ~Drink Water! You'll think clearer and be more creative with your food choices

    ~Seaweed- Go to asian food stores. Seaweeds are less expensive there and packed with minerals, and can be very filling(try cut and sifted wakame)

    ~ Eat with a happy heart, and you'll find you actually eat less most likely, or just what you need:)

    ~Happy eating!

  • have_merseyhave_mersey Raw Newbie

    I agree with eecho. :) And I feel much more satisfied living simply and more so each step closer to self-sufficiency I get.

    Sprouts and Buckwheat granola (depending on what all you put into it) are both cheap (and delicious!). As are bananas and apples. I think raw CAN be expensive *depending on what you buy*. I can't always afford a whole pound of greens a day so I supplement with a tablespoon or two of Spirulina and then eat as many ounces of leafy greens possible. If you can buy a cheap wheatgrass juicer, sprouting wheatgrass is another great option. IF you have a dehydrator (I have a very very old one a friend gave me and you can look for some in great shape that are pre-owned on ebay {there is also an excaliber lookalike that is inexpensive}), you can make flax crackers, flax bread, and your own raw-food bars for next to nothing; they are certainly filling. There are a million ways to do raw/living food on a budget. :)

    I highly recommend a yard-garden, patio, rooftop, and/or windowsil gardens. The cost is the least of the reasons. You have quality-control, peice of mind, relaxation, self-sufficiency, spirituality, and many other things that make it more than worth it. Economics are just the cream on everything else.

  • jakkrabbitjakkrabbit Raw Newbie

    Hey, Mersey, I'm going raw, and I live on a stomach tube, so everything goes through a blender and a strainer first. I'm almost 50% raw right now. But yeah, I find affording the amount of produce I need difficult. So when I saw your suggestion of spirulina, I got to thinking - maybe it be more cost effective for me, in the short term, to buy some green powders, and use those in place of or at least to majorly replace the raw greens for a while, just until I get my business going and am earning a more steady income by later this year or next year.

    What green powders would you recommend? I don't really know much about all the supplement and powders since I was trying to stick to whole, fresh, living produce and stay away from all the supplement/superfoods craze, but my budget is REALLY tight and maybe this would be the better option for me right now. I just don't know where to start because there's such a huge array of stuff out there and I really don't know the first thing about it.

  • jackkrabbit! I think health force spirulina is the best out there! eecho thanks for this post! Try looking at some raw food online stores like rawguru and what not they will have the good stuff I imagine. Health food stores can be overwhelming when there are SOOOO many choices. I don't know much about other super foods or green powders other than HEALTH FORCE spirulina and hemp protein or seeds. Hope this helps :D

    Eecho.. that might be my new favorite bible verse! I love it!

  • jakkrabbitjakkrabbit Raw Newbie

    Mersey... thanks for all the info! It was perfectly clear and easy to read. Just randomnly, is your profile pic actually a picture of you? Because if it is, you have awesome hair!

  • have_merseyhave_mersey Raw Newbie

    I have heard the same as brunetteket, that Health-force is supposed to be best, however I buy from my local health food store, and they carry "NOW" brand Hawaiian Spirulina. It feels great*. I DO recommend that you buy a hawaiian spirulina, because it is cleaner and has more vitamins and minerals than others. You can also look into Chlorella, which some people prefer (I like Spirulina personally). It has alot of the same properties. Both are good for a broad range of vitamins and minerals, Chlorophyl, heavy-metal cleansing and low budgets. Really wonderful, and easily stored.

    I am going to invest in E3LiveAFA or another brand of Klamath Lake algae as it is so high in minerals like Zinc (which I am *very* low in after eating junk in my growing years, stress, and the fact that our soil is deficient). The price is the same for 50g of it as for 1lb. spirulina, though you also use a fraction (1/2 tsp. compared to 1 tbs). It depends on your needs, but you might look into it and see what is best for your situation, or buy both and use a little of each (which I think I will do as I need chlorophyll and such from one and zinc from the other).

    As for the raw [i]mixed[/i] green powders, I have tried 3 or 4 brands now. Pure Synergy seems the better of the green-food mixes judging by ingredients (David Wolfe's Sun is shining and Pure Synergy are the main competitiors in raw circles), I have only tried Sun is Shining of those two.

    As I mentioned before you could also buy a wheatgrass juicer and some wheat seeds/"berries", sprout, grow and juice them as well.

    * Start slowly on all green powders, because of the detox effects, but once you start, you will feel so wonderful, that you will want to add more and more (budget willing). For me, I get it at 22$ a pound which lasts me a month or so (give or take). I use 2 tbs. on average.

    Sorry if this is written in an odd manner (if I need to clarify my rambling, let me know), and Good Luck!

    P.S. If you have a vitamix or juicer, Collards, Mustard Greens, radish greens etc. are generally very cheap. The collards here are always dark dark green, and I can buy a few pounds for the price of 1lb. of another green.

  • chapagreenchapagreen Raw Newbie

    Hi, I have been mostly raw for about 3 years, but at first I used to spend a lot more money, it is sad but junk foods are really cheaper, I developed some strategies like sprouting, fermenting kombucha and veggies, and I even have my own garden. Lately I came accross thi which has been a very helpful guide:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Saving-Money-your-high-raw-foods-diet-/180647841762?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0f734fe2s little e-book

    The thing I found most valuable is about the first comment saving on cable and expensives unessentials.

    Bucha Belly
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