Low income raw living?

Hi, I feel I need to address something overlooked, it seems, by the raw community. I am new to raw and do the best I can. I was in a car accident years ago leaving me with brain damage and seizures...hence, I'm on disability long-term. My income is $814.00 per month. With $450.00 in rent, plus utilities and phone expenses, you can imagine not much is leftover. I do get about $120.00 in food stamps per month, which although I'm grateful for, it doesn't go far. Also, I can't drive, so relying on public transportation makes it hard to get to grocery stores. My point? Most raw foodists advise buying mostly organic produce. This is out of the question for me. I eat very simply and try to be creative, but I must say that it seems that people in low income situations are never considered in the raw community. Most raw-living proponents I'm sure have good intent, many are preachy, but I just want to give a voice to a reality that's not addressed in the raw community. Any thoughts? Thank you for listening.
Angie2

Comments

  • RondrekaRondreka Raw Newbie

    Hi! I am glad you mentioned this.... It can be very expensive with all of these extravagant recipes. I only buy organic when I can afford it. I stick to eating a lot of bananas because they are cheap. I get a lot of my fresh produce in bulk from costco  (a typical costco run includes huge bags of kale, broccoli, spinach, 6 pack of avocado, flax/chia seeds, celery and around 60 bananas). Berries, apples and oranges etc are only purchased when they are on sale... With costco there is a membership fee but they send you the money back at the end of the year if you spend a certain amount of money in the store. I eat all of the food I have already bought before buying more (even if im not in the mood to eat it). I only buy nuts/seeds when they are on sale because otherwise I wouldnt be able to afford it. I am currently raw vegan and my husband and son are just vegan. We stick to very plain recipes. I originally went vegan when I was on government assistance and couldnt work. I cant afford to buy 100% organic and I dont make a big fuss about it. Non organic raw food is much better than eating animal products or other processed foods. wink

    ClaireTEnergy Healerelisan
  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master

    Do you have room for a garden or a few potted plants in the window? It's not everything but its a start. 

    I have an endless supply of watermelon in the summer - all from some effort and about $10 in supplies. 

     

    Energy Healer
  • alicamalicam Raw Jr. Leader
    I go to my vege shop and get a box of fruit going off for five bucks! Hit up your local grocer for off fruit
    TammiTrue
  • Energy HealerEnergy Healer Raw Jr. Leader

    A couple of suggestions...

    I would love someone to write a recipe book for Raw Vegans based on the income of SNAP Recepients.

    Shopping in ethnic groceries are often cheaper.

    Aldi has gotten more organics in.

    My roommate is a pro at buying produce on sale and freezing. Bananas can be cut up and frozen, etc...

    Many farmers markets take SNAP.

    Costco and Sam's Club offer better pricing.

    Get together with several friends and start a community garden.

    I have been learning about buying products that don't expire easy... Such as Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Juice not from concentrate as opposed to lemons.

    Freeze leftover Smoothies into popsicles. I often make too much and wanted to figure out how not to waste.

    Some people dumpster dive.

    Some farmers markets have produce-gleaning affiliations whereby farmers donate left-over produce. Find out who they are so you can get on the list.

    Instead of making expensive nut mylks ... use hemp or sunflower...

    Don't eat from the dirty-dozen... 

    Use a measuring spoon...

    Blessings ... keep us posted... xoxo

            

    Angie2
  • alicamalicam Raw Jr. Leader

    Go to your local groceries and ask for a box of fruit "seconds" I get over ripe bananas ten kilos for 8.00

  • aditisaditis Raw Newbie

    You don't have to buy organic. You can get raw produce and still receive the benefits. You can also go high-raw and supplement with root veggies and beans. One thing I see is buying produce out of season. It's going to be not as good and more expensive. So learning how to shop intelligently is important, too. Go to various stores so you know which ones are good for what items. 

    TammiTrue
  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    I know this is an old post but wanted to check in. It's a definite challenge trying to eat healthy on a low budget. How are you doing with it now?

  • Energy HealerEnergy Healer Raw Jr. Leader

    Some pf the farmers have CSA's that folks don't show up to pick up at the farmers markets... they then let them go at a lower price... 

    Also the Asian markets cost a lot less ... 

    Angie2ClaireT
  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master
    Angie2 said:

    I know this is an old post but wanted to check in. It's a definite challenge trying to eat healthy on a low budget. How are you doing with it now?

     It's definitely a challenge. Beans can stretch out the budget, although they're obviously not raw unless you get creative with soaking and sprouting.  

  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    Claire T - Raw sunflower seeds are the raw foodist's version of beans, haha! I get them in bulk for $1.50 - $2 per pound, and they have more calories and protein than a pound of beans.

    ClaireT
  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    Hi everyone, thank you kindly for all of your help. I forgot that I posted this months ago, glad y'all responded to my old post.                  I've been doing well. Y'all had some great suggestions! I will certainly start in on some of them. Bananas and avocados are staples for me, and I have learned to use be creative with them. I've found that even just changing the texture of certain foods by freezing them or cutting them in a variety of ways goes a long way towards keeping things fresh and interesting. Frozen bananas make great smoothie bases and ice creams, and avocados can be combined with things like chocolate for unusual dishes. I also discovered sprouting--what a revelation and a pleasure they are....and cheap! Since I live in a tiny apartment with no option for even container planting outside or inside, it is ideal. No soil required, no need for lots of space, and low maintenance. Plus it's uplifting to see them greening on my countertop- where I live there's not a lot of green, unless you walk a ways to a park.           I want to inspire folks who don't have much money and tell them that they don't have to rely on cheap, processed and low quality foods, and that they too can make a positive difference for the sake of our planet and all the beloved creatures who share it with us.

    Angie2
  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    Szussanna, Thank you for sharing your lower budget strategies. Isn't sprouting wonderful?! I am fortunate now to be able to use part of someone else's garden space, but when I first started eating high raw, I lived in an apartment without a balcony or anything to grow food. I spent a lot more money on fresh produce before I learned to grow sprouts. Now you have me thinking of eating more bananas and avocados.

  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    Hi Angie, I'm so happy that you enjoy sprouting too, and that's nice to hear that you have a little garden space nowadays to grow your plants too! I'm still impressed by how much nutrition the little things have in them, and for such a low cost. I did struggle with avocados at first because I ate them just plain with a bit of sea salt and pepper and I wasn't too fond of them; it didn't take me long to learn to like them as a base for recipes beyond just guacamole! I saw a recipe somewhere the other day for chocolate "ice cream" made with avocado and cacoa or dark chocolate. If I find it I'll post it, it sounds good! Lately I've been thinking of salsas, and I've seen recipes for fruit based ones such as pineapple, mango, peach, etc. I always have a stash of various homemade crackers ready, but I suppose there's other ways to use fruit salsa besides as a dip. Maybe like on a salad? Enjoy your gardening Angie, and your sprouting too

    Angie2
  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    Szussanna, I wish I lived in California or somewhere similar to get cheap avocados. I love them, but it's not very many calories for the money when I have to pay $1.50+ per avocado. Sunflower seeds and lentils are my go-to for cheap raw-food calories, and I often use sprouted lentils as the basis for salads so I don't have to buy as many veggies. As for avocados,I like to make chocolate pudding from them (cacao powder, maple syrup, avocados, good salt, and raw milk - though you can use almond milk if you're vegan). I haven't tried eating it frozen, but my friend was here when I made it last time, and she asked me if it would freeze into ice cream. Maybe I'll try it sometime!

  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    I'm with you, Angie, wouldn't living in California be nice? Avocados are pricey so I only get them occasionally, plus half the time  at the store they're too overripe. I'll try that pudding, and I never thought of freezing them! I know there are recipes for avocado salad dressings too so that might be an idea.  I use sunflower seeds more now myself, but I haven't grown lentil sprouts yet. I think I need more protein in my diet so I will start growing those, too. I think I saw a recipe somewhere for sprout balls-I'm not sure what the base was though, maybe it was dried fruit or possibly a nut or seed base. I'll try googling it-I suppose they could be sweet or savory though. It's fun to think out of the box!

    Angie2
  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    I just found the sprout balls recipe. It calls for 2 cups each dried figs, dates, prunes, and apricots (geez, that's alot of dried fruit! I'm sure there's a way to halve the recipe). Then 1 cup of wheat berry sprouts. It then says to chop the fruit into small pieces and put them and the sprouts through a food grinder (I guess a food processor or blender would work; it might take patience!) Then...roll the paste into balls and then they can be rolled into sesame seeds, crushed sunflower seeds, etc. This is where our imagination comes in I guess. Instead of wheat berry sprouts others could be used instead. These balls can be refrigerated or even frozen and would last a long time so maybe the expense and labor would be worth it. Anyways it may be worth a try!

    Angie2ClaireT
  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    Szussanna - The sprout balls sound really good! I haven't had any luck freezing avocados, although I have never tried freezing them whole, so I wonder if that would work. I think the "food grinder" for the sprout balls is like a Champion or Omega juicer with the blank in place. Those ingredients won't blend/grind up well in a food processor or blender. Lentils are the easiest thing to sprout, for me, and it's really nice to have the protein be so cheap compared to buying nuts all the time.

    ClaireT
  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    Angie-guess what? I have a Champion on the way! I'm blessed to have wonderful friends and family and received some money for my birthday (today I'm 50!) and I've been wanting one, especially for the homogenizer feature. Because you're right, when it comes to that recipe for example, a food processor I imagine just wouldn't cut it. At any rate, I'm excited. Tomorrow I'm buying lentils and will get started on sprouting them, I'm looking forward to using them in various ways as an alternative to relying on nuts so much!

    Angie2ClaireT
  • Angie2Angie2 Raw Jr. Leader

    Szussanna - That's great! Happy late birthday, and I hope you enjoy your new gift.

    ClaireT
  • szussannaszussanna Raw Starter

    Thanks, Angie, I did indeed have a great birthday. I love my new Champion, what a joy it is to use!

    Angie2
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