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broke and going raw?

Hi! I introduced myself over in the introductions. So I’m here now cuz I have a n00b question.

I’m flat broke. I have one item for raw foodists, and that’s a food processor. And I don’t think I have all the parts to it. It works, but…. okay, anyway. I don’t have a juicer, I don’t have a dehydrator, or any of the items I’m assuming would be quite necessary to accomplish going raw in the way I’d like to.

I’m pretty distractable, so I’ve looked for information on the best and easiest way to transition into raw foods. I’ve been vegan for a long time, so that’s definitely not the issue. But I just don’t exactly know how, or what to eat, when I don’t have the amenities to make all the awesome recipes i keep seeing.

so what is the best way for a poor ol’ girl like myself to go raw?



  • When I started, all I had was a food processor too, and it seemed like it was a awful idea to go raw, however, raw is easier and more inexpensive than you think. For one, plan ahead. Plan what you will eat for a few days, and plan around local in season items. There’s no need to get young coconuts for 2 to 4 dollars each when you can get sunflower or pumpkin seeds (as thorne said) in more bulk and cheaper. Save for one special meal and start slow with the rest. Mono meals are great and inexpensive ways to start, just keep them diverse throughout the day. Look around the posts, there are many people who started just like us!

  • iknikn

    welcome! I only had a blender for about a year. (a cheapy one from Walmart) I did just fine with that. Thorne and Hamonylia are right: sunflower seeds are inexpensive and you can make delcious pates, cheese spreads. Also, buckwheat is quite affordable too. Buy from local farmer’s markets whatever is in season. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Veganissexy, the best advice I can offer is to keep it simple. I’ve been on this journey for almost a year and still don’t have a juicer or dehydrator (probably won’t ever get a juicer). I’m also not yet 100% raw all the time. My time is limited, so I rarely attempt fancy dishes (maybe one every two months or so). A lot of recipes for juices can actually be done as smoothies. You might need to add a little more liquid. Some of the main dish vegetable / fruit combination dishes also lend themselves well to blending for a smoothie.

    Many recipes on this site do not require equipment. From the Recipe page, go to the very bottom right, uncheck all the equipment and then click update. You will see the complete GoneRaw recipe data base of recipes that require no equipment. Fruit and green smoothies are quick and very portable. Mono meals are also a nice way to go. My personal favorite is a ripe banana with nut butter. I just drop a banana (or 2 or 3), container of butter and a spoon down in my bag. When I’m hungry, out comes the banana. I peel and put a dollop of butter at the top—eat a bite and put another dollop of butter. Simple and very filling, with only a spoon to clean up.

    I try to be seasonal with my perishables, and not buy more than a 3 day supply at a time. You can also do sprouts with a minimum of fuss. Alfalfa sprouts quickly and is quite versatile. My personal favorite is to add it to fruit smoothies. It gives a nutty flavor.

    Above all, take it slow. Maybe start with one raw meal a day (like a smoothie for breakfast). Try to be healthy with the remaining 2 meals and your snacks. Gradually work your way to more raw. Don’t dwell on the days or meals that aren’t 100% raw. Instead focus on your successes. Since you’re already vegan, you’re way ahead of most people who embark on a raw diet.

    Ask lots of questions, and browse the forums. Good luck, and let us know how you are going.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    In addition to all the great advice you are getting here, click on the Forums tab and search on keywords like “budget” and “college” for more great discussions. Also, “transition” will get you more discussions centered on that aspect. Another few great threads are New to Raw!? and Newbie Page. This should keep you busy for a bit. Come back with any questions you have.

    Happy adventuring. :)

  • When I first started, I didn’t have any money for equipment or recipe books, and no access to online recipes. I bought a cheap blender, which broke a while before someone gave me a used food processor…I ate lots of fruit, I ate handfuls of nuts or sunflower seeds, I sometimes cut up veggie sticks & covered them with olive oil, herbs and spices – that was on the days when I wanted to “make something” :) I just knew it was important to eat what my body wanted & not give it stuff it didn’t want, and I learned to enjoy flavors and textures that were available to me. I put oil & lemon & sea salt on salads since I couldn’t make fancy dressings that required blending. I just found ways to eat what I wanted by cutting & stirring – no big deal. You can still eat raw (& enjoy it!) even if you don’t have all “the equipment” :)

  • here’s to the brokies! I eat on about $15- 20 a week myself, and get by eating simply. If I see a recipe I like, but don’t have the ingredients, or the money to buy them, I improvise with what is on hand. Bananas…. they are number one, cheap and filling. Bananas in a smoothie with greens and lots of liquid equals an extremely satisfyied full tummy :). I browse the fruits and veggies for what’s on sale, sometimes I visit 2 local grocery stores to find the best deals. I stock up on fruit when it’s buy one get one, or reduced, and throw it in freezer bags for later smoothies. Collards and Kale are cheap cheap! 79 cents or less a pound, which equals a huge pile of leaves. If i really run out of money, I eat some simple boiled brown rice with raw broccoli. Not raw, but surviving, and still pretty healthy :)

  • I agree with eating simple, and try buying from farmer’s markets, or the reduced produce sections. Also, grow your own sprouts! Mung beans are super easy to sprout, and digest, and way cheap. I add them to almost everything I eat. Blend them into smoothies, eat them with blueberries and honey and cinnamon (my favourite) or throw them into a light miso soup broth.

    MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sprouts. All you need is a mason jar, cheese cloth, or a strainer/collander. Sprouts are where it’s at for cheap raw food power!

    http://www.sproutgrowers.com/sproutDemo/P1.htm You don’t have to buy this thing, but use as an example how to sprout simply.

  • thank you guys so much for all the advice. i did check out the recipe section and narrowed it down pretty well, and i even made a squash dish yesterday!!

  • chicory—15 to 20 bux? Wow! I’m going on about $40 a week and I thought I was doing it cheap! I’m buying no organic, no fancy stuff either. I have a food processor and blender but I never plan on getting a dehydrator.

  • My advice echo’s some given above in that if you only buy food for 2 or 3 days then you don’t waste any food because it has gone off in the fridge before you get to it. I don’t know how rawists fare compared to the general population but here in the UK a huge amount of food is simply thrown anyway cus it goes off before we eat it. On the same note shopping when you are hungry is a bad idea (have done this myself it is expensive!). Good luck and concentrate on you positive acheivements!

  • Glad to hear you’re finding things that work, veganissexy!

    chicory – Wow – I often spend $15 a DAY! I understand now why some people say greens are cheap – 79 cents a pound?! Here they’re around $2 for a bunch that is about a half-pound – and about $3 a bunch in the wintertime.

  • Wow chicory and keeny are spending an impressively little amount on food!! Good for you all. I spend $25 per day for organic produce. Phew tis a lot!

  • well.. it’s easy to spend that because that’s all i have heehe!

  • chicory-are there days you don’t eat? I’d be out of food in two days with that amount of money

  • ZoeZoe

    This topic makes me that meat and dairy is subsidised and fruit and veg isn’t. Not many people would be able to afford meat if it was priced at how much it truly costs. And if fruit and veg was subsidised to the extent that meat and dairy is, then life would be so much easier for all of us.

  • I entirely forgot about that, Zoe!! It’s shocking that meat/dairy receive subsidies. Really sad. It’s like giving to a charity who’s main goal is mistreatment and slaughter. I wouldn’t give charity to that organization!

    (I’m not against meat eating IF you hunt only wild animals or pasture grazed AND there were NO factory farms)... i’m just saying, it’s not right. Meanwhile farmers STRUGGLE to grow tomatoes and berries, and all of us have a hard time putting healthy food on the table.

    Folks are TOLD to eat healthy, but can’t AFFORD it. why? money goes to the stinkin bigwigs, like in the evil American Farm Bill that was just passed. boo!!!

  • well….. I forget to eat breakfast a lot before I get to work, then I come home and clean up, and by then it’s about 2 pm, so that’s when I start eating, unless I make a smoothie the night before.. or pack a snack. I am lucky though, this summer my mom sends me home with bags of home grown tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and all kinds of things from the garden when I come up to visit. when my hubby comes home he buys me spinach and salad fixings.

  • I’ll become a farmer, and y’all can subsidize me! :)

  • blueyzblueyz Raw Newbie

    I found I spent less $$ this summer going to farmers market and buying what was in season. Also take a walk around before buying anything because when food IS in season the booths often compete with prices at a larger market. Same goes with local stores, keep your eye out at different places and you will figure out which are the best for different things. Then shop and plan to stretch $$

    I asked for a dehydrator for this Christmas, lol so yes that is how I get some of my kitchen gadgets. Another idea is to check out the freecycle in your area. I have recieved and given away some great stuff on there, all free!

  • Grocery stores throw away a lot of produce that is too ripe to sell or too ugly. I end up dumpstering a fair amount to get my produce. For nuts I just buy sunflower seeds because they are the least expensive and substitute well for other nuts in a lot of recipes.

  • HELLO everyone i am begining to enjoy being a vegan now i am new at this. but in the morning i am going to try the green kale smoothie that is posted on this site,and is it ok to drink at least 2 green kale smoothies a day and is it ok to add some protine powder in it? and does any one think flackseed would be good in this smoothie? and will going raw help to supress my appetite.

  • gee gee – Going raw will not necessarily suppress your appetite (why do you want that?), but you will be giving your body the nutrition it needs to function and regulate itself well. As far as what’s “okay” to eat/drink, do what feels right/appeals to you. If you’re eating/drinking greens, you’ll be getting lots of good nutrition, and most people find it doesn’t take long until you can intuitively know what your body wants. Hemp seeds or hemp protein are a great addition to a green smoothie. You’ll find what works for you. :)

  • For simple supplies, like a juicer, blender, etc.. I would check out www.craigslist.org, type in your living area and go under “for sale” .. a lot of times people are selling these things for really cheap or even giving these away for free!!

    also im pretty poor too and I’ve learned that I am actually saving lots of money being raw by SPROUTING!! Sprouting seeds will double everything in size and feel you up more!

    Also simply plant a few of your favorite herbs, tomatoes, goji berries, etc.. anything with a seed.. don’t buy the seeds, when you eat anything that has seeds, save em and plant them.. and WATER THEM

  • If you focus on your intent to stay raw, the means will manifest. Also, try not to dwell on thoughts or words like “I’m broke” or “i don’t have….” because you are reinforcing that state of existence. I personally would not do a raw diet if all i could get was the cheap conventional produce in the grocery stores—i really don’t see the point of increasing your fruit and veggie intake only to consume even more pesticides than you were previously. I will give you this tip though, while you can still find fresh produce at the farmer’s market, try showing up at the very end and see what kind of deals you can get. Also, many food banks are receiving donations of organic produce from local markets. My friends and i get a load of leftovers from an OG produce delivery company, just by asking. Again, a lot of it comes down to your state of mind. If you believe that you deserve to be healthy and Raw is your path to health, then not having a lot of money should not be an obstacle. It only is if you believe it to be. namaste


  • apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, raisins, dates pears-focus on inexpensive fruit. i LOVE mango, kiwi, pineapple, melons—but they’re delicacies for me:) unless i’m at my parents house :) -get your sugar cravings from fruit, not stevia and agave, they’re expensive. eat nuts sparingly—they’re mad expensive and it’s not good to have a lot anyways. -eat what’s on sale! whenever i go to the grocery store i buy more of what’s raw and on sale…there’s always salad bags on sale. if they’re due to go bad that day or the next day then that means it’s a salad fest for me!

  • For durianrider:An excellent and inspired point. However, that's not practical for all of us. I personally and moving more in that direction, but with a family and a home to sell, the progress is slow. Not everyone will be satisfied by this lifestyle either. Thanks for point it out though!

  • durianrider- i agree w/emilyjane...a great and inspired point, but not necessarily entirely feasible for all at any given point. I went to university already for example, therefore i have debt, and unfortunately we can't change the past. you live in australia so climes that are easy to exist outdoors in are very easy to come by...some of us were born in colder places and don't necessarily have the means to easily relocate to a tropical area...or the desire for that matter. i personally HATE hot weather and humidity and would sooner take a dogsled to work than live in a tropical region; I love autumn and winter and snow. I also recall a thread a while back where you mentioned being able to claim certain financial benefits from your government...if you can, fine, but not all of us live places where our governments afford that. As a young, single US citizen, no matter how little I make, I am eligible for nothing from the government, short of disablilty payments, were I disabled. Luckily I'm pretty hale and would take my health over that, but not the point...anyway I hope you get what I'm saying.

    I absolutely agree there are multitudes of ways to be rich in life while being "poor" according to western culture, and aspire to that richness whenever possible, regardless of finances.

    Back to the OP: I'm broke too. I live off of the sale fruit and veg that are about to "expire" according to the store. 1 lb containers of spinach that are normally $7 are half off in a week, same with bananas the minute they're actually ripe, etc. Check out local farmer's markets and, as and when the growing season exists wherever you are, pick your own produce farms. Check out www.pickyourown.org for a directory across North America. Also www.localharvest.org for a directory of farmer's markets, co-ops, etc. If you need nuts and grains, try www.azurestandard.com they are the cheapest I've seen.

    I'm def. not 100% raw, and right now not much but my spinach is organic (I just can't afford it...and the growing season is over here so there's far fewer farmer's markets) but after getting a stock together of nuts and seeds and such in the beginning (which I don't use a ton of) I probably spend about $25/week. Eat simple. Eat ripe. Don't obsess too much :)

  • I find plantains are delegated to the reduced produce shelf becuz of their unattractive skins. I say, go for the plantains whenever possible. I like them better than bananas now!

  • Are plantains safe to eat raw? I only ask cuz they're traditionally served cooked, whereas bananas are not. Or is that just because they're not as sweet ?

  • I think the general consensus is they are safe to eat, but you have to let them ripen, which takes longer than conventional bananas. Ideally, the skin on a plantain should be almost all black before eating.

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