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Budget Raw Joy!

Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

I went to the Mexican supermarket tonight for bananas and wondering if I could find cacao beans. I shop there alot because the produce is far cheaper than the grocery or health food store. No luck on the cacao, BUT while wandering down the Peru Foods aisle I did find maca!

And let’s see, 8oz organic maca on the sunfoods.com site: $13.95, plus shipping

8oz organic maca at the Mexican grocery…$1.99 JOY!

I’m dirt poor and lost my job 2 weeks ago, so this greatly pleases me!


  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Branwyn-where do you live? I’ve never heard of a mexican supermarket. I’m in Missouri and we have asian markets and even indian markets (Kansas City) but I don’t know about mexican. I’ll definitely look into it though! It sounds amazing!

  • I think it’s more of a west coast thing :)

  • heyenglishheyenglish Raw Newbie

    And a Southern thang ;)

  • Hi Luluska8, I have been looking for a site that delivers genuine raw, organic foods. Rawguru doesn’t deliver to my city and I noticed you mentioned sunfood. I see the prices are pretty good. Is everything genuine raw/organic? Thanks!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    bronwym – sunfood does sell some raw chocolate bars & candy (made by another company) that contain maple syrup, but last I saw, everything else was really raw & wild or organic. Theirs is the only raw cacao powder I use, since other brands of “raw” cacao give me the same troubles as regular heated chocolate – theirs is great! Their raw cashews are great, too!

    branwyn32 – I never thought of looking for maca at a Mexican store – thanks! Is it raw?

  • have_merseyhave_mersey Raw Newbie

    They(Missouri) actually have tons of Mexican markets. Generally they are small and in “hidden” places. Tiny cosy corners and strips. :) I haven’t been near one in ages, and didn’t have time to look around the last time I was there, but I am SURE they have them in Kansas City if they have them in SPFD, and in other tiny towns. :)

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    have_mersey- You’re right. I googled it and found three tiny hidden ones. haha. I’ll definitely be checking them out.

  • Hrm, I may need to check out the Mexican markets, I already frequent the Asian market.

    Last night I went, young coconuts were 89 cents each – I bought five as I love them in my smoothies.

    They had the big baskets of strawberries for $1.29 each. Probably 15 big strawberries that looked wonderful in each basket. I think I might go back for more. Not organic though I don’t think…

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    lulushka8-thanks! I NEVER would’ve thought to look on ebay, that’s brilliant! Very good to know too, as I eventually will be moving to the UK. I love going to ethnic markets, anything besides Mexican is a bit harder to find here in suburban Georgia, but regardless the prices are great. I totally agreey with the “stupidmarkets” comment! I do wish we had more Indian markets though. Sorry to hear about your job btw, I lost mine last month too. Raw really is hard with no money!

    Troublesjustabubble:)- I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. We have a HUGE Mexican population so there’s actually a few full size supermarkets here. Amazing selection and very affordable. Helps if you can speak a little Spanish though. Hope you visit the ones you found in MO!

    Angie – the maca is distributed by a Peruvian company just called Peru Foods…I think they may have a website, could just be www.perufoods.com, I’m not positive. The Mexican store I go to has an aisle dedicated solely to Peru Foods products (which is also a great source for quinoa and other grains), so I dunno if it’ll be set up that way everywhere or not. The maca does say organic, so hopefully it’s raw…most of the label is in more Spanish than I recall from high school. :)

  • Hi, Branwyn32! I also live in east Atlanta area. Could you please tell me which Mexican grocery store you bought your maca from? Thanks.

  • chicorychicory Raw Newbie

    neato! I searched for this as well on my trip to the international market. Didn’t find it, but did find cheap chia seed

  • rawgypsy7rawgypsy7 Raw Newbie

    i hope i’m not bringing the conversation down by saying this, but i feel that it’s important to check in with the big picture, which is the reason why we choose a raw diet. If we are consuming pesticide residues and chemically-fertilized produce, are we any better off than we were eating cooked food? This is a question i ask myself all the time when faced with choices while shopping.

    This caused me to stand in the aisle of Trader Joe’s staring at the orange juice for ten minutes. I had the choice between Organic pasteurized juice, and conventionally-grown unpasteurized juice. My dilemma: do i choose the living food or the clean food? It was a hard decision to make, but i eventually went with the unpasteurized juice for the live enzyme content, because everything else i eat is organic and i thought this one concession was worth making. The most ideal choice would be to get fresh organic oranges and make the juice myself, so the next time i’m faced with this decision i think i’m going to spend my money on a citrus juicer and skip the plastic bottle altogether.

    I understand that food cost is a huge issue for many raw foodists and often the first hurdle when people get started because you need to eat more at first. My first few months on a raw diet were very expensive—i probably spent $600/month on food. Now i eat very little so i spend less and get more out of my food. I also have a hook-up for free organic produce and i want to encourage everyone to pursue something similar in their area so we can all be eating the very best food we can get.

    Here’s the deal. There is an organic produce delivery company here in Seattle that donates its leftovers to the local food bank. A friend of mine is an artist and has formed a collective of other artists who all support each other. The basis of this collective is that we all deserve to be sustained in the highest possible manner in order to be clear channels for the creative forces that result in our artwork. We ask the Universe for what we need and we are provided for. My friend asked the people at this produce delivery place if they would be willing to help support the collective and they agreed. She and her housemates go and pick up cases and cases of organic produce every week and bring it to their house, where we all show up and take what we need. We make a donation to their household if we can afford it, or bring them a gift of household items, seeds for the garden, art supplies or homemade treats. Whatever is leftover the next morning gets taken to a food bank down the street. Because of this program my grocery bill has been cut by 80%.

    So i thought i should mention this here in hopes of inspiring some of you to think differently about the way you obtain your raw food. If you decide that it’s important that you eat the cleanest food you can possibly get, there just might be a way for you to get it without spending more money. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”...and that is another way of saying that the Universe will provide for you! It never hurts to ask. blessings, m7

  • madame7 – that is awesome. I know there are lots of farms within an hours drive of me and have thought that I’d love to maybe work at one on weekends… but then I hit the issue of gas costs – ugh. I have found myself just staying close to home and going places I can walk to cut gas costs (luckily the school I teach at is two blocks away and the one I attend is a five minute drive.)

    We have a farmers market a 7 minute walk away I go to on Sundays, but only one of the farmers is organic.

    My main way of off setting cost I think is the plants in my backyard: zucchini, tomatoes, raspberries, lemons, nectarines, peppers.. and hopefully next year the avocado tree will start producing – though in the mean time my Uncle has one that is full grown and rains avocadoes.

  • madame7-I live in Seattle! Could you tell me more about this program and how I can get in on it?!! It sounds awesome! My boyfriend and I just moved here a month ago, and I haven’t started working yet (although I start Monday at Trader Joe’s), so money has been pretty tight. We decided to go raw about a week ago because we figure even if we’re broke, our health is priceless. But we could definitely stand to spend less on food! Any more info would be awesome! Thanks!

    Oh, and I’m not just looking for handouts! The program sounds awesome and I really would love to support it in the ways you mentioned when I can!

  • Another good way I’ve found to save money on produce and food in general is dumpster diving. I understand it grosses a lot of people out, but I love it! Surprisingly, I had more luck dumpster diving in a small city in Iowa than here in Seattle. :(

  • chicorychicory Raw Newbie

    I would like to dumpster dive, but how the heck do you get in?? the ones we have here are HUGE! I have this nagging fear that the trash truck will come while I’m in the dumpster… don’t want to go out that way lol!

  • Some of them are too big to get into, but I usually only go to the ones you don’t have to climb into at all. And if I do have to get in, my boyfriend just lifts me up and puts me in…hehe.

  • MOTHMOTH Raw Newbie

    Dumpster diving sounds intriguing, but I’m really not sure where to start. I already work at Whole Foods, and have access to most of the produce that they plan to toss, so I feel like I have a head start.

  • Hi Moth! We work for the same company :-)

  • rawgypsy7rawgypsy7 Raw Newbie

    here’s a tip, hit your local farmers market right at closing time when they are packing up for the day. I went last Sunday at the end and people from the food bank were coming to take away the leftovers from some of the vendors, and since it was being given away anyway, the farmer i was talking with just gave me a bunch of stuff plus a really good deal on what i was buying. He and i were talking about raw food and i’ve realized it’s quite common to find raw people working at farmers markets. I was helping him sell his chard by telling a customer how good it is in smoothies. She had asked what to do with it, how to cook it, etc, and she kind of wrinkled up her nose when i told her that every morning i drink a bunch just like she was holding. Anyway, that is what got me talking with the farmer because he said he was about 80% raw himself.

    The collective produce deal that i have hooked up is not able to accept any more participants at this time. I was told that if they find a second source of produce we will be able to invite more people. But there are other produce delivery services in the area (and probably in every major city) so i would call around and ask what they do with their leftovers. More and more food banks are receiving fresh and organic produce so i think you could find out from the natural food markets where they send their produce and either get it before it hits the food bank, or just be there when it opens.

    I used to dumpster dive at our neighborhood natural market but that was way back when it was still a small local co-op and the employees laid the stuff in there all nicely for us, a bed of lettuce with all the other stuff lying on top. The larger, more corporate places probably have policies that might make dumpster diving difficult or even dangerous.

    Another idea, if you can spare some time, maybe offer to help out at a farmers market stand for a few hours in exchange for a bag of produce. Search online for organic farms in your area and call them to see if they need any help either at the farm or with selling their produce. I think that if you tell them you’re on a budget but are dedicated to the raw lifestyle, they will find that touching and want to help. After all, these are people who love veggies as much as we do.

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