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Cheap places to buy raw items

We all know it could be costly sometimes being raw, so I just want to share some tips on where to get certain raw items cheaply.

Goji berries: Chinese herbal medicine stores often carry goji berries at about $5/lb (in packages). I bought some and they taste just as good as the ones I got from raw food websites at $15/lb. Be sure to rinse them before use as there might be dust particles from the drying process.

Persimmons: I love persimmons and I usually get them from Korean markets at $1/lb or 2lbs for $1. They are of course not organic, but I peel them and it’s truly hard to beat the price!

Young coconuts: Asian grocery stores usually carry them for 0.65 – $1 / piece. Or you can buy them by the case, which is even cheaper.

In general, I find ethnic markets (Asian, Mexican, Persian, etc.) to be a good source if you want to keep the cost down. The fruits are not organic but some of them are still safe to eat.

Hope you find this helpful. Enjoy….being raw!!!!


  • Thanks for the tips -I love the Asian markets too! When I pay more attention to my budget I always sprout a lot. The organic dried seeds, beans and grains are cheap to buy in bulk at Whole Foods…

  • dogsuponhotcatsdogsuponhotcats Raw Newbie

    Ooh yes, we’ve got to keep this threat active!!

    Asian markets are amazing. I get dates there for under $2. And I’ve found gojis there, too.

    Thing is, the gojis look pretty dry and musty LOL…and I hear dates are commonly steamed i.e., not raw. I tried asking the people there if the gojis/dates were raw, but they had no frigging idea, so by default, that’s a “no”.

    Damn it! I will never understand why it costs more to leave a food as is than it is to spend money processing it. (grr) I don’t even CARE if it’s organic or not, I’m picking my battles.

  • ajchanterajchanter Raw Newbie

    dogsuponhotcats, I totally agree!

    Like, a burger costs pennies and uses up gallons of oil, while an organic apple costs more!!! Crazy!!!

  • Thanks for the great info. I’ve never thought about the Asian markets. I normally buy the majority of my food at the Farmers Market, usually organic. Everyone is right, the food that is the worst for us cost the least and the foods that are the best for us cost an arm and a leg. What gives???

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    I buy some funky greens and occasionally, exotic fruits at my Asian markets, but I’m painfully aware that they are not locally grown or organic. They are not the mainstays of my diet, but rather, occasional indulgences. I am now shelling out the big bucks for organic, high quality gojis because nothing I’ve purchased in the regular Asian markets or the herbal medicine shops comes even close to the organicly grown ones. The Asian stores sell half-pound bags for $2.50-3.00, but they’re often a lighter colour, rock hard, have rotten looking ones, or leaves and other particles in them. I’ve bought a few bags that were okay, but by and large, they pale (literally) in comparison to the ones I order online from raw sources. The same is true for legumes or seeds. I can buy them there, but they’re not organic and they don’t always sprout. I will happily go there to buy whole turmeric roots, Asian eggplants, Thai basil, mangosteen, daikon radishes, mustard greens, lo bok (napa cabbage), young Thai coconuts, Shanghai bok choy (light green bok choy), gai laan (Chinese broccoli), water spinach, etc., but I wouldn’t live on those items, as I have no idea where they are grown and in under what conditions.

  • I think the fact that those unhealthy mainstream foods are cheaper has to do with the fact that it IS mainstream. It’s consumer choice really. We set the prices with where we choose spend our money (to a point) and unfortunately although ppl are becoming more aware of what they eat so many still choose crap. Therefore, crap is cheap.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Even though it’s not perfect, (the price), I find that you can get pretty cheap stuff from realrawfood.com. I have drifted away from young coconuts because even though the rumor of the fungicides turns out not to be true, I can still taste the pesticides. I order the really expensive ones organic online and make them last 6 months or so. I so agree, it’s stupid the way everything with no processing costs is more expensive. It is so ridiculous.

  • JoyceHJoyceH Raw Newbie

    RawKidChef – is there a miminal order requirement for Realrawfood.com? I live on the East Coast and would imagine shipping would be pretty costly for me. I’ve seen this website before and it looks really wonderful! I’m just wondering if I have to order $100 worth of stuff plus the shipping costs.

  • Good subject – I want to start dumpster diving when I have more time

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Hey Joyce, yes, they do have a $100 minimum. I’m on the East Coast too and for $100 I got shipping price of $18. I think it is worth it because the products are so outstanding. If you buy even more products, you’d get even more bang for your buck shipping wise. So, yea, you do have the pay the extra shipping, but the more your order costs, the better the deal you’ll get on shipping.

  • blueyzblueyz Raw Newbie

    Joyce, where on the East coast are you? Just a thought but if you find someone close by that also is interested in there you can split the cost and each get what you want.

  • RawKidChef, I just went to realrawfood.com and noticed the prices are in Canadian dollars. Does the site allow you to pay with US dollars with a credit card at check out? Also, what are some of the items you regularly buy or would recommend from the site? Thanks!

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    In case Dreaminraw checks back in, I want to add a quick note that consumer choice is not it, really. At least not entirely.

    In general, healthy or natural foods aren’t expensive. Conventional foods are artificially cheap, thanks to government subsidies. You’ve already “prepaid” for these foods with your taxes. You’re also paying whenever corporate farming pollutes the water supply or the soil or the air. There are numerous points on the supply chain that your taxes have funded – from the oil to the roads to the public health systems that farmworkers have to rely on thanks to lack of living wages and benefits paid by agribusiness.

    Without all these handouts, conventional food would not be as cheap as it is. We need a real farm bill that does not give handouts to giant corporations, one that subsidizes natural foods to the extent that we subsidize the production of high-fructose corn syrup!

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Yes, the prices are in Canadian dollars but you can still pay with a US credit card. I’ve used a converter to convert the final Canadian price into US dollars and the result was $5 cheaper, so it’s pretty close and cheaper. My favorite things are the wild Spanish almonds, whole Brazilian transitional cashews (they are the best really raw cashews I’ve ever tasted, and even beat Sunfood’s) the Halawi dates rock, the pecans are tinier than the pasteurized ones and really burst with flavor, and the macadamia nuts are great too. Those Spanish almonds make really good almond milk.

  • Thanx Suasoris. That’s why I phrased it I think and said to a point. I’ve heard ppl talk of the government subsidization before. But I wasn’t sure that was true, and it is hard for me to phrase it in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I am coming off as a conspiracy theorist :P I get so much flack from my family for that lol. Hey if you have any articles bumping around that I could read that would be awesome. Maybe I could show them and get them off my back lol Butwe have gone a wee bit off on a tangent from the original topic lol.whoops…

  • Thank you, RawKidChef! Have you or anybody else purchased raw food from RawGuru before? He offers free shipping over $100 and price wise seems similar to realrawfood.com. I am curious as how the quality compares? Thanks.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    You’re welcome! I have purchased the almonds and cashews from RawGuru, and I must say that whenever I soak the cashews they always spoil, even if it’s just for a few hours. And they don’t sprout, but Real Raw Food’s cashews do actually sprout (a small inner tail). As the cashews are originally from Sunfood, the result from Sunfood is the same. I’m beginning to wonder if the Sunfood ones are really raw, because they just spoil whenever I soak them. I also don’t trust the almonds because they are from California and all commercial almonds from California need to be pasteurized otherwise it is illegal to sell them. I haven’t purchased much other than these two items from rawguru but I really am not sure that you can get really raw nuts in the US. The cashews from RRF don’t spoil- I can soak them for 3 days for an optimally digestible nut and no spoilage. I am much more satisfied with RRF.

  • This definitely helps! Thanks so much, RawKidChef!

  • This definitely helps! Thanks so much, RawKidChef!

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Glad to help, rawflamenca!

  • www.wholesale-almonds.com is supposed to be a good source of buying nuts in bulk. My problem is that the websites you recommend are in the US or Canada and I live in Europe. So having Spanish almonds that first travelled to Canada then back to Europe is just too much CO2 emissions for me. Does anyone know any European sites that sell good quality raw food?

    I bought goji berries and cacao from www.funkyraw.com but I didn’t find the quality very high. The goji berries felt and tasted about the same I bought in the Chinese supermarket in Brussels. There’s a Thai supermarket that sells fresh durian here, OMG, I’ll never buy it dried again.

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