View Full Version : College budget, need help with shopping list
05-03-2005, 12:50 PM
So on Sunday I went to the grocery store to buy the essentials and start raw. When I checked out my total had come to more than double what I usually spend a week on groceries! Yikes! And I still didn't have many of the essential things I needed, like nuts, olive oil, braggs, etc. I bought all organic produce. I really want to continue raw, but I don't know if I can afford it! Does anyone have any helpful shopping tips? Does the produce I buy have to be organic, because I find it to be much more expensive? Any advice would be great! Thanks! Have a great raw day.
05-03-2005, 01:09 PM
AllieL, there was a thread earlier about asking smaller grocery stores for older produce that they won't sell anymore. Do a search for: sad produce
Also, there are some stores that will have a section of older produce, that they have marked down. Try co-op stores, they generally are a little cheaper.
If all else fails, try half produce organically grown and the other half not organically grown. The worst offenders for pesticides are strawberries, apricots, grapes. These are the three I can think of right away, but I have seen more listed before, as to only buy those fruit organically grown.
05-03-2005, 01:31 PM
This list shows the top organic you should buy organic. http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Controversies/toptobuyorg.htm The rest you could buy regular and do a soak on (I use hydrogen peroxide and water). Some people use a small amount of Chlorox (no other brand) as is recommended by the state department to foreign travelers. Don't know how I feel about that.
Also, I would check out food co-ops and farmer markets.
Here's a far out idea, but can you buy food from the people who purchase for the college? I mean, they are probably buying in bulk, can they buy more for you and you can pay less. Just an idea.
05-03-2005, 03:42 PM
After over 100 days raw I am finally getting into a grocery and eating "routine". My monthly bill is now about $100. My groceries before raw amounted to about $75/mo. This is what I do.
1. Grains are the cheapest raw organic food. Need to sprout them to maximize their nutrients and for digestability. Exception:oat groats [I soak then roll them], which don't sprout. Some of my other favs are sprouted kamut bread [add a few T of oil, ditto with honey, 1:4 rolled oats and a pinch of salt] and sprouted wheat and onion/ garlic pizza crust. Lately I've been eating either raw oatmeal or meusli for breakfast every day. When I make the kamut bread I eat that instead with a drizzle of honey.
2. Nut substitutes: Seeds are cheaper than nuts. Some people find unhulled sesame seeds bitter, for some reason they don't taste bitter to me. I've been making my nut milk out of sesame seeds and a dash of honey and vanilla. Dried coconut flakes are really inexpensive at my local health food store and they make a great filler for soups [I like the taste of thai], cookies, and pie crusts. Organic raisons are also less than $2 per pound so I snack on those instead of nuts when I need energy. I *wish* I could make a substitute for nut butter, but my experiement with pumpkin seed butter tasted okay but had a mealy texture.
3. I make a pound of alfalfa/ clover/ radish sprouts every day [1T of each in one quart jar, rinse and drain 2x/ day for 5-6 days]. I also make small 8"x8" flats of wheatgrass to juice and sunflower greens for salad. Ounce for ounce sprouts are the cheapest resource for green veggie vitamins and are my main source of protein.
4. I can't afford organic produce. It just isn't happening. I try to only eat fruits and veggies with a peel, since they are less likely to absorb pesticides. Fruit is easy because I don't really like that many. Bananas are cheap, oranges can be had for 6/ $1. I pretty much eat one a day of tomatoes, avos, and cukes.
5. I'm starting an herb garden. I've started with a little hydroponic basil plant. I've been pinching off the tops for over a month now and it is thriving, so I'm going to try the same with my second favorite herbs mint and cilantro.
05-03-2005, 04:41 PM
wow ,your monthly bill is only 100 dollars??? pixie, do you eat out alot? like Pixie said, bannanas are the cheapest fruit lb for lb
05-03-2005, 04:51 PM
I konw what you mean "collegiate gal" groceries add up! I'm in the same position and I spend anywehre from 100-150/mo
Oriental markets typcially have cheaper prices--you may not find all the fruits and veggies but for example, spinch here in asian town is usually 3 for $1 or 2 for $1.
some of the fruits adn veggies I've seen are
green leaf lettuce
so far that is what I can think of at the top of my head :)
Maybe this is obvious, but my best advice is to use more of the local, in season, non-exotic type fruits and veggies. So for my area that would mean I buy pecans instead of almonds, blackberries instead of blueberries -- your area would be different. And things like carrots, bananas, raisins, prunes, and grains are reasonable in most places in the US, I think.
05-03-2005, 11:44 PM
my family spends about 300 each week.. if not more.. on raw foods!
we dont buy ALL organic.. and always watch for sales.. even tho we dont generally need to, since we are well enough off to afford what were eating.
im the only 100% in the family.. but both my parents are about 80 to 90%...
so i guess each of us eats about 100 $ worth of raw food each week.. maybe give or few here and there.. since i do eat ALOT, but my dad does also since hes a guy! lol
would be nice to be able to spend less... not gonna be happening tho.. not with this diet anyways.
I guess we spend about $200 a week for 2. But we are pretty careless about our spending, and we already ate all organic before raw. Now I shop for one raw and one non-raw and spend about the same as before. It does surprise me that raw would be more expensive than SAD, unless one were already really frugal, and already cooking from scratch. Seems like fruits and veggies, even organic, are a pretty good deal compared to packaged foods.
But again, I haven't paid to much attention to grocery bills.
05-04-2005, 09:59 AM
I usually only spend $100 for my family of 3. Me and my son are very high to all raw, my hubby is a SAD eater. I shop the sales. Bananas are inexpensive right now! only 59 cent a pound! I usually end up buying around 20 pounds a week!! I stock up on apples when they are on sale. But that has been really key buying what is on sale. I dont do a lot of prepared recipes. We eat pretty simply - fruit shakes, veggie juices, salads, nut milks, fresh fruits and veggies. That DEFINITELY keeps the bill down - when I was doing more recipes I was spending a LOT more money! Also if money happens to be especially tight a particular week there is a flea market an hour away from us that sells produce for REALLY cheap. Ie. apples 6/$1, oranges 8 to 10/$ - of course the stuff is not organic. So I only go there if we really dont have any money that week. Maybe there is something like that in your area? Also what about CSA farms? I found one that is about 45 minutes away from us that I will be working at this summer - and this one actually has a deal where if you work 4 hours each week you can get your share of produce for free (and it is all organic) maybe you could look into the CSA farms in your area. Farmers markets are usually good places to shop too! You can support the local farmers and usually find produce for less expensive!
I hope that helps! :) I know what it is like to be on a tight budget and trying to eat right!
05-04-2005, 11:34 AM
I understand your dilemma! Both my room-mate and I are disabled and so on a very tight budget! I'd love to be all organic, but it's not possible in my current circumstances. I also have the advantage/ disadvantage of living in a small town in rural North Dakota. The nearest store that carries produce other than iceberg lettuce is 45 minutes away! I usually grocery shop once or twice a month. So, for me, like Christa, sprouts and 'soaked' seeds are my main source of greens and proteins. They're CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP and I can grow them easily and organically at home. The variety and tastes are endless...
Alissa's recipes are a great place to start. Use the ones with more 'normal' (i.e., less expensive) ingredients. I've found that dressings on my sprouted salads are very important and Alissa's are WONDERFUL!
I also pre-order produce in case lots from my grocery store for better pricing, but that probably won't help you in school! (Sometimes I can get the organic produce at non-organic prices, but not usually.) I buy a case of bananas, eat as many as possible as they ripen, then freeze the rest for fruit shakes (I've found that buying a case also ensures they are not bruised). I also regularly buy a case of lemons, they stay fresh in the fridge easily for 6 weeks.
I buy my seeds and nuts online to ensure freshness. For me, my local health food stores are as expensive, even with shipping, and MUCH less fresh. (For what I buy, I've found sunorganicfarm.com and/or Jaffe Bros at organicfruitsandnuts.com the least expensive and freshest.)
I don't purchase many nuts, a pound or two a month of the 'non-exotic' ones, usually just enough to add to my muesli/grain cereal and some 'treats.'
I believe having an unlimited grocery budget and initially going raw is a whole lot easier. Hang in there! You'll be able to do it. It may take more thinking, planning, and adjusting, but it can be done.
05-04-2005, 04:39 PM
i too am amazed at 100 per month. at sad for 2 people i could do about 250-325 per month (lots of canned foods....let's not talk about it....). for vegan cooked for 2 (with mostly organic) it went to about 500-600 per month. for raw vegan for 2 (with almost all organic with some VERY EXPENSIVE exceptions) it is about 650-725 per month!!!! (ouch!) and, i don't make lots of big, expensive, extravagant raw meals or have big raw dinner parties or anything (wish i could but can't bear to think of spending all that money on raw organic food that no one else will appreciate!!! :) )
shoot, i would be thrilled to just get it down to 400-500 per month.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.