Don't know what to do
I don't know if I can afford this anymore! We're out of food and yesterday my husband decided to quit raw food because we haven't had anything in the fridge for a couple days. I had some money yesterday (5 dollars) and when I went to the store I bought an orange...it was $1.27 for a single organic orange. And most of the oranges for selection were moldy or squishy. I live on an island and everything comes by barge, so it's picked fresh (if it's organic, since organic farmers wait until the fruit or veggie is fresh), and then it takes over a week to get here- stuff won't even last a week in my fridge. And the costs are outrageous because of shipping. This is really starting to feel like such a burden on me because I only get one hundred dollars a week and I have a 700 dollar hospital bill, a 500 dollar dental bill and each week my money goes like this: 15- 20 to the laundromat, 20 for gas (which MIGHT last me a week, if I'm careful), and 60 dollars for an entire week's groceries for three people. I'm sorry to complain, I know God will provide. I'm just so discouraged and stressed right now.
Dear Rawandama and family
It will be okay, when we first started out we shopped by newspaper and those little leaflits that are sent out weekly in the mail about grocery store sales. Don't worry about trying to go all organic right now, it will come in time.
You can get sales such as 10 for a dollars sales on apples, oranges, limes, onions and tomatoes, etc.
Look for coupons use them, use them I say also and now with the weather warming up think about planting a garden. If your space is limited double plant such as tomatoes on stakes with herbs around the bottom, okra and peppers close together. We have a small space and we use every inch of it.
The money that you save eating from the garden put it in a saving account and build it up to use to supplement the winter food bill.
Don't give up be CREATIVE and watch and see that it works. Start small and build up. It will take time but it will pay off.
Hope this helps.
Oh, that must be so hard. You sound so sweet. I feel terrible for you.
Have you tried growing some things (providing you have room)? I wish I had room! I live in a very small apartment (500 square feet).
What about sporuting- that is SUPER cheap (at least where I am). Maybe buys lots of lentils and chickpeas and maybe try wheat grass or alfalfa sprouts?
I wish the best.
This is a topic that I have thought about really heavily myself when I first started and I still do. When I started I thought I have to feed me and my son what do I do. I am a single mom with no other means of support. What I did was ask myself well what happens if I don't eat this way? All I could see was continued health problems that would mean if I don't pay for it now I will sure pay for it later in the cost of medical bills and medicine. I am 47 years old with a 5 year old son and I can not afford to be nothing but healthy. Diabetes runs in my family. My Mother past away when I was 12. She had type 1 diabetes and died in a coma. Her Mother, my GrandMother died 6 years later in a coma. She had diabetes type 2. I had not been diagnosed for diabetes but I was told that I had symptoms of hypogycemia...close enough. I was also seriously obese. By the time I decided to go raw I had no energy and very depressed. I had aches and pains and a condition that was worsening. I won't go into it here. I did mention it in my journal. Avoiding what could be evident financial health cost was only part of what made me decide to continue the journey. The other thing was if I go back to eating what I ate what was the cost difference really? I was a vegatarian but I wonder how much does one save from not buying meats and dairy alone? I know that I saved because I no longer buy rice, packaged goods, soy milk, cereals, chips, prepared frozen foods. I am more than sure that I have saved from that alone. So I kinda think that if I were to have put pen to paper and actually itemized all that I used to buy and compare it to what I buy now it would either even it's self out or I would be making some savings. Either way I know I am making a future investment in myself and my son's health in way of health cost. And that is priceless.
I wish you the best on your decision. I would like to suggest that you do put pen to paper and figure it all out first before you make it. And always remember that wherever there is a will there is a way. I am sure there are some wise minds on this board that can come up with fresh ideas to help.
I definetly plan to have my own garden someday. Right now we live in an efficiency apartment and the lawn outside is taken up mostly with my landlord's flowers.I guess what I'm worried about is that I'm hungry right now. And the only thing I had to feed my son this morning was a piece of string cheese and some crackers. My husband left hungry and I have nothing to make him lunch with, nor dinner this evening when he comes home. I can't ask anyone for money because I'll have to pay it back, and I just can't do that.
I really shouldn't complain, I'm better off than a lot of people in this world. And I'm not starving by any stretch! I have a dream of someday owning a house and I will have a BIG garden and a greenhouse. I'll just have to move first! (A 3 bedroom house here goes for over 300,000. A fixer-upper is 200,000! )
I guess I'm gonna have to drop organic produce, it's just not possible to keep up with.
You definitely can't afford organic. Don't worry about it. Eating raw is still much healthier, organic or not.
Look for things that are in season, they will be the cheapest.
Eat mostly bananas. Bananas are super nutritious and cheap!
Talk to the produce managers at the stores in your area. Ask them to hold the stuff that is no longer sell-able for you to buy at a discount, or sometimes they will just give it to you, especially if you tell them you are on a strict budget.
Best of luck to you!!
Growing your own sprouts is easy, and the seeds are CHEAP.
Sunflower and sesame seeds you can buy in bulk and make your own nutmilks. For pennies.
As someone else said, bananas are cheap.
Also, don't worry about buying organic for now. Conventional fruits and vegetables are way healthier than eating cooked stuff. Don't let not being able to afford organic stop you.
haul that hammer up over your shoulder.
swing bolder, and bolder.
I know that others have given you excellent advice, and when I was first married, we had no washer, 5 people in our house, I did the wash in the bathtub, some may say this was a chore, but it was fun, I'd toss in the clothers, and some detergent(don't use any now) and I'd jump on the clothes, my little baby boy would help me, we would have a blast, then I'd rinse them and hang them to dry, I'd do a load every morning and so we always had clothes in our home drying, but it was a fun adventure, and there was always a place for my son to hide behind when we played in the house, people got a little more creative with their clothes too, and we would each get two towels, one for our face and hair and one for our bodies, after our showers, we were responsible to hang them up to dry, so they would be dry for us to use the next time we wanted a towel, and these only got washes once a week, so there were only 10 towels to wash each week, each person had a different day of the week to change towels, so I had only 2 each day to wash, because they are heavier, same with sheets, etc.
I still do this with towels, funny, I have a big washer and dryer, and now we are nudists, so don't hardly use them much. LOL
anyway there are many ways of getting around a budget such as yours.
Also, for what purpose do you need gas? going to the store? to work? could you commute with someone else? could you go to where ever less times a week?
could you bus? or walk?
some of these may not work for you, or you may already be doing them, but since we live so far out into the country, we only go into town once a week, on Fridays, if it must be done it town, then it must be done on Friday, only.
also, as far as food goes, Victoria Boutenko talked once about the cost of eating raw, and she said you could feed yourself of $72 worth of seeds to sprout for an entire year, so it doesn't have to be expensive at all.
I just bought a 5 pound bag of apples for $1.88 and we have tomatoes 10 pounds for $10, now you may not have those things where you are, but I'm sure there are specials, also make friends with your produce manager, and tell them that you are willing to take over ripe produce off their hands, you can cut out bad spots, and freeze the fruits for smoothies or ice cream, you can take over ripe produce and dehydrate it for soups and to eat later, you can take this food and turn it into something great.
But I would not buy one organic orange for $1.00 or more, it's just not in my makeup, I'd buy a head of lettuce and make an entire salad for everyone to eat, add some lemon or avocado for a dressing a bit of salt or spices, and you have a meal.
alot of this is about other things, for instance
I used to use alot of toilet paper, I know not a fun subject but true, now although I have Bm's much more frequently I use about 1/3 of the toilet paper why? because, it just isn't sticky and one wipe and I'm clean, where before it was alot of wiping, maybe TMI but it's true, we save about $10 each month on TP alone,
also no paper towels, no paper plates, about 1/2 the tampons as before raw, no dish soap, no laundry soap, we use a ceramic laundry disc, and honey to wash dishes, plus no greesy pots and pans to wash, so most things just rinse with water to clean. no pot scrubbers, not sos pads, no comet for the sink, because no black pan marks in the sink because no pans to wash,
no pan scrapers to buy, no body soap or shampoo or lotions or cosmetics, it's all fruits now, just what is left over, we put on our hair or bodies, honey, strawberrries, etc. it makes for great soap and astringent,
we don't use deoderant, only vinegar, no cosmetics, only fruit, we don't use any thing like that anymore.
we only buy fruits and veggies and some nuts, we also grow alot of our own produce, my hubby also goes wild foraging every day for greens and apples, and nuts and things, it's surprising how much you can just pick in a meadow or out of your yard, or what everyone thinks is weeds.
so there are many ways to not spend money on the raw food lifestyle, and know this.
"If you want to do something, you will find a way,
If you dont want to do something, you will find an excuse."
what an absolutely wonderful post RP!
One thing I try to do when I dont have a lot to spend is to get only foods that last awhile, like squashes and cabbage... I keep avos in the fridge and take one out at a time to ripen... collards seem to last longer than spinach or lettuce and can be used as wraps. Carrots last awhile too.
PLUS~ Think of how much money you will save on your future medical bills!!! Those sound like they got you in trouble to begin with! It really is an investment!!!
I order from the farmer's market every week and never spend more than 70$ with my sister (split) and we order by the bulk (in big boxes!)... even we have to give some of our stuff to friends...
You CAN do this if it means enough to you. I have discovered that when something means too much to us, we find a way to do it. There is always a solution... I truly believe in that
Kristina (also known as Pookie) :D :p
I dont know if it will help or just depress you more, but I'm in the same boat pretty much. I haven't been able to work since October and am living on $400 a month. I applied for unemployment a month ago but I suspect they are going to deny it since I quit my job for medical reasons. I have no medical insurance, therefore cannot see a physician, therefore have no medical records, therefore cannot apply for disability.
I did go apply for foodstamps, which I suggest you do right away. They gave me $150 for one person, which almost covers my food. If you have 2 kids, you're eligible for a heck of a lot more! Plus you are eligible for other programs, including medical, which I am not. Everyone needs a handup sometime. I have worked my whole life and don't feel a bit guilty about using MY taxes to help me through this rough time... neither should you! Just make an effort to get off of aid as soon as possible.
If it does happen that you DO have to give it up right now, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP! You can only do what you can do.
But before I did that, I'd forget about organic and just buy standard fruits and veggies - try to eat as much raw as possible - do some container gardening or find a community garden who might exchance food for work?
I, like RawPriestess, do a lot of things to be frugal. I don't want this to sound like I walked 10 miles barefoot in the snow :::laughing::: but when I had my first kids, I lived in the Caribbean and I washed ALL of those cloth diapers by HAND... no machines. In addition I did my own and my husband's laundry.
It hasn't been too many years since people did without most of the conveniences we believe we "need" - and if I had to choose electricity, gasoline, or healthy food - the food is going to win. You either pay NOW or you pay later in loss of health and/or life and extreme medical bills and expensive drugs. You have to make a choice.
If you went off of raw, what particular items would you purchase to feed your family? Can you give us a grocery list? What would be any less expensive than fruits and vegetables?
Would you adopt me? ;)
Thank you all for your most helpful suggestions.
LOL RowanC- I'll bring you home with me! Do food stamps cover vegetables and fruit too? We have a mom's program that I can be in here, but they only allow me non-organic milk, cheese, cereal, carrots, and juice.
To answer RP's question about gas...it's still snowing here. I don't drive a lot, I like to walk my son in the stroller, but the fall, winter, and early early spring are so bitter cold that it would be cruel to take my son out in it for any length of time. I work two mornings a week for food at the local health food store, and have just started babysitting two more mornings a week since we are so hard-up for money right now. Tomorrow is my first pay day (YAY!!) But I don't yet have a double stroller to walk two babies around in (both are over 21 lbs and my pregnant joints can't handle carrying them 4 miles). OH and I love the laundry thing! I can't believe I never thought of it! When I was living in Hawaii (in a 2-bedrom apartment with 4 in-laws, me, and my new husband) that's how we did laundry during the week. I will DEFINETLY do that. I still can't believe I didn't think of it before!!
To Vandy- the medical bills that I have now are from my first pregnancy when I didn't know that you could say "no" to the "mandatory tests" and "mandatory appointments." This time I simply made a point to only go when it's necessary. Sure cut back on the bills!!! :)
Thanks again, all of you for your suggestions. I still have to go back and read more.
Loves (and I feel way better)
Oh, RowanC- to your first post that I missed- it's not that fruits and veggies are more expensive than anything else, it's just that they are SO expensive because they are brought up here on a barge and are already older when they get here. I've never had fresh basil or parsely as it is old and wrinkly when it comes. The cost of shipping is so outrageous (because it costs so much to fuel the tug boat that pulls the barges) that the cost of produce HAS to be that high to make any profit off of it. Everything else can be fairly normal-priced because it will last (tooth brushes, dried items...). I shop at both grocery stores here to get the best prices. Here's an example of how much stuff costs here:
Diapers (a 40-pack) is 14 dollars
1 english cucumber is 2.63
1 honey dew is 5.74
A bag of grapes (2 lbs) is 7.54
3 organic apples 4.00
Baby wipes 6.00
These things don't sound like much, but that's before the 6% sales tax and when you consider that the produce doesn't last a week, it's A LOT.
We are really hoping my husband gets this job he's applied for because it means we'll move up north this next winter where produce can come by trucks. Granted it will be a LOT colder!! They still have farmer's markets in the summer in fairbanks and some of the other northernmost cities.
Oh to see a farmer's market again (drooling)!
In my opinion, you aren't in a place where you can do this very easily and rather than beat yourself up over it, I'd just do the best I could.
If you want to email me privately to vent, my email is email@example.com - I won't judge you and will try to give you support. But I hear what you're saying.