If you’re keen on eating more raw foods for optimum health but on a bit of a tight budget, here are ten ways for you to get the good stuff into you and your family’s diet without breaking the piggy bank!
1. Less is more, when you make your food raw!
We are so used to eating plates piled high with food yet we can actually survive and enjoy radiant health on far less. YES! Buy the raw food you love, but as with any food, don’t over-eat just because it’s “healthy”.
Always eat your raw food when you’re relaxed and calm and thoroughly masticate your food (ie chew it to a paste!). Undigested raw food is not going to nourish your cells properly so enjoy what you eat, slow down and don’t over-pile the plate.
Now, put the kale chips down and move away from the dehydrator…
Raw food snacks
2. Sprout your seeds, they are a raw food staple
These little powerhouses of super-nutrition are cheap to buy and go a long way. Because it is so easy to sprout your own, you could have a week’s supply going at any one time on your windowsill. Think broccoli, alfafa, radish, fenugreek, mung bean, sunflower…. and all for a couple of pounds or dollars!
Raw sprouts are also fun to grow with children as they will enjoy the quick results of seed to young plant. Serve sprouts with your raw food or cooked meals twice a day!
And phew! You don’t need to eat huge plates of expensive raw veggies to get your daily quota of essential raw goodness when you include sprouts!
3. Grow your own raw food, it’s easy!
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, use it to grow your own raw food. You might not have enough room to feed a family for months on end but every bit helps.
Start off with the easier salad veggies like rocket or lettuce which can grow in vast quantities, while you wait patiently for the seasonal fruits such as butternut squash and tomatoes.
Throw out that ornamental tree in your garden and plant a fruit tree!
Use your sunny windowsills for indoor growing too and encourage the family to help water and care for the plants.
If money is really tight, and you still want to treat yourself, make your own raw chocolates and raw nut butters. Limit yourself to one small treat a day and not only will you feel like Charlie Bucket just before he found the golden ticket, you’ll be getting a daily dose of really important vitamins and minerals but without overeating!
4. Make the most of raw food special offers
Whether it’s hanging out at the stupormarket or local grocer’s at the end of the day and bagging the best bargains, or making full use of online discounts and special deals, you can ensure you’re eating the best but at a much less cost! If it’s ethically sourced and produced, never fear a bargain!
Raw chocolate mousse
5. Share an allotment, share the work
Find out where your nearest allotment is and then get a small group of dedicated friends to share the load. You might get lucky and source one that is already in full bloom with an abundance of raw foods such as kale, cabbage, rocket, spinach, oriental greens, beetroot, carrots, celery, onions, herbs, companion plants with edible flowers and more, or you might need to start from scratch. But if you start sowing the seeds now, and take it in turns to tend to the crops, you’ll soon have your own organic raw foods to share out and munch upon, for a fraction of the price of store-bought raw foods.
6. Buy your raw food locally
Some of the fancy farm shops price their raw fruits and veggies at a premium but the local farmers often have surplus food that they need to sell, and they also need community support. Find out which ones grow organically and go and talk with them. Strike up a fair deal for pricing and if you give them loyal custom, you might find yourself plied with an abundance of good quality but inexpensive crops all year round.
If you get too much of one thing, look into fermenting, dehydrating and juicing — you can do so much with an over abundance of raw foods!
Cucumber water, raw food drink
7. Food swap
Don’t throw any raw food away — swap it instead! Grow extra sprouts and swap them for carrots from your neighbour’s garden. Make a handful more of raw chocolate bars and exchange for a two-day smoothie supply. Get to know your raw food community and encourage each other in your efforts to live with great health but to also save on time and money.
8. Buy your raw food in bulk
Find your nearest co-operative shop or online store and and buy bigger bags of your favourite raw foods, as long as you know you’re going to use them and they won’t go out of date. And get your friends involved, so you can all buy your raw food in bulk and share the raw food health!
Some foods are easier to buy in bulk than others but you can preserve some of the surplus as before by dehydrating, freezing, fermenting and also… selling for a little extra profit!
9. Forage, raw food is everywhere!
Raw food is everywhere
No matter what “they” tell you, the world is full of free foods and they are for us to share and benefit from. Check out what raw foods are growing in your garden, in the fields near your home, your local wood or forest and at the beach. Just make sure it’s 100 per cent safe to eat first, and clean it appropriately. Consider enrolling on a forager’s course to learn more about how you can make the most of eating for free, from Nature’s Raw Food And Superfood Table!
10. Invest in raw food, invest in YOU
Remember that when you buy more raw food, you are also buying less processed and packaged goods. You will spend more on raw fruits, veggies and superfoods but you will then see that you have an decreasing need for expensive “vices”. Alcohol, cigarettes, pizzas, late night junk food binges, retail therapy — this is where the real expense is. Not to mention the prescription drugs you need when you get ill from eating too much of the wrong foods. Invest in your health. And ask for new specialist raw food kitchen equipment as your birthday and Christmas presses. It will last you a few years at least, and you are so worth it.