I never really have responded here yet although I have been a member for some time. First thank you so much for the education and support this site offers. In some way, even though I have not really met anyone on here yet, I feel close to you because you understand the joys of this lifestyle amidst in a world of friends/families and others who continue to eat cook and question, challenge or persuade your choice.
I have been a raw food vegan for a couple of months and well it's been just a wonderful experience. I had so many health problems before I found this beautiful way of eating and now they are all gone. Isn’t that great!
My question is as a single mom, of 1 child, I am on a budget of $150-200 a month on food for the both of us (teenage girl-who does not eat Vegan, Vegetarian, like I do.) Because this is fairly new to me, I’m finding that I feel a bit of anxiety feeling like I’m just not getting enough fruits/veggies in for myself. I still haven’t mastered the weekly grocery breakdown. I don’t have a backyard that I can grow my own fruits which would help the monthly budget, so my question what would be a reasonable amount that I would have to spend to make sure I’m getting enough calories with fruits, veggies, greens, some nuts and seeds?
I tend to dehydrate some greens, juice and blend greens, fruits and veggies. I also eat a lot of salads for something savory in the evening. For me I have smoothies in the morning or eat various citrus fruit. For lunch I have green/fruit smoothies. I have a midmorning snack of various fruits, and mid-afternoon snack of fruits. The thing is, I feel hungry quite often which must mean I am not getting enough calories which means more fruit, hence buying more fruit and spending more. I also want to lose weight but do it the right way with eating properly and exercise. I’m on a limited income and already work close to 40-60 hours a week. I feel a bit hopeless because, I feel like I’m going to constantly run out of money for choosing this way of eating. All I know is that I am not going back; this has been a Godsend and revelation to my total well-being.
Thank you and sincerely,
Thank you so much for this, It really helps. I am going to stock up on the bananas because they are so versatile in various recipes. I will also check with farmers market's etc. for discounted ripe fruit.
I appreciate it.
I know how hard it is to try to do this on a budget! Look at your total budget and see where else you might cut in order to feed yourself healthy. Also, would your daughter be willing to eat vegan stuff like rice, beans and potatoes at home to save money?
Skip dehydrating and juicing--expensive and time-consuming and not optimal. Bananas and dates are cheap and the highest in calories, so focus on those. Citrus is also economical at this time of year. 7hotdates.com is a good resource; their dates are better than the store's and cheaper even including the shipping. Unfortunately, they are out of all the good kinds right now.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are another very cheap carb source, although I like to stay on fruit, myself because I feel the best.
Hugs to you!
Thank you Greenmama,
My daughter and I do try to keep it simple so, that's good. She's not getting optimal as I am but at least I feel good that she is eating better than most. I wish I could change her mind, I do educate her the best I know can. I do not like complex carbs at all and my body agrees so I really don't want to get my calories from them. I would rather fruit and veggies. Thanks for the website I'm checking it out now.
Hugs back :-)
Shields Date Garden and The Date People are two other date sources that may have more varieties in stock. Both are small operations - not certified organic, but they claim to use no pesticides/chemical fertilizers.
Bananas - I hope you are buying them in bulk. Oftentimes, "regular" grocery stores do not give case discounts, but if I order a 40lb case of bananas at my local health food store, co-op, or Whole Foods Market, I get from 10-15% off depending on the store.
Definitely look for a produce wholesaler in the area. There are some good threads in here about produce wholesalers. It is a big warehouse with lots of cheap fruit. Sometimes you can buy whole cases of fruit that is perfectly ripe (but too ripe for them to ship) for dirt cheap.
Always look for loss-leaders. This is when grocery stores have sales where they are either losing money, or only making a couple cents - i.e. Cantaloupe, 69c each. They want you to buy one or two and then a bunch of other stuff that's not on sale. So I go in and I buy 10 cantaloupe (or whatever the maximum is.)
One more thing - fats are expensive. Nuts and avocados. Almonds - $8-10/lb, I've seen pine nuts for $25 a pound! On an 80/10/10 diet you can save a lot of money buy only buying overt fats once in a while. I buy a handful of almonds or an avocado once in a while.
The great thing about the simplicity of this diet is you don't need to buy spices, superfoods, condiments, flour, other weird stuff that ends up eating the grocery bill.
Money is hard - you can think of other things you can do. For instance - cancel the cable TV, spend the money on fruit? A worthy trade IMO. Just a thought. Take luke-warm showers instead of hot? Maybe you don't have a backyard but put a few tomato pots on the stoop? Be creative, this doesn't have to be a financially stressful lifestyle, you just have to find the right rhythm. Definitely find a wholesaler if you can.