I'm still fairly new to this site, and first off I have to say I LOVE all of you so far! Everyone on this site is so amazing and commited to this lifestyle, the support here is INCREDIBLE!
Which is why I must ask for advice. I am working at a minimum wage job here in the U.S.(40 hours per week already), I have rent every month, gas funds(I'd ride my bike if not for the fact its 40+ miles to work and back), and I'm paying for college. I have been buying as many fruits and veggies as I can lately and my grocery bills have been very high.
Would I still be considered a part of this online family if I have to eat rice/beans sometimes for dinner because I cannot afford to eat raw all the time? I want to be 100% raw but I my budget can't budge another penny:/ As soon as I start getting financial aid again I'll be set for the 100% commitment. I really do want this VERY bad.
Yeah! Freelee just started a forum thread for High Carb Cooked Vegan discussions...those who cannot or don't want to go all raw. Check it out!
Thanks for the link! I'm loving it so far. I feel a lot better about this now, thank you for sharing!:)
We will still love you :)
You might already be aware of this but just a tip if you aren't...try and buy all your stuff in bulk if you can from wholesalers/Asian markets. You'll save quite a bit of money.
Yeah I just live in a small town in AZ so the closest wholesalers are about 40 miles north in Phoenix or even farther away in Tucson. My town has a farmer's market every tuesday but I work that day,lol. I'm still trying to find somewhere that sells in bulk and isn't so pricy. Thanks though! I'm not gonna give up:)
I'm new too but I'm used to buy tons of produce on a tight budget so I might be able to help?
Where are you buying your produce? I'm assuming you're already buying conventional (non organic) fruits and veg since your funds are so low. My first advice in this case is to look for Asian Supermarkets, they tend to have more variety and the price is way cheaper than say Safeway or Giant. I can get up to 30% more for the same cost buy going to a Korean Mart in my area. Ask the produce manager/workers if you can purchase a box of bananas for discount. The other day I bought a box of 40 lb's of banana's for $20!!
Second would be farmer's markets. You can't beat fresh, local produce. Sometimes you can haggle with farmers or they'll give you discounts if you buy in bulk. This is especially helpful for lettuce, melons, etc where its common for customers to only buy 1 or 2 at a time.
DR said that it's "okay" to eat rice/grains (I'm assuming prepared without butter, oil, or salt) if necessary on your budget to remain carbed up in one of his videos. So as long as you do the best you can with the fruits I'd say do what you have to do.
Another tip I've gotten from youtube (Megan Elizabeth I think) is to choose ONE high calorie staple fruit and 1 or 2 more expensive "entertaining" fruits. So you get the bulk of your calories from one source, and then variety from the other two. This really helps simplify things and keep the cost down, and also makes it easier to calculate the amount you'll need of each fruit so you don't end up over or under-buying. An additional tip for this would be to keep your "entertainment" fruits seasonal. For an since I just started my staple food are bananas (It doesn't get much cheaper than $1.50 a meal!) and strawberries and mangoes are my entertainment fruits. It works out well since in may/june strawberries are easy to pick in bulk from local farms. They also taste great with bananas in smoothies. Mangoes are more expensive but great treats during the summer. In the later summer months my entertaining fruits will probably change to local berries and melons. Its certainly something that you can play with to fit your preferences. My only advice would be to avoid things like dates, which are great foods for HCRVs, are super expensive for people like us on low wages! Treat dates as a special treat, in my area they're around $8 a lb!
Order dates online and get them at $4/lb. with shipping. They are very calorie-dense, so that makes them much cheaper per calorie than bananas. Also, you don't have to wait for them to ripen. This is why I try to keep dates on hand because my banana ripening can be erratic.
Do you think you could recommend some good sites, then? I've been to a couple where they where $7 or $8 but not $4!
Also, how many lbs do you generally go through a day? Dates to me are like candy theyre so super sweet that I can only eat a handful of fresh ones before getting sick of them. I'd love to try dateorade but isn't 20-30 dates that freelee suggests per smoothie near 2-3 lbs? I realize that it gives me over 1000 cals, but thats $12 right there. About 4 lbs of bananas provide the same amount of calories for $2-3.
My favorite supplier is Bautista (7hotdates.com), and I buy 15 lbs for $60 including shipping. But they are out of season right now.
Right now, Shields Date Garden has "promo" boxes. I warn you, the ones I have gotten have date weevils, so if you are squeamish about bugs then don't order from there. The best deals are on the 15 pound boxes of Barhis, Khadrawys and Abbada. It works out to $57 for 15 lbs with shipping to my location. Shipping cost may vary based on your location.
Llet me answer your directly mentioned concern. Of course you will still be accepted here on this site. Do your best and be creative in your shopping. Realize that you will have ideas and opportunities to stick to your budget and to stay with this diet to the best of your ability. Don't worry about the future, do what you can right now.
I want to hand it to you also. Eating healthy is going to propel you into success. What we eat effects ALL of our selves, not just our weight and/or health. Your mind will function better, your health will be better, your attitude will be better. I could list other facets of health, but I think you get the idea. This investment you are making with the betterment of your health right now is truly several steps up the ladder of success. It should be on your resume'. LOL
Thanks everyone! So far I'm doing a lot better. I've re-done my budget and found a few less important things I can cut back money on so I'll have money for my produce:D I've found that the grocery store Food City in my area has much better prices than anywhere else. I can also get good deals at Wal-mart too because they price match with all the other stores so I'll win either way. I've up'd my allowance for food to 200 dollars a month so far and that'll go up once I get a better job.
@ Erin, I totally know what you mean, dates are really expensive where I am too, I'll do like Greenmama said and probably start ordering off of that website. Dates are 8 dollars a pound at safeway too and I can't find tham anywhere else:/ I love dates so much so I'll have to order them for sure. Bananas are my 2nd favorite, I can't get enough of them so it's good they're cheap:) Unfortunately, yes I'm really squeezing the budget so I can't afford organic right now. I try to buy it when I have the extra cash.
I'm really loving this site so far everyone, Thanks for the encouragement and advice!
I've been in your situation before so can definitely sympathize! The fruits I bought then were basically whatever was on sale, in as high a quantity as I could afford. Bananas are seemingly always available for relatively little cost (although it's certainly risen over the years).
Do you have a health food store with a half price bin? I used to buy nearly the whole thing--it was a section for fruits the store was about to throw away but instead offered for sale 50% off. If they don't have one, ask if they'll start one. Smaller, community health food stores are more likely to do this than the larger commercial ones.
If you can't get organic all the time, 2nd best would be to at least ensure that you buy organic for fruits that have a high pesticide concentration: http://life.gaiam.com/article/top-fruits-and-veggies-buy-organic Peel & wash anything else thoroughly!