First off, I want to say that I live in Chicago so I will reference below, and I do reference on my home page, local Chicago grocers where there are good deals. If you do not live in Chicago or these places are not accessible to you, find a local grocer with affordable organic produce. This is where the bulk of your produce should be coming from. CSAs might also be helpful. Research one in your area and compare pricing. Once you nail down a good spot for deals, then you can plan your meals around the deals you get. That is my technique.
When I put the meal plans together, I usually have a lot of the stuff at home already. For example, I buy bananas by the case from Stanley’s, which is around $20 and it lasts my entire house of about 4 people a good two weeks. The dates I also buy in bulk for $60 at Whole Foods. The dates last a very very long time. Those two, bananas and dates, are always in the house.
Young Thai coconuts, I also buy by the case from Broadway Market on the North side. When you buy cases of fruits you know you will get through, you get a case discount so there is savings there and you always have produce in the house to consume instead of junk.
Alkaline Water again is always in stock in the house. I get it from Earth’s Healing Café, of course, for only $2 per gallon. This is the only water we drink at home.
When I go shopping I start with Stanley’s to get as much deals as possible and go to Whole Foods to get the items I could not get at Stanley’s.
I was asked how much I spend on average on my shopping trips for the week. This is a great question. I love this question, because while I do not have a fat wallet, I tend to not really pay attention to prices when I want something so it was a fun investigation. I am also motivated to see how I can cut cost down further. I know part of the solution is to have less variety in the week.
For week 10, for example, I spent $168 on the items I did not have in stock at home. I had some extra stuff (like extra lemons, onions, etc.) left over that I used for other meals the following week or other people in my house used some items for their meals.
If the cost seems high to you, please keep in mind I prefer organic and it is all raw produce that does not have a long shelf life. You pay a premium for both of those things. I did a comparison of my meal plan to eating out at raw restaurants in the area. Similar items for the week would have cost me $252. So I saved over $80 making the stuff at home.
When you are first starting, it is possible you don’t have much of the items on the list and you have to kind of start from scratch detoxing your kitchen. This takes some initial investment but this is an investment in your health. Trust me, your colon will thank you and your energy level will be awesome and consistent throughout the day.
Read the Getting Started page for my food tips and techniques. Some may have been omitted here so it will still be a helpful read on how to make the raw food lifestyle affordable.
I also know some of you have been raw for a long time and may have some tips that could be helpful to the entire RawFoodMealPlanner.com Community. So, please do share your tips here so we can all benefit.