Let’s face it, health doesn’t come cheap. I’ve found many articles touting tips to save money on a raw vegan diet that didn’t apply to me or were unrealistic to many people. Here are 5 tips which have made a raw vegan diet affordable for me.
Buy during sales-
When buying produce on sale this often means you’re buying when that produce is in season, which is a bonus. Eating mono-meals (one food at a time) is much easier on digestion, so don’t shy away from buying a lot of one type of food when it’s really cheap. Aim for getting variety every day, but throughout the week is good too.
Even if you’re eating tons of mono-meals, that still might not be enough to eat all that food you bought before it goes bad. Cut the rest into pieces and place on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. After it freezes place in freezer bags marked with the date they were bagged, so you know how old they are for future reference. You can use the frozen produce for smoothies, raw ice cream/sorbet, or to thaw again later. Some frozen foods also make a refreshing snack, such as grapes and blueberries.
Coupons and deals-
Check to see if there are cheaper places to buy produce than your current grocery store. My store has a frequent deal of $5 off $15 worth of produce. That’s a huge discount! Following your grocery store on social media can give you access to online coupons and their weekly ad which will help you prepare to take advantage of their sales. This means money saved that can be used to buy more produce.
Don’t be a purist-
Like some people I have the desire to be a purist, to eat only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. However unless you want a high fat diet (from nuts and seeds), you might not be able to afford all that produce. If you just can’t afford it, then do the best you can. Being vegan is very important to me, so I take advantage of extremely cheap vegan cooked foods to help out with cost. Some great ideas are rice, beans, and pasta. Lycopene is more bioavailable after it’s been cooked anyway, so maybe have some cooked tomato sauce with your pasta. Have your fruit during the day (since it digests faster) and a cooked vegan meal at night.
Center on staples-
Bananas and dates are my best friend. They are cheap and taste delicious. Getting enough calories is vital to your success on this lifestyle. Go for cheap sources of high calorie raw foods. If you’re into 80/10/10 and high carb is important to you, think about substituting some of the fruit in your smoothie with coconut sugar. It can greatly reduce your costs, is still high carb, and it’s delicious too.