Tips for being frugal and raw:
1. Grow your own sprouts. There is an abundance of information on the internet including instructional videos. Buy the highest quality, organic seeds for best results. The seeds are far less expensive than the sprouted foods.
2. Don't shop at Whole Foods unless it is the only place to find organic raw food. Brian Clement, known as a "purist" for raw food and the co-director of the Hippocrates Health Institute for over 25 years calls it "Whole Wallet". It is a beautiful store but very expensive, if you are on a limited budget.
3. In San Diego, chain stores have organic produce sections as well as Trader Joe's, Henry's and Sprouts markets, these are all less expensive than Whole Foods.
4. I shop at a small ethnic market chain that sells acceptable, non-organic foods for much less than any of the above.
5. Always buy these foods organic if possible:
Celery, Peaches, Strawberries, Apples, Blueberries, Nectarines, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Cherries, Kale/Collard Greens, Potatoes, Grapes (imported).*
6. These foods have the lowest pesticides and are acceptable, non-organic:
Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Mangoes, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, Kiwi, Cabbage, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Sweet Potato, Honeydew Melon.*
*From the Environmental Working Group's Guide ot Pesticides: the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.
7. Don't waste money on pretty Himalayan Sea Salt, it is expensive hype, just buy sea salt.
8. Greens, vegetables, and fruits are very inexpensive compared to all other foods, expecially protein. Don't buy protein powders, we need very little protein..
9. Keep it simple, the more elaborate the recipe, the more the cost of your food. If money is a limitation, accept that as the current reality and stick to simple salads, blended drinks, water as a beverage. Don't juice everything, it cost you much more, is too concentrated, eliminates the usefull fiber, and you need to chew your food. Victoria Boutenko, the advocate for blended foods has actually invented a "tool" to chew on because only drinking your food and not chewing it is bad for your teeth. Blended foods are great, but doesn't it make sense to actually chew most of it instead of buying a tool to chew on? Ann Wigmore used to chew her wheat grass and spit out the fiber. I've chewed wheat grass and swallowed the fiber. It is great exercise for your jaws and wheat grass juicers are expensive. The benefit is the same. Juicing is an unnecessary convenience.
10. If money is really tight, it is far better to eat greens, vegetables, and fruits that are non-organic than to eat the junk that many of us ate before. Remember it is not just what you eat, but all of the bad foods that you no longer eat. Don't eat any processed foods, even if they are raw, they are just raw junk food. Processed foods are known as Value Added because they take cheap ingredients, process them, add sweeteners to make them taste good, package them with a colorful label, advertise them to get your brand loyalty and get you to pay more for all of this so-called "added value". An apple is superior to a dried or dehydrated apple and cost far less. Buy food that looks like it has just been picked with no added processing and you will save yourself the cost of the processing and marketing; and you will be far healthier, even if it is not organic.
11. Don't eat out at restaurants. One simple salad at Souplantation with a coupon can pay for a lot of organic greens, one of the best sources for great nutrition.
12. Chew all of our food, even your blended drinks in order to allow the digestive enzymes in your saliva to activate the digestion process of carbohydrates and you will get the maximum nutrition out of less food, feel satisfied sooner, and have more energy at less cost. "Fletcherize" your food.