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"Raw Vegan & Vegan....Pffft...Affordable? Doubt It." But Alas....It Is.

01.17.2016

"It's so harrrrrrrrrrd!", "It's too expensive!", "I'm not gonna bother to try. Too much money to spend on some damn fruits and vegetables." Because the fast food death that you just paid 10 bux for that you are going to devour in less that 10 minutes and shit out in a couple of hours is so much better, correct? Whine, whine, whine.......excuses, excuses, excuses.  I am sorry to be so heated but this is something that gets my blood heated....and not in a good way. We are what we eat. and while one may think that it does not show on the outside - it does. The biggest debate that I come across is the going becoming a raw vegan or vegan is too expensive. I will not lie to you - that can be truthful. But this myth can be broken if you know where to shop, when to shop and what to take advantage of. 

When I was single, new to veganism at 16 years of age, going to school and lvied in Michigan, an average trip per week to Whole Foods Market was $100 every week. I had a good job, no bills to pay, helped around the house....so it was no big deal. Once I graduated from high school, started college and moved out of my parents home into my own place - responsibilites grew and funds became tight. Whole Foods was a "once in a while" visit. I began to seek out other places and discovered Trader Joe's. Every month, I ended up spending $200 per month compared to $400 per month when I was in my teens. When I moved to New York City for modeling in 2005, I ended up getting a job at Starbucks and had access to fruit plates, veggie sandwhiches and yummy salads.....and coffee, soy lattes and espresso shots for days. That was also my first time discovering Farmers Markets. After my first trip, I left there saying, "Where the bloody fuck have you been all of my life, you wonderous place?" Like I stepped into a scene from Alice In Wonderland. Even while paying rent at my loft, Metrocard refills and going out on the town with friends, random and spontaneous activities, shopping and model castings - I spent around $250 every two weeks. Not bad, right?  Right?

 

In 2007, I moved back to Michigan and met my best friend (now my husband) in 2008. Fast food and junk food was his other friend that I did not care for, so much.  He knew I was vegan and because he loved me so much - he became a vegan.....and by his own choice. When we moved in together, we spent $100 per week each - and it began to take its toll, becuase we also had bills and rent to handle. We were never able to find a good Farmer's Market near us and it was disheartening.  We began to switch more protien powders to replace meals occasionally and although it helped, it only made a dent.  And then...alas! I come across the The Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen List. the look on my face was priceless....for I was elated at this discovery.

 

"SO, WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THIS LIST?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-THE DIRTY DOZEN: These are the fruits and vegetables that are a MUST to buy organic due to the fact that they contain high levels of pesticides absorbed through their thin skin. So, this means all berries (cranberries, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.), all leafy dark greens, apples, celery, tomatoes (I buy all types organic), bananas (if you can), grapes, snap peas, bell peppers, brocolli, cucu,bers, beets, zucchini, nectarines, hot peppers, corn.....also, leeks, scallions, herbs. Stick to ORGANIC as much as you can. For me, this includes all grains such, seeds and nuts.

 

-THE CLEAN FIFTEEN: This is the game changer, right here. Why? Because These are the fuits and vegetables that you can from coventional stores like Aldi's, Kroger, Publix....whatever local grocery store near by. Dye to the thick skin, pesticide levels are very low, making it safe for consumption. Melons, lemons, li,es, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cabbage, avos, mangoes, pomegranates, oranges, kiwi, onions, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet potatoesm sweat peas (frozen), papayas, asparagus. Ex: for one organic pinapple, you may spend almost 5 bux, but you can get 2 for 5 bux at the grocery store! See where I am going with this?  And what does utilizing this list get you? Behold: $40 bux! For a family of 4. Would I lie to you, dahling?

The beautiful thing about this is that this is attainable to anyone and everyone, even on a budget! If a mum to a family of four can buy food for $150-250 a month, it can be done. Here is what I do:

 

 

{I. FARMERS MARKETS/ CO-OPS: BUY IN BULK}

A case of organic bananas for $20.00, a case of 8 pineapples for $10, spices for sixty-five scents and cases of kale for $15.00, bocxes of 24 mangoes for $7.00 and more.....this is a foodies playground! Farmers Markets allow you to buy fruits and vegatbles in mass quantities that you save you so much money. Big Farmer's Markets are always packed every day where I live in Georgia, and my little ones love going. We also go to smaller Farmers Markets in our area because it allows you to build a relationship with the vendor, somethime you can even gets more discounts. BEST....RESOURCES.....EVER.

 

{II. CONVENTIONAL MARKETS: GREAT DISCOUNTS}

Large grocery stores have bargains everyday. I love going to not only thier organic produce areas to see what deals can can santch up due to Manager's Specials and Clearance Specials, but also checking thier organic food ailses. Some smaller grocery stores have even better deals. For example: those adverts from grocery stores that I would normally throw away - not anymore. I rip out the unnecessay stuff like meat and processed foods and came across the best deal ever - 10 limes for $1 dollar, 10 lemons for $1 dollar, heads of purple cabbage for $.58 cents. Needless to say, we pretty much cleaned out the place. So my advice to you: don't be so hasty to throw away those ads. They are hidden jewels.

 

 

{III. START A GARDEN: REAP THE REWARD}

It is never to late to start growing your own organic garden. We have started our own and excited to reap the benefits this spring and summer and fall and.....all year long. While you wait for your children to grow, you can shop smart....and once your beauties bloom, you will notice that your wallet will become much heavier from saving money. But you don't have to have a backyard to start....that's what is ao wonderous about gardening. They are plenty thaty you can grow indoors such as mushrooms and herbs. One of my favorite places to buy my seeds from is Tettorial Seed Company.  

 

 

{IV. PLAN A MENU: SAVE A TON}

Ever Sunday, after my little gothlings are tucked into bed, I sit down and plan the menu for the two-weeks worth of meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I do two seperate menus: a Fully Raw Vegan Menu for me and a Raw Til 4 Menu for my hubby and little ones. By knowing the day by day eats for two weeks makes it easier save money by not wasting food and know that YOU CAN eat heathy on a budget. There is no greater feeling than knowing what you are preparing and placing into YOUR system. It is worth it because YOU are worth it.

 

And so, for those about to "rawk" - I salute you. (Yes, I know.....I went there). No more excuses, no more "I can't" and "It's impossible"...because it is! I am here to be your guide....with ebooks that are almost complete and on the way for you.  To your health, my loves.

 

Darkest Eats and Kisses,

Adaora O. aka GiTR