I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived in a cottage-like home by the seaside. Every summer my parents would send me there, and that is where I learned that you could live just fine off what nature has to offer.
The cottage had no running water, so every morning, my grandfather and I would go to the spring to fetch some. We would walk for two miles to get there, and during that walk, my grandfather would prepare my breakfast. (More precisely, he would bring some almonds and raisins in a cup, and during our walk he would fill the cup with black raspberries and dogberries.)
Those magical days sparked my love for raw food. Today, I know much more about raw food than how to pick berries. I’ve learned how to eat raw safely, and on a budget.
How (and Why) to Eat Raw – Save Money…
Why Do It?
Personally, I have four reasons for eating raw. The first reason is my health. Eating raw solved all my issues with indigestion and other stomach issues.
My second reason for eating raw is the benefit to my appearance. My hair, nails and skin have never looked better. I’ve shed all my extra weight. I feel much more energized. And it shows!
The third reason: I truly enjoy it.
The fourth reason: I’ve saved tons of money eating raw. It takes planning, gardening and DIY dedication, but it pays off.
What Does it Actually Mean?
In most cases, people who eat raw food are vegans. Eating raw means eating 75%-100% of meals prepared entirely with groceries that haven’t been cooked. (I cannot claim that I’m that dedicated. I eat dairy, raw fish, eggs and sometimes chicken.)
Eating raw also means that I spend a lot of my time in the garden. I grow a big portion of my vegetables myself, and I buy my eggs and meat from certified organic food producers. Some of them will also trade eggs for my organic tomatoes, and that cuts my costs significantly.
I also own a dehydrator and a good food processor, which makes raw food preparation very easy. You can find all the essential cookware you need on Matchbox, Open Country Campware or Eco-friendly cookware.
Where Should You Look for the Food?
This is where frugality really kicks in. I do have a garden. Still, I quickly realized that I would not be able to survive only on my own tomatoes. Some of the other fruits and vegetables I grow on my own: apples, pears, tomatoes, onions, garlic and about a dozen different spices.
I already mentioned that I trade some of them with other raw food enthusiasts and organic farmers. Some of my food comes from organic food stores. Those are usually nuts, fruits and vegetables that are out of season. However, I try to eat the stuff that is in season. It is fresh and it is much cheaper. Also, you can buy it in bulk, dehydrate it and keep it for the wintertime.
Develop your own network of people who eat raw and make their own food. My group exchanges prepared food, groceries and raw food recipes all the time. I don’t throw away anything. If I have too much food, I freeze it or give it away. (Numerous times, I’ve received a free lunch or a snack as well.)
How to Prepare the Food
Obviously, vegetables and fruits should be prepared and consumed sliced and diced, in their raw form. But that is not all that you can do with them. Sundried tomatoes are just one of many raw food delicacies. You can also use a dehydrator to save fruits and vegetables for later. Nuts can be crushed or grated in their raw form. They can also be soaked in water overnight and blended with milk, water or juice. Mushrooms can be marinated.
Another great thing about this way of eating is that it is really eco-friendly. Organic food and the minimal use of electricity for food preparation and storing are very ‘green’. In my honest opinion, everyone should try going raw for at least one month. The money saved and the energy gained speak for themselves.
Gabriella Diesendorf is a blogger and a devoted mother from Australia. She loves badgering about beauty, green lifestyle choices, and parenting techniques at Highstylife. If you mention attachment parenting or natural makeup, she will bore you to death.
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