Saving money in other ways since my grocery is expensive

daviminkNovember 30, 2011

I am an 18 year old college student in LA. I have decided to go on a raw diet (excluding goat dairy), but I eat salmon sashimi (rarely as I do not trust most stores, plus quite expensive). I am going cow-dairy free, cooked meal free, and gluten free. Even cooked meals give me bad acne break outs and going on raw has significantly energized me and gave me clear skin like I have never had in years. But suddenly, it seems like I cannot eat anything, and my food bill has racked up twice the amount. I assume I will use about $250/month on food, most of the cost going to goat milk.

A quart of goat milk at my area is $4.30, VERY expensive, but I need this for my kefir-making and protein, so it is not really an option to cut it out. I use about a quart per day or two. I suffer from lack of bacterial flora in my guts, so I have been making kefir. I still buy goat yogurt and raw cheese once in a while, but I am trying to learn how to make my own goat yogurt as well. Regular yogurts and cheeses break me out severely.

My regular grocery consists of these:

-$5 worth of vegetables at farmers market that can last me more than a week

-Quart of goat milk every day or two

-Sashimi, nuts, goat yogurt, or raw cheese every week.

How should I save money or be smarter about my spending? I do not have car, and I am in LA (Uh oh), and I cannot buy items in bulk as there is no Costco. Should I try to negotiate with the local Ralphs or Bristol Farms to give me discounts if I buy in bulks?

Here are things I do not buy though:

-Paper towels, paper napkins, kleenex. My roommate buys the toilet paper.

-Shampoo or conditioner (I home make)

-Cleaners, laundry detergent (I home make)

-Clothes or footwear anymore, haven't in years. I just cannot bother with it.

-Snacks, fried stuff, chocolate

-Restaurant food

-Premade food

Please help by giving advice.

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I have a $125 per month food budget for two people, but that's possible because I have room for food storage, grow a portion of our food - indoors and out; and I live where food is "relatively" inexpensive. We also have a much larger list of foods we use than your restricted dietary choices and that's helpful with the bottom line. I lean towards whole foods, raw foods and use meat sparingly.

-You can also make rice milk and nut milks in your diet, which would be less expensive than goat milk. Kefir is better for you than yogurt, can be used like yogurt, plus kefir is less expensive to make.

-Make and use more pre-digested foods. Rejuvelac is a good source for enzymes that helps friendly bacteria grow and is cheap and easy to make with water and different grains. Even if you can't digest grains, you will probably be able to enjoy Rejuvelac made with it. Make your own sauerkraut and other fermented foods. Check your local library for books by Ann Wigmore.

How to Make Rejuvelac:

For approximately 3 cups, you�ll need:
- 1 cup organic whole grains (soft wheat berries, millet, rye, brown rice, barley, etc.)
- 3 cups pure water (preferably distilled)
- a container, e.g., a wide-mouthed glass jar, a ceramic or stainless steel bowl

Soak the grains in the water for 48 hours. (You can place a plate or towel over the top of the jar or bowl.)
After 48 hours, pour off the rejuvelac. Drink for that day or store in a jar. It doesn�t have to be refrigerated, but if it is, it will keep several days.
Pour another 2 cups water over the grains. Allow to ferment only 24 hours before pouring off.
Repeat another 24 hour cycle, so that the grains are soaked a total of 3 times.

A dark quiet place is ideal for setting your jar or bowl. The temperature of the fermenting environment is important. Warmer temperatures will shorten fermenting times. In the summer, try soaking the seed 36 hours to start, then 16 hours instead of 24. Let ferment to your taste. It should be tart, not sour. Adapted from Recipes for Longer Life by Ann Wigmore.

-You should be able to grow something - indoors (if you have a sunny south window) or out (if you have the space). Sprouting is a good example of a garden-in-a-jar you can grow fresh food anywhere.

In the winter when "fresh" food is literally unavailable because it's been shipped in from who-knows-where, I don't purchase much produce but depend on sprouts and herbs I grow indoors as my source for REAL fresh food options. Living in the middle of nowhere, local produce is only available in the summer.

I use frozen food (commercial as well as frozen produce from the garden) as a better option to so-called "fresh" food. Frozen food is high in nutrition and can be less expensive. I also dehydrate a lot of produce as another method for preservation. I also grow micro-greens and wheatgrass as other sources for fresh food.

Hope there's some new...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 9:46AM
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I have two pouches of Arrowhead Mills organic brown rice flour rather than brown rice in its original form. Can I ferment them into rejuvelac as well? And, can I eat the fermented rice? I have soaked brown rice flour in kefir for eight hours before.

I will start sprouting. It sounds easy enough.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 1:42AM
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I'd first suggest buying whole grains instead of flour. You can mill your own rice in something as simple as a Spice/Coffee Mill, and fresh is always best and whole grains are generally less expensive, AND they keep longer than flour. Once the bran on any grain is broken, oxygen quickly destroys the vital oil in the grain and they go rancid quickly. Rancid oils are a body damaging free radical. So stick to whole grains and mill your own flour.

When it comes to using rice flour in baked goods... You'll get better results using short- or medium-grain rice, instead of long-grain rice. Long-grain rice is fine for dredging or using as a thickener, but short- and medium-grain rice are the better choice for baking PLUS they work for dredging and a thickener as well.

You will need whole grains for making rejuvelac.

The "spent grain" used for making rejuvelac can be used to make Essen bread or Chapatis. I'd suggest a copy of Ann Wigmore's book - "Recipes for Longer Life" (or any of her books) and you will find a plethora of raw and fermented foods that would fit into your diet. BTW, many of them use rejuvelac in them, so it's a fermented drink you will want to have on hand.

Another author for more information is the Sproutman (Steve Meyerowitz).


Here is a link that might be useful: Sproutman - Steve Meyerowitz

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 8:30AM
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Plant a garden. In my backyard last year I grew only potatoes and tomatoes. I froze my entire tomato crop, except for a few I used in salads during the season. My potato crop, I had a neighborhood kid dig up. I have all my potatoes stored in a cool closet in burlap bags. I expect them to last the winter. I never eat fast food anymore (fatty,salty,yuck). During the fall, I was happy to shop for fresh fruits and veggies at a local farmers market. Alas, they are now closed. Frozen food is okay-my Home Ec teacher taught us frozen french fries are actually a "bargain". The comnpany buys the potatoes, cleans and cuts them for you. You can fry at home. Remember that old Wesson oil commercial with Florence Henderson? "It all comes back except a tablespoon or two." Fat frying once in a while won't kill you. Just like my doctors say an egg or two a week is good for you, You need a little fat in your diet to keep your hair skin and nails healthy.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:23AM
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If you have serious health issues, and this diet is medically necessary for you--it might be worth checking with a good accountant to see if you can write off any of your food expense as medical expenses. I have a foot condition, and have to buy a particular brand of shoes (regular shoes, but they're an expensive brand)--with the written order from my dr. I can use them as a medical deduction. I don't know if you'd be able to do that with some of your foods or not, but hey, it's worth asking the question, right? Just be sure you keep careful records and go to a good tax accountant (not a store-front tax prep place). Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Hi Davimink,

Your greatest asset is probably your youth and student status. I'm guessing you probably don't have children or other "living" responsibilities.

This provides you with two invaluable commodities- time and stamina.

Have you considered volunteering with a farmers' market or an organic farm in trade for produce or goat milk? I realize you may be in the city, but perhaps something like this is within a bus/bike ride or walk?

While a farmer or farmers' market may not have cash to pay you, they may be willing to part with some product in trade.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:02PM
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First off, share the cost of toilet paper w/ your roommate, unless you're not using it...

I'd also encourage you to try & start growing some of your own vegetables, although it probably won't save you any money.
Good luck, going on this kind of restrictive diet is practically a job in itself.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I worked at a farm for a while and they gave me $15.00 a week of free food. It was more than enough, and I was able to freeze a lot of it, too. The Tassajara Bread Book has a recipe for brown rice bread that uses just brown rice, oil, whole wheat flour, and salt. It's cheap and delicious. Making your own bread saves a lot of money. I live in LA and we have a Costco out here. I buy most of my food in bulk and it's saved me 50%. It takes a lot of planning and organization, but it's worth it. Good shoes are important, and they can last for years. Clothing can be really cheap at thrift stores. You can probably grow lettuce and vegetables for salad in pots. Also, if you check the flyers in the mail, stores like Sprouts have things like potatoes and onions for great deals. A lot of it is just organization. Soup is very cheap. I'm big on marrow broths and chicken stock as a base. Moderation in all things has helped me, health wise...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:23PM
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