tips for eating right inexpensively

Q:   Dear GreenSmoothieGirl, I can’t afford to eat the way you suggest. Any ideas?

A:   Most people base their purchasing decisions on taste, convenience, price, appearance, and shelf life.

Of course, what tastes good is dictated by our addictions, and you know if you read my blog that sugar is the most addictive substance on the planet.   Having to wash fruits and vegetables can’t compete, for convenience.   Organic produce doesn’t always look shiny and pretty.   And produce and most whole foods don’t last long on the shelf.   Nutrition is the loser in most buying criteria and decisions!   (If you don’t believe me,  take a peek at  what’s in virtually all grocery carts next time you’re in the store.)

I do have 11 tips for you to save money (and many more are in 12 Steps to Whole Foods):  

  1. Plan meals ahead of time and keep a shipping list to avoid impulse buying.  Along with your shopping list, keep a list of what constitutes “good” prices, as well as a calculator to take along on shopping trips. 
  2. Quit buying chips, soda, and packaged cookies and candy. Quit buying meat.   Quit buying fast food. These things are costing you more than you may realize.
  3. Instead, buy grains and legumes, which are higher in protein than people expect, inexpensive, and they keep in storage for years.   Try serving grains/legumes most nights a week instead of meat.      
  4. If you have a family, invest in a big freezer.   Put it in the garage.   Buy it used if you need to.
  5. Start learning what things cost, and buy larger quantities (5# or more) of produce, nuts, seeds and grains when they’re in season and on sale.
  6. Freeze on-sale fruits in small bags in the freezer.   Put greens in the freezer for green smoothies, if you can’t use them before they will go bad.   Freeze bulk-purchased nuts and seeds in freezer bags.
  7. Ask around and find the buying co-ops for local produce and health-food items.   Get on email lists for those co-ops.   You don’t have to buy huge bulk amounts for Azure Standard and other co-ops.
  8. Dig a cold-storage hole in the ground against your home, if possible, line it with plastic or wood or straw, and put a wooden lid on top.   Store potatoes, onions, carrots, homemade sauerkraut, nuts, seeds, and oils through the winter.
  9. Grow a garden.   Even if all you have is a patio or tiny backyard, you can grow a surprising amount of produce.   This will give you organic produce, and you can freeze whatever you’re not able to use, for fall and winter months.
  10. If organic produce is really expensive, buy conventional and just wash it well, with a veggie soap.   I use Shaklee Basic H.   A gallon of it lasts me a decade.
  11. Go shopping when you’ve just eaten, not when you’re hungry.   Then planning and intelligence informs your shopping decisions (not cravings and addictions).

4 thoughts on “tips for eating right inexpensively

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  1. I just got a freezer on sale w/free shipping from Sears. If you don’t have the $ now you can finance it for a year w/ no payments and no interest. I prefer cash..but not everyone has it. It was half off! They delivered it the next day just in time for my bulk order of hemp seeds, hemp powder and chia seeds from LivingNutrionals. Put in Hemp10 for an additional 10% off for the month of March. I went to the 99 cent store today and they just got in a shipment (every wed.) of ORGANIC produce. I took the last 2 HUGE containers of ORGANIC SPINACH, I also got several red and yellow bell peppers, 4 avocados, 4 bunches of baby bananas for my kids, 2 papaya, 2 italian squash, 4 cucumbers garlic, onions, 1 huge bag of romaine lettuce and it was ALL organic and ALL for $15!! It’ll last me atleast 4-5 days for a family of 4….the spinach will last longer and I put it in the freezer.

    Buying organic or washing what isn’t REALLY good with a good vegetable wash may seem more at first…which is the complaint of a few immediate in-laws…but if you dump the junk and search for sales, join a co-op, buy in bulk from Amazon or Azure….you’re saving time and gas, too! They ship to you free! Just search, click, buy and open your front door! I am now a part of a co-op once a week on Saturday for $20 we get a clothes basket FULL of organic produce. Whatever we don’t get from these two places (fruit/veges are seasonal) we also hit Costco for some of our nuts, dates, spinach and bananas when not available through the other stores and Clarks for some of our seeds, organic weeds, kale and collard greens and our Kombucha. This is on the way home from the Co-op on Saturdays…on the same street.

    I finally got the cycle down. OH, and we go out to 99 Ranch Market also every Sunday which is near a vege place we all go out to eat at and they have Baby Thai Coconuts for .49 cents each!

  2. How do you freeze spinach? I never heard of freezing greens before. This would be GREAT if it works. Does it change consistancy? Do you put it in water? or just freeze it ? Please respond.

  3. You can freeze greens, and I do it all the time. You can’t use it in a salad, but you can use it in a green smoothie, and you’ll never even know the difference. Just wash it first, chop it, and put it in freezer bags. Throw the greens, frozen, into your blender later.

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