CONTEST! I’m giving away $50 to 5 people!

Eat rightI am writing a new book. It’s called How to Eat Right In the Real World. On a budget, if you’re raising kids, if you work full-time, if you travel, if you have a big social life.

In 2014, I will undertake an ambitious lecture tour that includes more than 75 cities, to speak on that topic. (In January, then, I am retiring the green smoothie show!)

I will not be selling my new book! However, everyone who comes to any of my 2014 lectures will get the book FREE! In it, I’d like to publish GSG readers’ ideas to add to my own–giving you credit, of course.

Stand by for an announcement of the itinerary of the entire year of classes. I’ll announce that in a few weeks when we have it all put together and ready to start ticketing.

Meantime, tell me YOUR best ideas for how to eat right ON A BUDGET.  Please write, or just respond here on the blog, with as many tips as you like. By doing so, you’re giving me permission to print your idea (whether or not you’re one of the 5 winners), to help others. So, let us know your name, and hometown, to give you credit. (Give me whatever form of your name you’re okay with seeing in print.)

Tips and Trickswin prizedThe 5 best ideas (or collection of ideas) sent to us in the next WEEK will be awarded $50 in your choice of GreenSmoothieGirl loot!

So be thinking, what tips and tricks have YOU developed, over the years, that have helped you with a whole-foods diet even though you must carefully manage your dollars? Super-quick, super-easy recipes are also helpful–your mainstay habits that help you eat a lot of plants.

As Joel Fuhrman, M.D., says, in his book Eat to Live, there is now more evidence that a plant-based diet prevents all our degenerative diseases, than there is evidence that smoking causes lung cancer. So tell me… do YOU pull it off? No idea is too small! It’s the small things that make the difference!

By the way, my next blog series is an interview with a doctor on natural infertility treatment, but then we come back to this topic. I do a three-part series next week on How to Eat Right While Traveling. Stay tuned!

36 thoughts on “CONTEST! I’m giving away $50 to 5 people!

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  1. Seasonal foods not only taste better, they are more nutritious. Each season brings new treats, something to look forward to. The variety is also refreshing! Growing them yourself is also a great option. Buying locally, where you know the Farmers, how they grow and supporting your own community is a perk, too!

    Seasonal foods will often cost less as well. Think ahead and stock up on fruits and vegetables in their natural season in order to can or freeze them for the off season.

    While traveling, I look for outside markets or small grocery stores where I can find fresh foods.
    Since, I have Green Smoothies daily and bringing a huge blender with me would not be practical, I bring my NutriBullet everywhere! It’s small, lightweight and does a GREAT job! No need for “Chunkies” while on the road…

    1. I save by using my senior discounts! I am 55 yo and love getting these discounts. I also have found that “Trader Joe’s has great prices and a great selection of organic foods, greens, coconut oil, chia seeds, flax seeds,etc.. See if there is a chain in your area. I also look for manager’s specials on produce in “Krogers” and buy in bulk. I also try not to waste any parts of my fruits and greens by freezing extra greens and fruits including rinds. I also wash and reuse containers, jars, and freezer bags.

  2. I often make my green smoothies the night before and put them in the freezer. The next day I grab them on the way out the door and by mid morning they are partially thawed (or completely) and I gobble them up. I live in ND and plant a small garden FULL of greens, some of which, I freeze for the winter. I figured you can buy frozen spinach at the grocery store why not try it. They work in smoothies and soups in the winter! Gotta get creative up here in the Northland.

  3. I love your newsletter. Thank you so much. My husband and I raised our children as vegans, with some Ann Wigmore, but in the last ten years, he and I have slipped into some bad habits. We are striving to make changes especially as the challenges of aging increase (such as HOT FLASHES!! lol) and become more dedicated to a 80% live diet. We begin every day with green smoothies and got our daughter a Blendtec for her wedding. Anyway here are two of our favorite recipes:

    From Ann Wigmore’s “Recipes for Longer LIfe”:
    Cream of Pea Soup
    1 C. fresh garden peas (I use frozen in the winter)
    1 C. almond or cashew milk (I blend the nuts in the blender, then add good water)
    1/2 C. carrot juice
    1/2 C diced avocado
    1 tsp. herbal seasoning
    1 tsp. tamari (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

    Blend until creamy. May be topped with peas, chopped nuts, etc. May also add grated squash to the blending.

    This one we adapted from Ann’s delicious nut cream–a must over a bowl of strawberries: (This recipe is quick and we used to eat it almost every morning for breakfast–pre green smoothies)
    Apple Pudding
    To blender add:
    About 1 C. raw cashew
    Cover with nut milk
    Add 1-2 cored apples (Goldens or Galas are great)
    1 tsp. vanilla
    raw honey or agave may be added if apples are too tart.

    Thank you for your dedication to helping us overcome SAD!
    –Susan Dayley

    PS. Last year I picked up 3 different heirloom tomatoes at a farmer’s market. I saved the seeds according to the directions the man gave me and my daughter-in-law grew them this year in her grandpa’s nursery. She had dozens of plants and I have heirloom tomatoes growing in my garden boxes this year. I am sooo excited!

  4. Be willing to go off the beaten path. The best produce and the best deals are not usually found in the middle of town or at the biggest store. Finding produce at its source is freshest and best, but also be willing to try different stores you don’t usually patronize. Smaller grocers and those regional stores that people perceive as lower quality because of lower prices, carry both quality food and the very same brands you’ll pay more for at popular chains. Don’t be a grocery story snob. And when you can, you’ll feed both your body and spirit by venturing into the country to purchase food from the source.

  5. My name is Margareta Jeppesen
    My hometown…
    I just moved. I live in Eagle Mountain, Utah
    My hometown Rigby, Idaho
    You have permission to use whatever you would like or format/edit however you need.
    I hope it helps!

    My husband and I do not have a lot of money. We make one income. We live paycheck to paycheck. We have four young kids, are relatable, and know where YOU are coming from. We have discussed bringing in a second income just for my health and affording my special food because of the special diet and many food intolerances and sensitivities I have. Affording clean eating is a very real concern I have and deal with on a day to day basis.

    Things I have done.

    I go to the health food store and ask for manufacturer’s coupons. They may or may not have ones I can use.
    I go online and print manufacturer’s coupons.
    I write the manufacturer for coupons.
    I download multiple ads and shop from the ones that feature the lowest prices on organics.
    I renew my Costco membership.
    I make a trip in to Trader Joes once a month.
    I write the companies who do a responsible job and tell them thank you. I write the companies who have products in health food stores asking why they put that one unnecessary unhealthy ingredient, show them my research, and ask them to remove it and do their own research. I do this so I have more choices of products and prices of things to eat within the health food stores.

    I frequent my local farmer’s markets.
    I own a deep freezer.
    I sold all my old unopened, never used, processed boxed good on a face book yard sale to earn money.

    If I don’t have enough in a month to buy all organic, I start with my produce first. If strawberries are $6.99 a lb I ignore them and buy them in the freezer section from Costco.
    If it’s the end of the month and there is no more money, I live on rice and beans literally. Not boxed and canned rice and beans my friends, but (purchased in bulk) the rice you steam, and beans you soak overnight and simmer for an hour. You can freeze the beans in freezer bags and use anytime. You save pennies on the dollar of these already boxed or canned foods.
    There are many recipes using quinoa broccoli, cauliflower or tomatoes and combining rice and beans they are delicious cost dollars to prepare and the kiddos will love! has a book readers favorite healthy recipes vol 1. & vol 2 that I’ve found are pretty budget friendly.
    Any time you find a recipe requiring rice and beans or quinoa that will save money I pin it to a Pinterest board.
    I write down how much I spent for each ingredient and see how much I want to make it.
    Example: If it was a five-seven dollar meal, it should be a normal dinner. A nine dollar meal should be saved for twice a month, whereas anything over nine dollars is nice, but I cannot afford right now.

    Be gentle with yourself. start small and build. If your budget dictates you can only put one or two extra items in the cart a month start there. Don’t beat yourself up.

    Raise a garden. You can prepare your own food for much cheaper than you can find it at the store. Plus it is much more TASTY!!
    A garden does not have to be those box gardens that are all the rave. If money is the issue here getting those started costs way too much. Do yhat once you have the means. All you need for a garden is a plot of dirt and seeds. (Non-GMO of course.)

    Examine your purchases.
    I shop yard sales verses department stores. I have not set foot inside of a mall. I feel better putting the savings into my body. When I have extra money I invest it into my body and my family’s bodies. They are our greatest assets. Not new clothes at the store.

    I searched the classifieds when I needed a washer, dryer and fridge vs brand new because dollar per dollar we are discussing my health and my future and my quality of life. A two year old washer is going to be just as good and half the price. But a washing machine is going to get my clothes clean, eating clean food is going to keep my immune system clean.

    I share all all the articles I can and promote information with others about food, allergies, dairy, Monsanto, GMOs, pesticides, organics, high fructose corn syrup, obesity rates, corporate responsibility, aspartame, food coloring, addictive foods etc.
    I know that spreading public awareness is key to helping drive up demand and lowering cost of products I use. (Like vegetables)

    I make my greensmoothiegirl recipes and bring them to parties. My friends rave, then I have a window to talk to them about health. If they ask for a recipe or more information this is a good thing for me. The more buyers of organics, the more purchasers of health food, the lower my bills go.

    Also when I meet a friend who is on food stamps they often comment how they can not use all that money in a month. Teaching my friends on food stamps about and bringing them with me to an event, or even talking to them about health and making more informed choices, is their BEST shot to take reign of their health. Showing my friends what I do may or may not impress them. But for the one who it makes an impression, they are going to feel happier, and healthier than they have in a long time. Assisting my friends by providing them information to become healthy eaters and purchasers creates supply and demand and in turn lowers the prices I pay.

    Thank you for the opportunity to write this 🙂
    It’s obviously something I am passionate about!

  6. Are you ever too tired when you get home to make that fresh green salad for dinner that you know would be healthy and feed your body? Is making a nutritious, leafy lunch just too much to face? Do you find slimy lettuce and various other veggies in your frig that you bought with great intentions? I hate answering yes to any of these questions! So, here’s my solution. Every weekend I make a huge, gigantic, enormous salad. I use a variety of sturdy greens and spin them dry in one of those inexpensive salad spinners you can purchase at Target or Walmart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This is a critical step to keep the greens from spoiling. I say sturdy greens like romaine lettuce, kale, spinach,etc. because these greens stand up to time better than others. I also add red cabbage, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. My experience has shown me that these stand up without getting slimy as well. I use a 40 cup rectangular Rubbermaid container to store my weekly salad. Don’t forget to enlist family help to make this chore less time consuming. My sons were always called in to help and now that I’m an empty nester my husband is my sole, fellow washer-spinner-cutter-chopper. Each time either of us wants a salad, we have a healthy base to start us. We then, add the “wet” veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, various peppers, avocados, as well as our healthy home-made dressings. Since we eat salads at lunch and dinner each day, having the bulk of the work done makes it so much easier and more likely. My husband, of 37 years and I celebrated our one year anniversary of being green smoothie converts on July 22nd. Our health, energy, and ability to deal with the stress of life has grown ten fold in the last year. We’ll never go back to the SAD diet! Thanks, Robyn for being our muse and inspiration. I look forward to your new book and lecture tour.

  7. I freeze smoothie greens as soon as possible after purchasing (or harvesting from the garden! Free! 😉 ) One of my biggest money wasters is spoiled food and greens seem to go bad quickly. I either put them into individually portioned bags, or just throw the whole lot into a big bag and into the freezer (then drop it on the cement floor a few times to break it up into handful sized chunks when it’s time to use it)

  8. I grow a lot of my own food, and attend the local farmers market when in season. I have saved a tremendous amount by harvesting wild greens, they are better
    nutritionally……eating the weeds in my garden now!

  9. The most inexpensive way to eat healthy is to grow your own, which you can do even without a backyard (I’ve grown vegetables in containers on my balcony). Aside from that, go to the farmers’ market 30 minutes before closing — you can pick up good deals on veggies as they don’t want to haul unsold merchandise back with them. Buy berries and tropical fruits in season and when they are on sale and freeze them for your smoothies. If you have a large enough freezer you can buy your fruit in bulk and really freeze a lot.

  10. I do a lot of seasonal picking of blueberries, strawberries and peaches each year. This gives me enough to last until the next growing season. I also grow or purchase in season beets and then freeze for smoothies as well. I have done the same with kale/collards/chard. Buying local and in season has been very economical, while growing my own garden to be the most economical. PLUS, if you have friends that garden you can do trades. Always keep an ear open for folks talking about their excess in the garden. Most are happy to give it away for FREE!

    A big time-saver for me is to portion out my Hot Pink Breakfast smoothies or Green Smoothies for a week’s worth. I use quart ziploc bags to portion out the berries/bananas/carrots/beets/etc. All I have to do is plop them in the Blendtec with liquid, add my soaked nuts/seeds and greens and I am good to go. Also making green smoothies the night before for 2 days worth was a great tip inspired via The GSG Detox program.

    I joined a CSA in 2012 for the first time. I noticed I was wasting a lot of produce for lack of using it up before it rotted or before the next week’s batch came in. I found that incorporating juicing into my menu plan, helps me to use up a lot of the veggies I used to let go to waste.

    I have spent the past several years getting to know my local farmers. I feel good when I can purchase directly from them. Ask around, you will be surprised with the abundance of local delicacies you have near your home.

    Knowing how much you are actually spending is key too. We have been lax in our budgeting the past few years and we realized we had no idea how much we were spending on food (or dining out, or entertainment, etc.). In April 2013 I started using a fabulous budgeting program called “you need a budget”. Here is the website By September I will see a good trend regarding my spending on food (and everything else for that matter). I even have a category for GSG Group Buy. Based on my purchases from last year and my consumption, I can now plan out how much to save for the group buy. I have tried other budgeting software programs but this one really rocks.

  11. I’ve found that the best use of my limited garden space is to grow winter squash. My favorite is buttercup squash. It harvests in late summer and will store until spring in my cool, dark basement! There are so many ways to prepare it or even use it to amp up the nutrition secretly, like in my kid’s pancakes. (Any squash works well for that, especially zucchini.) Last winter I made up my own Squash Soup recipe to turn my store of squash into a meal. I’m happy to share it here:

    Suzanne’s Buttercup squash soup: (This is a big recipe because there are 7 of us!)
    2 Buttercup squashes: steamed, peeled and pureed in high powered blender (you may need to add water to process)
    2 organic apples (I throw the whole apples, seeds and all, into the blender)
    Place squash and apple puree into a big pot, then add
    2 C boiling water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube (like Rapunzel brand) dissolved in it
    1 or 2 T coconut oil
    Cinnamon to taste (I like generous amounts)
    Heat until warm throughout and Enjoy!

    (Sometimes I’ll also cook 1/2 C quinoa and add it to the soup to make it more hearty.)

    Suzanne Chapman
    West Jordan, Utah

  12. My strategy is to spend and eat mindfully. I don’t waste money on junk, or foods that don’t pack a nutritional punch (unless I’m purposely indulging myself). I don’t ever buy commercial snack foods, because they’re usually empty calories, full of fat or full of chemicals I don’t want in my body. When I stay conscious while I eat, I eat less–and often can split one meal that I would have bloated myself on into two or more.

  13. Farmers markets. If you are a member of a CSA, community supported agriculture, they oftentimes have specials where you can buy in bulk and freeze what you cannot use. I use this tactic to save money but if there is one thing I noticed we do seem to eat less being on primarily organic diet through the CSA. There is also a surprise each week as to what will be in the CSA. Fun, healthy and economical.

    I am in Southern California. I noticed Sprouts will usually have organic food on sale since they buy in bulk. I also use a small farmers market near my house. I rarely ever go to the grocery store.

    Eating whole foods on a budget is not difficult. If it seems expensive do think….pay the farmer or pay the pharmacy…. your choice.

  14. How to Eat Right on a Budget

    I save money by doing the following. Eat local and what’s in season. I love getting to know my local farmers. A lot of time they will give me a good deal if I ask. Be willing to drive to their farm if you can to seek out their practices. good farmers are happy to show you around and discuss how they farm. Sometimes for farm pick-up they will take a couple dollars off too.

    I seek out expiring organic produce in grocery stores. Many stores have a section just for that and often it’s still good.

    I shop for organic products online with free shipping, especially superfoods, then take them with me on the road. Superfoods travel really well and it doesn’t take a lot of them for nutritional value. I keep a mix of goji berries, coconut flakes, and raw almonds in my purse.

    Watch for sales at Whole Foods. One Friday a month they have a great sale in the fresh produce section, then stock up, stick fruit in the freezer.

    Plant a garden, at least grown your own herbs. Herbs grow easily, and then you can dry them and avoid buying dried ones for winter. Save up for a dehydrator.

    Know what’s edible and what’s not. Often we throw away perfectly edible parts of produce.

    Make foods at home, and take them with you. There are so many healthy easy to make foods. Avoid eating out. Invest in a small rolling cooler.

    Buying a Vitamix blender has saved me money and time. I make my own smoothies, grind my own gluten free grains, and make soups easily.

    Buy foods in bulk and by the case. Often you can get 10-15% off. Ask your grocery store to cut you a deal.

  15. 1) At the beginning of each week soak and cook some beans to use in recipes for the rest of the week. This can cut down on recipe times and save you when you didn’t plan. Black beans are our favorite.
    2) Do the same with rice, quinoa, millet etc.
    3)Make hummus at the beginning of the week for fast lunches or snacks. Its cheap, filling, nutritious and you can add lots of variations.
    4) Purchase the fruits and veggies that are on sale and process them as soon as possible after bringing them home. The younger kids can wash and dry them. The older kids can slice and dice them and put them in containers in the fridge (or freezer). Now they are ready to eat!
    5) When we go on long trips or camping we want to eat healthy meals and we don’t want to spend money eating out. So we make meals that can be frozen flat in gallon zip loc bags. They fit nicely in the freezer and eating healthy is only a warm up away. We have even put meals in the dashboard of the car on a sunny day to be warmed up by the sun. Be creative 🙂
    6) We literally carry filtered water with us on all outings over an hour. Who wants to drink the nasty water from the fountain?! Yuck. And who wants to pay $2 a bottle?! I am a self proclaimed ” water snob” – LOL.
    7)What to do when you are out and about all day and the kids are starving (or you are starving for that matter!) and the snack bag has run dry? Just pop in the grocery store and let everyone get (yet another – lol) banana or apple. Its cheaper and WAY more nutritious than the drive through.

  16. My best money saving tip is to buy ripe bananas at the grocery or health food store, peel them, and stick them in the freezer. I add the frozen bananas to smoothies for a cheap source of calories. It may be a bit repetitive when I’m extra low on cash, but it’s a lot healthier than eating pasta or ramen every day.

  17. As a working mom I use weekends to get set up for the week. Fruits and veggies washed and cut. Several individual salads built and single serving dressings portioned out and ready to grab. My favorite salad for busy days – finger salad: cut up veggies and a single serving of hummus to dip them in. Smoothies packaged and in the freezer so that one package of greens and one package of fruit makes a smoothie – even my hot pink smoothies are portioned out and ready to go in just a few steps. I love that fruit and greens do not go bad in our house – they go in the freezer to be used in smoothies later. Being regulars at the local fruit stand has paid off several times with cases of apricots, tomatoes, pears and apples either free or at incredibly low prices. It also makes it easier to help out neighbors trying to share an abundant harvest – freezing is so much easier and healthier than canning. I was intimidated with the whole idea of cooking my own beans vs. canned, until a friend shared her crock pot recipe – much more doable for me. 3 cups beans (rinsed), 9 cups water and onion, garlic, salt and pepper (cumin and jalapeno for more of a mexican flare) to taste if we want it. Cook on high for 8 hours and drain for regular beans or mash for refried beans. I do this with pinto, black and adzuki beans and experiment with the flavors but have found they all work well. Menu planning has been frustrating because we have a hard time sticking to a menu. I finally wrote out our favorite meals on little post-it’s that move through the weeks/months of our calendar. This way we have a plan, but it’s easy to switch things around if necessary. Once we’ve made the meal, it moves down to a spot on the next week/month. Organized and flexible makes it doable. I am currently redoing our menu options and building our meals around salads. Thank you so much for all of the great ideas and resources – I don’t know that I’d have started on this journey without some kind of map. Thank you also for the group by – I have so many people wanting to know where to get nuts and seeds especially – they are looking forward to October.

  18. – Make a blenderful of green smoothie every day, using whatever greens and fruits are currently cheapest to buy.

    – Add tahini and date syrup to your smoothie, for extra nutrition. You can find date syrup at Middle Eastern stores and it’s usually quite cheap! It’ll be beside jars of carob and grape syrups, and black seed paste, all of which are also excellent to add to smoothies!

    – Visit stores in ethnic neighbourhoods and discover unusual (to you and me) vegetables and traditional foods. Often quite inexpensive, and yummy!

    – Buy whole grains and beans in bulk, and store in glass jars with good lids. Soak beans the night before, and they won’t take too long to cook the next day. A whole grain and a bean or lentil make a complete protein (so no need for meat).

    – Learn how to sprout beans and grains. Sprouts are delicious, add extra oomph to your diet, and cost next to nothing to produce.

    – Eat light and healthy, making salads and soups from inexpensive whole foods. A lentil and bulgar salad with fresh carrots and green peppers in it is far more satisfying than heavy and more costly meat or cheese dishes.

    – Whatever is in season and available in your area is your most cost-efficient choice.

    – Don’t get stuck trying to follow recipes to the letter. Improvise with what you have on hand.

    – I’m lucky to have a grape arbor where I live, so plenty of grapes are gong into my smoothies these days! Grapeseed extract is a wonderful antioxidant, but pricey to buy as a supplement. So just throw whole grapes into your blender, to get the benefits of both grapes and grapeseed. Buzz the grapes and water first, then strain through a fine plastic sieve to remove unprocessed bits of grapeseed. Then add your other ingredients.

    – Shop early in the day. Many large grocery stores slash prices on day-old baked goods and meats nearing their expiry dates. If you eat them the same day, they’re just fine.

    – After you get into the habit of drinking green smoothies, you won’t be attracted to sugary treats. You may even stop adding sugar to your tea or coffee… So you’ll save money by not bothering to buy sweets and sugar-loaded “food” (which usually contain far too much white-flour and processed-food ingredients anyway, and never really counted as “food” in the first place).

    – Don’t eat late at night. It’s not good for you. Just drink some water instead. Hungry feelings will go away, and you’ll have saved money on whatever it was you were thinking of eating…

    – Fast now and then, to give your body and your wallet a break.

    – And, before eating, always give thanks for your food. Whatever you eat will then become more beneficial for you, and smaller quantities will be enough!

  19. It can be really challenging eating organic whole foods on a budget. Buy in season, grow a garden, and shop at farmer’s markets. Also, get to know your neighbors and local farmers. We have swapped food or just been invited to come pick whatever food they have ready that they have excess of. I also think everyone should get in the habit of sprouting and making your own almond milk with sprouted almonds. It is so easy and very inexpensive if you buy raw sprout mixes in bulk. You can add them to your morning granola, salads, or just great snacks. You have to fall in love with being in your kitchen again to really save money and live a healthy life. There are so many wonderful foods that are easy to make, but you need to put the time in and plan ahead to shop regularly so that you are eating food that is perishable. Thank you Robyn for helping motivate me to change my life and the health of my family with your 12 step program.

  20. In regard to “I can’t afford to eat right” I say “hogwash”. It always seem sot me that much junk food can be purchased as well as fast food and if that could be put toward the “afford to eat right” plan it would be help tremendously. Plain and simple – right out a menu plan for the week that includes the “eat ride ‘FOODS” the plan would work. Stick to a plan and have a plan. The simple! Most fresh and frozen produce and frozen! You will love – I even have my husband into a Green Smoothie lover 🙂

  21. Some of my best ideas to eat right on a budget (for a NYcity girl who can’t grow her own):
    Buying items like beans, nuts and dried fruits in bulk and on sale, if possible.
    Using my own shopping bags. One store that I frequent gives me back 5 cents a bag!
    Instead of buying bags of chips, I only make homemade snacks like:
    popcorn (put 1/3 cup in a brown paper lunch bag, fold over the top, microwave for 1 minute or until sound slows to a few seconds between pops)
    baked corn tortilla chips (brush tortillas with oil, cut into triangles , sprinkle with salt or seasoning and spread on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes)
    Buying organic puffed cereal (usually less than $2) and mixing it with other organic cereals (which are pricey) to make them last longer.
    I never buy bananas more than 59 cents a pound.
    Having warm pureed celery/almond soup topped with yogurt or diced avocado for breakfast in the winters, and green drinks in the summer. Big batches last all week!
    Buying bunches of kale, then lightly steaming the torn leaves and blending with a little water to make kale ice cubes for smoothies.
    Thank you, Robyn, for getting me hooked on green drinks!

  22. If you are really on a budget, you can often find great prices on fresh produce during the last hour or so of farmer’s markets. Another option is to find (or start your own) community garden exchange. In Marin County, CA we have a number of Community Garden Exchange groups that meet every Saturday morning during the summer months. People bring any extra vegetables, fruits, seeds, flowers, or other garden related items to the exchange and everyone goes home with a new mixture of goodies.
    Some other thoughts… buy in bulk. You can always go in on the bulk item with another family if you need to. Cook once and eat multiple times – instead of making a soup or stew for one meal, make enough to last for at least one other meal. You can freeze or can meals for quick easy use later. Plan ahead, make a list for the week, shop once and get creative with leftovers.


    You paid for the entire vegetable so don’t be afraid to use it … Remove tops from root veggies like BEETS, TURNIPS, RADISHES, CARROTS, etc., and store separately in plastic bags with a damp paper towel to keep them from wilting. Use the tops within a few days in your favorite smoothie or soup! Also, by removing the tops the roots will keep for much longer.

    Spend a few minutes to learn how to properly store your nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. I store all non-refrigerated items in a mason jar so it can be easily seen, used and resealed. Before switching to jars I had a lot of waste because my family never wanted to eat the last portion of something because they had the perception that it was old or someone didn’t seal the bag properly. In jars it is always appealing to the eye and taste! Also, they make great grab-n-go containers for left over soups & smoothies!


    Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.

    Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

    Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.

    Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

    Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.

    Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away

    Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.

    Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.

    Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

    Broccoli Rabe‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.

    Brussels Sprouts‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.

    Cabbage‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.

    Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.

    Cauliflower‐ will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but cauliflower seems to have the best flavor the day it’s purchased. This is just my opinion.

    Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.

    Celery root/Celeriac‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.

    Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner then later for maximum flavor.

    Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.

    Eggplant‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.

    Fennel‐ if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.

    Garlic‐ store in a cool, dark, place.

    Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.

    Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.

    Green Tomatoes‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.

    Herbs- a closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

    Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Leeks‐leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).

    Okra‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase

    Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

    Parsnips‐an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.

    Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.

    Radishes‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

    Rhubarb‐wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.

    Rutabagas‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.

    Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container

    Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.

    Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.

    Summer Squash‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.

    Sweet peppers‐ Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.

    Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.

    Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

    Turnips‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.

    Winter squash‐store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.

    Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

    Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.

    All Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.

    Apricots‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe

    Cherries‐store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.

    Berries-Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.

    Dates‐dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐ as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates. – This is a great sweetener for smoothies and raw deserts!!!

    Figs‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.

    Melons‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine. Be sure to wash the outside of the melon before cutting it … even though you don’t eat you use the same knife to cut through the flesh.

    Nectarines‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.

    Peaches (and most stone fruit)‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.

    Pears‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.

    Persimmon –Fuyu‐(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.–Hachiya‐ (longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack‐they get very fragile when really ripe.

    Pomegranates‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter. Stock up on pomegranates when they are on sale they will last a month!

    Strawberries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day. Put a towel in your bag to absorb the moisture.

    1. Got Kids?? Straws. My young kids won’t drink much smoothie out of cup, but add a straw and BAM, its gone. We also use straws to feed them healthy soups and hot cereal while they are young. Its amazing how much more I can get my kids to eat with a straw.
      Brenna, Payson, Utah

    2. I use my crockpot plenty for big soups/stews: split peas, lentils, 9-bean chili, black beans, etc. I can load up on veggies and use small amounts of meat (if I want) and lots of good spices for flavor and health benefits. It’s only me and my husband, so 1/2 the batch is good for 2-3 days, and I can freeze the other half for another week so we don’t get sick of it.

      Another tip: I buy a large amount of greens, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and keep them in a large sealed container in my fridge. They will last more than a week that way without getting slimy, and the towel is reusable.

    3. We see our food budget as a priority over other things since what we eat greatly impacts our health. Anytime I am faced with an organic, whole food choice that is more expensive than a similar unhealthy choice, I tell myself “pay now or pay later”. Food purchases are an investment in our health and eating is considered “preventative health care” in our home. We all have many perceived “needs” but high-quality food truly is a necessity so it is money spent well.

  24. We had a sad little vegetable garden until we learned about and began to incorporate what GSG teaches. We grew our own beets this year, because I am addicted to Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothies, and even just recently planted beet seeds for a fall crop. We grew spinach and lettuce. It soon bolted in the Utah heat. But, we learned that growing Swiss Chard pays back seven fold. It can take the 100 degree weather without a problem and it truly is the vegetable that keeps on giving. When we were able to start harvesting, our grocery bill was cut more than in half! We are growing around 14 different varieties of vegetables this year. Not only are we saving money, but we are reaping the rewards of being close to the earth and becoming more self sufficient with newly acquired knowledge and greater experience in vegetable gardening. Thank you Green Smoothie Girl and all those who work hard along with her.

  25. Eating seasonally and making meals around what I find on sale at stores and farmer’s markets is a huge help in staying on budget. I also no longer buy more fresh produce than I know we can consume (or process) in a few days because having food spoil is not cost effective even if it was a good buy. Finally, I use my freezer and dehydrator, and make foods/meals ahead when I have time so that when we are busy we can still eat well.

  26. When you eat high quality raw nutritional food you can eat much less! just grab a grape, an apple, celery, or whatever throughout the day- and water for your thirst! it really costs much less than processed cooked meals!

  27. I have recently discovered how eating right can make a huge difference in your health. I was sick for 2 years. We had no idea what was wrong with me. They finally discovered that my body was not handling processed foods. I had to completely change my diet. I have been purchasing rice, wheat, dried beans, apple slices, powdered milk, potato flakes, oats and dried onions in bulk. You get more for your money when you purchase these items in bulk. I have also stocked up on spices and seasonings. Because of this our weekly food bill is less. I can purchase organic fruits and vegetables without having to purchase the other items all the time because we have plenty in bulk. We love having a garden. It has helped with lowering the cost of food each week.

  28. Eat at home don’t eat out. That of course means preparing food and meals ahead of time so you have something to fall back on.
    Don’t food shop on an empty stomach – you will make impulse purchases.
    Garden – grow what you can to supplement your meals.
    Bring snacks with you wherever you go because inevitable the kids or you will be hungry at some point and it can be way too say to stop and pick up someone either that will be unhealthy or cost too much money.
    Bring water in reusable water bottles so you don’t have to purchase drinks.
    Freeze greens or fruits before they go bad so you don’t waste them- great for smoothies!
    It’s hard tho….keep the kids involved – make it a family affair to stick to the plan.

  29. It’s an investment at first but but over the long run you save money….a wheat grinder. Buying spelt flour, rice flour etc… is so expensive so I besides my blentec blender I couln’t live without my grinder. I love it!

  30. Hi!

    My husband and I are empty nesters. He is retired and I am still heavily involved in my career which I am very passionate about – teaching two year old children! My husband tends to be very frugal and busy “cheap processed food” which I refuse to eat. We balance out our budget by me buying whole, plant based foods…so our grocery bill is not too high….

    I find myself in social situations where “dinner” is served. I have started packing my cute Igloo lunch bag with green smoothies and the food I am eating on the detox. I also bring extra clean containers or baggies to “bring home” the prepared meal and serve it to my husband the next night.

    This has been a two-fold blessing for me! i can still eat healthy and he can have a variety of meals – changes the pace of things for him.

    I was at an early childhood conference when the detox started. The first day we were served chicken and then next a huge piece of lasanga. Both days HUGE cookies were on the table too!! I sat at a table where I did not know anybody and I explained I had brought my lunch and was going to pack the “lunch” in front of us for dinner…..then I pulled out my green smoothie and potato… was an awesome moment for one girl at the table said she and her husband drink green smoothies….someone else snarled at the thought but I was glowing inside for I “MADE IT WORK” for me!!!

    I just had to take a deep breath and do what was beneficial to me and my body and not worry about the social politeness of eating what is served to me by others.


  31. here’s what I do to keep cost low. I am a subscriber to a local organic produce service, this way I know what is truly in season, as most health stores still carry things that aren’t seasonal. the quality of the produce has been better consistently than what i pick at the store and the price is competitive. What I also like about the box is it narrows down the menuplanning dilemma for me. i know what i have to use since it’s in my box and i can menuplan accordingly and just hit the store to complement or complete what i still need. I have spent a lot less time planning since getting the box, because my options have already been narrowed and it helps a lot! I also take advantage of groupons from local farms where i can get fresh seasonal ripe fruit for less than half the price. I cut and freeze the produce I don’t use and can rely on the stock throughout winter. i also take advantage of the u-pick farms during the season, I can pick fruit for about a third of what they sell for in the store or less. just the fact that i don’t buy animal products any more, is allowing me to be able to afford organic high quality food. I of course love the group buys, well worth budgeting for every year! I also make almost everything from scratch, so much cheaper than buying overpriced things from the health food store. and the more time you spend making things fom scratch, the quicker I get at chopping and other meal prep steps, which then cuts down time again. Being a busy mom during the school year like all others, i plan out time during the summer break to prepare some things i can freeze for during the school year when i need something quick but don’t want to buy the supposedly healthy freezer meal options. so i found myself making a double batch of something once a week throughout the summer, vegan meatloaf, veggie burgers, beetballs, sweetpotato blackbean vegan sausage patties, etc. I know what goes in it, I make them from scratch so they are cheaper and healthier and yummier, might I add, than anything available at the store and it really just takes a minute to add the ingredients to the weekly shopping list. I do the same thing for dehydrated snacks to make a nice stock of for the year, crackers, healthy cookies, raw pizza crusts etc, all ready to use in a flash. I also make raw marinara sauce during the tomato season when every gardener I know gives me their surplus of tomatoes, free, and freeze it for a quick meal during the busy school year. Any surplus of veggies can also be dehydrated for quick soups or adding to stews any time.

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