Eating raw and vegan may sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Today I want to equip you with some helpful tips that will make eating healthy accessible and affordable.
- Keep it simple
If you want to eat raw, you don’t have to make a chia seed pudding for breakfast, a raw pizza for lunch or a raw cashew nut panna cotta for dessert. Raw desserts are usually the most expensive healthy foods to make as they are dense in dried fruits and nuts while often containing superfoods. A raw food dish could be as simple as a fruit salad with oats, a green smoothie, a salad with yummy seed topping, dried fruits or seaweed rolls.
- Create a meal plan with a shopping list
Impulse purchases can easily kill your budget as it is just so tempting to buy everything that you come across when you are out shopping. By following a meal plan you will know what you want to buy before you even hit the stores and budget accordingly.
- Look out for special offers
When there is a special offer, buy more and stock up. Even if the products you want are not on specials, you should try to buy them in bulk - when it comes to nuts, buying a bigger bag can save you up to 30%.
- Buy locally
Choose items that you can get from your local farmers and markets. This applies to fresh produce and also for dried fruits, nuts and seeds. In Malaysia, there are various organic farmers where you can obtain great fruits and vegetables. While buying organic is best, it will add a premium on the price so just choose what’s realistic for you!
- Localise the recipes that you find
If a smoothie recipe for example asks for kale (which is super hard to find and expensive to buy in Malaysia), be flexible and look for an alternative ingredient. In this particular case, two incredible local greens like kangkong and bayam could be appropriate substitutes.
- Buy seasonally
If you have ever wandered out to buy mangoes you will have noticed that they vary between RM3 and RM13 per kg throughout the year. Consequently, it makes sense to buy the fruits that are currently in season!
- Choose your stores!
There can be huge price differences between stores in Malaysia, so remember to compare several stores and choose the one that has the product you want at the cheapest price. This might mean having to go to two or three different places, reading the catalogues or ordering online; however taking this proactive step will save you money over the course of a year.
- Prepare your meals at home rather than eating out
Eating healthy food when you’re out can often attract a premium price. Set aside some time at home to prepare your meals as this will make healthy eating much more affordable.
- Make more and stock up
A good example is healthy sweets and candies. Instead of making just a few in one go or buying an expensive packet at the supermarket, make a large bunch which will last throughout the whole week. Another example is raw cheese, which can keep for a whole week and you can turn it into a filling and delicious salad dressing just by adding a little bit of water.
- Don’t throw away food
We often throw away healthy food that could be kept longer. Fruits, for example, can always be frozen to be used at a later date in a smoothie.
Let me know how you go with these 10 tips and if you have any of your own to eating raw, vegan and healthy on a budget!