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Whole Foods? Whole Paycheck.

I (Sandeep) was an Economics major.  I understand Supply & Demand.  Raw food products are in short supply, so the demand?  High.

But, when I am looking at my Whole Foods receipt for the flax seed oil, coconuts, almond butter, kombucha, organic vegetables, and other foods that bring me strange looks at the checkout counter, there is a part of me that screams

Yo!  You didn't even have to COOK it!  Why are you charging me $30 for a cracker? 

Spare me the Mastercard commercial references.  This shit is expensive!

My question of the day: Short of growing your own produce (my thumbs are brown), how do you eat raw on the cheap?



my first suggestions are find a farmer's market and second the local asian supermarket.

Though the produce at the farmer's market may not be certified organic, the farmers will let you know of their growing practices.

The asian supermarket will have things like the coconuts and papayas and for much less money than whole foods.

Also remember that at whole foods, they carry a lot of conventional produce so you have to read all of the signs and stickers.

good luck.


When I was in college and just starting to eat raw, I would end up spending at least $200 a week for groceries, (all organic and lots of snack).

My only answer, at that time, was to make more money. I think being able to eat anything I wanted when ever I wanted was one of the main driving factors for starting the tech company.

I honestly dont know how much I spend now though. I probably eat less than than when I was in college, but I tend to splurge on the things I like the most. Maybe it would be a good goal to track stuff and post it publically.


eating healthy much less eating raw is cost prohibitive. as a vegan for over a decade and a sporadic raw foodists i've spent so much money on quality food it makes me want to cry. i could be in much better financial shape if i sacrificed my health and peace of mine. of course ideally society would be organized in such a manner that people can afford to be healthy.


i have not yet been able to try all the 'specialty' raw foods and ingredients for just this reason --- my few months eating all raw was getting challenging because i was so tired of plain fruits, smoothies, vegetables and seeds/nuts --- even eating so simply i would spend $75 to $100 per week just to have fresh organic produce. coconut oil, nut butters, cacao beans, goji berries, young coconuts??? WAY out of range on a student budget, let alone ordering some tasty crackers or sweets. i splurge by buying pinapples and mango and medjool dates.
time to learn to garden me thinks.

(ps, i'm new to your blog but i love it! this is the best raw site i've come across.)


um, I thought I spent less money when I switched to raw food because it seemed like all my purchases were simplified... and I wasn't eating out as much at restaurants and things. I thought I was saving money...maybe I was wrong. I think the real expense comes with raw food is packaged raw foods like raw almond butter, etc. But I don't think raw foods bought in the produce or bulk section are that expensive. as long as I avoid packaged raw foods I find that I save money in general. but yeah, I guess eating ramen noodles everyday is cheaper than a raw food diet.

Sandeep Sood

What I want to learn about are workarounds. I currently buy my coconuts from whole foods. There must be some Chinese grocery store that sells them cheaply nearby. Same for Kombucha. But, I am scared about quality, so I keep spending more than I probably need to.

I think the farmer's market suggestion is really on point. This just requires me to get my lazy arse out of bed Sunday morning...hmm...and give up reading the paper with my wife and playing with my son. I guess I'll stick to Whole Foods for now!


buy in season, and your fruits and veggies will naturally be a bit cheaper. stay away from higher priced nuts and buy bulk: organic sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are never more than $3 a pound! grains to sprout, like buckwheat, aren't more than $3 per pound too. compare this to organic macademia nuts and almonds which are often around $16/pound. get your raw food friends together to buy the higher priced items in bulk and you all save.


Hi There-

I've just been browsing thru, and have noticed the comments about the expense of buying kombucha. A SCOBY (simbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) can often be obtained free or for very little cost. It is super simple to create your own brew! Some sugar, tea and time and you are well on your way to 'making babies', as it is often referred to, as the colony doubles itself every time you make a new batch of brew. A good place to check for SCOBYs is your local coop, people often have them free to share. There is also a great yahoo group that may have them available: original_kombucha If all else fails, they can be had on ebay.


Sandeep I'm going to be in the city in the next month. I'll give you one of my kombucha babies. You can make your own and then give the babies away as gifts to family and friends. I use Yogi green tea, organic sugar and I estimate it costs me about five dollars a gallon to make, using my mom's gas stove included.

My sister buys her water coconuts in Whole Foods. I bought one at a fruit stand once and it was DISGUSTING. It was rancid. I used to work at Whole Foods and yes it sure as hell is WHOLE PAYCHECK. Now that I don't work there, I buy enough for a day or two. I stay away from Whole Body and I hate to say this but I don't buy raw snacks from anyone, Eat Raw, One Lucky Duck,etc. I stick the produce area, bulk items like wheatgrass seeds, nuts,etc.

Right now I'm on a tight budget so I tend to go to the korean shops for fruits and veggies and west indian markets for curry powder and whatnot.


I agree that as raw foods gain more popularity, the more people will want them and buy them and eventually they will become more affordable and more readily available. It's just a pity that so many western countries like our beloved USA make it so cheap and easy to be fat...think about it. Junk food, cheap. Not going to the gym, cheap. Sitting on your bum watching tv...for the most part, cheap. Buying organic produce, working out regularly at a gym, getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need...expensive! However, to me it's worth the investment in my health and not having to have so many doctors visits and prescription drugs to be popping daily. In a perfect world, people would be actively living their lives to the fullest with great health and organic farmers markets would be in every city and not just the trendiest and healthiest areas of the US.

P.S. I am new to this blog and joining from overseas in Australia where I am living at the moment. I think everyone should also be really thankful that there are SO many raw resources in the USA and it is much cheaper than many other countries. Getting anything raw is so much more difficult over here and I cannot wait to move back home and have all the resources that are available to everyone in the US!

Sandeep Sood

Thanks for the offer - I am looking forward to hanging out with my Kombucha Baby. Kombucha Baby. That's the perfect name for an alternative rock band...


Can you explain what kombucha is? I've never heard of it before. btw... I LOVE THIS BLOG! Stephen

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