Growing up I didn't have access to a lot of fresh food. Like many others, the bulk of our groceries were either canned, frozen, or boxed. That was the norm, as it still is in many households today. However, today many of us are gravitating towards a fresh, plant-based diet. We've all come to the conclusion to that which is healthiest for us, is more expensive. For example, organic food costs more than nonorganic food. It is healthier for our bodies to wear clothing of 100% natural fabric and made without harsh chemicals and dyes however, it is more expensive to purchase. It costs to be healthy. It also costs to buy healthy, fresh food. However, if you are able to do just a bit of research, you will find that the price of healthy food can also be inexpensive.
When I was eighteen, I was renting a beautiful, one-bedroom granny-flat that overlooked the city of El Cajon, CA. I was a hardworking nursing assistant who had just traded in an ailing Kia Sportage for a brand new Kia Spectra. Needless to say, I had bills to pay, but I also needed to nourish my body. I did the best I could with what I knew. All those years of teaching myself to budget by searching through San Diego's mini apartment guide to find inexpensive apartments to one day rent and creating a list of expenses I would incur, would finally pay off. Somehow knowing my mom's fixed expenses, I created a realistic budget for my future self.
I, faithfully, stuck to my budget. However, my budget only allowed for about forty dollars every paycheck for groceries. I quickly learned to make due. With enough optimism to feed the world, I'd gratefully shop at the local dollar store for all my boxed and canned foods which included canned fruit and veggies. Then I'd whisk over to the local grocery store to purchase milk and small packages of meat or poultry. These groceries would always last well into the next grocery trip as I didn't eat very much.
These tactics proved helpful in my life today. Whenever finances were tight or I was looking to save, I learned to purchase produce at our local dollar store (available at select dollar stores) and to buy nuts, seeds, and produce that I couldn't find at the dollar store, at our local grocery store. This strategy is very helpful as I am a raw vegan.
To eat healthy isn't always expensive. You just gotta know your resources. Local farmers markets, independent whole food providers, dollar stores and wonderful sales and coupons in your local supermarket gives you choices. Sometimes, you'll find organic produce in dollar stores and sometimes, you'll find great "Buy One, Get One Free" 24 oz packages of blue berries at VONS. It can be hit or miss, but if you seek, you shall find.
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