In a previous post, I mentioned how expensive it can get to be on the Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.). Here are some helpful hints to minimize the impact on your wallet:
- Make a list an scope out your grocery stores. See what each store has available and at what price, before you buy. Also, few people realize that they can submit a request for their local chain store to carry an item. Have your friends ask too. The more people that ask for it, the more likely it is that they will start carrying it. Also, they will most likely price it lower than you will find it at “healthy living” stores!
- Try ethnic stores. They often have hard to find ingredients at a reasonable price. Once I figured out that the “sea vegetables” on the B.E.D. were really just different kinds of seaweed, I went to my local Asian market and stocked up for a fraction of the price. I also got various noodles and grains there too! For both everyday and hard to find spices, I go to the Mediterranean grocery who sells them dirt cheap! For the special blue corn tortillas, the Tortilliaria down the road is awesome! Check these places first, before wasting your money at more expensive grocery stores.
- Buy in bulk. Costco really surprised me. They have a LOT of B.E.D. safe and organic options at lower prices than you can find them in grocery stores. Here is some of what I left with: both chicken and ground beef, many different veggies, lemons and limes, blue corn tortilla chips, probiotics, flax meal, and a giant sack of quinoa. The only downside is figuring out where to put it all.
- Garden or join a community garden. Anything you grow your self will save money. Herbs are the easiest and can be done is small pots on a window sill, if you don’t have a green thumb or a yard. If you are not confident in your gardening skills or if you live in an apartment, try participating in a community garden. Often, the others there will help you and give you helpful tips, because they benefit from your successful crop too!
- Look into local co-ops or delivery services. I subscribe to a local delivery service, here in the Triangle. I pay $20 per week (I can skip weeks, if I want) for the small box. I fill my box by picking and choosing from a list of available products from local farms that they post each week. They deliver a few days later. I have personally found this to be cheaper and more convenient than going to the farmers market. I have also heard of local co-ops that offer boxes of a variety of veggies at a discounted price. I wish there was one here.
- Cook in bulk too. Pick one or two days a week to cook or prep a large batch of something. Portion it out and can, freeze, or refrigerate it. You will save time and money not cooking everyday. You will also have ready to go lunches, which will discourage you (and maybe others in the house!) from cheating by eating at a restaurant.
- Look for generics. The B.E.D. has a lot of branded supplements and other products. Read their labels and try to find a cheaper alternative. For example, their SuperGreens powder is twice as expensive as the Go Greens powder I tried. Or try the even cheaper Amazing Grass. I was able to find most of the others too. Alternatives to the branded sweeteners can be found in your local grocery stores. I prefer the “In the Raw” brand, as others have additives. And, as a bonus, they sometimes actually have coupons in the paper for those!
- DIY as much as possible. I am told, making your own coconut kefir and “cheese” can save you a lot. Unfortunately I cannot do it myself, because I have yet to find young coconuts in any of my local stores, and I also don’t own a meat cleaver (necessary for hacking the coconut open). However, I do make my own kimchee, as well as other fermented veggies. Basic kimchee is easy and requires few ingredients; cabbage, sea salt, fish sauce, and gochugaru pepper flakes. You can also customize the flavor to suit you. I prefer to add garlic and reduce the usual amount of spice, as it can irritate the digestive tract. A pint jar at my local grocery store is $7! At the Asian market it is $3. It cost me about $3 in ingredients to make my own and it yielded 3 quarts. I saved my self as much as $39!
If anyone has some more money saving tips or any questions about what I have mentioned, please comment blow!