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    Raw Food on a Budget-Shop at More Than One Store

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    Not shopping at more than one store is a mistake that nearly everyone seems to make. There are many reasons for this, but it is mostly down to smart marketing by the big stores. Add to this the fact that most people are remarkably busy and want to do their weekly shopping at once, and you have a recipe for overpaying for your food.

    Big stores are high at advertising those loss-leader products that get people into the store. Most people do not realize that the stores more than make up the losses by charging more on their other products. But to save money, you need to get smart to outsmart the big stores.

    Because of our background, we are used to shopping at a range of different stores. As more big stores start appearing, this will be more difficult. When we were growing up, we were not poor, but we still had to be careful with our money, and one way we saved was by buying all our food at the stores that offered the best value. So, if that meant getting vegetables from three different stores, fruit from another, and rice from another, we did. It seemed familiar to me then, and it still looks reasonable to me now.

    But for most people, this does not seem reasonable at all. The vast majority seem to want to drive to a big box store, load up for the week, and then drive home. If you are going to do this, then that is your choice, but you should know that you are paying extra for the privilege of shopping this way. Shopping around can save you vast amounts of money, and the more you buy this way, the better you will get at spotting the bargains.

    Shop at a few different places, and you will quickly get used to what sort of produce is generally cheaper at which store. You can then plan your shopping with much more precision and save even more. You will also come across more special offers to take advantage of by visiting a few stores. We have seen many “buy one get one free” offers that were only available at one particular store, so we would have missed these if we only shopped at the same place every week.

    But do not think that you will spend your shopping day of the week having to trek around multiple stores looking for the lowest prices, as that is not the way to shop. As you will be eating raw, we would suggest shopping more regularly anyway. So, by all means, do a big shop once a week for non-perishable items, but shop locally for fresh produce more often.

    Depending upon where you live, you may find shopping easier than some US; maybe your neighborhood is not dominated by big stores. When we are at the local fruit and vegetable market, we often shop at five or six different stalls, which means we get the best products at the best prices. In some areas in the US, it is also possible but takes a little more effort. Most neighborhoods have a choice of big stores as well as plenty of smaller stores. Start spending some time to get to know your community and check out these places. You do not have to check them all on the same day but get around visiting all of them over the next few weeks.

    By visiting different stores, you will get a better idea of the cost of various goods. Some people have been shocked when we have taken them to a local market and shown that the product is less than half the cost of what they pay at their big box store. And it is fresher as well. So, do not stick to only one store for all your food shopping, but get out there and explore.

    We know some people will say that this is great if you have time on your hands, but what if you work long hours, have children to look after, etc. Yes, it is more onerous if you are one of those people, but you have to try. You only get one shot at life, so do not waste it by being too busy to live your life how you want to. Also, think of it this way. Are you working long hours to earn enough to afford to shop at that expensive food store every week? If so, cut back your hours, spend the spare time exploring your local stores, and spend more time with your family. There will be a few people for who this isn’t easy, but most people we have met who claim they do not have time to shop do have the time to choose to put shopping last. You have to make the time. Buying healthy food should be one of your priorities, not spending all your time stuck at a desk in an office or sitting at home.

    We hope you will take this suggestion and get out there and explore a little. We are sure you will be pleasantly surprised at what is available in your neighborhood, and you will save some money at the same time.

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