Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Would Suze Orman Do?

I am a huge fan of the financial guru (Ms. Orman) and I pride myself on all that I have learned from her over the years. In order to save money I forgo the latest tech gadgets, I don't see movies in the theater (netflix all the way), and I buy all of my clothes from discount retailers (Filene's Basement, I heart you!). Instead, I save my money for the 2 things I treasure most in this world - travel and quality food.

When I transitioned to a mostly raw lifestyle, I didn't worry too much about the price of food I was buying. I saw every $2.50 avocado or every $14 jar of organic almond butter as an investment into my health. Moreover, I felt validated in knowing that I was supporting an industry of plant-based vegan food culture that is eco-friendly and will hopefully grow larger and less expensive as more and more people support it. By and large, I still feel this way.

What changed? Reviewing my bank statements over the past 5 months of raw food living indicates that my way of eating, shopping, and meal planning is not financially sustainable. Therefore, I'm adopting an early New Year's resolution to overhaul my way of spending without changing my way of eating. I will periodically update my blog any time I learn a new money saving technique for raw food living. But, first I have 3 big tips that I have discovered over the past month.

1. Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) - This is a fabulous new addition to the raw blogosphere. Lisa, we'll call her the "Suze" of the raw food world, creates incredible meal plans that are as easy to prepare as they are delicious. Best of all, it takes less than $10 per person to un-cook her menus. I eagerly await her next updates and will vow to follow them more precisely in the coming months as I try to trim my food budget.

2. One Lucky Duck. I don't know why I haven't tried to buy stock in this company because I have literally poured thousands of dollars into Sarma's empire. As a matter of fact, it's actually kind of embarassing how much money i've spent at the juicebar alone this fall. I feel that this is somewhat of an anomally this year because I have been immensely busy the past couple of months, relying on takeout roughly 4 days per week - EEK! Well, my bank account may get a reprive now that One Lucky Duck is offering a special holiday promotion for gift cards. You should check out the website for the exact details, but essentially you get an extra 20% for every gift card you purchase. So, if you get a $500 gift card, you get an extra $100 gift card free. I'm planning ahead and getting a lot of gift cards - it just makes sense with the way I spend money there.

3. ValPack! This might only apply to New Yorkers, but perhaps your community offers something similar. In those ValPack coupon envelopes that all New Yorkers get in their mailboxes each month (and generally throw straight into recycling), there is a $5 off coupon for every $50 spent at Westerly Market, one of NYC's premier health food stores. I happen to live close to Westerly, so this makes a lot of sense for me. But, if you work in midtown or happen to be in the area once per month, it might make sense to do some shopping there for items that you would be buying anyway. $5 a month over a year is $60 in free groceries.

Let me know if you have any tips too!

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