How to Shop Like a Raw Foodist and Buy Fruit in Bulk
Filed under Raw Vegan Lifestyle by Frederic Patenaude
I’m currently traveling in New Zealand where I just bought a big case of Asian pears one of my favorite fruits when in season.
I got a really good deal on the case of pears, and ending up paying half of the regular price that the exact same fruits sell at the regular supermarket.
A lot of people wonder how it’s possible to make this raw food diet work when fruits and vegetables are so expensive, especially these days. Let me tell you how!
As I’ve said many times, you need to start shopping like a real raw foodist by buying food by the case, not by the pound or kilo at a grocery or healthfood store!
Almost anywhere in the world I have visited, I have been able to get great deals on fruit just by finding certain places that can sell to you in larger quantities. Sometimes you won’t be able to find these places with Google, and you have to actually go back to the good old fashioned way of asking around or driving around your city.
As for the pears I just got, I was in a store in Christchurch that specialized in fruits and vegetables. That’s the kind of store you want!
The pears sold for $3.90 a kilo, which is about US$1.32 a pound. This was a great price, but I was able to get an even better one. I was planning on getting more than a bag of them anyways and just thought to ask if they could sell an entire case of those pears to us. Then the guy wasn’t sure, but said he would ask his manager.
He told us we could buy 20 kilos, but that would probably be too big, but he could make us a custom box of 10 kilos. When I asked the price, he said $39.90. I said “You mean there’s no discount for buying a case?” Again, he said he would ask his manager.
When he came back, he said he would sell us the case for $32 (that’s in New Zealand dollars)… which turned out to be about US$1.09 per pound, which for this local type of fruit is very good.
Again, you have to ask! These deals are not advertised anywhere. It never hurts to just ask.
We got the idea because they had large boxes of very ripe plums being sold for 8 NZD. This was a great price! So we got these too and just composted the overripe ones.
As we’re going to be driving around New Zealand for the next week, and pears can keep perfectly in this cool condition in the car, it really pays for us to buy our fruit in advance, in case we end up somewhere where it’s just not affordable or not available. So we have our plums for now and pears for later.
If you find it hard to eat raw because of the costs, make sure you shop where you can get great deals by buying in bulk. Here’s a few tips:
1- If possible, find a big produce warehouse where fruits and vegetables are sold in bulk. You probably won’t find this in Google. The best person to ask would be the owner of an Asian restaurant, as they always know where to buy cheap and fresh veggies!
2- Ask restaurants that serve organic food where they get their produce. Most likely it’s the same distributor that goes to the health food store. To get the organic produce at the same price that the organic food store gets it from, you might need a business account. It’s usually pretty simple and cheap to open a basic business and call it a “Co-op”. If there’s a minimum order, find a few raw-eating friends to buy in bulk with you.
3- Finally, if you can’t find any of the above, do what I did in New Zealand and go to stores that specialize in produce. These stores should sell at least 70% produce to qualify. They probably get their fruits and vegetables from a central distributor, and you could probably ask them where it is. In any case, I’m sure they’ll be able to sell you fruits by the pound if not by the case, much cheaper than the grocery store.
Remember… you can’t succeed eating raw foods if you don’t have a constant supply of fresh, high-quality, affordable produce!
Buying fruit at the supermarket and health food store is for everybody else who consumes an apple a day. I know you will go through a ton of fruit and greens in your green smoothies and fruit meals, so you need to buy in larger quantities.
By the way, I generally only buy fruit by the case, because no matter how hard I try, there is no way I can go through a case containing 40 heads of celery in one week. So I buy a lot of my veggies at the health food store or supermarket in smaller quantities but I still get a good variety.
Farmer’s markets can be a mixed blessing. They are only good if farmers are willing to sell you fruit by the case! If not, then it’s probably a “snobby” farmer’s market where people hang out and socialize for lunch… not a real place to buy fruit week in and week out