Juicing cheaply sounds like an oxymoron at first. Sure, the benefits of juicing are numerous, but along with the benefits – the costs can pile up pretty quickly. If you’re juicing a lot of produce (especially organic produce) on a daily basis, you probably already how quickly it can all add up.
But this should absolutely not stop you from juicing. Because juicing on a budget is very, very possible. You can absolutely juice cheaply and get all the benefits without spending thousands of dollars.
Juicing Cheaply: The Basics
Juicing is pretty misunderstood. Thanks to all the media coverage of celebs clutching green juice as well as fancy juice bars (with prices to match) popping up everywhere – a lot of would-be juicers are hesitating, thanks to the assumption that juicing is a hoity-toity, expensive venture.
Not so, my friend, not so.
Not only is juicing one of the best things you can do for your body (and skin, and energy, and etc.) – in the long run, juicing can be really, very affordable. If you’re after fruit juice or even a juice fast, this applies to all.
We want to show you just how affordable juicing can be so we’ve broken down exactly what it takes to juice on a budget.
The very good news is that juicing only requires to things:
- A juicer (or something that performs a similar function)
That’s really the bare basics you need to get started juicing. Now all you have to do is make those two parts as affordable as possible. Let’s dig into this.
Get the Best Budget Juicer
Let’s talk about one of the biggest expenses in juicing: buying a juicer.
The very good news, however, is that this doesn’t have to be a big expense at all. There are quite a few inexpensive juicers on the market so whatever it is that you plan on juicing, you’ll be able to find an affordable juicer within your budget. Here are your absolute best bets.
Best Budget Masticating Juicer
If you want to juice the widest range of fresh produce – fruits, vegetables, and even leafy greens and herbs – and get the most amount of juice extracted from your produce, you really want to invest in a slow, masticating juicer. The best known of the slow juicers are the Omega juicers, which will cost you a few hundred dollars.
Luckily, there are much more affordable options these days. For the best budget masticating juicer that does an amazing job extracting juicer and has good juice quality, here are your best bets.
Because the above are both slow, masticating juicers, you extract much more juice from the produce you feed into it and you get better juice quality. Plus, both are around $100, which is much more affordable than most other masticating juicers.
Another good option worth mentioning is that Omega also makes an affordable model – the Omega H3000D Cold Press 365 Juicer is a little over $100 and you’ll get all the perks of an Omega juicer at a fraction of the price tag.
Best Budget Juicer
If you’re starting juicing mainly in order to make fruit juices – you can do very well with a good centrifugal juicer. The centrifugals, ‘though they get very little love from the juicing community, are great for soft fruits and decent for leafy greens, although you won’t get as much juice from more lightweight greens and herbs.
They are still very decent juicers to start out with and the fact that they offer wide feeding chutes and easy clean up make them convenient for busy juicers.
The best known of the centrifugal juicer types are the Breville juicers which typically start at around $100 and go up from there. The good news? There are way more affordable models that do the exact same thing.
Here are your best bets.
Both of the above are solid centrifugal juicers and very affordably priced. In fact, the AiO juicer is great quality and only around $50, making it the best budget juicer. The Mueller is good as well and still very affordable, priced at well below $100.
Best Inexpensive Juicer (No Electricity Required)
If you don’t plan on juicing too much but juicing leafy greens is important to you – you can do very well with just a manual juicer. One of the best known, top-of-the-line manual juicers, is the Z-Star, which will cost you over a hundred dollars.
A better, best inexpensive juicer alternative? Meet the Moongiantgo Manual Masticating Slow-Juicer.
At just a little over $100, this juicer is an affordable juicer and since it’s a masticating model, it produces great juice quality as well.
The downside, of course, is that it requires elbow grease to run, but as long as you’re not juicing barrels of juice on a daily basis, it is worth it since it’s pretty much a single auger, masticating type of juicer without the motor. It has the same process of very thorough juice extraction and produces a great quality juice.
It’s also a juicer that is meant for leafy greens and can thus handle even very lightweight greens without a problem. It also does well with hard and even fibrous vegetables like carrots and celery, as well as hard fruits like apples and pears.
All in all, $100 for a great quality juicer for greens – not that bad at all. It won’t even affect your electricity bill 🙂 Some quality frugal living tips, hehe.
You need a juicer just for tomato juice?
If you’re on the lookout for a new juicer just for tomatoes, look no further. We have reviewed 10 juicers to make your buying decision a bit easier – check out the best tomato juicer, manual and electic!
Best Budget Juicer That’s Not a Juicer
And, of course, if you don’t want to get a juicer at all. Well, you can still juice!
All you need is a food processor or a good old blender in order to get started. Doesn’t even have to be a top-of-the-line blender. You can do very well with a regular blender and a sieve. Find out how to juice without a juicer.
All in all, juicing cheaply is very possible, thanks to all the budget juicers on the market. And even though some of the above might be a significant initial expense, it’s an expense you really only need to make once. Which isn’t the case for the other juicing fundamental…
Find Affordable Fresh Produce for Juicing
Okay, so you’ve now ticked off the first juicing need: getting yourself the best budget juicer.
But a juicer is a one-time investment, whereas an ongoing cost is to buy produce. And it can add up pretty quickly on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are a few options of scoring your produce at much-cheaper prices than what’s available at supermarkets. And this is absolutely key to juicing on a grocery budget.
Here are your best bets.
CSA Farms with Green Apples
My personal favorite way of buying produce on a budget is simple: become a CSA shareholder. What is that, you ask? CSA farms are “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) farms. As of 2011, there were more than 12,000 operating in the US and they’re growing so you’ll probably be able to find one near you as well.
When you become a shareholder of a CSA farm, you pay an annual fee and in return, receive your weekly share of the harvest. An average monthly fee will probably be about $100 – so about $25 per week – and for that you get fresh-harvested, organically-grown produce. A part of what you receive is picked for you by the farmers and you can also request additional produce depending on whatever crop is in season and being harvested.
Local Food Co-op
One of the cheapest places to buy high-quality, organic produce is from a local food co-op, which is simply a collectively-owned grocery store. Joining a food co-op is a great way to buy locally-grown, organic produce at discount prices and there are food co-ops in virtually every corner of the globe, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one. If you need help getting started, Life Hackers has a great article on how to find (and join) a food co-op.
Another option for those living near Chinatowns is to hit up their grocery stores! Asian markets are fantastic places to find a wide variety of produce – many that you won’t even be able to find at your local supermarket and the prices are cheap.
If none of these options suit you, there are still quite a lot of others. If you live near a weekly farmer’s market, by all means – shop there! You can also only buy organic the produce that’s on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list and you can order these organic produce online.
Another option is to strike up a deal with your local grocery store for either a bulk discount or to purchase the produce that they aren’t able to sell at a steep discount or for free. Grocery stores definitely don’t manage to sell all their produce and you can walk away with piles of produce that you might not want to keep overnight, but can be juiced immediately.
Things that should regularly be on your shopping list, even on a food budget, are whole foods: oranges, carrots, green apple, cucumber, kale, lemon, tomatoes. Even a watermelon can go quite cheap and it’s quite healthy.
Grow Your Own Greens
Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees never grew sprouts and various leafy greens.
This is the golden grail of juicing cheaply. In my humble opinion, one of the best options to juicing on a budget is to grow at least a few of your own juicing ingredients.
The easiest juicing produce to grow? Leafy greens and sprouts.
This is great news since greens tend to be pricey – especially for organic options – even for small portions. Which is a shame since these veggies are a juicing staple. But luckily, it’s easy to become your own supplier and that’s great news since greens are one of the best things you can juice – and they are incredibly easy to grow.
If you’ve become accustomed to buying these items from a grocery store, get ready to invest a few minutes into a future where you have ample greens, fresh and free, and direct from your kitchen! Here’s how…
Green Juicing on a Budget
Green juicing is here to stay. It’s incredibly healthy, energizing, and a ridiculously convenient way of drinking a salad (or more) a day. Not to mention – it’s delicious!
But unfortunately, buying greens is not as beneficial for your wallet. As one of the vegetables listed on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most insecticides, it’s recommended that you buy organic greens. And this adds up – quickly!
The good news is that greens are among the easiest produce to grow. Seriously, don’t be frightened off just ’cause you have no gardening or farming experience. These greens pretty much grow on their own.
Yes, I know – you’re busy and when you signed up for this juicing thing, you probably didn’t plan to garden as well. But hear me out on this – growing your greens is one of the best (and easiest) things you can do for yourself and your wallet.
The greens listed here practically grow on their own. They are independent, determined, and they want to grow! All you have to do is initiate the process.
Here are the easiest vegetables to grow in the comfort of your own home!
Not only are they highly nutritious, they’re also the easiest – and cheapest – greens to grow.
Seriously, sprouts are the easiest veggies to grow. Even a caveman can do it.
There are a few different options to do this, but the simplest, cheapest way to grow your own sprouts takes a total of about 5 minutes of preparation time and uses materials that you probably already have at home, like paper towels and cups.
Also, a one-pound mix of radish, broccoli, alfalfa, green lentil, and mung bean seeds doesn’t cost much and they grow really well – here’s an easy guide to growing your sprouts here.
Sweet Potato Leaves
You probably know the sweet potato well – one of mother nature’s yummiest deserts – but most people aren’t aware that sweet potato leaves are edible.
Well, not only are sweet potato leaves edible – they’re delicious and nutritious. According to a study by the University of Arkansas, sweet potato leaves are chock full of disease-fighting, anti-aging antioxidants.
In fact, these yummy leaves contain at least 15 types of healthy nutrient compounds that help fight heart disease, diabetes, bacterial infections, and various forms of cancer.
The best part, of course, is that these are the easiest greens to grow. Ever. They literally grow themselves. And they grow a lot. So you get a lot of nutrition for very little money. All you need are a few sweet potatoes, water and jars. Cost = however much 2 – 3 sweet potatoes cost you. Let’s say $3. Find out how to do it here.
These take a little more effort and prep than the above 2, but they’re so worth it.
Microgreens are simply leafy greens and herbs that are tiny. These include arugula, basil, beets, kale, cilantro, etc., all in miniature size (about one to two inches long). Microgreens are especially perfect for juicers who are first venturing into green juicing since the taste of these little veggies isn’t yet quite as intense as the full-grown counterparts.
These leafy greens have been showing up in upscale restaurants and markets, where they typically sell for about $3 to $5 an ounce – a bit too pricey for most of us to juice them on a regular basis.
The good news is that these greens are pretty easy to grow. Unlike the other two easy plants above, these require potting soil and some maintenance (watering), but growing is quick (you’ll see sprouts in less than a week and have greens to eat in less than 2 weeks) and preparation is easy.
You can use leftover plastic containers you have around the house and all you’ll need to buy is potting mix ($10 – $15) and seeds ($4). Find out how to grow your own microgreens!
Alright, now we get to a heavy hitter you’ll find in juice and smoothie bars world wide: wheatgrass. If you’ve ever ordered one, you already know that for such little shots, these tend to be quite pricey, ranging from around $3.50 to $5.00 per shot!
That adds up quick. The thing is, though, these greens are totally worth it – they’re packing an incredible load of nutrients and health benefits in their delicate little sprigs.
If you juice nothing else but wheatgrass, you’ll still reap pretty much all the benefits. That’s because wheatgrass is one of nature’s most nutritious foods, chock full of chlorophyll and 98 of the 102 earth elements found in soil, as well as vitamins, essential enzymes and 19 amino acids. Not bad for such a scrawny looking plant.
Plus, wheatgrass is one of the easiest greens to grow right at home – no green thumb or garden needed. You can grow this extremely nutritious grass with very little indoor space and within less than two weeks’ time! Find out how to grow wheatgrass!
With just these easy greens to grow, you can have a constant supply of fresh green veggies to juice. It’s simple, inexpensive, and actually quite fun. The best part is that by juicing these greens, you get pulp that you can use as fertilizer to grow more greens!
You can also use the above greens as the base for much of your green juices and add fruits and veggies you have around the house to sweeten the taste and get diversity in your juices.
Who said money doesn’t grow on trees? 😉
More Tips for Juicing Cheaply
And a couple more affordable juicing tips that will help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Plan What, and How Much You’re Going to Juice
Planning. Ugh. I hate to introduce paperwork to the joy of juicing, but planning ahead really improves the speed, ease, quality, and even the cost of juicing. This doesn’t mean you have to spreadsheet your entire juice itinerary for the month – planning can be as simple as jotting down a few notes.
Simply knowing in advance how much of what kinds of produce you plan to juice in a week’s time can determine how many runs you make to the grocery store and how much money you save (buying in bulk for produce you plan to juice a lot of that week). It can also help you stick to a budget.
We all know how tempting it is to add an extra few melons, maybe some helpings of cauliflower, a few stalks of celery, etc to your grocery basket when shopping. The simple act of knowing which juices you plan to make that week and jotting down a short list of the ingredients required will help you stay focused and not spend more than you need when you do go shopping.
This advance planning also saves you time in produce preparation since you can have everything you need for the week bulk-washed and ready to go. And as they say – time is money.
Juice Selectively and Mix it Up
Even if you’re not juicing on a budget, there are certain fruits and vegetables that really don’t have to be juiced. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they’d be better consumed in other ways.
For example, juicing fruits and veggies with lots of water content is a great way to get the most out of your juicing produce. Juicing mushy produce with soft fiber, like many fruits, on the other hand, is not such a smart move – financially or nutritionally.
To get the most out of your produce, I’d highly recommend doing the following:
- Eat or blend fruits rather than juicing them
- Juice fruits and vegetables with lots of water content, such as cucumbers and celery
- Take advantage of your juicer to juice produce parts that you can’t eat or blend. Having a juicer is a great way to extract nutrition from produce parts like guava seeds, melon rinds, and pineapple cores – more juice to drink, more nutrition, more money saved and less waste!
- Combine a fresh juice concoction with a stomach-filling fruit(s) in the blender. That way, you get your yummy juice and you get the fiber that fills you up.
Now that you’ve bought lots of fruits and budget friendly produce it’s time to start juicing. These few tips to save money makes you enjoy your green smoothies and your homemade juices even more.
And there you have it – the art of juicing on a budget. By the way, you will have some leftover pulp from all the pressed juices, but fear not – instead of putting it into the compost bin, we have a collection of some ideas what to do with it.