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Juicing on a Budget


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 all adds up.

But this should absolutely not stop you from juicing. You can juice cheaper! Ideally, money should never be an issue when it comes to your health and we believe in living as close to the “ideal” as possible so we’ve put together some tips for juicing on a budget!

Juicing on a Budget TIP 1: Choose a Juicer Wisely

One of the biggest expenses in juicing tends to be the juicer. Not a surprise, since many top-of-the-line juicers can run you several hundred dollars. The thing is that when you’re starting out with juicing, you don’t need a juicer with all the bells and whistles. Especially if you’re planning on juicing just a few essentials.

See the best juicers under $200!

If you’re mostly planning to juice leafy greens (great decision, by the way!) and some hard fibrous fruits and vegetables, you could do very well with just a manual juicer which won’t cost you over $100. These juicers are a great value since they’re affordable and do a great job juicing – producing high juice yield and dry pulp.

If, on the other hand, you’re planning to go into the juicing thing guns ablazing – juicing anything and everything (also a great decision :)), it’s actually more cost-efficient to invest in a great juicer that will last a long time and juice a variety of produce (including even the harder parts).

Make sure you check warranties as well as customer reviews before you buy a juicer. Many of the best juicers come with long warranties – both the Champion and the Omega juicers, for example, typically come with 10 – 15 year warranties.

Masticating juicers are quite possibly one of the best values if you want a long-lasting, versatile juicer. The best masticating juicers tend to last a long time, since the low speed doesn’t produce heat which wears down and ages the machine. They can also juice produce parts that you typically can’t even eat, like watermelon rinds, which allow you to use more of the produce that you do buy.

These juicers also produce less waste, getting a high juice yield and very dry pulp – important when you’re spending a lot of money on produce and you want to get the most out of it. You can get yourself a great masticating juicer for around $250 – a worthwhile investment especially if you plan to be juicing diversely, for a long time.

But ultimately, choosing a juicer wisely simply comes down to getting a juicer that really suits your needs. Take some time to read about the several different juicer types and their pros and cons before you invest!

Juicing on a Budget TIP 2: 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.

how to clean produce

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.

Juicing on a Budget TIP 3: Buy Your Produce Wisely

A juicer is a one-time investment, but produce is a continuing cost. And it can add up pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are a few options of scoring your produce at much-cheaper prices than what’s available at supermarkets.

Option 1. Get Fresh Produce Cheap from a CSA Farm

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.

Option 2. Get Fresh Produce Cheap from a 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.

Option 3. Get Thee to Chinatown

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.

strange vegetables to juice

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.

The last, and in my opinion, best option is to grow at least a few of your own juicing ingredients (see the next Juicing on a Budget TIP – below)!

Juicing on a Budget TIP 4: Grow Your Own Produce

Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees never grew sprouts and various leafy greens. These veggies are a juicing staple – seriously, 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!

Don’t be frightened off just ’cause you have no gardening or farming experience. These greens pretty much grow on their own. Learn how to grow your own green veggies here.

Juicing on a Budget TIP 5: 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:

  • 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.
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