Juicing on a budget is something many people need to do. In fact, a food budget is a necessity to stick by especially when you are trying to pinch the pennies. Whether you have a family or are juicing for one, the amount of money we spend on our daily healthy juicing recipes can really add up.
So that got me thinking...there has to be a way to save or curb the spending a bit when juicing for health. And let’s face it, juicing takes a lot of produce. I’m constantly amazed how much produce I go through when I juice. Not that I’m complaining. It’s very cool that I can get the nutrients from all of that produce into one glass, because heaven knows I wouldn’t be able to eat that much!
So even though it can be expensive at times, you need to put it in perspective. You are making a good investment in your health that will last you a lifetime.
Just because juicing on a budget can require so much produce and eat up a large portion of your weekly food budget doesn’t mean you have to stop juicing. They key is to be conscious of what you’re buying and prepare ahead of time.
I sat down and compiled a list of ways to save money by juicing on a budget. And here are some of my ideas:
Plan ahead of time: Choose the juices that you want to make for the week and make a list of the produce needed for those drinks. Stick to that list when you're at the market. I often find I spend the most when I don’t stick to my list. It’s so easy to go overboard and buy every type of fruit and veggie at the market. You start thinking about the juices and foods you want to make and *poof* before you know it your whole cart is filled with stuff you did not intend to buy. I created the Juice Club to help you with this- I give you a shopping list and recipes to make each week so you stay on budget and keep juicing for health.
Make your juice drinks go farther : Make juice soda by adding mineral water to the juices, or even just plain spring water. Another option is to combine fresh juice in your smoothies (example- a carrot juice peach smoothie made with carrot juice and whole peaches blended). This way you still get the benefits of juicing and whole foods, just in a different version. I think it’s great to add fruit juice to green smoothies.
Use high water content fruits and veggies: By picking produce that have a high water content, you’ll be able to get more for your money. Watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupes and honeydew have a lot of water inside. Runners up would be apples, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, celery. Produce like leafy greens, peaches, apricots, grapes, cherries and berries don’t have a lot water content so don’t make them a staple. Buy them only once a month as a treat instead of every week for juicing.
Grow your own produce: This is by far the cheapest way to juice. Having a garden will allow you to grab an abundance of fruits and veggies right in your back yard. Start with simple veggies you'll use a lot like cucumbers and carrots. Don't forget the fruit trees! Lemons and oranges are great for juicing.
Buy from membership clubs: Membership clubs like Sam's club and Costco offer produce in bulk for a discount. This is what I do as I need produce in bulk to juice, anyway!
Try getting your produce from a co-op: Local cooperatives provide a really great way to get cheaper produce, especially organics. Find farms that have weekly or seasonal co-ops and consider joining. While the fee might seem steep at first (some make you pay for a whole season up front), it’s usually not for the amount and quality that you receive. I personally belong to a wonderful organic only coop and the produce is much cheaper then if I were to buy the produce individually. It also allows me to get variety and buy locally.
Buy produce from local farmers or at farmers markets: If you aren’t into the co-op or can’t find one year you, chances are you’ll have a local farmers market or farm stand nearby. These allow you to buy produce without the middle man allowing you to get it at a cheaper price. You also can ask the farmers questions about their growing practices and be more confident about what your eating (if its sustainable, organic, etc).
Negotiate with your grocery store: I know this one sounds weird, but if you are going to be using pounds and pounds of carrots and apples each week for your family’s juicing needs you might as well ask if you can get a bulk discount. After all, they want to sell their produce and if you’re willing to buy a lot, they might cut you a deal. Tell them you are juicing on a budget. You could even ask them to call you if they are going to be throwing away any produce, and you can take it home and decide what is still good or not. I think you’d be surprised at all the good produce that grocery stores toss away each week. It never hurts to ask!
Juice less: It sort of kills me to add this as a bullet point of juicing on a budget, but if you are juicing every single day and need to curb your budget, this is an option. Instead of juicing 5 times a week, juice 3 times. And make the rest of your food list whole, raw food meals so that you are still getting lots of nutrition. Instead of juicing make a fruit salad or a raw food dessert. And when you’re budget goes back up or you have some room to play with the food budget, then just start juicing more again :)
Buy produce with a number in mind: If you only have $20 to spend for juicing produce for the week, then keep that in mind while shopping. Take a look at all the prices of the produce at the market and try to get the most for your money. Many grocery stores feature specials each week- some unpublished in flyers. Stay conscious and think of it like a game to find-the-best-produce-deals.