Juicing on a budget - part 1

If you are a keen juicer and juice every day or even more than once a day then you will be getting through a lot of fruit, vegetable and herbs each week. The costs of your juicing ingredients could quickly mount up if you don't take into consideration some of the following factors. In this first part of a 3 part series we look at how to reduce the costs associated with regular juicing.

Supplying your juicing ingredients on a budget does not mean that you should accept a poorer nutritional / taste value from your juicing products. As we will shortly see, attempting to reduce the cost of drinks created with your juicer can actually improve the nutritional value and flavours of your juices.

Use produce that is in season

In money saving terms this is a simple case of supply and demand. When a specific ingredient such as Strawberries are in season in summer they are relatively cheap as there is an abundance of them in the shops. In winter if you want strawberries they have to be brought from another part of the world where the growing climate is warmer. The benefits of using in season produce include:

  • Cheaper to buy due to the 'glut' of harvesting that produce as well as the reduced transportation costs
  • More locally produced food will be on shelves quicker and therefore of better nutritional value
  • Ensures a wide variety of produce is used throughout the year
  • Produce is not artificially ripened with ethene gas as occurs when importing produce from afar.

Don't buy juice ingredients using just your eyes

When obtaining juicing ingredients there is no need for the produce to have a perfect appearance. The ingredients are unrecognisable once they have been put through your juicer. Many supermarkets will only display produce of a certain size, color and 'skin tone'. This results in 'non-perfect' produce being thrown away / not used or being reduced in price.

It doesn't matter if there are a few blemishes / small bruises on an apple. It doesn't matter if a pepper is a slightly odd shape and has an uneven colouring. As long as the produce is fresh then it is fit for juicing. If you are concerned about bruised areas on fruit or veg then you can just cut off the bruised area.

A huge saving on the juicing budget can be made if you are able to collect 'windfall' fruits that have fallen from trees and have been abandoned by the orchard owner due to bruising / lack or resources for harvesting.

Use 'staple' ingredients of a juicer

Many juicer recipes are based around a similar base that has extra 'flavouring' juices added to it to provide variation on the basic juice. The most obvious example here is carrot and apple. Carrot and Apple are used as a base for many juices and they are two of the cheapest types of fruit and vegetable around. They both have a good nutritional make up that covers a wide range of our nutritional requirements.

To make a large glass of strawberry juice would work out relatively expensive and require a couple of punnets of strawberries. However the costs can be reduced dramatically if you use a cheaper base juice to form the bulk of the juice. To add a strong strawberry flavour to a large glass of apple juice only takes a small amount of strawberry juice (just a small handful of strawberries).

We will explore more ways to maximise your juicing budget in parts 2 - sourcing your ingredients and part 3 - choosing the right juicer of this series.