When I discuss juicing (especially juice fasting) with friends or in social media, I often here comments about how expensive it is to juice and how much time it takes. No one likes the clean-up either. I get it. I really do.
However, even though juicing requires equipment and large volumes of organic fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens, and it is time-consuming to prepare the produce, juice, and clean up (especially during a fast), there are a few things that you can do to save time and money.
The biggest and most obvious expense for most people is the juicer. Because the quality of the juicer plays a big role in how efficient your juicing efforts will be, it is important that you purchase the best quality juicer you can afford.
That said, there are places you can find a reasonable deal on the juicer you prefer. A used juicer that has been well-cared for may be the perfect entre into juicing for you. I have a friend who found hers at a yard sale for $5. Another friend found still in the box in her aunt’s kitchen. When she asked if she could buy it from her, her aunt gladly gave it to her.
If you don’t have a kind aunt with an unused juicer or you don’t frequent yard sales, here are some other option for saving money on your equipment.
Craigslist: Our family has purchased several things via Craigslist. Do be careful giving out your personal information though. You never really know who’s on the other end of that ad. Use Google alerts to notify you of new Craigslist posts for juicers.
Local Sales: Local home or department stores may have weekend sales or coupons. Bed, Bath, and Beyond frequently as great sales and coupons. The carry several brands of juicer, including the brand I use — Breville.
Amazon.com: This is where I purchased both of my juicers. They carry several brands and will likely have your brand, or a close competitor, on sale. I watched for months for the $600 masticating juicer I wanted. On Black Friday, I was able to purchase it for under $200.
Ask around: A co-worker may have received a duplicate as a wedding gift, or someone at the gym may be upgrading and willing to sell their old one. I use Facebook all the time when I’m looking for something. If you’re on Facebook, ask your friends!
Gift Request: My first juicer was a Christmas gift from my husband. I knew I would have to request the low-end juicer in order to convince him I was serious about using it, but it works just fine. Later when I upgraded, he didn’t bat an eye.
Giveaways: Ahem . . .
Learn what’s in season: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically lower-priced, especially if they are locally grown.
Farmer’s Markets: If you have a farmers’ market nearby, get to know the farmers. They can tell you what’s a good price, what’s coming up next, and may offer you a deal on unsold produce at the end of the day.
Membership warehouses: Membership warehouses like Costco or Sam’s, sell vegetables in large quantities. If you ever wondered “who would buy such large quantities,” now you know. Juicers do. I buy my organic spinach, Romaine lettuce, and carrots at Costco, and when they have them — apples.
Online services: If you’ve never heard of Azure Standard, allow me to introduce you. Azure specializes in natural, organic, earth-friendly foods and products. They deliver directly to customers, via a local point person by semi-truck and UPS. The once-a-month drop for my area happens in the parking lot of a local Wal-Mart. You have to place your order early and be there when the truck arrives (or arrange for someone to get your stuff for you), but the prices are great.
Juice it yourself: I know that seems silly to say, but there are quite a few lines of juices available for purchase at local grocery and health food stores, and juice bars are popping up all over the place. Most of these juices are very expenive ($5-10 per serving). It’s fine to grab a bottle of Suja (and this is the brand I recommend if you do so) for a pinch or when traveling, but at $9 a bottle, you’ll soon break the bank if you drink it all the time.
Although most veggies and greens are great for juicing, go slow on items you may not be crazy about. For example, if you have never tried collard greens, start out with a small bunch, even if the price-per-pound is higher.
Planning and preparation will save you huge amounts of time in juicing.
Make everything accessible. It’s a good idea to have your juicer and accessories set up and ready to use each time. That means, if you plan to juice first thing in the morning, you should have a clean, assembled juicer ready to go before you go to bed. My center island has been reserved as my juicing/blending station. Right now the only things you’ll find on it are my juicer, Vitamix, cutting board and knife, colander, and a bowl full of produce. All clean. All ready to go the next time I juice.
Collecting pulp. If your juicer has a container that collects pulp, line it with a plastic grocery bag to save you from cleaning it. You’ll be able to simply throw the bag into your trash or dump the contents into your compost pile.
Clean jars. Have your glass jars (pickle jars or Mason jars) clean and on the counter, ready to fill with juice for the day. Make sure the tops are nearby. If you’ll be heading out the door to work, have your travel mug clean and ready to fill.
Cleaning up. Fill the kitchen sink with hot, sudsy water so you can wash out your juicer as soon as you finish with it. I do this before I put the first celery rib through the juicer.
Plan ahead. If you’re in a pinch for time early in the morning, save time by washing and preparing your fruits and veggies the night before. You can even juice the night before if necessary.
Juice for the day. This is the greatest time-saving tip I can give you. If you are fasting especially, go ahead and juice once for the whole day, pour your juice into Mason jars and refrigerate. You’ll only have to clean up once, and your juice will be ready to go when you are.
Hey . . . tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some do’s and don’ts about juicing. I hope you’ll come back to learn more!
Juice of the Day
This is a juice you can easily make mostly from foods from your own garden and won’t break the bank if you’re not. It’s also great for those of you limiting your intake of cruciferous vegetables or are wanting a more savory juice.
Tomato-Red Pepper Juice
- 1 red pepper
- 1 large Heirloom tomato or 4 Roma tomatoes
- 1 small or 1/2 large lemon
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1 bunch parsley
- pinch Real salt
- Wash all produce well
- Peel the lemon and seed the red pepper
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 16 oz