I’m always skeptical about health fads, but the juicing trend is probably one of the best health waves that has come about in a long time. You might have noticed grocery stores offering cold pressed juice bars and even pre-packaged organic cold pressed juices, all sold at premium prices. Well there’s a reason for the high price tag – juicing isn’t cheap! Truth be told, the cost of juicing was one aspect that kept me from embracing the benefits of cold press juicing until last year. Finally I bit the bullet and bought a good juicer, and with a little trial and error I learned that juicing on a budget is possible!
That isn’t to say it’s cheap, and if you’re seriously strapped for cash or have an extra large family, you’ll have to do a little financial planning to make it work. But it can be done, and here are a few tips to help you make it happen.
1 – Do your research to find the highest quality cold press juicer you can afford. This is important. Don’t just rush out and buy the cheapest thing you see. A low quality juicer will leave you with wet pulp and very little to drink, which wastes money. Centrifugal juicers are less expensive but the juice they produce is often frothy and easily oxidized, so it must be consumed immediately to get the nutrition benefit. Masticating juicers are a bit more expensive, but yield a juice with higher nutrient content that lasts longer. This is the one we purchased and I couldn’t be happier with it – dry pulp, easy to clean, not too loud, doesn’t clog, comes with a 10 year warranty, and it even makes pasta! Although I admit I haven’t tried that feature.
2 – Don’t waste rind, leaves, stems and end pieces. As long as you buy organic and scrub it clean, you can juice the stuff you wouldn’t normally eat (except orange peel – call it a personal preference, but that’s a peel that just doesn’t taste good). During the summer months when my kids are gobbling up watermelon, I save the rind for juicing. It has amazing health benefits, including citrulline, which helps fight free radicals, as well as vitamin C and B-6. Cantaloupe rinds, kiwi skin, lime and lemon rind, beet greens and broccoli stems are also great for juicing.
3 – Choose fruits and vegetables that produce lots of juice! This might be obvious, but some juice recipes are simply more expensive than others. Unless you have a specific health need, if you’re juicing daily, it certainly helps to incorporate juicy produce in the grocery run. Get creative with your own recipes and incorporate watermelon, cucumbers, grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, celery, and tomatoes to stretch your juice budget further than if you stick with strict recipes.
4 – Grow your own! Buying all organic produce all the time is expensive. The best way to maximize your budget and make sure you’re keeping chemical free is to grow your own produce. This may take some time and effort, but if you’re serious about your health and really want to make juicing a long term part of your nutritional regime, it will save you huge amounts of money in the long run. Not only that, but you can recycle your pulp by turning it into compost, which will fertilize your garden and give you the maximum nutritional benefit for all your hard earned dollars.
5 – Incorporate herbs. If starting a garden is a bit much for you right now, invest in a small planter, a few herb seedlings, and stick it in your kitchen window. When the budget is extra slim, you can buy a few oranges and add a few sprigs of cilantro from your planter and get the anti-inflammatory and detoxing boost from this inexpensive yet high powered combo.
Like most lifestyle changes, getting started is the most difficult part. But in reality it isn’t difficult at all. It’s just the change that feels hard. Once you start, it’s easy to incorporate in your routine and budget, and you’ll find ways to make it work for you and your family. So if cost is the thing holding you back, wait no longer – you can enjoy the health benefits of juicing without breaking the bank.
What do you say – have you tried any of these tips? Do you have a few of your own? We’d love to hear from you. Weigh in below and let us know how you incorporate juicing in your budget friendly diet!