On a day to day basis a glass of juice can sometimes cost more than you might to shell out, and so you skip it altogether. When considering doing a juice cleanse this can definitely keep a lot of us from even beginning. In this article I will be talking all about juicing on a budget, and the many ways you can get the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to the vegetables and fruit you buy for juicing.
Juicing on a budget can be adventurous and can open you up to new varieties of juices you never thought to try. Not only can this be very beneficial to Your pocketbook, but it can be very beneficial to your health as well. It can also make all the difference in the world for some of us when it comes to going through with those juice cleanse goals that we’ve been wanting to achieve.
Organically Grown Produce Versus Conventionally Grown Produce
The first thing to consider when buying produce is if it’s organic or not. In general, I completely recommend buying and juicing as much organic produce as possible versus conventionally grown produce. Generally speaking, conventionally grown produce has more pesticides and chemicals on it than its organic counterparts. Foods grown using organic methods are held to higher standards, and are therefore of a higher quality.
Unfortunately, for many of us organic produce is not always available in our area, or the cost is just too much. When it comes to juicing, and especially juice cleansing, you will be needing a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. Knowing where to pick your produce battles can be a huge help.
There are 2 lists that cover what produce has more pesticide residues and toxins on them when grown conventionally, and which produce is safer in general, and has less of these. These two lists are called The Dirty Dozen And The Clean Fifteen. You can follow the link provided there to learn more about them as they will be very important when juicing on a budget.
These lists help to point out which produce is the most important to buy organic when available, and the produce you can buy conventionally grown if you want to save money. As mentioned above not all of us will have access to organically grown produce, or we may not be able to afford to buy all organic produce. I buy all organic whenever I can, but when I cannot afford to go this route or it is simply not available, I will mix and match what produce I buy organic and what produce I do not.
Of all of the lists I have seen, I have always seen a few items near the top of the dirty dozen. These items are apples, celery, bell peppers, and strawberries. Since I have consistently seen these items listed in the top of almost every dirty dozen list, I do my best to buy these organic whenever I can.
If they are not available, or I really just cannot afford them at their current price I will again choose my battles and buy what I can afford to purchase at that time. I know that in the long run getting these fruits and vegetables into my diet will outweigh the risk of pesticide exposure. Also if I buy as much as I can of them grown organically (which I do when I can afford to), then in the long run I am making the best decision for my health that I can based on all the information available.
So, if you simply do not have organic produce available to you or it is costly enough where you will not be able to juice if you have to buy your produce organic, then juicing what you can get is a much better choice than skipping it altogether. The health benefits of juicing fresh vegetables and fruits will far outweigh your risk to exposure of pesticide residues. On top of this there are ways to wash conventionally grown produce that will reduce the amount of residues and some chemicals that are on it.
You can also consider peeling some of your conventionally grown produce to take away the top layer, which usually contains the most residues and pesticides. There is something to consider though before you do this, and this is that the peel of many produce items can contain valuable nutrients. You should read a bit more about this here before you make an absolute decision to peel your produce before juicing it.
Above is an affordable kindle eBook all about eating organic on a budget. Some of this information can also apply to juicing on a budget as well.
Once you make the decision to buy what you can afford, don’t spend any more time worrying about it or wondering if you are doing the right thing. The best kind of juice in the long run is the one that you will actually be able to make fresh and drink. A good nutrition packed living raw juice is better for your health than no juice at all. Think of juicing as the beginning (or continuance) of a long term change that you are making for your health. When you can afford organic produce of a certain kind, then treat yourself and realize you are always improving.
Although I always promote organic produce over conventionally grown (and this is how I make my decisions when purchasing my vegetables and fruits) I will sometimes save a whole lot of money by buying a lot of a certain produce item conventionally grown because that item is on the clean fifteen list and it’s being offered at a really good price. Using the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists can help you save a whole lot of money when considering what you can consider buying conventionally grown versus organically grown.
Ok, lets move on to the next tip which is to buy what is in season in your area versus what is not.
Buying what is in season
Fruit and vegetables that are in season are generally cheaper than ones that are not. You can figure this out a lot of the time by asking your local produce manager in your grocery store. You could also search on the internet to see what is in season in your geographical area. This will also give you the opportunity to try some vegetable and fruit combinations you might not normally. It can lead you to exciting new juice flavor combinations and can be very beneficial for your health! We have many juice recipes on our site that can help you out with some different combinations of produce.
Buying More Of What Is On Sale At The Time
The next tip which can be related to the one just mentioned, can just simply be a promotion or sale that your grocery store is having. Just buy more of what is on sale at the time. Sometimes it is difficult because you might have a certain juice in mind that you want to make or you’re are used to having a certain mix. As mentioned above this is part of the juicing on a budget adventure! Part of the key to this is looking at it as a way of challenging yourself to step outside of your own box! Try some new combinations and experiment some! You may find that you like something that you would of never tried if it hadn’t of been on sale!
For example, maybe a lot of the time you use apples to add a bit of sweetness to your juices. Maybe apples are not available at the best price this week and are a bit over your budget, but you really want to make and enjoy some fresh juice. Don’t let this stop you then! Try to find some other produce items that can add some sweetness to your juices and that are also cheaper at the time. For example, I have found pears to be a great apple substitute when I want to try something different or save some money. The more we are willing to experiment with other possibilities, the more we open ourselves up to finding new ways of saving money and getting more out of what we can afford to juice.
That brings us to our next juicing on a budget tip. This is to never underestimate the savings that you can find at farmer’s markets! You can save yourself a lot of money sometimes by buying your produce direct from the source! You can search your area for farmer’s markets by googling the term ‘farmers markets’ with the name of your city or cities that are local to you. I have found some really great deals at farmer’s markets, and sometimes if you are buying in bulk for a juice cleanse you may even be able to cut a deal with the grower. You never know until you try!
Not only can you save money, but you also get direct contact with the grower a lot of the time. This allows you to be able to ask questions about how the produce was grown and if they use pesticides or not. Something a lot of people do not know that it is a very rigorous and long process to get certified organic. A lot of your local farmers do use sustainable and organic practices when growing their produce, they just have not been certified yet. This also means that their produce is usually cheaper, but of high quality. So simply ask the person selling the produce more questions about how their produce is grown. These relationships with your produce grower can be very enlightening and beneficial.
These can be small roadside stands or larger produce stands that are local to your area. You can also search for these by googling produce stands and then entering your city’s name, and then after that city’s that are local to you.
We did a juice cleanse one time and communicated this to the person running a produce stand. We told him we were interested in buying a larger amount of a few items he had, and asked if he could cut us a deal of any kind. We saved a lot of money on that trip as we were able to buy boxes and boxes of a lot of fruit and vegetables for much cheaper than we would have got them at our grocery store.
You can also inquire about the methods used to grow the produce at a lot of these stands. While not all of them will be ran directly by the grower in person, they might know a lot of information about what is grown there, or should be able to direct you to the someone who will. Some produce stands are a great place to get a lot of your clean fifteen items, and some will be a good place for everything!
Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables
Yet another tip related to juicing for a budget is to grow your own produce! We do this ourselves and it’s not only very satisfying, but it saves some money on our juicing budget. Another benefit to this is that you know exactly where your fruit and vegetables are coming from. You know exactly what has been put on them or what was used to grow them because you grew them yourself! You know if they are %100 organic or not!
To help save even more money you can do some research to see what grows well in your area to make it easier on yourself. I found something that grows good in our area, is something we use in a lot of our juices, and is something that we save a lot of money on by growing! In our area kale happens to grow really well, but still costs $3 to $4 a bunch here. Growing kale saves us a lot of money!
(The picture to the right is a row of broccoli raab we grew one year. We were able to mix this vegetable in with many of our juices! I had never had this vegetable before we grew it and learned in the process that it’s an easier vegetable to grow, that also has a whole load of health benefits!)
We lived in a smaller apartment with a little outside area in back for gardening, and were also very fortunate to find a community garden that was right down the street from our house. If you have your own home and have space to garden, you are already one step ahead of us! If you live in an apartment you can search your area to see if their are any community gardens that you can grow fruit and vegetables in.
Some of these community gardens are either free or charge a very small amount to let you have a space to grow on. Sometimes in certain areas I have heard some of them can charge more than it is worth, but this is a more rare occasion. If you are interested in this you should definitely look into it! It has been very worth it for us and has given us the chance to grow many different vegetables for our juices!
Continuing with my example from above, one pack of kale seeds costs us around $2 or so. This is the low end price of one bunch of kale in our area. With this pack of seeds we can grow many bunches of kale, and save a decent amount of money while knowing for sure that our produce is organic and absolutely fresh when we juice it!
Learn About The Health Benefits Of Specific Vegetables and Fruits!
The last, but definitely not least tip for juicing on a budget is to learn about the health benefits of produce items you might not normally consider! Find out what they will do for you and your body so that you will have even more of a reason to mix them into your juices. I cannot say enough about how much this has changed the way I look at so many different fruit and vegetables. This can be a huge life changer and can really be an eye opener when it comes to the true powers of fruit and vegetable juices!
If you see something on sale that you would not normally consider buying, buy a little of that item and then go home and do some research into the health benefits that it offers. This can be a real adventure and can open you up to a new world that you may not have considered at all before! A lot of fruit and vegetables will have very beneficial health properties that can relate directly to your life, and what it is you want or need. You just have to get out their and find them!
I never really liked the flavor of celery until I began to learn more about the health benefits of celery juice. Once I found out that celery juice had an amazing amount of health benefits I began to use it more in my juices. I now actually like the flavor of celery juice and can drink it straight if I want to!
Knowing what health benefits that different fruit and vegetables offer gives me a wider variety of choices and allows me to put together combinations that are beneficial to me. You can do this also and will find that this will also be very helpful when juicing on a budget!
Instead of being limited to a few items that you always juice you will have many different fruit and vegetables to choose from. You can then purchase more of what is on sale at the time or what you can find through the other sources mentioned in this article and can save a lot of time and money!
This can all be such an adventure and over time you may find that you have developed a new appreciation for a wider variety of juices that you did not even consider before. This can benefit not only your budget, but your body as well as you will be getting a greater variety of nutrition!
So keep an open mind and do some research! When you go to your grocery store be more watchful and notice what is on sale that week and what is not. Consider combinations you may want to experiment with out of the produce items that are affordable for you at that time. Bring a copy of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists with you to do some smarter shopping. Keep an eye out for farmer’s markets and produce stands. Consider growing some of your own fresh fruit and vegetables. Look into the health benefits of vegetables and fruits!
Juicing on a budget can be made into an adventure that will enrich your life and give you a whole new understanding of the wonderful world of juicing! Enjoy your fresh made juices and pat yourself on the back when you have managed to save some money, because this has allowed you to continue your juicing journey!
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