Juicing on a Budget
Bargains are Out There for You
You can begin juicing on a limited budget if you adopt cheap juicing strategies. Bargains are available to help you limit your costs. You can buy an effective, inexpensive juicer and find fruits and vegetables that are cheap. This article describes what strategies you should adopt for cheap and effective juicing. Getting started with juicing does not need to be an expensive endeavor. Adopting cheap juicing strategies is the way to go.
Juicer Selection Strategy
Types of Juicers
The most inexpensive juicers on the market are centrifugal juicers. They are relatively cheap. The downside is that centrifugal juicers have quite a bit of waste and are more difficult to clean than the more expensive masticating juicers. When you feed vegetables in a centrifugal juicer, it cuts up the vegetables and throws off what is not used as juice into a waste container. The Credit: wikipedia commons public domain - ommons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mcapdevilawaste container often has quite a bit of wet material, which means you are wasting some of the potential nutrients. On the other hand, a masticating juicer uses the entire vegetable and all of it becomes your juice.
I've had two juicers. The first was a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer which I wore out after a couple years. I currently use a Breville Juicer I bought from Craigslist. Buying this type of product from Craigslist is generally a concern, but mine was unused and still in the box. Walmart and Target have selections of centrifugal juicers and online sources have them as well.
In any event, buying a centrifugal product is a good way to start. A decent centrifugal juicer costs less than $100 and you can dip into juicing without a big cash outlay to see if you like it. You need to determine if you like the juice and if the hassle factor is acceptable. Going straight to a top of the line masticating juicer may be too much of an inital expense for something you don't enjoy.
Strategy for Finding Cheap Fruits and Vegetables
If you want to juice on a budget, the place not to go is your local supermarket. The fruits and vegetables you buy will cost quite a bit more than other sources. They are also less likely to be local. Another source to avoid is your local health food market. While the veggies might be local and organic, they are also going to be much more expensive.
Local Vegetable Markets
Most communities have a cheap vegetable market. Luckily, I have several within a couple miles from my house. The veggie marts are generally small stores found in strip centers. If you aren't looking for them, you could have been driving past them for years without really Credit: Wikipedia commons - Dinkumnoticing. An added benefit to their small size is that you can generally get in and out without spending much time. The owner can often tell you the source of everything in the market and can inform you of any upcoming specials or seasonal items that will arrive soon. Usually, a vegetable market trip costs me in the $15-$20 range for a week's worth of juicing material.
Another place to acquire inexpensive fruits and vegetables is a flea market. I have one of those within a few miles. Often, the vendors are at least semi-permanent and you know where to go for fruits and veggies after the first visit. A visit to the flea market generally takes longer than a visit to the vegetable market, but the fruits and vegetables are even cheaper. I can buy quite a bit from the flea market vendors for $10-$15.
When considering the expense, you should also factor in the meals or food items you won't need if you juice. I typically juice for breakfast, so I don't buy much breakfast food. Juicing is a cheap breakfast treat.
Strategy for Cheap Fruit and Vegetable Types
Credit: Wikipedia commons - DinkumThe biggest expense I have is buying apples. Often, the vegetable market will have a special on one type, so I'll buy whichever is on special. Cucumbers are nutritious, provide a large volume of juice and are cheap. Strangely enough, sweet potatoes juice well and are also cheap.
When buying greens, try to avoid those in a plastic package. You can generally buy bundled collard greens or kale. These also include the stems, which can also be juiced. Collards and kale are both packed with nutrients and rank the highest in the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI) developed by Dr. Joel Furhman. I find that juicing collard greens is preferable to kale because it's cheaper to buy for a bunch and the juice yield is better.
Carrots are nearly always found in packaged form. They taste good and are easy to juice. Carrots are also a nutrition powerhouse. They also don't add much to your bottom line. Beets and turnips often are sold in bundles with stems and leaves intact. You can juice the stems and leaves.
Although nutritious, I find that broccoli and cauliflower don't throw off enough juice in a centrifugal juicer to justify the expense. Nevertheless, if you are buying broccoli to steam, be sure to save the stems and juice those. Cabbage is also in the cruciferous family of vegetables. You will find that cabbage is cheaper and juices better than broccoli and cauliflower.
Choosing items which are seasonal to your area also reduces the expense. The product does not have to travel far, so the farmer can charge less to the veggie mart.
Cleaning the Fruits and Vegetables
If you aren't buying organic products, then you need to be thorough when you clean the fruitsCredit: Wikipedia commons - US Air Force/TSgt Samuel Morse and vegetables. I sprinkle baking soda on most of what I am washing and also use a brush.
Best of luck in your juicing adventure. Your body will thank you.
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