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How to Make Premium Smoothies for Less

During hot summer months nothing quite refreshes like a delicious, chilled fruit smoothie. Paying premium prices for my smoothies at shops like Smoothie King and Jamba Juice can cause brain freeze (and wallet torture). Fortunately, many fruits and berries are on sale during the summer for deep discounts. For example, the strawberries that cost about $4.00 a pound during winter months are a song at $1 a pound in May and June. Buying fruits and berries when they are in season goes a long way towards saving cash.

I take advantage of seasonal affordability to make my own smoothies, have a delicious treat, and save big.

Buy Discount and Freeze: My local grocery store often sells ripe and overripe apples, pears, mangoes and peaches for just $2 for a five pound box. I buy 2-3 boxes at a time, dice up the fruit and freeze. (I compost anything of the fruit that is bruised.)

Buy Bulk in Season: In May, I stock up on strawberries at $1 pound. In June, I buy pints of blueberries for $1.50/pint (12 ounces). In July, I purchase cherries at $2/lb. On average, I pay $1.66/lb. for berries. The berries are portioned out into freezer bags and frozen.

Grow Berries: Raspberries are never cheap no matter what the season. Luckily, I have raspberry bushes in my backyard that yield at 2-3 pounds of berries per year. I freeze some of these berries for shakes.

Typically, I blend 1 cup of fruit (about .20 cents worth), 1 cup of berries (roughly $1 worth) and 1 cup of ice (free!) to make myself a healthy and inexpensive shake. I end up paying, roughly, $1 for every shake I make at home versus paying $3-$5 for the same beverage at a shop. How does 200 percent in total savings sound? I also like not having to worry about high fructose corn syrup or preservatives.

Recipe

  •  ½ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cup peach chunks
  • ¾ cup strawberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 1 cup ice

Add ingredients into a blender, ½ cup at a time, and blend on medium speed. When the ingredients have been mixed together, turn the blender to high speed. Scoop out the shake with a spoon into a glass and insert a straw. This recipe makes a generous 18-20 ounce shake.

For variety, add yogurt or even ice cream to your fruit smoothies to create a refreshing dessert.

This has been a guest post by Halina from Madison, WI
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12 thoughts on “How to Make Premium Smoothies for Less”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I do the same with the fruit when it is on sale and freeze it. I make my smoothies a lot with almond milk or flavored soy milk. I also add honey/agave, cinnamon, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and or flax seed. The best thing about smoothies is your limited only by your imagination! So I never make the same smoothie twice!

  2. Dandjlewis4 says:

    We love our Vita mix, have had it for 6 years now.  It made awesome baby food also, which was a big savings.  my favorite recipe since we are talking about smoothies here is:  2 cups Kale, 2 cups Spinach, 1 cup milk or substitute, 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt, 1 tbsp peanut butter and a frozen banana.  Yum Yum

  3. Montbec says:

    I also like to add a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder to my smoothies for some extra nutrition.

  4. Katiearanda says:

    Since I started using Body By Vi, I have been trying to do this as much as possible, because I love mixing the shake mix with fresh fruit! Great tips! 

  5. Hootfamily says:

    I usually add fruit juice to mine to make them go a little farther!

  6. PV Mom says:

    I found organic rasberries at Costco for cheap in the freezer section.  I got a huge bag for around $8.00.  Awesome deal!!!

  7. Susan says:

    We love smoothies too.  Ours are so simple, and we like them better than any of the expensive ones – 1 individual serving container of yogurt and a handful of frozen fruit.  That is all.  Blend it in the Vitamix (the best blender ever in my humble opinion!)   You can use any kind of yogurt and fruit that you like. 

    My family may be weird, but we weem to be the only people who don’t like Jamba Juice.  And we’ve tried quite a few different kinds looking for a good one.  They’ve all had this icky after taste. 

    • Susan says:

      I should say on the yogurt — it’s one individual serving size.  Doesn’t have to be the individual container, of course. 

      Also, I figure our homemade smoothies are approx. $1/serving too.

    • jaimelescoupons says:

      we do that too! love it. My grand mother just got a vitamix, I was wondering if the frozen fruit do good in it (they killed my old blender :( ) ? I mean..I quit making smoothies because my cheap blender could not break apart the fruits..so the vitamix works great for that? I was worried of putting ice in her blender, i didnt want to ruin her expensive blender, but maybe i will try it if its build for it!

      • Bonbonj29 says:

        we have a vita mix and it can definitely cut through ice!  It has a very strong motor and sharp blades.  Going on five years with ours and we love it!!!

      • Susan says:

        Jaime, oh yes, the Vita Mix is tough!  It’s awesome for crushing ice.  It can puree big huge rock-hared frozen strawberries in seconds. 

        I got my Vita Mix at Costco 5 or 6 years ago.  It’s an expensive blender, but worth it because it works so much better than the less expensive ones I had before.  We use it all the time!  We make smoothies several times at week.  I also make vegetable soup in it, tossing frozen veggies straight from the freezer into it.  Worth the money, in my humble opinion.

        I wouldn’t worry at all about ruining your grandmother’s Vita Mix with frozen fruit.  Just be sure start with the speed on low and gradually speed it up, and be sure to use the tamper to mash the fruit down as the blender is running. I put the yogurt in first, then add the frozen fruit on top, but i’m not sure if that really matters.   

        After a minute or so the fruit will be chopped up, and you can take the tamper out and let the blender take over for another minute or two, depending on how thick you like your smoothies.  The longer it runs, the more runny it gets.  You can leave it thick, like a sorbet that you need to eat with a spoon, or make it more runny so that you can suck it up a straw. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Love smoothies and make quite a few of them!  I throw all my ripe bananas in the freezer for smoothies too!