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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