The Frugal Girl's Guide to Juicing

[Also featured on Dear Darrica. Check out her blog here!]

It is no secret that there are several benefits to juicing. For those who hate eating vegetables, juicing could be your dream come true! This was the problem that I had in my household. My boyfriend, Matt is no big fan of any vegetable. As healthy as he looks, he cannot stand them. Anytime that we go out to eat, he always wastes the waiter's time by asking "does it have any tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery, etc?" I, on the other hand, really do like vegetables, but find it hard to find the time to eat them with my busy schedule. Matt and I therefore decided that it was time to invest in a juicer. As a young couple who is fresh out of college however, we definitely were wary about the cost of juicing. Juicing can be VERY expensive, there is no lying about that. But, as a self-proclaimed Frugal Diva, I have come up with a guide to help you chew down the cost of juicing so that you can make it a part of your daily life:
1. Come up with a simple 'base' recipe
When I first got my juicer, any and every fruit and vegetable was fair game. 'What is that in there? A sweet potato? I don't know if they have juice, but let's try it!' It is great to experiment at first until you realize how expensive fruits and veggies are. My solution to this was to make a base juice that I make with almost every juice recipe. My base is made up of apples, cucumbers, carrots and grapefruits.

2. Choose 'Juicy' Fruits and Veggies
This may seem like common sense, but when I first started juicing, I saw a lot of recipes that called for kale. Of course, I hopped on the bandwagon and got prepared to reap the glorious goodness of kale in juice form. After putting in enough kale to make more than 5 salads, I barely came out with a shot glass worth of kale juice. After realizing how expensive kale was in comparison to how much juice I was getting out of it, I decided to leave kale for salads. My favorite fruits and veggies for juicing that yield a lot of juice are grapefruits, cucumbers, fiji apples, full-sized carrots (hints why they are all in my base recipe), lemons, tomatoes oranges and limes. I still add leafy vegetables, but I realize that it will only make up a small part of my juice.

3. Shop the Local Farmer's Market
Not only will you be supporting small business, but you will reap the benefits of direct prices. Cutting out the middle man (grocery stores) also usually cuts the cost in half, if not more.

4. Clean Your Juice Extractor In Between Different Fruits and Vegetables
If you think about the mechanics of a juice extractor, this step makes sense. The juice extractor chops and pulverizes the fruit/vegetable to extract the juice. While doing so, the skin and other particles are getting trapped in the filter that extracts the juice. If the pores in the filter get clogged, your fruit/vegetable may not get chopped up enough to extract the most juice.

5. Reuse your pulp!
What are you to do with all of the skin and particles that your juicer has left over? You can use that pulp to make granola bars, soup broths, egg rolls, and several vegetarian meals (Hint: search reuse juice pulp on Pinterest!)

Here is the recipe to my base juice:

3 Large Fiji apples
2 Large grapefruits
8 carrots
1 super large and thick cucumber (or 2 cucumbers)

This should make about 48-62 ounces of juice (depending on the size of your apples and your carrots)

Do you have any favorite juice recipes? Leave it in the comments section below!

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