Last year, my sister watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. As a result, she promptly bought her first juicer and stocked her tiny patio with 25-pound bags of carrots and beets. I figured the novelty would quickly wear off, but I enjoyed watching how excited she was about this new adventure.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, and she was still juicing. And loving it. She was texting me pictures of different beverages with captions like, “Tried kale today!” Every time I talked to her, she would pester me, “Have you bought a juicer yet? What are you waiting for?!”
I was skeptical for several reasons:
Cost. Over a year ago, I had stopped buying bottled juice altogether. I was tired of spending money on something that my kids began to expect as a daily necessity. Hearing a toddler scream “Juice!” at seven in the morning wasn’t my idea of a good time. I figured if it wasn’t in the house we’d just drink water instead. It was such a simple, welcome change.
So why in the world would I purchase a juicer that would put us right back in that crazy cycle of spending money on something we’d already cut out of our diets? No thanks, we’ll just stick with water.
Fiber! I had been drinking green smoothies (kale or spinach, fruit, ice) 3-5 mornings a week, and I liked the idea that I was getting the benefit of the fiber, ground up by my blender.
Buying a juicer just felt like collecting another limited-use appliance that would gather dust in my kitchen cupboard.
Fad. I don’t like gimmicks or trends. I usually wait a good 6-8 months before I try out something the rest of the world is gushing about. Whether it’s the Twilight series or Pinterest, I’m much more interested once everyone else has moved on to other things. Strange but true.
I stuck with my three objections while my three other siblings and my parents jumped on board the juicing train. I’m related to some pretty smart people, though, so the more they raved about juicing, the more curious I grew. Then my husband and I watched the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead documentary, along with The Gerson Miracle. Both were incredibly compelling and convincing.
I waited until I found the best deal on the juicer I wanted and took the plunge. Now here we are over three months later. My husband and I have both been drinking a fresh juice almost every day. I can honestly say that we are hooked to the point that we miss it when we skip a day.
So what about my objections?
Cost. Juicers are available at all different price points. After doing some research, my entire family purchased the 850-watt Breville Juice Fountain. I paid $133 (including shipping) for mine online at Bed, Bath, and Beyond using a 20%-off online coupon. The lowest I’ve seen this particular model on Amazon is $149.
I’ll be talking more about stocking up on produce and juicing on a budget next week. Just know that it is possible to do this on a normal budget. Also, I have come to realize that when making healthy changes to your diet, it helps to view them as an investment vs. an expense.
Fiber! Even though I had been drinking green smoothies regularly, my digestive system is so much happier with fresh juice. I can tell a definite difference. Depending on which type of juicer you use, you are actually still getting some fiber, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals that can be absorbed by the body much faster than solid foods. In addition, I find that I am actually eating more raw fruits and vegetables since I started juicing.
Shelf-stable commercial juices are really in a different category. They have been filtered several times and often contain additional ingredients.
Fad. I will probably always have a bit of this in me so I totally get it if you’re hesitant to try this juicing thing at first. Although, for the record, I did read The Hunger Games trilogy before they were cool, so I guess even old dogs can learn new tricks.
Next week’s posts will include a step-by-step juicing guide and resource list, along with ideas to make juicing work on a tight budget.
Find more juicing posts here.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.
Christy L Richards says
My question is do you juice all day or is there like a 3 per day like eating? My husband and I want to do this but need to know the right way of doing it.
He works at a factory and wants to keep up with me but isn’t sure it’ll work since the drink will either sit and settle and try not to get it warm.
Angela Davis says
Hey, Christy! Basically you drink the juice when you’re hungry so you’ll certainly be drinking frequently than if you’re eating food.
As for your husband, the juice needs to be refrigerated at all times or it will spoil. You could use a cooler with lost of ice. And the “stuff” does settle — you just gently tip the jar upside down a few times and you’re good.
This is a frugal website. I cant afford to spend over a hundred dollars on a juicer. Im below the breadline and can bearly even make ends meet. There must be a more frugal way… help
There are juicers for all price points like she said. I have a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer I got at Walmart for $45 🙂
So about two years ago this upcoming April my mom and I went on a raw food diet and incorporated fresh juice every morning.
Fast forward, I’m living in Nome, Alaska. They say no roads lead to Nome; everything that gets here does so by boat, plane or dogsled. I’m planning on this being my last summer here and then moving on in my journey to Seattle. But for now, the cost of living is high, the wages are highER, but not high enough to make the cost of living really worth it to live in this “village” depending on your career. Eating healthy here in Nome is painfully difficult. I have a hard enough time sticking to lean meats and fish, fresh fruits and veggies with some whole grains thrown in and of course healthy fats.
I really want to start juicing again but I’m frightened of what it will do to my budget. I don’t even know where to begin.
stranded in Alaska,
That was interesting that you used a 20% off coupon for a Breville juicer at Bed Bath & Beyond. I recently purchased a Breville juicer, but I was unable to use my 20% off coupon. In the fine print, they list all the brands that the discount cannot be applied to, and one of those brands was Breville.
Kate from Frugal Living NW says
It could have changed. Emily purchased her juicer well over a 1.5 years ago.
Emily from Frugal Living NW says
Yes, it was awhile ago. It was also an e-coupon for online purchases. Not sure if those are different?
Emily purchased her juicer quite awhile ago, so they may have changed the wording since.
I’ve been wanting to try juicing for quite a while now. The hubby is holding me back. My husbands concerns that aren’t specifically addressed here:
Can you get all of the nutrients out of the skins of the fruits and veggies from a juicer?
In regards to the following from part 2
“Juices provide nutrients at top speed – our bodies absorb their goodness with maximum efficiency, unhindered by any need to break down and digest bulkier foodstuffs. The lack of any fiber (left behind in the juicing process) means that our bodies can assimilate the nutrients from a juice in a matter of minutes rather than hours.”
Why is it better to have the nutrients absorbed in minutes versus hours? You’ll absorb them one way or another.
So I answered as best I could with the little research I’ve done (which has been reading your posts…I know you do your research 😉 ) but I don’t have great answers for these 2 questions. Ultimately he’ll support me in it because that’s the kind of person he is. But I’d prefer to have him as excited as me, and that won’t happen while he questions.
Kate from Frugal Living NW says
Here’s my stab at the second question 🙂
When juicing you remove most, if not all, the pulp thereby removing the fiber. Our bodies can then process the juice faster than it could a whole vegetable or fruit because of the absence of fiber. Fiber slows the breakdown of foods which is why they tell you to eat things like oatmeal because it’s slowly digested and helps you feel fuller longer.
As far as the first question, my best guess is yes because you don’t peel most of the fruits and vegetables and the juicer will extract as much as it can.
Hope that helps 🙂
Thank you for your thoughts Kate. You guys are so wonderful about responding and explaining things to us 🙂 I think that I didn’t word my question quite right. I understand the function of fiber and the fact that without it, absorption will speed up. My question is, why is it better to be quickly absorbed (at least in regards to juicing, obviously quicker is not necessarily better in all situations). I say why not! Quicker energy, less time for the vitamins/minerals to break down before getting absorbed etc. My hubby thinks that as long as it gets absorbed, who cares about the speed. I’m slowly winning him over though.
Kate from Frugal Living NW says
Ah, that makes sense. I don’t really know why except that maybe the fresher it is in your system and the quicker it can get in there, the better. But that is completely pulling one out of thin air. I really don’t know but good luck on winning him over 🙂
Emily from Frugal Living NW says
Juicing extracts the water and nutrients and discards the fiber that is indigestible. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to absorb the nutrients. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and vegetables into a single juice than you can in a smoothie.
I love juices for boosting the immune system (We bump up to 2 juices/day when colds are going through the house. I’m convinced it makes a difference.), a quick energy boost in the afternoon, and as a recovery drink after a hard workout.
Also, here’s a short, helpful article about the benefits of juicing: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/juicing/benefits/
Hope that helps! Either way you decide, you’ll be getting the benefit of more fruits and vegetables in your diet!
I posted a recipe on part two or three for juice pulp crackers:)
So did I miss a recipe for using the pulps to make crackers? Saw mention of it but wouldn’t know where to start. Interested!!!
No recipe here for using the pulp to make crackers but I know I’ve seen a few floating around Pinterest
Hi there – my recipe for crackers is farther up in the comments:)
I would recommend scrubbing very well and filling your sink with water and add vinegar to it (if you are going the natural route) or you can add a very small amount (Please google the appropriate amount) of plain chlorine bleach to disinfect. Then let them soak a bit and then drain and dry. You could do the whole batch this way and have enough carrots ready to go for a week or more!
any thoughts on peeling or not peeling?? my mom was worried for me about the soil contents and the workers’ hands/gloves not being clean. she had read that e coli, etc. . .could be on the carrots. has anyone had any problems with this?? i won’t be buying organic. probably just the big 25 pounder of carrots at winco!!
Karla S says
Very happy to see these posts…I bought a Breville Juice Fountain Plus for $60 from a friend who “upgraded” to a Blendtec (she is not happy with this upgrade, by the way.) I *just* started using it and am trying to find the perfect green juice recipe, as the ones I have been making taste like fresh cut grass, lol. Anywhoo, in the week I have been juicing, I have found that I am MUCH more conscious of what I am putting in my body, and I really seem to be losing most of my horrible sugar cravings. I have lost 12 lbs since last Wednesday, and FEEL tons better.
Brady johnson says
Its awesome and the post is really worthy.
Thanks for this nice post and keep posting.
Emily, is the juicer you purchased the same juicer they use on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? I know it was a Breville, just wondering if that is the same model?
I think he might feature the Juice Fountain Elite, and I have the Plus but I’m not positive. It’s a pretty subtle endorsement in the film. I believe the main difference between Breville models is the amount of power and # of speeds. My juicer only has a low & high setting, but it has worked great for everything we’ve put through it. Hope that helps!
I’m reading all the comments and enjoy all the information. I do have a question in regard to juicing. I can alot of thinks including tomatoe juice. Has anyone “canned” thier juice that they have made? I’m trying to think ahead to harvest time. Canning a bunch of juice ahead of time would work out great for me. This way I can get what is in season and from my own garden too. Any thoughts …… thanks
I’m sure Emily will speak to this later (and probably better than me), but one of the significant benefits of this method of juicing is that the produce is raw. In order to can the juice, you have to heat it, which destroys some (perhaps many) of the nutrients. It’s a similar argument raw milk advocates use (not meaning to start a raw milk debate here).
connie munoz says
so glad to see your post, i bought a juicer last week after seeing that movie and i am starting today going to do a juice fast, i started last week and did 3 days, then with work and stress, had stopped but going to reboot and focuse and not let work derail me…im only going to fast for 30 days and then transistion slowly but continue to juice atleast once a day and every 6 months do a 10 day cleanse, cant wait to see your tips, yep crazy that veggies and fruits that are so good for you are so dang spendy…cant wait to see your tips….thank you
Jeanette s. says
I had a juicer, just a cheap one, and liked it, but I was the only one in the house who was willing to drink the carrot/apple juice. . .maybe I should look into it again!! We aren’t getting any younger!!
I am curious about the differences between using a Vitamix to make green smoothies and juicing with something like a Breville.
I’ll talk about this a bit more next week. Blenders like the Vitamix are more versatile and do a terrific job of making smoothies where other ingredients like yogurt, milk, water, or ice are often added to the produce to reach the desired consistency.
Juicers grind and filter the produce, leaving you with a juice that has a different consistency. Juicers give you the ability to consume a greater amount of produce per glass. The vitamins and nutrients are quickly assimilated by your body.
Both are great end products, just slightly different.
I did research on juicing when I was 8 months pregnant with my 3rd child after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I decided that I wanted a juicer for Christmas, I started juicing on New Years Day with my husband. After 3 months of juicing 1-3 times a day, I have never felt better or looked better. My husband feels the same, we have never been more fit, more energetic. All in all we are happier and healthier people. I am more conscious overall about what I put in my body and my families bodies, my kids love juicing and picking their food to juice. I add the juice into baby foods as a natural sweetener, popsicles, cook with the fiber, compost, etc, etc! JUICING HAS CHANGED OUR LIVES, I will never go back!
I do it a little different, with my Ninja, it’s more of a mulcifier, rather than a juicer for all I do is wash the produce and core an apple and just put the peel and fruit/veggies into the blender, which depending on how much water you do or do not add, makes it more of a smoothie and I drink on it throughout the day, which works better for my schedule.
christina K B says
I have been wondering about this, I always think why not just eat it the way nature made it. I guess I am more of a raw food nut then a juice nut… I do use an organic produce delivery service and I find that it is much cheaper to use them then get organic produce from the store, they only service the great portland metro area and are called organics to you. They do have those services else where but I don’t know if they are also cost effective.
Love it!!! I juice every morning. I have notice a huge change in my skin and how I feel. It is great in apple season nothing like fresh organic apple juice for my family. I throw all left over fruit and veggies if compost bin. Would recommend.
My hubby and I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and the next day went out and bought a juicer. It is wonderful. We are both so much healthier. It’s only been 3 weeks but I am seeing a huge difference in both of us. I love juicing and my kiddo (7) loves it and has to have some whenever we do. Hubby likes more fruit juices and I like more combo. Can’t wait to hear how to cut the expense without cutting quality.
Well, to each their own. If you like drinking your fruits & vegetables versus eating them whole, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Juicing is not new – it was a fad that became popular via Jack LaLanne many decades ago.
Juicing is not healthier than eating fruits & vegetables as-is. But, perhaps, some people wouldn’t eat certain things, if they weren’t made into a juice blend. So, hey, if that’s what makes you eat your veges, go for it!
But, here’s an article from the Mayo clinic regarding the subject:
I agree that juicing isn’t necessarily healthier. Especially if you have diabetes issues, but in general if you are juicing fruit you are drinking a straight glass of sugar. As a diabetic I juice almost exclusively vegetables. As someone who managed to be one of the many overfed undernourished individuals in the country I was trying to get as much nutrition in as quickly as possible to deal with many nutritional deficiencies and health issues. That’s easier to do with juice. I try to stick with a rule of, “If it’s fruit, eat it whole,” to deal with the sugar content.
Another thing (as I commented above) is not not waste the pulp. I make crackers with it and sometimes I will pour my juice in the blender with ice and add some pulp back in if I want a thicker drink. Both of these help me keep a good fiber intake.
My basic juice:
2 celery stalks
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
and 1/4 apple or pear.
I change out different types of dark leafy greens to whatever is available or in season, but I keep it as veggie strong as possible.
Yep, I agree. I don’t see juicing as a substitute to eating whole fruits and vegetables. I think it’s an incredible supplement, though. It’s a delicious way to add more of a good thing to your diet.
I also love my juicer! I bought it about five months ago at Fred Meyer’s half off sale for about $34. I make mostly alkaline juice, so I leave out most fruit and do mostly veggies. I also use the pulp to make crackers. I freeze the pulp until I have 4 or 5 cups and then I defrost it and do this: 4/5 cups of pulp to 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 3 tbsp pizza seasoning and a dash of salt. Beat it up in your Kitchen Aid and put it in your dehydrator or spread it thin on a cookie sheet in your oven. Delicious healthy crackers that are wonderful with hummus. Plus: No waste! The ultimate in frugal!
* I’ve used all different seasoning blends and this is my favorite.
Please comment: Hurom low speed masticating juicer
I am with everyone else. Just watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Beautiful Truth, Food Matters, etc. I’ve been using Vitamix every day for a long time but it’s not quite good enough. Ordered my first juicer Breville 800jexl and was out of stock till a month later! Does anyone have experience with Hurom? People seem to really like it because it’s low speed masticating juicer and looses little enzyme in the process. I am about the cancel my Breville for the Hurom, what do you think?
There are 2 types of juicers: centrifugal & masticating. The masticating juicers tend to be a little pricier, but they also get more juice (and therefore more nutrients) out of the produce. In the documentary The Gerson Miracle, they advocate the masticating juicers.
I love my Breville, and the brand has a reputation for being one of the sturdiest on the market. I’m not familiar with the Hurom, though, sorry!
I love my Breville Juice fountain elite…. I was going to get one of the slower masticating juicers also but i found that I mainly juice fruits so this one is better for me and is really easy to clean!
I have a hurom slow juicer I bought at Williams-Sonoma. I decided on a masticating juicer to juice wheat grass and other greens — my understanding was that a masticating juicer was better for those as compared to a centrifugal. Someone with a centrifugal would be able to answer how theirs handles wheat grass, kale, etc. I have been juicing with it every day for about 2 months and like it very much. I am even traveling with my juicer, that’s how much it’s become part of my life. My husband is also juicing regularly and my kids have a couple they like as well. I have hugely increased my veggie intake.
Thank you for all the healthy and organic posts, I appreciate all you’re doing in this area. I am looking forward to your tips on spending less on produce as my grocery bill has increased – but I also view it as an investment in our health.
My hubby & I watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and he decided a couple days later he wanted to do a juice fast! We were given a Champion juicer from a relative and used it a lot before we saw the movie, but that was a HUGE motivator for us to persue a healthier lifestyle – he juiced for 15 days and lost 20lbs and counting! We usually do 1 – 2 juices a day, and after doing it I tried a V8 and was totally grossed out by it, just not the same after having fresh juices. I have been juicing for my kids just straight apple or orange juice so they are getting used to it and they have been enjoying it. Check out this link to get more information on juicers – it talks about the enzyme produced by the juicer, the amount of juice the juicer puts out, etc. You can check craigslist or other websites to find a cheaper juicer – there are lots of great deals out there – hope this helps! http://www.hacres.com/pdf/documents/other-juice-extractor-comparison-2007.pdf
Stephanie W says
Perfect timing! Thank you in advance!
We bought a Vita-mix 7 years ago and have used it nearly every day since. Unlike a true juicer, it can puree the entire piece of fruit so smooth that you don’t care if the fiber bulk is left in your beverage. The consistency can be controlled by the amount of water or ice that you add and there is very little fruit waste because more of the fruit can be put into the drink, capturing more vitamins. You can make soups and desserts and even baby food. You can hide all sorts of fruits and veggies people swear they won’t or can’t eat because they don’t like them…and following a taste test they are raving about how great that drink was. Plus the Vita-mix website is always a good way to find new and exciting recipes.
I am a juice-a-holic! I have been for many years, and I can tell you that juicing perks your system nothing like any bottle of juice you buy… Over the years I have boughten three juicers .. but have to admit everyone one of them is tedious to clean…SO I don’t use it as much as I like. Then one day I met the vitamix….and started dating it…and finally took the plunge.. and you are right.. It is sooooo awesome, the machine is so strong, it literally macerates any fruit vegi etc… you throw in it; and blends it into a ultra smooth cool palatable silky texture… not to mention easy to clean! LOVE it 🙂
I use the vitamix too. I guess I don’t understand how getting the fiber in your diet is a bad thing. You are getting the same nutrients, drinking the same fruits and veggies. Plus like May said it can be used for so much more. I also do soup in mine and the biggest plus like Elaina said is that it’s so easy to clean.
So Emily my question is what is the difference and is it enough to want to purchase a second appliance?
Fiber is a good thing, and this was my argument at first, too. I had originally decided to save my pennies for a Vitamix. Those are amazing machines!
However, blenders (like the Vitamix and others) and juicers are really 2 different things for 2 different purposes. The blenders retain all of the pulp while juicers only include some of it.
The main benefit of the juicer is the sheer amount of produce you can squeeze into one glass. My fruit & veggie intake with juicing is more than I could do with a blender, and I have really noticed the difference.
Angela R. says
Also a Vitamix user and a very happy one at that! 😉 I had a juicer and was not in love with it. It was a lot of work and it felt like I was wasting good parts of the plant – pulp and skin, for instance.
I’ve moved to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and I’m now doing about 1 smoothie daily. Tonight’s was 1 baby bok choy, 1 kiwi, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 carrot, and 1 cup parsley – I ate all parts of all of that. Since my other meals are comprised of plants, I know I’m getting plenty of good stuff. I’ll be following this more for what I could do with my Vitamix. 😉
I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead a few weeks ago, and was blown away! I also watched Forks Over Knives, all about a plant based diet and was even more blown away. I have been trying to figure out how to get our family of 6 to eat more veggies on such a tight budget and change my thinking to seeing it as an investment in our future and health like you said. I am SO excited to hear what you have learned. It makes a difference to hear it from someone who has a family, little kids and a budget!
We watched both of these movies, too. Our family has always been vegetarian, but it pushed us to go vegan and we have been steady on the vegan train for over 2 months now. My husband and I have both lost weight and my 3 year old who has always been pretty picky and never really wants to eat is eating literally everything I put in front of him. Our pediatrician has told us he is one of the heatlhiest kids she sees at his 3 year appt. We also are starting a 10 day juice fast on Sunday. 🙂
Camilla Blue says
So eager to read your upcoming posts. My husband got me to watch the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead documentary a couple of nights ago while I was sick. My big argument against it was how expensive an organic juice fast would be. So I look forward to hearing what you have to share!
Is the juicer hard to clean. I had one a long time ago, and found it very time consuming to take a part and clean. Are you going to be sharing some of your favorite recipes? Trying to eat better at our house, but switching this meat and potatoes family is a little daunting!!
It is not time consuming to take apart & clean. Once you get into a routine, it takes a few minutes.
I’ll be sharing some of my favorite juice combos next week.
Moving my family to a plant-based diet has been a slow process over the last 4 years. Apparently we are not too keen on change either. 🙂
Another kitchen appliance “said like eeyore”. I would love a juicer and would use it a lot, but they are so expensive! My cash budget is very small right now. I do however look forward to seeing the next set of posts on the subject.
Andee Z says
So happy you are covering this! I was wavering for months about buying a uicer for the fiber issue alone. Finally bought one and have been juicing for 2 weeks. I LOVE it!
I am still getting fiber by eating the “real thing”, but I feel like I have much more energy after I drink a vegetable juice. Can’t wait to read about keeping juicing in the budget!
I have been juicing for about 2 years now. I have yet to do a fast longer than 3 days but on the weeks where I do better than others I can feel it, see it in my skin, and am happier!! Can’t wait to see your ideas on produce costs in the coming posts!!! Happy Juicing!!
I bought a juicer realized we’d lose all of our fiber and looked at the price of fruits and veggies and said…maybe I should just sell my juicer. Im excited to see you next few weeks posts. And I’ll wait to see my juicer till I read more!
There are soluble fibers that aren’t lost in the pulp. Plus you get a larger quantity of vitamins and minerals by juicing rather than eating because without the insoluble fibers you can actually take in more.
Do you find that it’s a lot of work to clean your juicer?
Yes, it was lame at first! Then I just started thinking about it as part of the process, similar to making a cup of coffee and cleaning out my coffee press. After a few weeks, you get in a routine. Now I can do it in a few minutes and don’t even think about it!
I am so happy to see this! I was just doing research on the best juicer to buy and I’m finding there are soooo many choices and options. Can’t wait to read all the great info you have! Thank you!
I purchased the Hamilton Big Mouth juicer a couple of months ago when Fred Meyer had a coupon for half off on all blenders and juicers and scored it for $30! My husband and I have been juicing happily ever since and love it! I have even got my 16 year old drinking the juice! We come home at the end of the day and say “OK time for our phytonutrients!” It makes us feel good to know we are doing our cells such a huge favor!!
I hear you! My husband and I do that too, where all we want is a juice at the end of the day. Crazy how your system craves it!
Both my husband and I were inspired to start juicing after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. My hubby did a 40 day juice fast and lost 40 pounds. I don’t have the self control for a fast, but enjoy juicing daily. Great way to stay healthy!
Cant wait to read more. I tried it in the past but that was only for fresh juice cocktails. Now I am interested in the health benefits. Thank you for sharing this.