When you are making a lot of juice, it can get expensive if you are not paying attention. Most everyone has to be budget-conscious about the money that they spend so that their dollar goes far. But guess what? You don’t have to break the bank to make juice!
I’ve put together some tips on saving money on groceries that I have learned over my years of juicing. By putting these strategies in place, you’ll save tons of money when buying all the precious fruits and veggies for your juice!
1. Buy In Bulk
One of the best ways to save money on groceries for juicing is to buy in bulk. The power of bulk purchasing power is huge! The principle is simple, by buying large quantities, you more often than not are given a reward for your larger purchase in the form of a reduced price.
Often times the price difference is substantial. Rather than buying a small bag of grapefruits per day, think about buying a whole case of grapefruits that will last you a week. For example, if you’re drinking a lot of celery or cucumber juices, or they’re the main base ingredient of your juices, buy a case of cucumbers or celery rather than just a couple every few days.
If you are juicing regularly, the produce will certainly last long enough for you to juice through it with proper storage. You’ll also have plenty of produce on hand that will allow you to make the appropriate quantities of juice you need to keep you on track with you and your family’s daily juicing habits.
This is especially important when you are embarking on a juice cleanse, juice fast, or as I like to call it a juice feast! During a juice feast, or solid food vacation, you’ll be drinking 4-7 liters per day, so you’ll be using a lot of produce! Even if you are not on a juice cleanse, buying bulk will definitely help the pocketbook!
2. Shop At A Produce Wholesaler
One of the best ways to purchase in bulk is to buy your produce from a produce wholesaler. A produce wholesaler is typically where restaurants or specialty food retailers purchase their fruits and veggies. They are set up to sell in bulk! Need 10 cases of oranges for your orange juice cleanse? No problem! Looking for 6 cases of seeded, organic grapes and a 10 lb bag of lemons for a grape juice cleanse? They will have you covered!
Almost every major metro area has multiple produce wholesalers that service the restaurants and food retailers in that area. Even smaller towns have them to service restaurants in those areas. To find the produce wholesalers in your area, type “your city produce wholesaler” into your search engine. For example, if you live in Chicago, IL, type in “Chicago produce wholesalers” into your search engine and see who is in your area.
Once you get the listing of wholesalers in your area, give them a call to find out what the details are to purchase with them. Sometimes, wholesalers will only sell to businesses that have a retail license or restaurant license. Other times they will sell to the public. If they sell to the public, you’re set! If they only sell to licensed businesses, there is still another way.
Think of everyone you know in your network of friends, family, and acquaintances. Do you know of anyone who works at a restaurant or a retail food establishment? If so, contact them to see if you can place an order along with their orders. Make sure to pay them at the time of pick-up or prepay so as not to inconvenience them. They will be doing you a favor by adding on to their order. Make sure to take them a juice periodically as a thank you. They will appreciate it!
3. Look For Sales
One of the best ways that I have found to save money on produce is to look for sales at the grocery stores that you normally shop at. Every week, grocery stores post-sales and advertisement fliers for their stores in your area. Every week they will have some fruits and vegetables that they are running a special on. The items vary from week to week and the specials will almost always be different, but they will always have something on sale.
The best way that I have found to keep track of these sales consistently is to bookmark each store’s weekly sale ad flier on my smartphone or laptop. When you are planning out your juice menu for the week, check out each store’s sales. Find what is on sale and make your juice menu around those particular items. For example, if grapes are on sale for $0.99 per pound, stock up on grapes! If seeded watermelons are on sale for $3.30 each, buy 5! This will make a ton of juice at a super reasonable price!
I also find that by reviewing the sale fliers, you are simultaneously optimizing your time by planning out your juice menu for the week! By planning ahead, you’ll be more apt to make the juice and also be more efficient at utilizing your produce. This also saves you money by reducing the amount of produce that will spoil by not using it in time. Win-win!
4. Shop At Ethnic Grocery Stores
Ethnic specialty grocery stores are great places to buy in bulk and get great prices. I’ve found that ethnic grocery stores are used to the practice of buying in bulk for food prep. Seek out the ethnic grocery stores in your area! Also, they often carry unique fruits and veggies that you won’t find at conventional grocery stores. In my city, we have Indian, Asian & Hispanic grocery stores to choose from. They are great places to explore unique food cultures!
If you are looking to purchase bulk quantities, ask to speak to the produce manager about making a special order. Have in mind what you’re interested in and then be open to seeing what they might have available through their distributor.
One item that I especially like to purchase from ethnic grocery stores is fresh, young Thai coconuts! Coconut water is a great addition to any juice. The meat can be used for coconut yogurt or raw dips and dressings. I use a special coconut opener to open them. Check out your local ethnic grocery stores for great deals!
5. Check Out Local Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s markets are a great place to save money on produce! Not only is it a great place to buy in bulk, you are also supporting the local economy by purchasing from a local farm or market gardener. Not to mention, the produce is generally picked at the peak of ripeness and usually the morning of or the day before the market so it’s super fresh! The fresher and more ripe the fruits and veggies are that you are buying, the more nutritious they will be.
Another benefit to buying from the farmer’s market is that you will get a chance to learn more about how the farmer or gardener is growing the fruits and veggies. You can learn about how they build their soil or what type of growing practices they use. Supporting these farmers is a great way to ensure that you’ll have amazing fresh produce for the years to come.
Ask the farmer at their booth what they might have available to buy in bulk. Once you find out, make arrangements to either pre-order and pick up the following week at the market or if they have enough, purchase it the same day at the market.
Oftentimes, if they have a lot of fruit or veggies left at the end of the market, they might be willing to make a deal with you to take a larger quantity to avoid spoilage losses by not selling it all.
6. Join A Buying Club or Co-Op
Buying clubs and co-ops are great places to investigate bulk buying for juicing. They sometimes have brick-and-mortar retail locations, but oftentimes, they are operated out of someone’s garage.
They are usually set up specifically by the founders to offer bulk buying opportunities for their members for cost savings. Sometimes they require a membership to be a part of the group but it is usually very flexible in nature to accommodate individual co-op member needs.
7. Buy Seasonally
Buying what is in season is one of the best ways to save money on fruits and veggies for juicing! The prices and the quality of the produce are better. For example, during the winter months, I consume a lot of citrus juice such as orange and grapefruit juice. But during the summer months, I rarely purchase any citrus juice.
Conversely, during the summer months, I buy an incredible amount of melons for juicing. Honeydews and cantaloupes, but particularly seeded watermelons, are a huge juicing favorite during the summer months. The prices are great and the quality is top-notch. They also make a lot of amazing juice for an incredible price. I can usually get 5-10 liters of juice from one large watermelon!
Typically, in the summer, seeded watermelons are $5.00 each in my area. These same melons during the wintertime aren’t readily available, the quality isn’t that great and the price might be three times the price coming in at $15.00. Check out what is available seasonally and stock up!
So there you have it! These are my top tips on saving money on groceries for juicing! Whether it’s your local grocery store, farmer’s market, or ethnic specialty store take the time to map out your juice menu for the week. Shop the deals and your wallet will be forever grateful!
Tell us your tricks for saving money on produce in the comments. Happy shopping and Stay Juicy!