I’m often hearing “I want to juice but organic produce cost so much”or “Juicing is too expensive”. You may have heard statements like these or even said them yourself and the truth is, juicing can be expensive. However, using the tips I’ve provided you with may result in a much lower grocery bill at the end of the month. First lets go over the basics of organic vs conventional.
Here’s the deal with organic produce, rule #1 choose organic over conventional whenever possible. Here’s why. To get the healthiest most nutrient dense juice possible, you’ll want to buy organic. It’s important because pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and whatever-cides are heavily used on conventional produce. So what does this mean to us? In 1995 the USDA tested roughly 7,000 conventionally grown fruit and vegetable produce and found residue of 65 different types of pesticide, with 2 out of 3 samples containing pesticide residue. Pesticide residue have been shown to cause numerous long term health risks, such as cancer and birth defects, nerve damage, impaired fertility and more.
“Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time…” – EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency)
So by choosing organic produce over conventional, you are avoiding the harmful effects of pesticides, but also you are consuming higher quality foods that are higher in nutritional content. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that organic produce contained 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron and 29% more magnesium than conventional produce and much more.
I spend on average $25-$30 a week on organic fruits and vegetable and that’s for myself and my partner. I used to easily spend double that if not more at places like Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck. Following these tips that I am going to share with you will help keep more money in your pocket and allow you to get much more for less than what you use to pay for.
Support Your Local Farmers
The bulk of my fruits and vegetables come from my local farmers market. Its my favorite place to shop, because I get amazing deals and the fruits and veggies are so fresh. They are picked the day before, instead of weeks or even months before like in regular grocery stores. Nor do they come from other countries; many produce in grocery stores come from far away place like Mexico, Asia, Canada and South America.
Tips For Shopping At a Farmers Market:
- Prices are negotiable towards the end of the market.
- If you shop there often, farmers will take care of you. Develop a relationship with your farmer. I’m a regular and I’m always given extra goods, 2 for the price of 1.
- Buy in bulk. Discounts are given when you buy in bulk, anywhere from 20-30%. Apples, pears, carrots, beets and other fruits can be stored longer than leafy greens. I don’t eat all my berries, so I freeze them for later use.
- Buy the ugly stuff often called seconds. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a perfectly round apple. These fruits are often discount up to 50%. Seconds only means that the appearance is imperfect, but not the quality. If there is no sign, don’t be afraid to ask.
Some examples of what I bring in each week, click each image to see the full amount.
The easiest way to find a local farmers market in your area is to do a Google search: [your city] [farmers market]
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
A CSA or community supported agriculture is another way you can buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farmer. Each week you’ll receive a box of fruits and vegetables, and other farm products may be included. All depends on the package you decide to select. Essentially its a weekly subscription of the freshest produce that is in season. Its a great way to try new vegetables for new ways of cooking.
Fin a local CSA in your area, check out:
I like this option a lot. Its a great way to get outdoor exercise, sunshine (free vitamin D) and de-stress/relax. You can grow in your backyard and/or indoors. Even if you don’t have space there are other option like joining a community garden. I have a hydroponic system set up to grow herbs and I also joined a local community garden in my neighborhood in the great city of Chicago.
Gardening Resources – Home Gardening Course
Membership Warehouse Clubs
Here’s another option, you can become a member at Costco from $55/year. These warehouse stores allow for bulk buying at a discounted price. They contain a fair amount of organic produce that you can buy in addition to other household needs.
Avoid The Dirty Dozen
If for some reason none of the above options are available to you, focus on purchasing these 12 fruits and vegetables organically. Every year for the past 8 years the Environmental Working Group (EWG) collects data on foods contaminated with pesticides. These 12 fruits and vegetables are found to have the highest amount of pesticides, so it is crucial to buy them organic.
“The most contaminated fruits, in alphabetical order, are apples, domestic blueberries, grapes, imported nectarines, peaches and strawberries.”
“The most contaminated vegetables are bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes and spinach.” -EWG
“Find out how to save money on organic produce.” – @GreenJuiceADay – Click To Tweet
The Bottom Line
These tips have worked for me, and if you implement them, I suspect it will work for you.
Have you implemented any of these strategies? Which one has worked for you? If you have any additional tips to add to this let me know in the comments.
Oh, and don’t forget to share this on Twitter and Facebook.
Steve A Mattison says
Blenders are pretty cheap these days. 😉
Steve A Mattison says
The only problem here is that the Organic Food industry ALSO uses pesticides. Often more, and often much more dangerous Sulfur-based and Tobacco-based pesticides. Meanwhile, the science of conventional produce has been getting better, and improving the amount of pesticide and even the amount of water actually needed to grow these crops. Look into it, and stay safe!
Ava Racc says
It's not the produce that's expensive, it's buying a really good masticating juicer to get the most out of the greens nutritionally.
Khadra Yusuf says
Hi Mariam, I love your articles on green juicing, I want to loss wait, please help and give more advice
Subash Gopalaswamy says
Veronica Edmond says
Hi Mariam, I happened upon your page and fell in love with all of the wonderful greenness! I can't wait to try your recipes. Thx!
I kinda don’t think it’s good to freeze your juice. how about you put what you want to make for a juice in a plastic bag and then pull one out each morning and make the juice. Drink your juice as soon as you can after it’s juiced. The juice actually starts losing nutrients once its cut, and most of the nutrients are lost within the first 15 minutes of being juiced. Ahhhh!! You can take it to go with you, but it’s best to just juice only what you can drink immediately.
Just remember that there are no preservatives in fresh juice. It can go rancid quickly.
Thanks for the great article! I just started juicing and would like to make a large batch and freeze in individual serving sizes. I just made a green juice using tomatos, kale, jalapeno, carrots, cukes, onion, green apple, lemon, spinach and red pepper. I froze a 16oz serving and drank a 16 oz serving. The taste was great. Then I did a sweet potatoe, carrot, peach, pear, apple and kale and did the same. On the weekend I would like to do 5-7 days worth of juice at a time so I can grab and go. Do you see any harm in freezing a weeks supply at a time?
Mariam Turay says
Great juice combos BJ. You can freeze without much loss of nutrients. Make sure you freeze immediately after you make your juice.
Tiffany Elliott says
Great article! what about veggie wash? I would love to interview you, check out http://www.facebook.com/getdeepandkeepitreal.
Thank you for a great website and extremely useful friendly information about this great subject. I’m a 51 years old retired member of the Armed Forces. Shortly after retirement in 2001 my weight got completely out of control due to bad eating habits. My cholesterol, AIC, and Blood Pressure were off the charts and I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. The MD that perform the diagnosis put me on all kinds of medication. Shortly after this diagnosis I’ve lost well over 70 pds and started eating healthy and increase my exercise routine as I didn’t want to end up as another statistic. I now only take High blood pressure medication but only because it is supposed to protect my kidneys at the suggestion of the same MD. My blood pressure, cholesterol and AIC and weight are back to normal levels. Always wanted to start juicing but I didn’t have too much info about the subject. I’ve just bought an Omega VRT350 juicer a few days ago and started juicing and I must say I wished I’ve started much earlier as it is GREAT! This will add another great tool to my Health Tool bag to include your great website and excellent articles, recipes and commentary.. Health, Success and Health Always! Auggie
Mariam Turay says
Thanks for visiting Auggie. I’m so happy to hear you started juicing. Please update keep me on your successes. Cheers to super health.
Mariam, when do you drink all of this juice without all of the veggies going bad?
Mariam Turay says
I juice daily. The produce will all get used up before any of it goes bad.
That’s a lotta juice:) I’m drinking some now and I have another bottle ready for later.
Wow – Mariam…what a terrific post full of good information! Especially the dirty dozen list and the clean 15. I will certainly be a more informed shopper in the future. Great post!
Mariam Turay says
You’re very welcome. Thanks for reading. Also thanks for keeping me posted on your juice fast, I know you are doing well. Keep on rocking.