Monday, May 19, 2008

Green Smoothie, The Cost Breakdown

(Ok, I hadn't intended this to be a Frugal Friday post, but I'm just so excited about the cost savings that I just had to share!)

Every morning I make 2 pitchers of green smoothie. That's a GALLON of the stuff. Each day.

I got the idea from watching the Green Smoothie Girl video, though I don't use her exact recipe. Look her up on YouTube as well! She is amazing and inspirational. And I have bought her basic recipe collection and highly, HIGHLY recommend it. I will probably join have now joined her 12 Step Program as well.

To make my green smoothie, I use:

Baby organic spinach

Collard greens

Flax Oil





Frozen Fruit

Crushed Ice (from my refridgerator)


I do have to go shopping (at Sam's) at least once a week now, which I don't particularly enjoy. But it's really not out of the way for me as my girls have a co-op that is literally a mile or so from the store. If I had to drive farther, I'd have to factor in the cost of gasoline and at this point that would significantly add to the total.

At Sam's I can get:

Baby Organic Spinach, 1 ½ # - 4.78 (makes appr. 4 smoothies)

Collard Greens, 2# - 3.27 (appr. 8 smoothies)

Baby Organic Carrots, 5# - 5.44 (appr. 28 smoothies)

Fuji Apples, 5# - 6.48 (appr. 18 smoothies)

Banana, 3# - 1.32 (appr. 8 smoothies)

Frozen Mixed Berries, 3# - 7.68 (appr. 6 smoothies)
Frozen Mixed Fruit, 6# - 8.56 (appr. 12 smoothies)
Frozen Strawberries, 6# - 8.44 (appr. 12 smoothies)
Frozen Blueberries, 3# - 9.43 (appr. 6 smoothies)

The flax oil I buy is Barleans and it's $29.99 or less (on sale) locally and it lasts about a month.

The Stevia is $8.99 (or less on sale) locally and a box lasts about a month.


So now, how much does it cost to make each smoothie? (Prices rounded up)

Spinach - 1.20

Collard Greens - .41

Carrots - .19

Apples - .36

Banana - .17

The Frozen Fruit can be as little as .70 or as much as 1.57. With the average being 1.07

The flax oil is appr. .50 and the stevia is appr. .30

So that would make the *average* cost of a full half gallon of green smoothie to be:


But remember, I make 2 of these a day. So MY daily cost is $8.40. Or $252.00 a month.

This was very hard on my frugal mind at first. Even though I realize how important nutrition is, the total cost was hard to swallow. But for some reason, we didn't seem to be spending any more money a month. We actually seemed to be SAVING money and I didn't really understand at first. And then I realized a few things.

+ This is a meal (breakfast for me and my daughters, lunch for my husband) for 4 of us daily. This saves at least $6 a day. Or $180 a month

+ After much research, we no longer take a multi vitamin. We just don't feel like it's necessary with all of this great raw nutrition we're getting. So that saves $45.00 a month.

+ Coffee has lost much of it's importance to me. So instead of buying an expensive whole bean, I'm just getting some cheap grocery store coffee and drinking about half of what I was before. This is saving over $30.00 a month.

+ We're buying *MUCH* less meat a month. Much, much less. My husband is a HUGE meat eater and it's amazing how much less he's eating now. We're easily and conservatively eating less than half the meat we did before. This is not a deliberate thing. This is just what's happening. This is EASILY saving us $40 a month.

+ Our sugar cravings are gone. Really pretty much totally gone. So we're not making nearly as many sweets as we were before. Saving probably $15 a month.

So, if the cost a month for the smoothie is:


Minus the fact that it's a meal replacement brings the total to:


Minus the multi-vitamins:


Minus the coffee savings:

+ 3.00

Minus the meat savings:

+ 43.00

Minus the sugar cravings:

+ 58.00

So there you have it. By my making this smoothie, we're actually AHEAD by appr. $58 a month. I am absolutely not exaggerating this. If anything I'm being conservative.

As an example, I will frequently buy very ripe bananas for about .10# and freeze them, reducing the banana cost in the smoothie. Also, our fresh strawberries are coming in and that significantly decreases the cost of the smoothie right now. And the peach trees show great promise this year. Along with our blueberry bushes, grapes, blackberries, and apples for next year. Also carrots and spinach can be grown to further reduce the cost (we're trying carrots this year and I'm hopeful that my husband will put up a cold frame box for spinach this fall).

But having said all of this, I would do it even if it DID cost me an extra $252 a month. Because how do you put a price on health? And maybe more importantly, teaching your children healthy eating habits?

For more frugal inspiration, be sure to visit Crystal's Blog!


Kristen's Raw said...

Wow! I loved reading this post! That's fantastic information :)


My name is Michelle. said...

Thanks Kristen! AND it's the absolute truth. I'm still pretty amazed and psyched about it.

Kerri said...

This is very interesting. Do you use the blender that she recommends?

My name is Michelle. said...

Hi Kerri, I actually do. To be fair though, we tried it with our old KitchenAid for a few days first to make sure we would like it. The BlendTec blender that Robyn recommends is incredible. We've had it for over a month now and I'm impressed each time I turn it on! LOL

Laura said...

I enjoy making and drinking green smoothies too! My family does pretty well with them and I feel great about the good nutrition they're getting from them. I think it's great that they taste as good as they do!

My name is Michelle. said...

Me too Laura! I couldn't believe it the first time I tried it. I thought it was going to be something that I really had to force down. But we really enjoy them. I love your blog, btw. I'll be back to check it out when I have some time!

Amanda said...

I love green smoothies! I haven't had one in a long time though. You've inspired me to give them another go!

Thanks so much for the info! :)

My name is Michelle. said...

What a nice thing to say Amanda! I really should try to get some pics up...cause the "EWWWW" factor would really go up don't ya think? Luckily they taste a lot better than they look.

Tiffany said...

Wow, my husband and I could definitely benefit from that green smoothie. We're always snacking or eating sweets (or chips for me). Something that can cut that down for us would be great.

My name is Michelle. said...

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it! It's pretty amazing. And congratulations on your marriage! Don't you love saying "my husband"? :)

Melissa said...

Michelle-is Flax Oil and Flax Seed oil the same thing? I always have Organic Flax Seed oil. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I've tried several green smoothie recipes and your's looks better than than ones I've tried.

MommaofMany said...

Nice cost breakdown! Do you shop at any Farmer's Markets? That can cut your cost a lot! Happy drinking!

Tam said...

Wow that is great! Thanks for taking the time to break it all down! You really can't put a price on health but it's nice to know that it does not have to cost you a arm and a leg either!

Oh and you can't forget this fact too! We have found medical bills are much less (ie we have none;) And with the price of "health care" these days that is huge!

Elder Que said...

Hello, you mentioned that your husband has a smoothie for lunch. What do you do to store the smoothie after making it in the morning? Is putting it in a thermos sufficient?


Robin Sampson said...

I did the same thing and my cost was around $3.70 a blender. No Steevia (lots of fruit). Its worth our health (battling heart disease)

Come join our new Green Smoothie group at