How We Afford 6 Gallons of Juice a Week on a Budget8:03 AM
I remember when I first told a stranger that I had 5 boys. Their first response was that we probably went through a lot of milk in a week!
While it's true that I do buy quite a few gallons of milk, we tend to go through quite a bit of juice, as well. While there has been some negativity lately about how juice is considered a "sugary" drink, my family loves adding it to a healthy diet as a way for kids to keep hydrated and cool in the hot months, as well as a way to get 120% of their daily recommended value of vitamin C.
When consumed in moderation, I know that my kids are getting the equivalent of 2 servings of fruit -- something sodas can't do. The Old Orchard frozen juice concentrates that are sold at stores nationwide, including my local Walmart, are affordable, too. One can makes 48 ounces and costs just $1.47! It's pretty easy to add 8 or more cans to our monthly shopping routine and save big over juices that are already reconstituted. (And it saves room in our cupboard, too.)
Usually, the Old Orchard 100% Juices and Juice Blend frozen concentrates are almost as affordable as the generic brand juices, but even when they aren't, I can usually find a manufacturer's coupon for them to make them the cheapest juice in the freezer section. (Which is awesome, considering that I have so many that drink juice!)
With no added sugar, I know that I'm not paying for artificial juice. I also do a few things to help ensure the juice goes as far as it can in our thirsty household:
1. We don't let the kids walk around drinking juice. No juice in sippies while watching TV. No juice in GIANT cups. The kids get one serving of juice, preferably with a meal, but sometimes as a snack. They have to drink it from a cup, at the table. This helps make sure no one kid guzzles all the juice, and it helps us keep our juice consumption to a healthy level.
2. If the kids are super thirsty (like on a hot day), we use juice as an "add-in." Plain water tastes a bit better with a little juice mixed in. Juice is an awesome ingredient in a fresh fruit smoothie. Juice frozen as cubes makes warm tap water extra refreshing, too!
3. Only Mom or Dad pours the juice. Kids don't get free range to most beverages in the household; they would disappear too quickly! In addition to preventing sticky spills, having a parent or our oldest daughter do the dispensing is a good way to make sure everyone gets only their share, and that the juice stays around for the duration of the week.
By following these juice rules, using coupons, and buying just what we need during the week, we've managed to keep juice in our grocery budget and on our table. As the cost of fruits is expected to rise considerably due to the California drought, I'm looking forward to using our system to keep that extra source of fruit goodness handy in tough economic times.
What's your favorite juice? How do you keep juice in line with your budget?
Find even more savings at the Old Orchard website. Get printable coupons and enter to win free juice for a year!
As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.