Are you looking for ways to prepare cheap smoothies on a budget? The beauty of blended drinks is that they don’t need to cost the earth to be nutritious. So, how do you keep ingredient costs affordable without scrimping on flavour?
In this article – we share our fav easy and cheap smoothie recipes made with just 3 ingredients, plus top tips for preparing healthy smoothies on a budget.
- 10 Cheap Smoothie Recipes
- Top Tips For Preparing Cheap Smoothies
- A Week’s Worth of Smoothies For $5 or £3
Cheap Smoothie Recipes
Here are some of our favourite cheap smoothie recipes made with just 3 ingredients…
- Green Pineapple Smoothie
- Easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- ABC Smoothie
- Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
- Carrot & Apple Smoothie
- Banana Breakfast Smoothie
- Peach Melba Smoothie
- Apple & Blackberry Smoothie
- Pineapple & Carrot Smoothie
- Pear & Orange Smoothie
Green Pineapple Smoothie
To make this smoothie, blend together one banana, some tinned pineapple, and a few spinach leaves. Combining tinned fruit with fresh produce is a great way to save money without compromising on nutrition. View the full Green Pineapple Smoothie recipe.
Easy Strawberry & Banana Smoothie
Blend some frozen strawberries with a fresh banana and a little liquid to create this cheap healthy smoothie. Frozen berries are much cheaper than fresh ones yet still contain the same levels of vitamins and minerals. Read the full Easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe.
For a cheap smoothie without banana, try this apple, berry and celery (ABC) recipe. Buying frozen berries will save you money upfront and in the long-term too, since you won’t lose any to wastage or going off. View the full ABC (Apple Berry Celery) Smoothie recipe.
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
If you fancy something that’s more like a dessert smoothie on a budget, try this strawberry cheesecake recipe. Simply combine frozen strawberries, some budget-friendly digestive biscuits, and yogurt in a blender. Get the Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie recipe.
Carrot & Apple Smoothie
When it comes to cheap healthy smoothies, they don’t come any better than carrot and apple. We ran the maths (see further below) and it’s literally the cheapest smoothie you can make. Coming in at just 23p or 37¢, it’s an affordable, tasty, and nutritious option. Simple blend one apple and one carrot with a little liquid (water or juice both work well).
Banana Breakfast Smoothie
This cheap breakfast smoothie recipe is easy-peasy to prepare. Simply blend one banana, half a cup of oats, and some liquid. Water, juice, almond milk, iced coffee, or anything else in your fridge will work. Oats are really cheap, filling, and healthy, so this one’s a winner on multiple counts.
Peach Melba Smoothie
When peaches are in season during summer, they’re really cheap to pick up. Blend them with some frozen berries and a banana or yogurt for a delightful smoothie. View the full Peach Melba Smoothie recipe.
Apple & Blackberry Smoothie
Blackberries are available for free during the fall as they ripen on bramble bushes across the northern hemisphere. Blending them with an apple and some water or juice creates a vitamin-packed smoothie that’s healthy and nutritious. Check out the full recipe in our Autumn Smoothie Guide.
Pineapple & Carrot Smoothie
Another cheap smoothie recipe uses tinned pineapple and the humble carrot. They might not seem like an obvious combo but the flavours really work. Combine half a tin of pineapple, half a carrot, and half a banana in a blender to create a cheap smoothie for just 40p/65¢ per serving.
Pear & Orange Smoothie
Pears and oranges are sometimes overlooked as they can seem exotic (at least in the UK). But they’re actually very cheap smoothie ingredients. Blend a pear, orange, and banana together for a tasty, affordable smoothie.
10 Tips for Preparing Cheap Smoothies
Preparing smoothies yourself is usually cheaper and healthier than buying pre-packaged ones. Drinks from McDonald’s or Innocent costs anywhere between £1.50 to £4 per serving, way more than homemade recipes. But there are hacks you can use to reduce the cost even more.
A frustrating number of online smoothie recipes seem to come with a high price tag. Many include expensive exotic fruits, random supplements, or a long list of ingredients, all of which bump up the costs. We love trying tasty new smoothie recipes, but they aren’t always the best for saving money.
Many of us live on a budget. Of course, we’d love to buy whatever we like at the supermarket, but we also live in the real world. We have a limited amount of money with which to feed ourselves or our families, so have to balance good nutrition with time and cost.
But cost doesn’t have to hold us back from eating healthily. Here are our top tips for blending cheap healthy smoothies on a budget…
- Eat seasonally
- Pick your own
- Visit markets on Saturdays
- Maximise your freezer
- Try tinned
- Buy loose
- Don’t stress about organic
- Prepare portions ahead
- Rotate 2-3 recipes
- Mix’n’match ingredients
Let’s look at each of these cost-saving ideas in more detail…
#1. Eat Seasonally
Whether fruit and veg is in season, will have a big impact on the price tag. For example, when strawberries are in season, they are usually half the price that they command the rest of the year.
An abundant supply means that growers need to sell their perishables before they get too ripe. And they’d rather sell it and make less profit than have it go bad and make a loss.
Plus it usually costs less to transport produce that’s in season locally, since it travels a much shorter distance to get to you. So, finding cheap smoothie ingredients is usually a case of working out what’s in season right now.
Tasty tip – This handy cheat sheet on seasonal ingredients, can help you pinpoint which are at their best right now.
#2. Pick Your Own Cheap Smoothie Ingredients
Picking your own fruit can be a huge cost saver but it does take some time. If you have kids, then it might be a fun family activity, that also teaches them where different fruits come from. It’s a fantastic way to source fresh ingredients to use in affordable smoothie recipes.
Many farms will let you pick your own produce for a small fee, just look out for the ‘PYO’ signs along the roadside. Or Pickyourown.org lists all of the PYO fruit and veg farms the U.S., Canada, and Britain.
In many countries, you can also pick berries free of charge from public hedgerows. Just be sure to check that the hedges you’re raiding are in fact public property beforehand.
#3. Visit Markets on Saturdays
The best deals on seasonal produce can usually be found at your local market, which also supports independent businesses.
Since so few markets are open on Sundays, traders know they need to sell their produce on Saturday before it starts to spoil. So if you pop down in the afternoon, you can find many items at clearance prices.
#4. Maximise Your Freezer
Many fruits and vegetables can be frozen, so stock up when they’re on special offer. Berries are ideal candidates since they can go bad quickly, therefore freezing reduces wastage. But you can freeze almost anything – bananas, spinach, even vegan yogurt (ice-cube trays are your friend).
Peel and pit everything that needs it, then store in an airtight bag. Most fruit and veg will last between 6-9 months, although you’ll get the most nutrients by using it within three. Freeze them in individual portions, so you can just grab what you need later on.
#5. Try Tinned
Tinned fruits and veggies totally count towards your ‘5 A DAY’ and will last longer than fresh. Go for the ‘in water’ or ‘in fruit juice’ options, as they’re healthier than the syrup covered alternatives. Avoid anything that has added sugar or salt.
The supermarket own-brand varieties are usually the cheapest. Plus, they come ready peeled and chopped which makes them perfect for cheap easy smoothies.
#6. Buy Loose
If you shop at a supermarket, then buy fruit and vegetables loose instead of pre-packaged. Loose fruit and veg can be as little as half the price since you only grab what you actually need. This is also a fantastic way to avoid unnecessary food waste.
The cheapest smoothie ingredients you can buy include…
You might also like… 7 Healthy Smoothie Add-Ins For Even More Nutritious Blends.
#7. Don’t Stress About Organic
This is a personal choice. Some research says that organic is healthier, and contains fewer toxins from pesticides. Other research says that it’s just contaminated with government-approved pesticides and no better for your health.
It’s all a bit confusing, and if the experts can’t agree then we’re definitely not going to weigh in. So we’ll just say that organic is nice, but it’s not required in our book. Just buy the best you can with the funds you have, and wash everything thoroughly.
#8. Prepare Portions Ahead
It’s a small but useful cost-saving strategy. Prepping smoothie ingredients in advance will save you time and hassle during the week.
But a nice added bonus is that it helps with portion control, as ingredients are distributed evenly between each day instead of being measured on the go. So you won’t run out of something mid-week and need to buy extra, or conversely, be left with soggy leftovers that go to waste.
You might also like… 10 Awesome Smoothie Cups For Travel & Everyday Use.
#9. Rotate 2-3 Cheap Smoothie Recipes
Making a different smoothie every day can get expensive, especially if they all have different ingredients. To keep costs down, try alternating between just two or three cheap smoothie recipes every week.
This is a really good tactic when using more costly ingredients like berries or spinach. It also helps minimise wastage.
The key is to include a variety of brightly coloured produce – yellow, orange, green, purple. This is a good rule of thumb to ensure you’re also getting varied nutrients.
For example, having four Banana & Pineapple smoothies, and three Carrot & Apple smoothies would cost approximately $4 or £2.50 over seven days.
#10. Mix’n’match Budget-Friendly Ingredients
If you prefer a different smoothie every day, then use the mix’n’match approach. Rotate the same core ingredients, but give them a slight twist each day.
So maybe a carrot and apple smoothie on day one, apple and orange smoothie on day 2, and carrot, orange, and spice smoothie on day 3.
A Week’s Worth of Smoothies For $5/£3
One way to truly streamline your smoothie shopping budget is to stick to basic staples; bananas, apples, carrots, pears and oranges. For just $5 or £3 a week, you can still enjoy a different smoothie every day, using the recipes below.
By eating a variety of different coloured fruits and veggies, you’re getting a balanced intake of different vitamins and minerals. So try to mix up your smoothies ingredients as much as possible, to consume the full spectrum of nutrients your body needs. Here’s a budget smoothie menu planner to help…
Carrot & Apple Smoothie – 23p/37¢ per serving
- 1 apple – 15p/24¢
- 1 carrot – 8p/13¢
Pear & Orange Smoothie – 62p/99¢ per serving
- 1 pear – 20p/32¢
- 1 orange – 30p /48¢
- 1 banana – 12p/19¢
Simple Banana Smoothie – 30p/47¢ per serving
- 2 bananas – 24p/38¢
- 120ml fruit juice – 6p/9¢
Carrot & Pineapple Smoothie – 40p/65¢ per serving
- ½ carrot – 4p/7¢
- ½ tin of pineapple – 30p/48¢
- ½ banana – 6p/10¢
Simple Apple & Orange Smoothie – 45p/72¢ per serving
- 1 apple – 15p/24¢
- 1 orange – 30p/48¢
Apple & Pear Detox Smoothie – 35p/56¢ per serving
- 1 apple – 15p/24¢
- 1 pear – 20p/32¢
Simple Orange & Carrot Smoothie – 68p/$1.09 per serving
- 2 oranges – 60p/96¢
- 1 carrot – 8p/13¢
Cheap Healthy Smoothies – Summary
These tips will help you to prepare cheap healthy smoothies no matter what your budget is. They make ingredients more affordable and enable you to stretch them further too. For lots of easy and cheap smoothie recipes, check out our delicious 3-ingredient wonders.