From rushed morning workouts to lengthy commutes, midday pick-ups from school and weekend errands, convenience is king when life gets busy and for that reason, people decide to purchase their morning blend or afternoon pick-me-up on-the-go. But the costs add up. While it may be easier to buy drinks on-the-go, have you ever stopped to think about how much you’re actually spending … daily, monthly or yearly? To save some time—and money—we did the math.
The morning blend
Ordering your favorite smoothie in store could cost $1,625 per year (or more) depending on ingredients and location. According to Technomic research, the average smoothie costs nearly $5.30; it can get much more expensive when you add nutritional boosts.
So, is it actually cheaper to blend at home? Using ingredient prices from a grocery store chain, we determined the cost to make our Vitamix Four Fruit Smoothie:
- 1 large orange (halved): $0.35
- 1 slice pineapple: $0.38
- ½ banana: $0.13
- 3 strawberries: $0.50
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar: $0.28
- 1 cup ice cubes: $0
- 1 cup water: $0
- 1 cup spinach (optional addition for more nutrients): $0.70
This at-home breakfast beverage costs just $1.64, or $2.34 with the added spinach. That’s $850 a year if you make one every day, with spinach for a natural nutrient boost (which we definitely recommend!). Making daily smoothies at home, versus buying, saves you well over $1,000 annually. Even with a one-time purchase of a Vitamix blender—we recommended our Ascent Series A2500 blender ($519.95) with three program settings for Smoothies, Hot Soups and Frozen Desserts—you will still save nearly $500 in the first year!
That afternoon pick-me-up
Many people need a midday energy boost. To perk up, some practice deep breathing exercises, drink a power-packed smoothie or do simple stretches. Others drink coffee. According to a 2018 survey commissioned by the National Coffee Association, 64% of Americans said they have a daily cup of coffee, and 36% said they order it at their go-to coffee shop. The convenience factor can be appealing, especially with mobile ordering and pick-up. But how much does your caffeine fix really cost?
A standard 16-ounce cold brew with foam can cost around $3.95. That’s about $1,442 a year!
To compare costs and solve this coffee conundrum, we analyzed the Vitamix Cold Brew Cappuccino recipe. Using ingredient prices from a grocery store chain, here’s the beverage breakdown:
- 1 cup cold skim milk (8 fluid ounces): $0.16
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder: $0.05
- 1 cup cold brew coffee (8 fluid ounces): $1.35
- 2 cups ice cubes: $0
The cost to make this at home is around $1.56, totaling just under $570.00 a year. That means becoming your own at-home barista could save you $870.00! Wondering how to make the cold foam at home? Even with the one-time purchase of an Aer Disc container ($144.95), you will still save about $730 your first year.
The end-of-day hooray
It’s called happy hour for a reason. When the day is done, catching up with coworkers or friends at the local watering hole can be a great way to unwind. Mojitos anyone?
According to our research, the standard mojito costs between $9 and $10. Say you head to the bar with three friends once a week and buy two rounds; that’ll set you back about $72 in one visit.
Here’s how much it costs (or, in this case, saves) to make the 64-ounce Mojito recipe from vitamix.com (approximately 8 cocktails):
- 6 cups ice cubes: $0
- 45 fresh mint leaves: $5.98 (approximately 2 packs)
- 8 ounces simple syrup: $2.19
- 8 ounces fresh lime juice: $1 (approximately 3 limes)
- 8 ounces white rum: $4.14
- 8 ounces club soda: $0.41
The estimated cost to make your own 64-ounce mojito batch (or two rounds for you and three friends) is approximately $13.72, meaning you’d spend about five times as much to go out for drinks. Instead of going out, invite friends over for a casual get together. And, if you already purchased the Aer Disc container ($144.99) for coffee drinks, there’s no need to buy other accessories to muddle your way to mixologist status, so the savings are all yours.
You don’t have to give up your favorite drinks to save a buck; just make them at home! Already a blended-beverage boss? Tag us on social media (#MyVitamix) with your best cost-saving recipes.
*Please note that these are approximate costs based on online grocery retailer sourcing. Costs and savings may vary by location and ingredients.
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