By Christine Frietchen
It’s a given: To do a juice fast (we call it a Reboot), you’re going to need a juicer, and you’re going to need a decent juicer than can handle harder vegetables, not just fruit.
And no, a blender won’t cut it. A blender chops up whole foods rather than juicing them. (Read more about the differences here: Juicing vs. Blending). If it doesn’t have a spout, pitcher, and a collection bin for pulp, it’s a blender, not a juicer.
I love coming up with ways to save money when juicing, like using high-yield produce and not wasting the pulp. But what about the juicer itself?
The easy answer, if you’re committed to a Reboot and to juicing, is to buy a solid juicer that gets great reviews. Joe endorses Breville juicers. He used a Breville juicer during his epic Reboot in the film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. And Breville juicers are what we use here in the office. I juice with the Breville Juice Fountain Plus (est. $150) most often. That’s one of the middle models, but you can see the whole range here, including the entry-level (but still effective) Breville Juice Fountain Compact (est. $100).
But what if you’re not so sure about juicing, or just aren’t ready to spend $100 on a new appliance?
Buy a Used Juicer
Buying used might sound yucky, but it doesn’t have to be. Juicers are one of those appliances that many people tend to receive as a holiday or birthday gift. After giving it a spin or two, it promptly gets stuffed into the closet.
Try Ebay. I found barely used Breville juicers there for $50 to $80. Be sure to cross-reference any juicer you’re considering with reviews on a site like Amazon.com. Try Craigslist too. I found juicers that owners say have only been used once or twice. And the nice thing about Craigslist? You can meet the owner and give it a whirl to make sure everything works and all the pieces are there before you buy.
Share a Juicer
This option means finding a juicing buddy, a neighbor or someone at work. I met one woman who “timeshared” a juicer with two co-workers by leaving the juicer at their office. They split the cost of the unit, then did all their juicing at work, taking their evening and breakfast juices home with them in Mason jars.
They weren’t sure who would get “custody” of the juicer after their 15-day Reboot, but they said they’d cross that bridge when they come to it.
Borrow a Juicer
Like I said, juicers are one of those appliances that people tend to get for gifts, then stick into a cabinet, at least until they get interested in juicing again. I have a friend who bought a fancy juicer just after New Year, about the time he signed up for an Ironman race and joined a gym. He didn’t use the juicer beyond February.
Email a few friends, or post a note to your Facebook page. I asked how many of my Facebook friends had juicers at home they weren’t using, and SEVEN of them had juicers sitting on the top shelf in the closet. So you might be surprised how many of your friends own one.
Go with Bottled Juice
You could bypass the juicer entirely by using bottled HPP (high pressure processed) juices for your juice fast. Depending on where you live, that’s going to set you back maybe $6 per juice. At 5 juices per day, however, you’ll quickly surpass the cost of buying your own juicer. Bottled HPP juicers are a great choice if juicing isn’t convenient, or if you’re in a rush.
Hit the Bar
You can also bypass the juicer by hitting up your local juice bar. But again, add up your daily costs and you’d be better off buying, borrowing, or sharing a juicer of your own, at least in the long term. Still, juice bars are a great way to supplement at-home juicing when you’re on the go. (Looking for a local juice bar? Try our Juice Bar Finder.)