Blended frozen concoctions can act as a nutritious meal replacement or snack packed with healthy fats and vitamins, or serve as quick jolts of caffeine. Their popularity has been picking up steam across the nation, which is why we’re not surprised that smoothies and frozen coffee drinks, whether left in their original containers or poured into mason jars, have become trendy accessories in social media posts.
They’re a great go-to option, but don’t be fooled — you don’t have to shell out a ton of money for each glass.
You can save big bucks by making coffee and smoothies at home. For example, one couple who used to spend $241 a month at Starbucks saved $154 by making coffee at home.
Skip the trip and create tasty smoothies and frozen coffees at home for a whole lot less — and they’ll probably be way healthier, too, because you can control each ingredient’s quality and quantity.
Get a Good Blender
You don’t need to spend a lot on a fancy kitchen appliance. An affordable variety will work just as well, especially if it’s a bullet blender. Ideal for mixing one or two servings, the best bullet blenders break down hard food quickly and efficiently. Some blend your drink right into a portable cup and come with an on-the-go travel lid.
Freeze Your Ingredients
Frozen fruits and veggies are the secret sauce to delicious, nutritious smoothies, and frozen varieties are notoriously cheaper than their fresh counterparts. And they last longer, too. Studies show us that vitamin retention in frozen fruits and vegetables is just as good, if not higher, when compared to refrigerated versions. So skip worrying about finding a carton of fuzzy raspberries in your fridge and opt for frozen bags instead.
Stock Up During Sales
You’ll want to look for nutritious add-ins such as chia and flax seeds, protein powders, nut butters and cacao nibs. Check online periodically for sales to buy in bulk, because that’s when you can really save. When shopping around, compare the price per ounce as packaging sizes vary.
Build Your Smoothie Right
Healthy smoothies consist of fruits or veggies (or both!), a liquid, like milk or water, and a protein, such as yogurt, nut butter, tofu or legumes. Enhance the flavor by adding cocoa powder, matcha, ginger or cinnamon. Some people like to add ice or grains like oats.
Experiment with adding ingredients like vanilla extract or canned pumpkin puree. Whole foods are so much better for you than artificially-flavored syrups. Try your hand at creating a mocha sauce. Test out different milk alternatives like rice, flax, soy, oat or coconut. You might be surprised how many options are out there!
DIY Blended Coffee Frappe
Whip up an icy pick-me-up at home with simple ingredients. Add ice, espresso, milk, sugar and vanilla to your bullet blender and blend until it’s thick and creamy. Cap it off with whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce.
Do you see yourself pulling out your bullet blender and making these drinks at home? Which team do you play for — team smoothie or team frappe?
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.