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Un-Frugal Confessions

Un-frugal Confessions
Un-frugal Confessions

It’s confession time, friends.  I’ve developed a habit over the last six weeks that’s not so frugal.  Over the course of the last six weeks, this habit has cost our family roughly $288.57.  I was so ashamed of this “splurge” that I didn’t even share it with my debt payoff accountability partner.  I shared on Grayson’s site a while back the dangers of the “I Deserve” mindset.

Since our commitment to Gazelle Intensity however, I’ve developed a bit of an “I Don’t Deserve” mindset.  Debt payoff can be a difficult taskmaster.  It’s difficult to know where to draw the line between gazelle intense debt payoff and living life in a way that maximizes value-based priorities.

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s been unbelievably busy around here.  This is, in large part, due to the fact that my freelancing workload has multiplied immensely.  I am SO grateful for the extra work, as it helps us catapult our debt payoff goal.  In order to remain at the top of my game and produce the highest quality freelancing work I can, I’ve delved into this un-frugal splurge: juicing.

Kim talked about juicing in this post.  We did look into going the pre-packaged juicing route, but after further research, we decided to take a chance on Joe Cross’ mean green juice, the juice he featured in his documentary, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead.

Also recommended:

Our choice to go the Mean Green Juice route was based on the experience of trusted friends.  We borrowed a friend’s juicer and started our first trial run of juicing in the beginning of January.  The difference in the way Rick and I felt, both physically and psychologically, was amazing. We had tons of energy.  We needed a lot less sleep.  And we got a lot more done.  Another amazing thing happened as we completed our first 5-day juicing run: the juice that we needed to force down during our first couple of days (kale in a juice form isn’t exactly cherry soda-y in flavor) was, by day 5, juice we seriously craved!!

During week one, we also forced strongly encouraged the kids to try some.  They did – reluctantly.  Now, on our fourth juicing run, they are BEGGING for the stuff.  No exaggeration here.  As I left for a Walmart run yesterday, they BEGGED me to get more juicing ingredients.  Now that, my friends, is pure proof that their bodies are getting the nutrients they need, and liking it.  It was then that I decided to buy our own juicer.

Our juicing friends own and swear by this juicer: 

Since they use this juicer regularly, they borrowed us their Hamilton Beach 67650A Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor

Although the Breville Juicer works astoundingly well, it was a little out of our budget given our commitment to be debt free, so we bought this little guy:

With the Hamilton Beach model, you’ll have to put less veggies/fruit in at a time, and be a little more gentler with it than with the Breville model, but with proper care, we found the Big Mouth Pro worked wonderfully for our needs.  And at $59 plus tax, the Big Mouth was affordable for us.

Our un-frugal splurge on regular juicing is at the heart of the Fruclassity Movement my friend Prudence and I have started.  The Fruclassity movement aims to maximize frugality while adding a touch of responsible splurging along the way.   Juicing has improved my family’s health immensely in the last six week, and that surge in good health is exactly what we need if we’re going to persevere in our goal to achieve debt freedom, because it’s perseverance that breeds success in any goal.



  1. Will says:

    I’ve been reading a lot about diets lately. I see why your kids now crave the nutrients! It’s like seeing cattle get on fresh grass in the Spring. Once they get a taste, they just can’t stop!

  2. Louise says:

    When I started juicing, I couldn’t get enough, but found it to be very expensive. THEN I started making green smoothies. I did a lot of reading about it, and decided that drinking the WHOLE fruit and vegetable was more cost and health effective. So, after saving the change from bottle returns (from co-workers’ who would otherwise throw out their soda cans) for almost 1 year, & gift cards for Christmas & my birthday), I got a BlendTec blender and started making smoothies using organic fruits and vegetables that are on sale each week. Unbelievable! I feel just as good as when I juiced, but now I’m not throwing out any of the pulp. In fact, the smoothies hold me over until lunch. I love it & will never go back!

  3. Ben Luthi says:

    We have a juicer, but it’s only been used a few times. In general, I prefer using our BlendTec to make smoothies. That’s probably out of your price range too, though 🙂 We’re lucky that the owner of BlendTec’s son is a family friend of my in-laws, so we got a refurbished one free for our wedding!

  4. The Stoic says:

    I’m not sure I would be so quick to classify this as an indulgence that you need to confess. On the one hand yes, juicing might be considered a luxury, but none of us (or very few) have sworn off all luxuries. I know I haven’t. On the other hand, it’s not extravagant to purchase quality items that you know you and your family will use and aren’t just fads. Plus it is an investment in your health. You can pay now to ensure your health or you can pay later in higher health care costs. I like your approach. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Stoic!! Yeah, I know that in the long run we’re making a wise and money saving investment, but for a family of six that spends only $400 a month or so on groceries, it’s tough to watch half that amount be spent as extra on juicing supplies. Well worth it, though, considering how AWESOME we feel. 🙂

  5. Mrs. Maroon says:

    Good stuff! I’ve often been intrigued by juicing / smoothies as a good option. Though I would likely lean towards blending, like Louise and Ben, so as to preserve the pulp – and fiber! Out of curiosity, how much time / effort do you spend prepping the ingredients, juicing, and then cleaning up?

    • Laurie says:

      Yeah, we’ll likely go that route down the road too. Prepping, juicing and cleanup, I’d say we spend 20 minutes or so. We chop and de-seed the apples, and peel the cukes (since that’s the only ingredient we buy that’s not organic) but everything else goes in whole after it’s been rinsed. It’s my soothing alternative to a glass of wine. 🙂

  6. I love juicing, Laurie! Isn’t it amazing how our bodies crave the good stuff? The fresh fruits and vegetables can be a bit spendy (doesn’t it seem unfair that it takes so much to get one glass!) but the health benefits are huge. So I look at it like you may be paying a bit more upfront, but will have fewer medical related costs later.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree, Shannon! Also, once we can get the garden in, we’ll be able to grow a lot of the juicing ingredients, which will be nice. 🙂

  7. I was thinking you were going to say, “I’m so ashamed that we splurged…” and I was ready to say, “It’s GOOD you bought that juicer.” But you already know that it’s good : )
    It’s also (another) remarkable coincidence. I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (and posted about it) just a few weeks ago. And we have been considering buying a juicer ever since. Now, I’m convinced we should go ahead and do it! Value-based spending. Commandment #5 : )

  8. I don’t think it’s called splurging when you’re improving your health and the way you’re feeling. Health is extremely important and if you don’t do your best to keep healthy, the costs would certainly be higher than your current “splurging”.

    I have mixed feelings regarding juicing, though: I have heard from a lot of people that it’s indeed magical and read a lot of blogs on it, but I am a bit worried that it might not be a good option as a permanent lifestyle. But it seems that more and more people are going this route with amazing results – maybe it’s time to give it a try as well 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      We usually use it as an addition to a healthy salad, or in replacement of meals here and there. I definitely wouldn’t juice ONLY for any more than a week or two.

    • Laurie says:

      That would help a lot. As I mentioned to Shannon, we are hoping to grow a lot of the ingredients in the garden this summer and juice for nearly free!

  9. Amy says:

    I haven’t tried juicing, but I’ve been tempted.

    Your health should be a priority, so I don’t think this is a bad splurge. It’s not like you’re getting a weekly mani/pedi, which would be lovely, but less fruclasstic. 🙂

  10. Even Steven says:

    I saw the documentary a year back or so, it’s pretty interesting almost Super Size esque. When it comes to health I go the opposite of frugal on this one, especially with fitness that I know I will attend like recreation volleyball/basketball, I’m hoping to get better at the health part starting asap;)

    “All the money in the world can’t buy you back good health.”

    • Laurie says:

      Wonderful quote, Steven!! This is why we are mostly okay (the guilt sets in sometimes) with the splurge. We know that in terms of the long run, we are SO doing the right thing.

  11. I need to juice more often. I bought one a couple years ago and I enjoyed juicing, but I got out of the habit. I actually like the mean green juice. 🙂 One of my other favorites was 1 beet, 2 apples and a inch piece of fresh peeled ginger. It’s sweet but also a little bit spicy, thanks to the ginger. To me, this sounds like more of a good investment in your health, which over the long haul, you’ll come out way ahead!

  12. vivian says:

    Why not just eat the real stuff whole. What is the big deal about juicing it? Seems like eating an apple and celery during the day would give you the same benefits.

    • Laurie says:

      We are adding some salads with the same ingredients, but skipping meals here and there and opting for a juice instead gives the digestive system a much needed break.

  13. beth says:

    Why don’t you feed the pulp and peels to the chickens? I had meat birds for a few years and they loved anything fresh they could get at. Pear and apple cores, seeds from any squash or melon and I bet they would for the pulp too.

    • Laurie says:

      We don’t have chickens yet, otherwise we would. I’d love to be able to give that stuff to the animals. I might try and make a soup out of it too. 🙂

  14. Kim says:

    I don’t think I could ever criticize anyone for doing something so healthy. I have been craving a juice run myself and am probably going to do it next week. I still can’t stand kale, but it is funny how you can get used to it in juice form, especially if you mix some other stuff in to mask the taste. It would be way to expensive to buy premade for a family of 6, so I think you did the right thing.

    • Laurie says:

      Isn’t it amazing how good kale tastes in juice form? The last batch I made yesterday didn’t have as much kale, and the kids were complaining! Hallelujah! 🙂

  15. I think there’s nothing wrong with “splurging” a bit on juicing because it’s not a true splurge in my opinion. It’s making you healthier and I’m sure you’ve felt better since you started juicing. If anything it’s an investment in the most important thing you can invest in: your health! Congrats on the extra freelance work! With studying for the GMAT I’ve had enough trouble just keeping up with my blog. I would like to add a 1x/week freelance writing client eventually, though, as I miss writing for FeeX.

    • Laurie says:

      I’m sure that studying is keeping you super busy, DC! Yes, I’m much more on top of my game when I’m eating healthy and juicing: it makes me a better freelancer!

  16. SavvyJames says:

    My experience has been that juicing is somewhat wasteful. We juiced for awhile but now we simply blend our own smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables. A typical smoothie might be a little cranberry juice, a banana, low-fat Greek yogurt, an apple, strawberries, broccoli and a little baby spinach.

    • Laurie says:

      I like that idea, James, and we are looking into that too, but want to keep the fruit part on the low end and no dairy. We’ll be experimenting more, I’m sure. 🙂

  17. Wow! I’ve always said that I’m not rich enough to get into juicing, but really I know that’s just an excuse. I certainly splurge on other (less healthy) things from time to time. I know what’s really held me back is that I’ll feel it’s a big commitment, not just a sometimes thing, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that! Thanks for sharing. It’s definitely always on my list of things to consider.

    • Laurie says:

      What about once a week, Chela? You could juice on Sundays, for instance, and then eat regular the rest of the week? That might make it a little less time consuming. 🙂

  18. Mr. SSC says:

    I’ve always been curious about juicing’s actual benefits, and since it can be so expensive, I’ve never jumped on that train. You have piqued my curiosity enough to try it though. 🙂
    I think the BlendTec whole juicing sounds like a great way to get the health benefits and not waste pulp. Although, if you compost, I bet it could add some fuel there…
    We just started the Slow Carb diet, not for a full permanent lifestyle change but more of a can we “knock out those last stubborn pounds” type of experiment. Like you mentioned, I’m amazed at the energy I have, and subsequent decrease in coffee consumption. Keep us updated on your juicing results and if you go whole blend or not.

    • Laurie says:

      You should try it, Mr. SSC! We might try putting some of the pulp into a blender along with some of the juice today and see if we can stomach the consistency. A friend suggested that. Glad to hear you guys are improving your health too. Beware, you might become addicted as we have! 🙂

  19. At least it’s a healthy habit! I know I could spend a ton more money on eating incredibly optimally but at some point you have to strike a balance between good health and monitoring what is coming out of my wallet. It’s tough though. In a perfect world I will not have to be thinking about my grocery budget and just eating super duper healthy! Enjoy it!

  20. Aaron says:

    I consider it a splurge worth making. If it makes your family healthier and that leads to less debt, then it’s a win all the way around. Great story!

  21. I’m not sure you should beat yourself up about being healthy. There are plenty of costs associated with poor eating habits. I’m sure I’ll be suffering those as time goes on. At least I’ve vastly decreased the amount of sugar in my diet.

    Everyone has something that he or she feels is worth the money. I’d say healthy eating (especially delicious juice) definitely qualifies.

    • Laurie says:

      Decreasing your sugar intake is a huge health benefit, Abigail! I’m a bit nervous about spending the money on the juicing, but I know it’s worth it.

  22. CT Mommy says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Love this post, maybe think of juicing as an investment in your health rather than a splurge.

    I’ve been making smoothies to get more fruits and veggies into my 5 yr old. He loved the spinach/berry smoothie I made today and I was shocked. I think next I will try the recipe for mean green juice you linked to but in smoothie form since I don’t have a juicer.

    If you are eating less meat and processed foods as a result of juicing than the savings on those (often pricey) items should offset some of the costs of the juice ingredients.

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