Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Farewell to (Juice) Spreadsheets

I started this juicing experiment with a lot of skepticism, a free juicer, and a curiosity about the cost of juicing. But over the course of the last few months, I learned a lot about juice. And even more about myself.

Specifically, I learned that I make enough juice to justify the purchase of a juicer. That was really what the spreadsheet was about. That, and my love of spreadsheets. And my desire to know how much it costs to have a regular juice habit. It was about a lot of things.

There are many "things to buy for a kitchen" articles out there, and generally, I'm in the camp of people who think that you can make MOST things with minimal equipment. You need a pot, a pan, a knife, a cutting board, a stirring utensil. You can make a lot of stuff with those things. You can make COFFEE with those things (if you have ground coffee and water). I'm theoretically wary of specialty appliances that do only one thing, but in reality, I have a juicer, a blender, an immersion blender, a stand mixer and a waffle maker. The waffle maker is the most egregious of these "does only one thing" items and I use it all the time. Because waffles are delicious, and amazingly easy to make.

So the juicer...The juicer I have is awesome, and from the '80s. It's that odd yellow color that things used to be (similar to the avocado color of the '50s and then the '70s). It's not pretty, but it's very unique. This is not the juicer I would get for myself, but it is the juicer that my mom gave me for free. I started the spreadsheet with the thought that if I made enough juice, and tracked the cost both overall and per batch of juice, I could, eventually, normalize the cost of the blender that I *would* have gotten if I hadn't already had one just sitting in my kitchen. (And then, obviously, I could get that juicer. HA. No, of course not. But I would think to myself "I could totally normalize the cost of this juicer. But since I have a perfectly good juicer already, I won't." I would get the L'Equip Mini, if my brain were different than it is, for those wondering at home.)

Since January 22nd, I have made 28 batches of juice, and the average cost per batch (when I say "batch" I mean "liter" because that's about how much juice I make. I mention this because very few people seem to talk about recipe yield when it comes to juice, and I think that's ridiculous) has been $3.67.

I think that, while I don't make juice every day the way I did for the first couple of weeks, I still make enough juice to justify the counter space and the theoretical money I would spend on a nice juicer, if I didn't already have a perfectly good juicer. For me, the benefits of having a juicer in the house definitely make it a worthwhile accessory. If I wanted to do a juice cleanse, it would be pretty easy. It's also a good way to use up vegetables and fruits that might otherwise go bad (apples. I'm talking about apples. and maybe also spinach when you get it in the really big bag from Costco.).

Now that I have come to all of these conclusions, I don't think I really need the spreadsheet anymore. Plus, it's smoothie season, so I should probably start a spreadsheet for that instead. (just kidding. Each smoothie batch, which yields about 25 ounces, costs, on average, $1.24.)

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