According to the USDA, one glass of orange juice contains nearly 15% of your daily value for potassium and over 200% in vitamin C. My nostalgic childhood memories sometimes harken back to a morning with a full glass of orange juice.
As I began to identify with the frugal life, I looked for anything and everything to cut back on, switch to, or remove. Rather than excise this wondrous nectar from my morning meal, I decided to opt for frozen juice concentrate versions. But, was it cheaper?
What exactly is frozen juice concentrate?
Juice is turned into concentrate by subjecting it to high heat under a vacuum (ModernMom.com).
Water is removed from the concentrated versions, with 65% sugar by weight leftover. After being concentrated, water is added back to the frozen solid and stirred. This replenishes the natural water levels and balances out the flavor.
The shelf-life of frozen juice concentrate lasts far longer than pre-made, liquid versions. In this frozen state, some can last a year or more. Stocking up on orange juice is as easy as buying a few cans – no longer having to run to the store as frequently for fresh juice.
What tastes better?
In my non-expert opinion, there’s no difference between boxed, liquid orange juice and its frozen counterparts. The mixing process can be a bit arduous for some, but after the juice is reconstituted and settled, it tastes like any other orange juice.
The goal is simply to save by making it yourself. To some, that’s enough not to buy it. But the couple minutes of extra time may make sense if you’re looking to save each time.
What’s more frugal?
Now, to the most important question of all: Is frozen juice cheaper? The answer: It depends. In my most recent visit to Target, I assumed that the frozen orange juice concentrate would be cheaper. The can cost $1.84. The box cost $2.44. The price difference seemed clear to me.
Unfortunately, it’s only by doing division that we find a different answer. The box is 64 fl oz. The can makes 48 fl oz. Dividing the box ($2.44) by 64 equals $0.0381 per ounce. Dividing the can ($1.84) by 48 equals about $0.0383 per ounce.
In my case, the winner was boxed orange juice. Target didn’t have a store brand, generic frozen juice concentrate. If it did, the price would’ve most certainly made concentrates the more frugal option. Make sure to find a generic option to save big.
What do you buy? Frozen or liquid? Concentrate or not-from-concentrate?
This is part of the “Money Mistakes” series, which documents frugal myths and strange purchases.