The Insider: Get yourself a juicy deal on a smoothie maker
Saturday 22 November 2008
Smoothies are a great invention. They're a tasty and easy way to get some fruit into your diet and, since the industry has taken off over the past few years, there's an endless choice of concoctions. But they can be an expensive habit. A 250ml bottle can set you back nearly £2 – making them a prime candidate to be dropped from your shopping list in the current tough economic climate.
But there's no need to spend £2 every time you fancy a smoothie. Buy a blender and you can make your own for around half the cost. And it will come in handy for plenty of other jobs around the kitchen as well. Alternatively, for the smoothie purists – you could buy a smoothie-maker, which is much the same as a blender, but also comes with a tap to pour out your drink once you've finished mixing it.
"Blenders are a great way to whip up smoothies, shakes, soups and sauces quickly and easily, and if you buy a lot of bottled smoothies or shakes you could even save yourself some money by making your own," says Victoria Pearson, a principal researcher at the consumer group Which?. "Smoothie makers are often shinier and sleeker, but they're usually more expensive and involve more washing-up."
The good news is that the quality is fairly high among most of the blender models out there. When Which? recently tested 20 blenders and eight smoothie-makers, none of them scored less than 60 per cent. Nevertheless, there's a big difference in price, so it's worth knowing what to look out for.
The main things to think about are how easy they are to use and to clean, and you may also want to spare a thought for how many speed settings they have, and whether the jug is glass or plastic. In Which?'s survey, the Breville BL33 Blender (pictured) got the highest score – receiving praise for its unusual design and high number of speed settings. It's also fairly reasonably priced at around £65. Among the smoothie-makers, it was the Russell Hobbs illuminating smoothie-maker 1365 that came out top. At the bottom of the blenders was the Prestige Deco 50673, which was noisy, not very easy to use and had a lengthy blending time.
Where to buy
It's worth using the likes of pricerunner.co.uk, kelkoo.co.uk and froogle.co.uk to see which retailers are offering the blender you're after, at the cheapest price. Alternatively, Argos offers more than 40 different types, starting from as little as £7.47, or you could pick up a cheap deal at one of the larger supermarket stores, such as Tesco Extra. Tesco has its own value blender, priced at just £10, which scored 70 per cent in Which?'s product review. Its best buy – the Breville BL33 – can be found on Amazon.co.uk for £65.
What to look out for: Questions to ask yourself
How much does it weigh?
If you're pulling your blender in and out of a cupboard each day, then weight might be important. The lightest blenders are just 2kg, while the heaviest are 5.5kg!
Glass or plastic?
Some blenders have plastic jugs, which can be better for the accident-prone among us. It's also worth checking whether the jug is dishwasher-safe.
If you're using your blender for more than the odd smoothie, it may be important to pick up one with multiple speed settings. Some offer no more than "fast" and "slow".
Is it noisy?
Some blenders make an awful racket. But the best ones of the market are more discrete.
How much juice?
It's worth checking what the capacity of a blender's jug is. The most expensive blender tested by Which? had a capacity of less than one litre. But other models have jugs that are more than twice this size.
The Insider is written in conjunction with the consumer group Which?. For more information on the best blenders or smoothie-makers – or to read other product reports – visit their website www.which.co.uk. To get three issues of 'Which?' magazine for £3, call 01992 822800 and quote INADVICE.
Bargain Hunter: Comparethemarket.com launches two-for-one cinema tickets offer
Help to Buy Isa Q&A: Are they real help for first-time buyers or simply a vote-winner for the 2020 election?
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
Pension freedom: Steve Webb answers your questions on the big shake-up
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
Day In a Page
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000
A pretty three-bedroom Georgian home with a 22ft drawing room and a master suite with a balcony, £525,000
A substanstial family home with five bedrooms and landscaped gardens in the much sought-after Branksome Park area
A well-presented three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens, close to White City station, £475,000
A handsome five-bedroom house in a sought-after location close to the city centre
A five-bedroom country home with valley views, equestrian stables and 27 acres of land, £725,000
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds
A four-bedroom chalet bungalow with three bathrooms and a spacious garden, £525,000
A two-bedroom flat with an open plan kitchen and two balconies, close to Arsenal station