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.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Simon Read: There may be trouble ahead for cohabiting couples who don’t make a will
Money Insider: Would £150 make you switch banks?
Why the City Watchdog is concerned with the credit card industry
Bargain Hunter: Find the deals that have real value beneath the Black Friday hype
Gold-plated pensions – the key to retirement freedom?
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...
£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
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
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
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
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens