The Insider: Get yourself a juicy deal on a smoothie maker

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.

What speed?

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

Suggested Topics
News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey indulge in some racing at a Point to Point
tvNew pictures promise a day at the races and a loved-up Lady Rose
News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

    £60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

    Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

    £27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

    IT Operations Manager - London - £55,000

    £50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...

    Banking Solicitor NQ+

    Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...

    Day In a Page

    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
    Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

    How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

    'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

    Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

    Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
    Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

    Terry Venables column

    Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
    The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

    Michael Calvin's Inside Word

    Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past