Back when I first started on my health journey, I owned a standard blender which was awesome for making smoothies and puddings but the clean up without the use of a dish washer made it tough for me to use it every day. I then purchased a small travel size blender to make my smoothie clean up a little less laborious. I loved those two blenders because they both fit my needs at the time and each cost very little money. But as my needs changed, I started to want to expand my blending into making nut/seed butters such as yummy sunflower seed butter and also various types of nut milks. So I started my search for the perfect blender that wasn't going to break the bank.
What To Look For:
Determining which budget blender is best for your needs it totally up to what you want to get out of your blender! So first we need to find out what those needs actually are.
Make a list of what you want in:
- travel capabilities
- weight and size for ease of storage
- glass or plastic pitcher - most budget blenders will be plastics so look for a BPA-free pitcher
- power - do you want to make smoothies or something more complex like nut butters?
- price point - how much are you willing to spend to find the perfect budget blender?
- features and accessories
Next do some research, ask your friends which blenders they like and why, and ALWAYS read reviews on amazon.com. This will help you determine if they blender you are buying is a quality machine that will last.
When I was on the hunt for my budget blenders I was specifically looking for blenders to fit all my needs which for me were: power, size, quality and cost efficiency.
This is what I found..
The High Powered Blender:
For me personally, a Vitamix just wasn't an option at a price tag upwards of $499. So I did my homework and got connected with the Oster company who makes their Versa Blender line. When I discovered the Versa line, I was going to purchase the 1100 version but was very fortunate to be gifted two of their models (all opinions I share here are my own)! I received the $200 Versa 1400 watt which is a high power blender that can make hot soups and nut butters and is very comparable to the power and wattage of a Vitamix. I also received the $135-$170 Versa 1100 watt which actually had more features like a food processor attachment, the ability to make single serve smoothies as well as both a large and small blending pitcher, and it too made nut butters and cold soups. Ultimately, I decided to keep the Versa 1100 watt blender because it had so many more features and I didn't really notice a huge difference in the power between the 1400 and 1100 watt machines. I also really love that the Versa line of blenders are super light weight and can easily be moved around the kitchen or stored in a cabinet without being a pain to take in and out. Both models are also self cleaning which was another huge plus for me as I don't have a dishwasher. The Versa line also has a 7 year warranty so you don't have to worry about parts breaking on you.
The Travel Blender:
I've had 2 models of this single serve Hamilton Beach travel blender now for almost 5 years. I absolutely love it's small size and great blending capabilities. First blender lasted me about 3 years of normal use and I loved it so much that I purchased a second one as a replacement. It only costs around $15 and really comes in handy when I am staying in hotels or rentals or even at home when I just want to make a super fast smoothie without a lot of pieces or clean-up. It's extremely light weight and doesn't take up a lot of storage space in the cabinet.
The Standard Counter Top Blender:
This is your standard 700 watt blender from Hamilton Beach that costs around $35. It will do basic things like crush ice, multi-serving smoothies, margaritas and milkshakes. This is not the exact blender I have as mine is an older model and much more basic than this one. If you need an inexpensive blender for normal minimal every day functions, this style should work well for you. You can probably find an even cheaper standard model from either Target, Wal-mart or K-mart, just look up reviews online before you make your purchase to make sure it blends well.
One of my favorite features that I found of my standard blender is that I can attach a blending blade to a quart size mason jar and blend individual to-go smoothies without having to use a toxic plastic container. It also makes it very easy to pre-prep your smoothies at night and just blend them quickly in the morning. I have used this trick on several different brands of blenders and it even works with my Oster Versa blender which has made me really happy!
What is your favorite brand of budget blender? Does the mason jar blender trick work with your blender? Let me know below!
Check out some of my favorite smoothies in my FREE 3-Day Gluten-Free Detox!