How to Make Cheap Smoothies

A healthy, nutrient-rich smoothie doesn’t need to be a costly one.

There are a variety of alternative ingredients that can amp up the nutritiousness and deliciousness of a typical smoothie recipe without breaking the bank.

How to make cheap smoothies

Here are several useful ingredient swaps to save money:

Cocoa nibs vs. Cocoa powder

Swap out the more expensive cocoa nibs (unprocessed cocoa beans) for unsweetened cocoa powder for virtually the same smooth texture and flavor for a lot less. Cocoa powder has a higher concentration of magnesium as well as being high in fiber and low in calories to help promote better nervous system function, circulation, and produce mood-lifting serotonin.

Frozen banana & cocoa powder smoothie


  • 1 cup of water (purified)
  • 1 small banana (sliced and frozen)
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon


Pour the ingredients into a blender and blend until ingredients are smooth; serve immediately while still cold.

Recipe tips

For the bananas, leave to over-ripen, peel and slice them, and then put in the freezer.

Goji berries vs. Blueberries (frozen)

Blueberries (frozen) are antioxidant-rich and a perfect cost-effective substation for Goji berries. Eating these anthocyanins and polyphenol-packed berries provide a variety of health benefits including preventing hypertension, belly fat, and fighting-off disease. Frozen blueberries are believed to be more nutrient-rich because the fruit is frozen at the peak of its ripeness.

Banana & blueberry smoothie


  • 1 banana (ripe)
  • 1 cup of blueberries (frozen)
  • 1 cup of plain, non-fat yogurt


In a blender, combine the yogurt, blueberries, and banana; use a high-speed until the ingredients provide a smooth texture. Serve immediately.

Chia seeds vs. Flaxseeds

Chia seeds (as well as hemp seeds) are very vitamin and mineral-rich but there are other choices that are just as amazing and more affordable. Flaxseeds (ground) are a great substitute and a reliable source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids (protects the skin from early aging and damage, as well as helping to fight fat), and fiber (staves-off hunger pains). Use the ground flax seeds because it is a lot easier to absorb.

Peanut butter, banana & flaxseed smoothie


  • 1 banana (ripe and sliced)
  • ½ cup of low-fat milk (1%)
  • ½ cup of vanilla yogurt (fat-free)
  • 2 tbsp of flaxseed (ground)
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter (creamy-type)
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • ¼ tsp of vanilla extract


Pour all ingredients into a blender and process until a smooth texture is reached; serve immediately.

Recipe tips

Add in 1-2 extra tablespoons of milk to the smoothie that seems too thick.

Superfruit powder vs. Kiwifruit

Superfruits in powder form (Camu Camu, Baobab, etc.) are convenient and fortified with nutrients (especially vitamin C) but are on the whole pricey. Kiwifruit is a great substitute that is affordable, fresh tasting, and lush. It is beneficial for keeping eyesight intact, great for the skin, cleanses the body, helps digestion, and fights-off DNA damage.

Kiwifruit, ginger & banana smoothie


  • 3 kiwifruit (skinned and sliced)
  • 4 tbsp porridge oats (organic)
  • 1 banana (ripe)
  • 8 ice cubes
  • ½ cup of milk (organic)
  • 250 g of yogurt (fat-free, natural)
  • ½ cm piece of ginger (fresh, finely grated)


Blend the ingredients in a smoothie blender for 30-35 seconds to achieve a smooth texture; serve while cold.

Recipe tips

Use a little honey to sweeten.

Coconut oil vs. Peanut butter

Swap out the pricey coconut oil for organic, low-sugar peanut butter, which is rich in cancer fighting properties and heart healthy benefits. Plus, organic peanut butter is high in potassium (useful for neutralizing a sodium rich diet), protein (keeps you energized), and vitamin E. Peanut butter is easily blended with cocoa powder for a great tasting breakfast or on-the-go smoothie.

Peanut butter & banana smoothie


  • 1 banana (large, peeled)
  • 8 ice cubes
  • ½ cup of almond milk
  • ¼ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter


Mix all ingredients in a blender until a smooth consistency is achieved; serve immediately.

Recipe tips

Give the smoothie extra coldness by substituting fresh bananas for frozen bananas.

Green powders vs. Fresh greens

How to make cheap smoothies – simply go fresh for the real deal. Substitute green powders for fresh greens like kale for heart health and antioxidants, Swiss chard for better blood sugar levels, spinach for clear skin and a reliable source of folate, and beet greens for improved blood flow. Luscious, fresh vegetables are free of chemical additives, rich in antioxidant vitamins (vitamin A, C & K) and low cost.

Breakfast banana green smoothie


  • 2 cups of spinach leaves (baby)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
  • ¾ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 2 tbsp of honey


Pour all ingredients in a blender and blend for 20-25 seconds or until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Recipe tips

Honey is easily replaced with an organic maple syrup.


Blueberry and Banana Smoothie (Video)


Further reading:

  1. Smoothie Recipe Ingredient Swaps
  2. 7 delicious, easy to make smoothies
  3. Easy Green Smoothie