Litterless juice boxes: Do they save money and the environment?
Richard B. Levine/Newscom
My kids love juice boxes. We usually allow them to have one a day as part of an afternoon snack. We’re pretty picky about the ones we buy, making sure that at the very least they’re 100% juice and, often, we buy juice that has vegetable juice in it, too. We like the juice box portability, as it allows us to toss a couple into a purse or a diaper bag as we’re about to leave.
The only problem is that for the amount of juice you get, juice boxes are ridiculously expensive. From an environmental standpoint, the boxes are really wasteful, too, as they fill up the trash quite quickly.
After having a long conversation with a reader on Twitter about kids and juice, she encouraged me to look into getting the kids litterless juice boxes. They’re made of sturdy plastic, reusable, and basically have the same form factor as a juice box. Instead of just pulling an ordinary juice box out of the fridge, one would just pull out one of these boxes. We could then buy juice by the jug (much cheaper) and fill several reusable juice boxes at once, putting them all in the fridge.
She recommended Rubbermaid Litterless Juice Boxes, as that’s what she uses. These sell for $2.99 a pop on Amazon (though you may find lower prices if you shop around).
I then went to the store and did some price comparisons. Among the flavors of Juicy Juice that our children like, the boxes sell for $0.10 per ounce, where the large containers sell for about $0.075 per ounce, meaning you save about two and a half cents per ounce buying the larger containers instead of the juice boxes. This is without sales, of course.
Each juice box would have about seven ounces in it, and if each child drinks a single juice box a day, how long would it be before we would be cost ahead on the litterless juice boxes?
I decided to calculate the numbers as though we bought ten of the reusable juice boxes, as this would amount to an equal number of boxes that we would get if we bought juice boxes at the store. Total cost: $29.90.
Each day, we would use fourteen ounces of juice in the boxes, thus saving thirty five cents a day doing it this way.
Thus, we would have to use the reusable juice boxes for eighty five days (one a day for each of our two children) to break even. After that, we would save about seventeen cents per reusable juice box emptied.
Given that we have a four year old and a two year old at home (and another one on the way), the numbers seem to indicate that this would be a sensible move. It would give us more control over the juice in the juice boxes (mixing vegetable juice in, for example), save us about seventeen cents for each juice box drank, and they’ll be used for many years to come.
Reusable juice boxes, here we come.
Will they save money for you, though? I think these factors are important.
First of all, do your kids drink juice with any regularity? Ours usually have about one serving a day or so. If it’s a lot less than that, then they’re not worth it. If it’s that much or more, then it probably will be worth it.
Second, do you have multiple children? If you have multiple children, the value factor goes up.
Third, are your children young? The value factor also goes up if you have young children, as they’re likely to use them for a long time down the road. Older children might not.
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