Inexpensive Homemade ‘SlimFast’ Diet Shake Recipes

by Reader Contributors

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Are store-bought diet shakes out of budget for you? Save money with these tasty recipes from our frugal readers for making your own diet shakes.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I’m interested in recipes for a shake that is the equivalent of the “SlimFast” shake. I am wondering if any of your readers might have one or any suggestions.

I like a quick, nutritious breakfast that I can grab on the run, but I also need it to be cheaper than the price of the store-bought shakes. Those things are too much for my budget!

Start With a Flavored Protein Powder and Yogurt

I like to blend Greek yogurt with a few scoops of protein powder (I like Vital Proteins brand but you can find many others that are cheaper) and some type of liquid. If I am making a chocolate shake, I use almond milk, milk or cold coffee if I have any in the fridge. If I am using fruit-flavored yogurt and protein powder, I use coconut water or just plain water. You don’t need much liquid to get your “shake” to the same consistency as a SlimFast shake.

I have a small “Bullet-type” blender that I use to quickly and thoroughly mix my shake before I dart out the door in the morning.

A Simple Fruit Drink Could Do the Trick

If you’re looking for the convenience of a shake and it isn’t about dieting, I know of a really healthy way to get that extra “boost” in the morning: Blend some of your favorite fruits in the blender. You’ll probably have to cut them up first or run them through the food processor, which you can do over the weekend so they are ready to go for busy mornings. Just blend them all together, and you’ll have a flavorful and healthy shake. Here’s a recipe to try:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 oranges
  • handful of strawberries or blueberries (If they’re in season)
  • fresh peach (optional)

Put all in a blender and press the button.

Of course, whatever works for you will work. If you don’t have the time in the morning, try making it up before going to bed and freezing it. Then, in the morning, just defrost it in the microwave ’till it’s the right consistency for you. I like to have strawberry frappes like this in the summer.
Diane L.

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Use Instant Breakfast

Try a store brand of instant breakfast. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals, comes in a variety of flavors (not just one), and is much cheaper.

Try mixing it in a plastic drinking container. You can take it along with you wherever you need to go.
Cheryl R.

Mix Fresh and Frozen Fruit

In my opinion, SlimFast isn’t as nutritional as it seems to be. I always check the ingredients of anything claiming to be a ‘healthy’ food and usually find a long list of chemicals.

What I do is buy fresh fruit in season, like strawberries, blueberries, etc. I store them in my freezer or buy discounted frozen fruit. I also buy 100% real juice on sale. I mix 1 cup of fruit juice with 1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit and a banana or whatever other fresh fruit I have. Sometimes, I mix in some granola, wheat germ, etc., for a little substance. Blend it up in your blender and it’s delicious! You can add honey or pineapple juice if it’s a bit too tart; add ice for a thicker, ‘smoothie’ texture.

This is a great alternative because you are using all-natural, inexpensive ingredients. (There are many juice bars that sell similar drinks for about $5 each, and it usually ends up costing me about 50 cents/drink.)

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Simple Diet Shake Recipes

I make a shake out of the sugar-free/fat-free pudding mix by Jell-O. I don’t think it would have the nutritional value of SlimFast, but if you drank it and then popped a multivitamin, I think it would be about even.

“Pudding” Shake

  • 1 package of any flavor Jello sugar-free/fat-free pudding mix
  • 1 cup of skim milk or 1% milk (makes shake thicker)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of crushed ice

Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

I also make a fruit smoothie, which might give you a little more nutritional value than the above recipe.

Fruit Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of any other kind of fruit ( I like strawberries, pears, pineapple, peaches — fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of juice (again, your choice: apple, orange, grapefruit, or the juice from canned fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered milk
  • Sugar or honey to taste

Put the frozen banana chunks in the blender with the juice. Blend until smooth, then add your choice of 1 cup of fruit and blend well. Add powdered milk and blend. Then, taste to see if you wish to add sugar or honey. Add sugar or honey if desired.
Kimberly W.

Special “Shake”

I like to cut up some fruit and put it in the blender. It is fast, easy, and much more nutritious (kids love this, too).

Put your favorite fruit, ice (sorbet, frozen fruit juice), protein powder, carob powder, etc., in a blender and you have a great, nutritious shake.

Reviewed January 2024

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