When it comes to juice boxes, the truly frugal strategy is not to buy them at all, and to instead serve your little one juice in plain old cups, water bottles or similar reusable products.
However, if you’re like me, you like the convenience and ease of traditional juice boxes, and so probably do your kids. But because disposable juice boxes and pouches can be pricey, there’s nothing worse than when one goes to waste, whether because it became separated from its straw or because your child over squeezed and spilled all the liquid out.
The good news, however, is that there are a number of simple tricks you can employ to ensure your traditional juice boxes and pouches don’t go to waste, including the four that make up today’s hint.
1. Use regular straws as replacements. My fridge is filled with juice boxes that somehow got separated from the straws they came with. This doesn’t bother me, though, because I realized a while back that regular old straws work just as well in juice boxes as the tiny straws that come glued on the boxes. You can see my daughter enjoying an apple juice box with a regular-sized straw in the images above and to the right. To be sure, you may have to try a few times to poke a larger straw through a juice box hole and even twist up the straw bottom a bit to get it to fit, but this trick has worked like a charm for me every time.
2. Consider products and tricks that potentially prevent accidental squeezes. Yes, such products exist, as I recently learned at the ABC Kids Expo baby and toddler gear trade show in Las Vegas.
For instance, take the $5.99 Innobaby “Sippin’ Smart juice box holder,” which essentially is a box of sorts with two handles. You stick your juice box into the product, and your little one holds the two handles while sipping the liquid, making it less likely he or she will oversqueeze the juice box itself. Other similar products on the market include the $9.95 MyDrinky by InchBug, and there also are juice box straws (like the Strawzzle) you can buy that claim to make squeeze-related spills less likely.
Meanwhile, if you don’t want to spend money on both a juice box and an anti-squeeze product, you may want to try a popular hack covered over at Babble.com, And Babies Don’t Keep and numerous other sites. The trick, which can work with some juice box styles: Unfold the “wings” at the top of the box and have your child hold the juice box with those two flaps.
3. Know how to make a juice box last when you’re on the go. I love this tip from Parentwin for extending the useful life of unfinished juice boxes when you’re out and about: Cover the open hole with scotch tape. After you “flip the box over to make sure no juice drips out,” you’ll have a sealed juice box that you can carry with you in your bag, Parentwin points out.
4. Repurpose used juice boxes. Finally, another way to make juice boxes worth the money is to upcycle used boxes into something else useful. The Internet is full of clever, and most importantly easy, ideas to consider, including using old juice boxes as toddler-friendly flower pots, Halloween decorations, toy boats and props for numerous other arts and crafts projects.
What do you think of the hacks above? What tricks for making juice boxes and pouches worth the money did I miss? Share your thoughts and tips below.