Orange “Julias” . 79 cents


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Labor Day weekend – it seemed long this year! Number 2 was home with his “gf” and I pulled out a few old favorites to teach them. I don’t think I’ve made Orange Julias since the yunguns were in grade school – but it sure impressed a few of their friends when they had sleep overs. Now I’m wondering about an “adult” version – less sugar, a little tequila, a touch of grenadine…hmmm. That’s another post, but in the meantime, enjoy these!

Orange Julias - OJ Concentrate, Ice, Milk, Sugar, Vanilla - A quick whir in the blender

Orange Julias – OJ Concentrate, Ice, Milk, Sugar, Vanilla – A quick whir in the blender

The recipe I’ve used for years is so simple, so cheap, and so easy you’ll be surprised. A bit sweet for my taste, I often cut back on the sugar. As written, it does taste a lot like the Orange Julius one can buy in almost any mall, although I admit to not having tasted one for years and years.

See, I’m not much of a “mall” person – as a matter of fact, I can easily go years without stepping inside one. When Saturday rolls around, you’ll find me almost any place but a mall likely trouncing around somewhere with Gibson! Child number 2, though, tells me Orange Julius has now paired up with Dairy Queen, but I’ll still make mine at home. In my PJ’s, no doubt!

By the way, don’t think you’ll health this up and make it with orange juice – while you can freeze the juice and use it instead of ice and still get a nice slushy texture, and it will still taste good, it will never have that intensity of flavor or creaminess one gets from the frozen concentrate!

Orange Julias

4 servings, about 3 1/2 cups total – about 7 ounces each

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 6 ounces of frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 14 ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to blender, process until smooth and creamy. (hint – start with the ice crusher button and move on to the frappe.) You may need to stop after a minute or two and stir.


  • I made the above using the concentrate while still frozen – it gives the best results. If you’d like yours slushier, put the concentrate in the fridge the night before so it is melted when you use it.
  • Notice the servings of these are fairly small by many of today’s standards! Slightly under a cup. Even that has quite a bit of sugar and is a much more “reasonable” size than the giant servings you may be used to at fast food places.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied:

Unless you have a really great blender, don’t double the recipe, make two batches if you need to feed more people.

I buy a large (11 ounce can) of concentrate and use half in the recipe and cover the rest and keep in the freezer for another batch or simply make the other half as orange juice. The large containers cost less per ounce.

  • Orange Juice Concentrate: Like any frozen juice, buy on sale with a coupon. I often get juice for free or nearly free this way. There’s no good reason to pay full price – or even sales price! Cost for OJ when I was at the store varied from close to $3.00 down to $1.19 for generic. I paid around a quarter, but will count the generic price, 60 cents.
  • Milk:  Buy on sale – unopened it keeps a bit past it’s “sell by” date – then you can pick up one for the beginning of the week, and another at the end of the week for the week following. In our area, it is often on sale for $2.99 a gallon.
  • Be careful with your milk, and even opened it will last a lot longer – pour, lid and put away, don’t bring it to the table or leave it on the counter while you eat dinner or down your cereal and you’ll notice it stay fresh last MUCH longer. We’ve cut way back on dairy, as most health experts suggest – putting it away helps with that, too. Cost for a 1/2 cup, about 5 cents.
  • Sugar: Look for sugar on sale, which usually happens around the holidays. While any holiday generates a sales price, the best sales are generally from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when coupons are abundant. 1/2 cup is about 4 cents.
  • Vanilla or other Extracts:  Believe it or not, liquor is often cheaper than vanilla or many extracts, but there is a strategy to buying on the cheap: for the past few years McCormick has had great coupons combined with Catalina offers (buy so many, get a coupon back to get so much money off your next grocery purchase, always in the Spring.) Check your coupon matching sites weekly so you don’t miss this – it’s often unadvertised. Your store will likely have the best sales, then, too.  I never thought of Vanilla or extracts as being seasonal before…but now I get free if I buy several smaller packages. I’ll count it as about 10 cents.


185 Calories, 1g fat, 2g protein; 43g carbohydrate; dietary fiber 4g; 4mg cholesterol; 20mg sodium; exchange: 1 fruit, 0 nonfat milk, 0 fat, 1 1/2 other carbohydrates.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Variations of this recipe are really endless, made as above, any concentrate could be used.
  • While the OJ and milk makes it taste like a creamsicle, of course you’re not limited to using milk as your liquid. Try any juice you’d like.



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