Updated on 03.17.10

Litterless Juice Boxes: Do They Save Money If You Have Kids?

Trent Hamm

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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  1. Kevin says:

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something, but if your kids have one serving per day and you have two kids, why would you buy 10 litterless juice boxes?

  2. AC says:

    I was thinking the same thing, Kevin. Why not start with 2 and buy more if needed?

  3. sarah says:

    Same thought I had…start with 2 (or even 4 so you only have to wash them every other day). Also, if you’re planning to throw them in bags, etc, they are “leak-resistant” not fully leak-proof – will you store in another container to prevent leaks or just be a lot more careful in your packing?

  4. Hannah says:

    You failed to factor in the time spent washing these bottles, and all the ones you will have to throw away because they sat on the floor of your car or in your diaper bag for too long. Reusable straws are impossible to keep clean unless you only drink water or you’re incredibly on top of rinsing them right after you use them. With three kids, I think this is unrealistic, but if it was me I would only buy one bottle per kid, to remove the temptation to use a clean one instead of cleaning the old one out right away.

    This post is very focused on this one product, and, as indicated by the awkwardly worded title, only talking about kids. If it was opened up to the virtues of using reusable drink containers in general, I think it would speak to more people. I use them at work and home for my coffee and my water, and even soda drinkers can buy in bulk if they use aluminum containers, which preserve the carbonation.

  5. Rebecca says:

    We don’t have kids yet, but I frequently use that type of juice box for my husband’s lunches. Much cheaper and healthier than buying cokes every day!

  6. Johanna says:

    Is there some reason why, just because the product is called a “juice box,” it needs to be used only for juice? Couldn’t you fill it up with water or almond milk or iced herbal tea or whatever your kids (or you) drink “with any regularity”?

  7. Kat says:

    Wouldn’t this calculation make more sense to say for every 7 ounces you put in, you save .175 cents, which means for each juice box, it breaks even at about 17 uses? I don’t see why you would buy 10 for 2 kids, or use 2 kids as the breakeven, rather than one litterless juice box and the number of times it is used (what if my kid drinks multiple servings of juice? quicker breakeven in days then, same for uses). Which, apparently it is worth noting to check reviews first, some of these tend to leak.

  8. Rose says:

    To commenters #1 and #, I would expect that it’s so they can have several sets rotating out of the dishwasher and the fridge.

    On another note, I’d question the habit of serving kids juice at all. Even the 100% juice is full of all the sugar with almost none of the fiber of real fruit, and pediatricians are finally starting to recommending cutting back on fruit juice intake. I’m sure you’re aware of the health controversy, however, and possibly regard this as a small treat for your kids rather than a contribution to a good diet, so I’ll hold off on the parenting advice. The overall principles – do it yourself convenience, portion-scaled cost-comparisons, reusable v. disposable, etc. – are well worth considering.

  9. lurker carl says:

    You are “making sure that at the very least they’re 100% juice?” I’d be hard pressed to find anything more than all juice.

    Several sippy cups work fine for us, especially after kiddies discover straws are good for squirting as well as drinking. The cups are spill proof, sold everywhere, the insulated ones keep cold drinks cold and they last for years.

  10. EGD says:

    I agree with previous posters… why not just two to start with, to see if they fit your lifestyle like you expect? You certainly wouldn’t want to go 10 days without washing them anyway.

    Also, “Juicy Juice” is a ridiculous marketing gimmick, consumer gullibility at its best. Store-brand 100% juices and even name-brand 100% juices that are marketed to adults come in much bigger bottles for much less money. I will only buy 100% juices, and I’ve NEVER had a coupon+sale result in Juicy Juice having a cheaper per-ounce cost than a store brand.

  11. Kat says:

    Johanna, I am sure you can fill it with anything liquid, but it is marketed as a juice box specifically to take away sales of those little juice boxes kids drink from. I don’t think there is a large market (yet) for water boxes or almond milk boxes, though there are juice boxes with sweetened black iced tea that I have seen, but they are still often referred to as “juice boxes” usually.

    I KNEW someone would complain about feeding the kids juice! Come on, generations have survived childhood being fed juice, and at least it’s healthier than soda. And you can pick juices that actually have real fruit in them nowadays and not just that sugar water fruit punch type stuff.

  12. Catherine says:

    My parents always cut my juice with water (50/50 mix) which can’t be done with a regular juice box. If this was a practice that you wanted to start doing, the reusable container would break even much faster.

  13. Kat says:

    While I agree that Juicy Juice isn’t worth buying usually, it made for a more fair break even analysis, as Juicy Juice makes juice boxes and bulk juice in larger bottles. Usually the juices marketed to adults don’t come in juice boxes.

    Great point about the watering down of the juice!

  14. EGD says:

    @#13: It does bother me, however, that Trent tends to use the most expensive product commonly available to do his break-even comparisons… like Tide vs. homemade detergent. I understand the rationale — that these would be products that are available to most every reader — but it does result in an unfair cost comparison. When I consider the methodology, Trent’s math usually doesn’t work in my favor.

  15. Beth says:

    I had bad luck with these in the past. They’re very hard to keep clean and they leak. The straw also makes it impossible to get all the juice out, so a lot goes to waste.

    I agree with the other comments to buy a couple to try first.

  16. Maureen says:

    Why not just use a glass or sippy cup if you are at home? I’m more surprised that you don’t already have sealable reuseable bottles for when you leave the house. If you need to you can pop in a disposable straw. I would colour code them so the kids don’t mix them up.

    Juice boxes are recycleable in my city. They can double as an ice pack in a lunch if frozen ahead of time. Usually they thaw nicely by lunch.

  17. Beth says:

    I should note that I used to unscrew the lid to get all the liquid out, but I wouldn’t expect a small child to do that!

  18. Nicole says:

    From a money standpoint– water is waaaay cheaper, even if you’re not an anti-juice parent. Put a filter on the faucet and you’re good to go. We do serve juice occasionally, but in a cup at home. Seems silly to spend extra money on something you don’t really need if you’re going to be *that* focused on saving money. The biggest savings would just to be to do without and have juice as an occasional home-based treat. You also avoid child stickiness outside the house substituting with water.

    We have concerns about plastic. We have a stainless steel bpa-free straw cup (the straw is still plastic, but it beats the entire container). That’s our fun to-go liquid container for DS. (Plus IMHO, plastic makes juice taste nasty.)

  19. Vanessa says:

    One thing that Trent has to remember about this website is that there is a wide variety of people that read it. Not every reader is “*that* focused on saving money” or willing to “do without.” Many are trying to find little ways to save without drastically altering their lifestyle. If you really dislike the articles so much, why read them? Be nice, people!!!!

  20. KC says:

    I’d question whether they leak or not. I recently bought a 64 oz. cooler with a screw on lid and flip top drinking area. The screw on lid leaks! I flipped it over and it says Made in China. A lot of this cheap plastic stuff just isn’t as well made as it used to be (I’ve had several of these types of coolers in the past and none ever leaked). I’d test them first before I made a big investment.

    And – water down the juice – juice is full of sugar. I even water down Gatorade when I’m on the tennis courts cause there is too much sugar in it, but I want the electrolytes.

  21. Josh says:

    Maybe it’s just my kids who are/were this way (now 6 and 5), but getting more than 20 uses out of each box would be an absolute shock.

    Between them gnawing on the spout or losing the box, we’d be lucky to see 85 uses TOTAL.

  22. Tammy says:

    Just use sippy cups and have juice boxes as an occasional treat. For us, it was cheaper to buy frozen juice concentrate and add extra water to make it stretch.

  23. We’ve always just used sippy cups. I like them better than cups/bottles with small openings, because the wide opening makes it easier to clean the cup.

    This is fairly irrelevant, but I HATE juice boxes. It’s so easy for kids to accidentally squeeze them too hard and squirt juice all over. Give me sippy cups any day!

  24. DiscoApu says:

    1. What is cost of time and money to keep these clean. Also the cost of new straws.
    2. Plastic and Juice. Both a becoming big no-no’s for children, especially when exposed to the sun. No difference w/ sippy cups.
    3. To the comments about water. Obviously Trent gets that water is cheaper.
    4. This is a post about the monetary difference in his choice, and besides the costs of washing a straws I think Trent did a good job.

  25. Gretchen says:

    I’m not sure juice is healthier than soda. Still straight sugar.

    More to the point, are you sure they are leakproof? I’ve had some liquid containers in the past and nothing is leak proof except lock and lock.

  26. Tatiana says:

    Like Beth (#15), I have used these Rubbermaid drink containers and found them very difficult to keep clean. The tiny crevices inside the lid/valve mechanism turned out to be a great place to grow mildew, and the inside of the bottle is impossible to wash without a bottle brush. Also, there’s really no way to clean the inside of the straw.

    It’s a shame – the product seemed like a great idea, but it failed in practice.

  27. Bill says:

    I had forgotten about those stupid juice boxes with the sharp straws that always bent. I think we just use those sippy cups and kept the boxes for travel.

    Drinking fruit juice is a significant source of sugar even natural sugars, it is much better to eat a piece of fruit rather than drink the sugar of 4-5.

    Coming from a family of diabetics, fruit juice even if home made is a treat.

  28. Nicole says:

    #19 TSD just had a post about “doing without”. I’d link to it but that would put this in moderation forever. #24 Does Trent really get that water is cheaper (and has he run the numbers as to how much cheaper)? Maybe he didn’t really think about that. He did just have a post about that kind of thinking, but may not be applying it.

    If you’re focused on saving 35 cents, then you are *that* focused on saving money. TSD is always making these “penny-wise” kinds of decisions.

    As to why do I read TSD, mainly it has been because the comments are interesting. But recently most of my favorite commenters seem to have given the site a miss, though they still comment regularly at GRS. Occasionally there’s a good post that isn’t a rehash of an earlier post. I’ve been enjoying the reader questions though to be completely honest I’ve been completely skipping Trent’s responses and going directly to the comments. If it really would make you all happier I can stop reading and commenting… I kind of doubt that would change anybody’s life though.

  29. Kara White says:

    In defense of Jucy Juice: I buy it for my child because I cut the juice at least 50/50, but more often 75/25, with water. Jucy Juice is stronger, and therefore still tastes like juice after it is diluted (I don’t think I spelled that right). Anyway, we just use sippy cups. These reusable juice boxes kind of look like a waste of space to me. When my daughter needs to we’ll graduate to small sports bottles. Oh, and we drink water most of the time too! :)

  30. J.D. says:

    Kat (#11) wrote: Come on, generations have survived childhood being fed juice, and at least it’s healthier than soda.

    Well, it’s not really. Juice and soda are nearly equivalent nutritionally. Yes, juice has some vitamins and minerals, but so do vitamin supplements. Feed your kids juice if you want, but don’t delude yourself that it’s healthy. Because it’s not! It’s just sugar water.

  31. Kara White says:

    Oh, and the 100% juice reference is because he doesn’t let his kids drink the “juice drinks”. 100% juice should read the type of fruit juice (maybe from concentrate), water. That’s all. Nothing else. No added sugars (anthing ending in “ose”) or any preservative that you cannot pronounce should be on the label.

  32. Leah says:

    I teach waste education, and one thing I like to emphasize is time to throw away. A lot of times, people will forget about plastic stuff (bottles, tupperware, etc) then throw them out because they get moldy. Or, if you tend to lose stuff often, take that into consideration too. Reusable stuff is great for the environment . . . IF you use it a lot.

  33. Rachel says:

    Obviously Trent realises that the most effective way to save money in this situation is to have them drink tapwater from washable cups.

    But the whole point of this piece, as I see it, is to show that when looking for a frugal option, you don’t have to do without completely, and your children are not being deprived of their little treats that are part of childhood. Juice boxes are merely an example of how this works, not that every child should and does have them, but Trent is showing a way to find and evaluate a cheaper option without stopping the habit altogether.

  34. I never knew that they made these.

    I think they would save a ton of money over time!!

  35. Two Dozen says:

    I made me three boys school lunches for years and wrestled with the drink issue. As pointed out already, unless the container is completely disassembled during cleaning nasty things will grow. I had that happen on a rather expensive thermal container. I tried everything and finally settled on the small powerade container. They fit in the lunch box, had a screw on top with no washers, were cheap enough and could go through the dishwasher. A pack of eight usually made it through a school year

    Except for tomato juice, I always buy frozen or packets. Premixed juices you are paying for the water. And the boys liked coming up with novel combinations of Kool Aid.

  36. Paula says:

    This post just made me shake my head, much like Trent’s “it’s cheaper to make you own oatmeal baggies” post. How about serving juice, if you must, in cups at home, and how about not bothering with making individual servings of ready-to-cook oatmeal? A measuring cup inside a big lidded tin of oatmeal would achieve the same purpose.

    From where I stand (on the other side of the world), it seems like Americans consider convenience products to be the standard. (Another example is finding recipes on sites like allrecipes.com that do not include a processed product. We don’t have frozen cookie dough, marshmallow creme, Hamburger Helper or string cheese in our First-World country and we do just fine!) What do you think? How accustomed are the people around you to pre-packaged, convenience products?

    (One last category of examples, related to buying boxes specially for juice: Is there really a market for brownie pans, BabyCook machines, benchtop cupcake makers and a bunch of other unitaskers? One more example: refusing to line-dry laundry, or feeling self-righteous for line-drying laundry – line-drying as one’s first option seems self-evident to me. I see a common thread between these examples.)

  37. Kevin says:

    Who is the “she” abruptly mentioned in the 4th paragraph? Your wife? Your daughter? A Twitter follower? It’s unclear, and you never actually say.

  38. Kevin says:

    Oh wait, I see … it was the Twitter follower. My apologies.

  39. GayleRN says:

    It should be “for each juice box drunk”. Please properly conjugate your verbs.

  40. Sandy says:

    We have always used the reusable “juice boxes” but only for water…juice is hard to get it clean every time, as mentioned above. Someone told me, when my older daughter (now 16)was a baby, to not let their taste buds get used to full strenth juice…that to get them used, at a very early age, to drink water would be best for their health. So glad I listened!
    The environmental aspect is the other thing, but I used the issue as a math lesson for my daughter as we walked to school one day when she was in elementary school. She asked why she didn’t get juice boxes like her friends at school. I told her to figure out how many juice boxes it would take to have only one per school day. (180) Then I asked her to calculate that for every schoolday through elementary and middle school (8 x 180= 1440). Then I asked her to imagine the mountain of juice box trash for just her, then multiply it by 2 (she has a little sister). 2880 unrecyclable juice boxes. Just so my kids could get a few sips of juice at lunch! We couldn’t do the math on the walk about how many boxes just her school mates would generate during the school year. But the point was made, and she never questioned it again. I told her she was doing something incredible for the environment by using these and she felt really good about it.
    I can see the cost effectiveness of making up 10 juice containers on a Sunday night (or freezing them) and they’d be ready to go every morning or outing…you just have to make sure washing juice boxes goes on the to do list.

  41. Margaret says:

    Eh, I agree with the commenter who revealed the santitary flaws of a reusable juice box. I’ve had the same trouble with some water bottles. One of the things you are buying with the box is that it has been sealed in a particular way, not to admit germs. This is the way that Milk is sold in many third world countries so that it doesn’t need refrigeration to stay safe, as long as it’s not open. If you are throwing the box into a bag with no refrigeration or cold packs all the time, this looks to me like food poisoning waiting to happen.

  42. reulte says:

    I agree with the people that say the plastic juice boxes are difficult to clean and add another vote to go with a sippy cup. Some of the sippy cups are amazingly leak-proof and you can dilute your juice or add to it much easier. I like most of my juices diluted by about 2/3 which also helps to clean things because there isn’t as much stickiness (which is caused by the sugar).

  43. DivaJean says:

    We just use sippy cups for our 3 younger kids. They are much easier to clean and juice boxes w/ straws are an open invitation for squirting problems. The eldest would eschew either option and prefer to drink from a regular glass or have water in a water bottle when on the road.

    But I also question the need for daily juice on the road (ie out of the home). Juice is a once a day thing in our house. We have water bottles we fill up when we are headed to the park and have generic koolaid available for afterschool drinking (usually one glass per kid= 1 pitcher a day).

    There is no way I would put the time and effort into using reusuable drink boxes.

  44. Sabine says:

    I bought for our son stainless steel bottles (from Crocodile Creek, but there are others as well). They are much better than plastic (I’m trying to not buy any plastic containers) and also look much nicer. He has one for daycare and two for home/traveling. I put everything he drinks (kakao, water, juice) in those bottles (accept for diner time when he gets a cup)

  45. anna says:

    Are your kids in love with the juicebox or the juice? Could you just use juiceboxes when you are traveling or out of the house and get some crazy straws and cool drinking cups for juice at home? I know when I was little I LOVED my crazy straw, reusable plastic get 2 or 3 for each kid and throw them in the dishwasher after a quick rinse. This option would allow you to use the quicker dilluted juice of your choice and give your kids a special treat.

  46. Amy P says:

    For sanitary reasons, I vote for using the kind of sippy cup that can take a normal straw (little kids can use the spouted kind). Reusable straws are, as people have mentioned, hard to clean and the kids chew the ends down flat.

    “One last category of examples, related to buying boxes specially for juice: Is there really a market for brownie pans, BabyCook machines, benchtop cupcake makers and a bunch of other unitaskers?

    In this particular case, I think it’s mainly a marketing approach to reach people who wouldn’t necessarily think of a small plastic bottle as a juice box replacement. I haven’t seen the products that you mention in the wild, although I was looking at the BabyCook machine and it looks pretty useful for people who would like to make baby food, but are put off by the work. You could use it and then sell it, and maybe even break even (at least compared to commercial baby food in jars). I expect the market for most of these single-use items is non-cooks who are scared by cooking.

  47. Kat says:

    JD, many studies have shown that vitamins in pills do not provide the same benefits as vitamins in food, so in that case it would be healthier to have fruit juice than to have soda plus a vitamin pill. Also, soda is made from totally unnatural ingredients, pure juice can be found with all natural ingredients, such as without preservatives and without fake coloring, etc. that is in soda. I can see saying that the powered stuff that is pure sugar with some vitamins added in would be the exactly the same as soda, but I can’t see how something that is just some fruits, juiced, could be the same as soda. I’d much rather feed my kid real grape juice or orange juice than grape or orange soda. I’m not saying that you should feed the kids juice for every beverage they drink in a day, but I don’t see why a juice or two a day shouldn’t be considered part of a healthy diet and shouldn’t be considered better than soda (assuming you are buying real juice, not something that doesn’t have any real fruit in it, like kool aids or those neon “fruit punches”).

  48. Jonathan says:

    The concerns with cleaning the reusable juice boxes are valid. I like the suggestion of buying a couple to try out before investing in a complete set. Trent may find that the time required to clean the boxes negates some of the cost savings.

    Other than the cleaning issue, however, I don’t understand the negative comments. The title of the post is “Litterless Juice Boxes: Do They Save Money If You Have Kids?”, which to me indicates a comparison between reusable juice boxes vs buying single serving juice boxes. The answer that question clearly is yes, unless the cleaning issue kills the savings.

    This post isn’t about whether reusable juice boxes are better/cheaper than sippy cups or if water is better/cheaper than juice. While those are valid questions, they are not what this post is about. People complain when Trent writes articles that are too frugally hardcore and suggest giving up conveniences that people consider necessities, but when he posts an article like this suggesting a more frugal way to allow his kids to have their chosen treat there are comments saying it would be better for the kids to do without the juice or the “box”. I don’t even have kids, but I found the post useful. For me, it isn’t as much about the exact product as it is about thinking of alternatives to costly and environmentally damaging products that we all take for granted.

  49. Michelle says:

    I have had a lot of success with these containers. My older children refuse to use sippy cups because “they are for babies”. I have never had a problem with leaking, and I just throw them in the dishwasher with all my other dishes. One thing, toss the straw. It’s not worth the trouble. The box will work fine without it, the kids just have to tip it so the liquid goes down toward the spout. These are the only thing we use on car trips.

    Although I agree with the juice comments. Really, giving kids juice is just like giving them soda. Water or milk is so much better.

  50. Sonya says:

    Straws can be replaced (not sure if i was $2 per-which is awful, or $2 for a couple in a pack… I cut up straws that fit from local fast food joints… they’re around in diff sizes diff places.. something should work for your “box”)
    Clean the straw w/ a pipe cleaner folded over a time or two to be thick enough. works wonders. And yes bleach is chemically bad too- but a bleach or vinegar soak does wonders for the occasional found-it-in-the-car-icky bottle. Then I bought my “straw cups” at the grocery for more like $1-2. Used lots to placate little kids, now great for spill-resistant water in bed! (& cat proof- why the cats insist on drinking from the kids nightly water glass… ugh) Anyway, w/ 2 kids I think we had 4 of these. 3 now I can find. Handy, good for occasional outings/lunches (usually have the kids get fresh milk at school- but variety is nice too)
    I add water right to the big bottle of juice. Some grandparent turned the kids on to ‘full strength’ juice. Now I’m sneakier. & I point out it’s a yummy way to drink the water mom is shoving down your throat, & makes whatever amount of juice they do get last longer. :)

  51. Patty says:

    I think the bottles can be found cheaper but durable (to last at least the 85 days you calculated). Factor in the ‘discount’ of filling them with homemade lemonade or even water and you save back the investment quicker.

  52. Scott says:

    While you can split hairs and say there is no nutritional difference between fruit juice and soda, I choose to emphasize occasional juice drinking and not drinking soda, simply because I’m trying to encourage eating habits (for myself and my kids) that involve eating actual food that at one point “grew” in some way or another, as opposed to eating or drinking something from a corporate science project.

    When you think about it, how much of what you eat each day is actually what our grandparents would have even recognized as food when they were young?

    Also, those saying soda = fruit juice are probably nitpicking and thinking of only non-caffeinated sodas in their argument, but not once has anyone actually said “non-caffeinated” in their comparisons. By not specifying, it is disingenuous to leave out that in the comparison, because that is a definite difference between the two…and you can’t tell me the people arguing for soda only serve non-caffeinated sodas.

    I would also guess that those that are arguing soda = fruit juice also likely have a soda of their own beside them most of the time.

    More on-topic of this post, we do have a few of these bottles, and primarily use them for water or sometimes milk. We do use disposable juice boxes, but not while at home and mainly as something we can have in the van for an out-of-the ordinary situation. It isn’t always about replacing entirely, it is often about reducing to achieve a balance.

  53. MelodyO says:

    My two kids just couldn’t get the concept of sippy cups. Sooner or later they’d toss them out in the garbage at school, along with real spoons dear lord!! It didn’t take me long to forgo sippy cups AND juice boxes. I told them they could just drink from the water fountain after they were done eating. Problem solved, plus money saved. :0)

  54. partgypsy says:

    I have a (bpa free) water bottle, and my oldest daughter (7) saw it and wanted to have one too. So both kids have water bottles to pack in their lunch and feel like “big kids” because they have water bottles too. One of the first things I worked with our kids is using a regular glass. Even a mug works well, but then can get rid of the sippy cups which are so hard to clean. I feel the boxes would be similar, and encourages kids to carry their drinks around and making spills.

    Kids don’t need juice. Buy the boxes for occasional treat (like soccer games) but other than that have everyone drink water 90% of the time. In the summer we make ice tea and lemonade.

  55. Brittany says:

    @ 48 Jonathan


  56. John S says:

    I agree with post #21 (Josh). I approve of the concept of re-usable over disposable, whenever possible. However, kids can be so unreliable and unconsciously destructive, and a true cost analysis would need to factor that in, to be useful.

  57. Perry says:

    Another thing to consider about those litterless juice boxes is perishability. Leave a regular juice box in the floorboard of the car for a few days in summer and it’s going to be ok. Leave a litterless juice box on the floor of your car and you have a potential fermented juice bomb on your hands.

  58. SLCCOM says:

    To clean those nooks and crannies, consider using a generic denture tablet. Or even peroxide, which is really cheap. For summer, you can freeze some of the liquid in the plastic box and add more for a drink that stays cold a pretty long time. Ten boxes may not be excessive, especially if the kids go on several excursions on a single day.

  59. Two Dozen says:

    On second pass on this post, which I have been thinking about all day, I think Trent set us up to see what would develop from this thread. I think he wanted to see if we would expand this topic beyond containers and juice into something larger he could run with. I know his wife is commuting to work daily and I know he admires Amy Dacyczyn and I have to wonder why he didn’t expand this article to include disposable vs throw away in all phases. A.D. says take a thermos bottle of cold water when yard saleing. Not much of a leap to coffee or hot chocolate? Soup? Or more focused, since he has small kids, what is he putting their goldfish and zwieback toast, etc. in? I believe we failed and we will shortly get another narrowly focused post on buying bottled water vs juicy cups filled with tap water. Or ziploc bags vs brand new sandwich boxes (Come on, we’ve all seen them, in Wally Mart near the microwaves with the happy multi colored dots)

  60. reulte says:

    Jonathan (#48)Mar 18/0733 I think that even though Trent began this as litterless Juice Boxes vs regular juice boxes; many people have found that the litterless juice boxes aren’t cost effective at all. What they save in price over a juice box, they make up in difficulty to clean and ‘bother’ time. Further, the kids may enjoy the juice boxes because they are full-strength, sugar-sweetened juice and refuse the litterless boxes (if he dilutes the strength — which I believe he has mentioned in a previous post).

    I don’t see this as people commenting negatively, rather they are providing their experiences and alternatives.

  61. lynne says:

    I can understand your situation with the juice and portability, but I’m unsure as to why you don’t use sippy cups given the ages of your kids. As far as juice boxes are concerned, many school aged children (I’m talking up thru 6th grade) have juice boxes at morning snack or lunch. Our school recycles these, but it is a mounting problem. It would be less expensive & environmentally better if parents simply purchased juices and put them into re-useable containers. (Oh! That’s exactly what my parents did when I was growing up, and what I did with my own kids. BTW my kids are about the same age, maybe a couple years younger, than you.

  62. Caroline says:

    I like this idea b/c you can’t recycle juice boxes, and recycling isn’t go to save the world anyway – we actually have to REDUCE our waste.

    My parents always watered down our juice too. I still enjoy my juice watered down and can’t stomach it at full strength. Start em young!

    Plus, kids like any small container – anything just their size. If they balked, I’d tell them to drink water. They don’t actually need juice anyway.

  63. Cheryl says:

    My family utilizes BPA free water bottles by Nalgene. Love the variety. They carry a sippy cup line now in a few different colors…as your kids grow you can buy different lids (other than the sippy) for it. Our daughter is now five yrs old and uses her old “new” sippy cup for school/soccer practice and still loves it.

  64. Robert says:

    Yes I agree with Cheryl, using BPA free bottles is a great idea. And I don’t think kids really need to be drinking a lot of sugary juice in the first place. Water or milk is much better for them. This is an easy way to avoid this problem

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