Does this make me obsessed with smoothies? Maybe—but at least it's cost-effective.
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So, I've piqued your interest mainly because you're probably thinking I'm obsessed with smoothies. (Yes.) While I won't wax poetic about the nutritional benefits of this tasty drink (if you're conscious of ingredients), I will say that my "smoothie routine," as I call it, has become the most relaxing part of my day, and I'm here to talk about the little machine that ensures it stays that way.

The Hamilton Beach Personal Blender came into my life when I moved into my second New York apartment, which features ample counter space so it can be left out all the time. I wanted a smoothie maker, specifically. I read reviews, weighed the options, and decided to take a chance on this extremely affordable option.

Credit: Amazon

To buy: $20;

Now you're thinking, "But what about the routine! Get to the routine!" Well, here it is: after graduate school when I started working "grown-up hours," I quickly discerned I was an after-work exerciser, as opposed to the ghastly thought of rising hours earlier than necessary. By the time I get home from my post-work workout, it's usually nearing 7:30 p.m., which means I am both exhausted and starving and still have to go through the laborious process of showering. Once I'm showered, I am still exhausted and starving. Cue: smoothie time, which allows me one Netflix episode of being horizontal before the effort of making dinner.

Even after loading this little guy with frozen banana (I cut up and freeze ahead of time to have on hand), almond milk, chocolate protein powder, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter—that's a bonus smoothie recipe for you—the smoothie maker still has no problem blending after a few pulses of the single-speed setting. It even cuts easily through ice when I'm feeling like I want my drink a little frostier. Pro tip: just make sure you don't press down on the top while blending, which isn't good for the mechanics of the machine.

I've had this blender for almost a year and it's been working like a charm—without incident—the entire time. Take it from me, if smoothies are your main priority, you don't have to spring for the Vitamix.