The first time I tried an açaí bowl, I was in both heaven and hell. On one hand, it was absolutely delicious: a cool, creamy, and tangy blend of fruit topped with banana slices, granola, and peanut butter. However, I was handed a bill that was over $15. Don't get me wrong, it was worth every penny. But as a college student, I don't exactly have the cash to burn to indulge in a $15 açaí bowl every day. Thus, my hunt to find a cheap açaí bowl began.

I decided that the only way to enjoy a heaven-sent açaí bowl without going further into debt was to figure out how to make my own for a fraction of the price. And I did. So now you can too.

Why are Açaí Bowls so expensive?

My first step to uncovering why acai bowls were so expensive was first investigating the origin. It turns out that açaí is actually a dark purple-blue berry found on Açaí palms in South American rain forests. With the process of harvesting, processing, and shipping, it's no wonder why it's so pricey. This also explains why purchasing frozen açaí is significantly cheaper and more available than other varieties.

Where Can You Find a Cheap Açaí Bowl?

The next step was scavenging my local grocery store to find the cheapest açaí on the market. But to my delight, I didn't have to look any further than the freezer isle at the supermarket. If you're craving some delicious and cheap açaí, but you're in a rush to finish that one assignment you left until the last minute to do, here's the cheap açaí bowl for you!

Jennifer Campestrini
Jennifer Campestrini

I found these ready-to-eat açaí bowls at my local grocery store. These Dole Açaí Bowls are available at most supermarkets across the country so you can easily find them in the freezer isle by the frozen fruit section. Here's what it looks like inside:

Jennifer Campestrini

If you'd like to get fancy with it, I say go for it. I added banana slices and some peanut butter for added nutrients and flavor.

Jennifer Campestrini

Want to Make One Yourself?

If you've got 5-10 minutes to spend in the kitchen, here's something you can use to make a cheap açaí bowl at home that you'll love.

Jennifer Campestrini

All you will need are 2 frozen bananas, 1 pack of unsweetened açaí, and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Above, you see individual packets of frozen açaí pulp that are also available in the freezer isle by the frozen fruit section. You can add a packet to a smoothie to make an açaí smoothie or you can use it to make an açaí bowl. Just blend these 3 ingredients well and pour in a bowl! Now you get to have fun with the toppings. 

I like to use 1 banana cut into slices, 1/3 cup of granola, and 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, but feel free to add whatever your heart desires!

If you're looking for a homemade, easy, and cheap recipe for açaí, that won't give you a sugar rush, here are some tips that I know you'll love. 

Happy açaí-ing!