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How cost effective is DIY e-juice?

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by mrtiedye, May 9, 2011.

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  1. mrtiedye

    mrtiedye Full Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Recently, I began to wonder just how much money I was saving by mixing my own e-liquid. There is no doubt it is much cheaper than regular cigarettes, but is DIY really worth the hassle of mixing my own liquid? It was worth it in the beginning to zero in on what amounts of nicotine, pg, and vg I like, but now that I have that figured out, I decided to do some math. Here is what I pay for DIY supplies.

    60 ml of 60 mg unflavored 100% pg nic juice - $19.95
    roughly $0.33 per ml

    60 ml of propylene glycol - $4.95
    roughly $0.08 per ml

    60 ml of vegetable glycerin - $4.95
    roughly $0.08 per ml

    6 ml flavor apprentice flavor - $1.50
    roughly $0.25 per ml

    I have found that with these ingredients, I generally like liquid that is around 22 mg nicotine, 30% vg, and 20% flavor. So, after plugging this into the e-juice calculator, and doing some math I won't show here, I find that I am paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.04 for 5 ml of juice, or $0.21 per ml.

    So far, I have found that most places charge around $3.00 for 5 ml of premixed juice. I vape around 2 ml per day, or 60 ml per month. A month of DIY costs me around $12.60. A month of premix would cost around $36.00. A month of regular cigarettes would cost me around $120.00.

    Is it worth it to pay this much more to save the hassle of mixing your own juice by hand? Well, that is up to you and your budget. But if you are looking to save some money and have the time to mix your own juice, DIY still seems to be the way to go.

    I feel I should also mention that DIY can be fun, and it gives you much more control over your juice. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but cost is really the only one that can be put in black and white.
  2. Chornbro

    Chornbro Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 30, 2011
    VA/DC/MD Area
    My vendor of choice costs $.50 per ml... and he has the highest quality sh#t available if you ask me! If your juice satisfies you, you're saving $.30 per ml which is 60% cheaper than what I'm paying... so, you're saving money... but you're working/having fun. I think it just comes down to personal preference.

    Im too lazy for DIY... and I could never replicated BWBs flavors... and if I dont help to support him, he will no longer exist... which means I cant vape his juice!

    May be a stretch, I know...
  3. jazdale

    jazdale Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2011
    Jackson, MI
    Most on this forum are still seeking their all day vape...including myself after 3 months.
    Trying cola, blueberry, pineapple, various menthols, various regulars with coffee or carmel, etc.

    Once I nail it down, I'll probably go DIY.
    I'm starting to lose interest in the goofy flavors and go for a near naked vape with a hint of menthol or marlboro flavor.
  4. dormouse

    dormouse ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Oct 31, 2010
    That's for figuring that out!

    BTW someone figured out that if you buy one of the weekly sale flavors at Tasty Vapor (30ml) in a higher nic than you use, then cut it with one of their 2oz (60ml 0-nic) doublers you can get the premade juice cost down to under .25/ml?

    I also shop sales - now through (I think) Wednesday 5/11 midnight Gourmet Vapor is 50% off with code gv50. 5ml for under $2 and probably better per ml costs on larger sizes. BTW Their big bottles of nic liquid may be included in this sale.
  5. mrtiedye

    mrtiedye Full Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Interesting, the reason you are waiting to try DIY is the same reason I started there. Now that I have my perfect vape figured out, I was considering trying premix. That is, until I did the math... :)
  6. db13berry

    db13berry Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    I do both. I DIY some of my juice. Especially the ones I have the recipe down to a science as to how I like it.
    But I also buy from the vendors when I see a flavor that I want to try, but have no clue how to mix myself.

    Still looking for that Tasty Finger recipe.
  7. NicLiq

    NicLiq Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 11, 2011
    Twin Cities, MN
  8. sanjosse

    sanjosse Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 23, 2010
    San Jose, CA

    Here's my DIY e-juice price breakdown;

    120ml of 100mg non-flavored e-juice - $61
    250ml PG & 250ml VG - $9

    This gives me 665ml of 18mg juice for $70 bucks. I use about 3ml a day. That equals out to roughly .30¢ a day for 220 days worth. And for a WHOLE year's worth of vaping nirvana, I'll spend about $110.Versus $7-8 for a pack of death sticks ($2,555.00-$2,920.00 a year), ya can't go wrong!.

    My Recipe
    ingredient ml % of total
    PG or VG with nicotine 120 ml 18.0%
    PG or VG (no nicotine) 478 ml 71.9%
    PGA/Water 67 ml 10.1%
    Flavoring(s) 0 ml 0.0%

    P.S. I don't add flavor. I'm what you call, A PURIST, lol.

  9. JC Okie

    JC Okie REOnaut Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 2, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    If you buy in bulk (way larger than 60ml at a time) you get a much better set of numbers. I buy USP grade PG by the gallon for about $35, and USP grade VG for $2.50 for 6 ounces (180ml). I buy nic juice in bulk and on sale, too. The biggest expense of DIY for me is the $.65 plastic bottles and the flavoring. I can make 30ml of my favorite juice for about $3.00, too. Bulk is the secret...and sales. I order my flavoring directly from FlavourArt in Italy 120ml at a time. Waaaaay cheaper than any premixed stuff I've ever purchased from any vendor, even on sale.

    BUT.....I have narrowed down my all-day vapes to a couple of flavors that I just love. If I were still searching for what I liked, I'd still be buying premixed.
  10. latterday lenin

    latterday lenin Full Member

    May 5, 2011
    Merida, Yucatan
    Thanks for doing the math here. The savings is definitely worth it to me.
  11. mrtiedye

    mrtiedye Full Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Wow, a gallon of PG. That would take me a couple zillion years to consume. My biggest concern with ordering in such huge amounts is the shelf life. Am I really saving that much money if half of my nicotine juice goes bad before I can vape it? How long does nic juice last in a glass, amber bottle? I am pretty sure the PG and VG have a nice long shelf life, but please correct me if I am wrong.
  12. NicLiq

    NicLiq Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 11, 2011
    Twin Cities, MN
    I just received 250 ml of 36 mg in a PG base from Box Elder. It has a lot number, is fully labeled and has an expiration date of April 2012, so I'm guessing 1 year?

    EDIT: mine came in a cobalt bottle
  13. P-Dub

    P-Dub Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Santa Rita,GU, USA
    Saving money is only part of the equation as you pointed out. Also you are always taking a chance when you buy premade from the vendors. You may very well go through quite a few vendors till you find a few that provide you with the flavors and price that you like. When you DIY you are having a lot more control over the end product and can tweak things more easily and if you don't like it you can always adjust things and experiment till it is anything from acceptable to great. It is a little harder to make changes to premade juice only because you don't have the actual formula as a base to work with and adjust from. That being said when you do find a vendor you like buy from them. Supporting the little shops out there is paramount to the sucess of the industry and your overall vaping experience.
    I started DIY simply because I wanted to try and duplicate a vendors particular juice that I really liked. While trying to duplicate said juice (which I never have gotten down) I have come across some recepies and made some mixes that I actually like better. Further, I was often let down by a lot of vendors out there because of my particular tastes. I tend to like strong and complex flavors. I can do a fine job of letting myself down and it ends up costing me less to do so when I DIY, AND I can always adjust things to make a mix vapable and then duplicate it over and over again as I desire.
    I still do both DIY and order from vendors. Sometimes you just can't beat a really great premade juice as well I make things that will never be found premade. To boot, I have a lot of fun DIYing and get a lot of satisfaction putting together things that are just great and I could never get otherwise.
  14. JC Okie

    JC Okie REOnaut Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 2, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    I agree, P-Dub. I started out just wanting my one special flavor and wanted it to be cheap. It's still 75% of what I mix. Another thing about DIY is you know where it was made, and who made it. Total quality control.

    I bought a gallon of USP grade PG at the local Southern Agriculture store. It's the smallest they had...I figure that even if I had to pour half of it out in a couple of years, it was an okay price and no shipping.... I use mostly VG, (20PG/80VG), so I'll never use that much PG! Ha.
  15. JC Okie

    JC Okie REOnaut Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 2, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    Nic juice will last quite awhile. I've heard different things, but I think if you keep it in the cold and the dark, you can preserve it for a long time.
  16. SDTony

    SDTony New Member

    May 9, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I'm pretty new here so sorry if this has been posted but where can I find a few different DIY online calculators? Or Online price comparison sites?
  17. Animeguy

    Animeguy Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Im doing half diy. I get my concentrated liquid 60 ml for 30 bucks and then just add Vg, Nic vodka water. Easy for me. Unless I can find the recipe for djarum black then I might try. I'm just too lazy to figure it out and also I tend to waste liquid a lot when I experiment. Even now I'd make 30 ml at a time and put into 6 ml bottles and I use only 5.5 ml of each. I been watching myself tho, I would put the left over a side and just add to current bottle that is if I happen to see it.
  18. db13berry

    db13berry Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
  19. subversive

    subversive Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 26, 2011
    United States
    I would love to try DIY for the savings and for a hobby, but I am absolutely clueless as to what flavors are in my all day vape : (
  20. SDTony

    SDTony New Member

    May 9, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Haha ya I know, I guess I should have stated 'ecig cacluators that don't come up on a google search'. Since this is the place to be for Vaping I was just curious if anyone knew of any others that weren't easily googleable! :)
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