Recession Eating: Save Money by Moving Away from Soda


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

Have you ever looked at your grocery bill to see how much you spend on soda or diet soda each trip? Take a look and then multiply that number by the number of times you shop each month. Now take that amount and multiply it by 12 to give you a ball park figure of how much you spend on soda/diet soda each year. Are you surprised by the number? Are there options to save you some money?

Some estimate that a family of 4 that drinks soda could save over $500 a year by switching to water. So if your family is selecting soda or diet soda as a drink of choice, here are some ideas to help you save money simply by focusing on the soda/diet soda on your grocery list.
  • You can save the most money by drinking tap water instead of soda especially if you drink diet soda like water. This provides nutritional and health benefits as well as saving you money.
  • If cutting soda out completely isn't going to happen, try taking a first step and cutting consumption in half by cutting your serving size in half.
  • If you still want to include carbonated beverages into your meal planning, learn to become brand disloyal. Many times if Coke products are on sale then Pepsi products are not. Instead of stocking up on your favorite when they are on sale, which encourages the soda habit, try buying what is on sale, even if it is not your favorite. If there are no sales, commit to drinking water for that week.
  • Individual serving cans or bottles are typically more expensive then 2-liter bottles. Avoid purchasing individual serving containers and select only the 2-liters if they are on sale. Don't be afraid to try store brands as well.

Drinking water and giving up soda and diet soda all together is the best money saving and nutritional tip we can provide. However, any small steps you take to cut back will save money and hopefully lead to drinking more water in the end.

How much money do you estimate you would save in a month if you gave up soda and diet soda altogether?

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    Many don't realize that the sodas are leaching minerals from your bones that we as women need. - 12/3/2008   9:42:54 PM
  • 149
    I pretty much gave up soda and I don't miss it. - 12/3/2008   7:50:08 PM
  • 148
    CCKelly (from way, way back there), in Germany, you can buy a little machine that makes your water sparkle. I think sparkling water is just gross, but that's what they default on when you ask for a glass of Wasser. - 12/3/2008   6:37:47 PM
  • 147
    I only buy soda if it is on sale, I'll drink either Coke or Pepsi because I am cheap. A lot of times a 12 pack will last me well over a month, I really don't drink it that much because I need to get my water in, so by the end of the day I'm really not interested in a soda. - 12/3/2008   3:56:58 PM
    One more point is that soda is suprisingly acid. Soda has an average pH of 2.8. Generally soda uses phosphoric acid to give it tartness and to prevent it from spoiling. The concentration of phosphoric acid in soda is high enough to cause erosion of your teeth which is true even of diet soda. Citrus sodas generally use citric rather than phosphoric acid which is probably just as bad. Our bodies have to maintain a very narrow range of pH. If it goes too high (alkaline) or too low (acid) we die. The way our bodies neutralize acid is by using calcium and of course the calcium comes from our bones so drinking soda also causes osteoporosis. Not to mention the empty calories in soda tends to crowd out more nutritious foods.

    Having a soda once in a while is fine but if you are drinking large amounts of soda or drinking it daily it is really bad for you. - 12/3/2008   3:45:03 PM
  • 145
    Diet Coke is my main drink, and keeps me from drinking water. Plus it does cost a lot of money. When I'm out I immediately buy another pack of Diet Coke at the local convenience store. For a few weeks now I've been telling myself I need to stop, and after this article I will. When eating, one of my things is to think, "Is there a healthier choice?" and I need to apply that to beverages as well. Thanks! I won't like the withdrawal headache, but I'll live through it. - 12/3/2008   2:05:30 PM
  • 144
    I've cut down drastically on soda and drink it very rarely because it makes my feet swell. I still do buy some for my son who is a lanky active adolescent but since joining Spark I have been progressively cutting down for him too. It really doesn't do any good. I prefer fresh lemon juice cut with sparkling mineral water - for the fizz effect, you know. - 12/3/2008   1:45:39 PM
  • LULU92
    I almost never drink or buy soda, because I was not raised that way. And if at a restaurant I try to find an alternative such as non-sweet iced tea or water or milk. Milk is a much better value and at a fast food resturant can help fill you up when buying the better for you small size sandwich. - 12/3/2008   1:44:50 PM
  • 142
    I know that I spend 20 dollars a week. Today I am making a committment that I won't spend anymore money on sodas. It will be a hard goal to set, but I am more than willing to stop dringking sodas forever. I know that when I quit drinking sodas. I will be able to spend more money on healthy foods.
    gabby - 12/3/2008   1:00:04 PM
  • 141
    Great idea! After 33 years, I've finally given up on diet soda. We both have cut out soda and now drink flavored seltzer. While it's not as cheap as tap water, it's a lot cheaper than soda. Store brands taste great and they're usually cheaper too. - 12/3/2008   11:14:14 AM
    I've cut soda out of my diet for about two years now. I slip up every now & again (like when I have to grab a bite to eat on the road & the meal comes with a soda) but I've seen a great improvement in my skin / weight. I've always loved water & make sure I have my 8 glasses a day. Bottled water is a convenience though it gets to be just as pricey as buying soda so now I use a purification system at home & fill a 2.2L bottle a day to carry around with me. Soda's is definitely not missed nor are the extra pounds it brought with it. - 12/3/2008   10:52:14 AM
  • 139
    This makes so much sense - but my diet pepsi is my reward for drinking at least 10 cups of water a day. I don't drink nearly as much as I used to (I used to go through about a case of 24 cans in a day and a half) so I am much better off with drinking water - but I don't think I can cut it out completely! - 12/3/2008   9:40:49 AM
  • 138
    One of the first things I did back in February when I got serious about losing weight was give up the soda. I had been drinking as much as a 54oz mug every day! When I saw the calorie hit (850-1000 depending on whether it was Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew, and how much ice I put in), I decided that I needed to get off of the habit. I went back to a drink that I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember -- iced tea. I drink it plain -- no sugar or other sweetener, though I often put in a slice of lemon. In the last 10 months I have had a drink of Dr. Pepper about 2 or 3 times. It now tastes so sweet that I don't particularly like it.... - 12/3/2008   8:50:26 AM
  • 137
    I used to drink a lot of diet cola... took some doing to stop a huge intake of it. I got past that with many headaches etc. More recently I would drink cola (but not the diet kind) maybe a couple times a week. Then I found brewed ginger ale which I had for a treat once in a while. Then after joining SP and upping the water intake significantly, I have little or no soda -- what I do have is green tea or ginger ale, and literally the most I have in a day is 6 oz, but more usually 2 oz or none at all. Amazing transition -- Love that it saves me money too. And love this Recession Eating article. I'd love more please. Now I need to go see if there's a thread for gardening for food in here! - 12/3/2008   8:47:36 AM
  • 136
    I keep Diet Coke in the house, but only use it as a mixer for whiskey which means I drink maybe 3-4 cans a week. I think my whiskey consumption is probably a bigger problem. That's like 80-100 calories (I don't measure it out) per! - 12/3/2008   1:21:02 AM
  • 135
    I gave up all soda (with rare exceptions) when I was on the Atkins diet in 2003. Although I have long given up the Atkins Way of Life, that is probably the best thing that came out of the diet for me. Before that, I drank a lot of soda (all diet), but now it doesn't even appeal to me. - 12/3/2008   12:26:02 AM
    I never really liked soda. way too sweet for me. Just tastes wrong IMO - 12/3/2008   12:23:02 AM
  • 133
    I stopped drinking soda cold turkey in March, when I joined SP. I am so glad, too! - 12/3/2008   12:20:59 AM
  • 132
    I used to drink about four 12 oz cans a day. I quit cold turkey, and it's saved me a lot of money. - 12/2/2008   11:54:48 PM
    thank god we in india dont drink much of soda
    all that we drink is plain , filtered water when thirsty - 12/2/2008   11:42:02 PM
  • 130
    I had to go cold turkey. I was up to two 2liter bottles a day. I didn't have the severe withdrawl headache I had last time I got that bad but now, I suffer any time I have cola. It does save a lot of money. Teabags are cheap. - 12/2/2008   11:27:28 PM
  • 129
    I usually buy pop to have around for when the children come over, as I rarely drink soda. I may drink one or two a year. I prefer juices or just water. - 12/2/2008   8:31:16 PM
  • 128
    Hmmm I wouldn't save any money, since for many years I've not had soda except rare occasion. Less than one glass a year, which is usually when visiting someone or out to dinner and with limited selections. - 12/2/2008   8:02:52 PM
    I don't drink soda regularly now, since I gained 10 pounds during a period I drank a couple of cans a week. I will still drink one occasionally, maybe a half dozen times a year, but prefer iced tea. I saw the health effects on a friend who drank a lot of diet soda. I never did like the taste of the diet stuff anyway. - 12/2/2008   7:12:19 PM
  • 126
    Now that we are into December I'm just over 2 years removed from my Coke habit ;) I would drink at least one large Coke a day and often two. If I missed a dose I'd get a headache - I quit because if I was having extra calories I preferred chocolate overall. So I slowly weaned myself off of it - and as I said, now 2 years later I have not had a drop of liquid caffeine since then. I'm a water or lemonade drinker now - but mostly water. - 12/2/2008   6:57:20 PM
    I drink lots of water. Buy pop for hubby and would like him to cut back . - 12/2/2008   6:52:07 PM
  • 124
    We have never included soda (soft drinks) in our grocery purchases- that is just something you don't drink with food. Wine- yes, soft drinks- yech! - 12/2/2008   6:36:15 PM
    We recently bought a small unit that makes plain water into soda water. It's like drinking Perrier water. Its about the size of a milkshake machine & comes with a C02 cylinder to sparkle up your water. Tastes great without the salt they add to regular soda waters & makes drinking water a lot more enticing. Its called Edition 1 from Soda Club I found them on the internet, I also seen a few on Ebay if anyone wants to look there. - 12/2/2008   5:28:03 PM
  • JOANW1
    A couple of months ago, I suddenly realized that I hadn't had a soda in over a week. I decided right then and there: if I could go a week without even thinking about it, then I would not drink anymore soda, and I haven't - and I don't miss it.

    Joan W1 - 12/2/2008   5:16:00 PM
  • 121
    I am on my 2nd day of not drinking soda's. I'm trying really hard to break this bad habit and a few others to. - 12/2/2008   5:13:34 PM
  • 120
    I completely gave up soda, but not buying Starbuck's lattes has saved me the most. - 12/2/2008   4:46:45 PM
  • 119
    I used to be a big Coke drinker. I gave up drinking soda pop about 8-9 years ago and
    to be honest, I just can't even attempt to drink it, it has the taste of nasty chemicals.
    I only drink water with some lemon. - 12/2/2008   4:27:29 PM
  • 118
    I'll drink it if it's in the house, but if not I'm ok. I stay away from diet sodas because of the chemicals. We spend maybe $10 a month on soda. My husband and I are not big soda drinkers whatsoever. We'll do water or juice any day. - 12/2/2008   3:33:29 PM
  • RENEE_27
    I've cut down a 'bit' on drinking pepsi but not even close enough to be saving money. I buy it even if it's not on sale. I wouldn't bother buying any other kind of soda for the reason that it would be waste. No one would drink it. Now if I didn't buy any my husband would be ok with that. He"ll drink it if it's in the house but won't get a craving for it. I'll let my daughter have a glass but rarely. I probably spend in between 25 - 40$ a month. - 12/2/2008   3:15:18 PM
  • 116
    I gave up soda a little over a year ago and it was probably the best economical/ nutritional thing I've ever done for myself. I'm now blown away by how much soda costs have increased in just a year. - 12/2/2008   2:59:14 PM
  • 115
    I do buy pop when I go to SAMS, 2 "cases" of coke and 1 of sprit, which my boyfriend seems to drink like water. I use to drink 1-3 cans a day but since I have started spark I am down to 1 can every now and then. Even though I don't drink the 8 glasses of water a day I do get at least half that in and then milk or juice depending on my tastes for the day. Some nights I might sneak in a sip or two from my BF glass of coke but not all that often. My glass/bottle of water is not to far from me. - 12/2/2008   2:40:39 PM
  • 114
    So many reasons to give up soda but I just can't do it. I limit myself to one a day but I just can't give it up past that. I love my diet coke so much that a lot of times it can get me thru a chocolate craving. - 12/2/2008   2:30:00 PM
  • 113
    I have been off of soda's now for over 4 or 5 months, I have actually forgotten when I got off.. but don't miss it a bit, I'm now in the process of cutting my daughter back.. - 12/2/2008   2:25:04 PM
  • 112
    I drink soda rarely, but I do by for my children. I only buy Sam's Choice and I limit them to 8oz a day. Which more often than not they don't drink. My oldest will save it till the end of the day and then he'll forget to drink it. - 12/2/2008   1:10:10 PM
    I don't drink much soda...haven't for years. Hubby is a completely different story. I would say we would easily shave $45 - $50 off our monthly grocery bill if he stopped drinking soda. - 12/2/2008   12:13:40 PM
  • 110
    I gave up soda over a year ago when I kept reading articles about how bad it is for your bones. Whether that's true or not, I decided since I was at risk for osteoporosis (my mom has it), I decided why take the risk. I found that I don't miss it at all, and I am drinking more water and tea, both of which are better for me. - 12/2/2008   12:05:28 PM
  • 109
    I gave up soda completely years ago, but then I NEVER drank that much wen I did drink it. And I NEVER drank the kind with sugar in it! - 12/2/2008   11:51:54 AM
  • 108
    We drink a lot of water here, Hubby likes the Crystal Lites in his. I don't buy a lot of pop, and my kids are very limited in what they get. We use pop as a treat and it's not bought for everyday consumption.

    Lisa - 12/2/2008   11:38:14 AM
  • 107
    I rarely ever have soda, I always drink water. But dear husband is a mt. dew addict. But alas, he has no desire to give it up. - 12/2/2008   11:30:24 AM
  • 106
    Haven't had a regular soda habit for years. I still do occasionally buy just ONE can and enjoy it if I feel a need for caffeine - happens about once every few months, and I find I really dislike the taste now.

    I used to be a one-can-a-day-diet-Pepsi gal ... yep, and those were individual cans - I found that the few times I bought a 24-pack, it disappeared within a couple of days, and there was no way I needed THAT much pop!

    - 12/2/2008   11:13:41 AM
  • 105
    We buy soda to have around for guests and keep it in the basement fridge. We don't drink enough of it to save any money. I would save a lot if I gave up coffee... but I don't think that will happen. - 12/2/2008   10:53:55 AM
  • 104
    Last time I had soda was when I had a stomach virus a few months ago... ginger ale. I just don't drink it. - 12/2/2008   10:50:00 AM
  • 103
    I might have diet pop once every two months or so if that frequently, and I've stopped buying bottled water. Not much left for me to save money on ;-) - 12/2/2008   10:21:00 AM
  • 102
    Oh man do I love my soda. But it has to be coke. I try not to drink to many. We are drinking more water also. - 12/2/2008   10:19:24 AM
    I stopped drinking soda when I started SparkPeople last year. Since then I might have had 5 cans, if that. I now have water by my side, and can't say that I miss soda. - 12/2/2008   10:17:41 AM

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