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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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I stopped purchasing soda January of this year and it has done wonders for my family. At first there were a lot of complaints but eventually the complaints faded away. My whole family has lost weight as a result. Now soda is a snack, not a beverage that accompany's meals. Treating soda as a snack has made drinking it enjoyable again. If we go out for a fun night I might treat the kids and myself to a small serving of fountain soda, but other than that we drink water all the time.

Soda was never meant to be a regular part of a daily diet, once people can wrap their heads around this concept the healthier everyone can be. Report
I'm transitioning from diet soda (just had a couple a day) to sparkling water and just plain water. I love iced tea (not sweetened) but have to watch it because of the caffeine. Report
I always chuckle when I see people with their plates loaded with high calorie and fat content foods order a diet soda. I am not criticizing, just observing. Report
It is one of the best decisions I made. I can't think of the last time I had it, and about the same amount of time will pass before I have it again. It is full of sugar. Report
Have you all seen the ad suggesting that a soda tax is a government take-over of your grocery choices? Report
I really don't drink soda and have always drank water since a small child, so these type of tips don't help me save money nor drop pounds. Report
I drink about 2 cans a day and it's one of the things we've been talking about cutting to save money. I know I don't drink enough water, and getting off soda would change that too. Report
Soda is unhealthy and I gave it up many years ago - now, not only do I NOT miss it, if I get a taste of it, it tastes AWFUL to me. My palate has come to expect and prefer healthier alternatives, like water, unsweetened tea (there are loads of tasty teas out there!), milk, fresh-squeezed juice, etc. Report
A great big bottle of 'fake supermarket cola' only costs me 28 pennies... Report
I indulge in a full on sugary can of soda a week, if I want seltzer I use my seltzer maker ( ).
If I have guests over I'll make lots of seltzer and flavor it with apple slices, lemon, lime, and so forth. It looks really pretty in a glass pitcher, far prettier than a plastic bottle for sure.
(actually, I'll serve soda as well, but most of them seem to prefer the seltzer) Report
As ridiculous as it sounds, we spend approximately $1400 per year on soda...and our kids don't even drink it! Report
Yes soda has lots of cals and costs a lot too. I only drink it aout once a week. Report
This is so true. I have saved a ton of money by drinking more water. Now, if I could get my kids to follow suit more/ Report
Why not save money by moving away from soda AND cigarettes? People go on and on about soda and unhealthy foods when smoking is THE most unhealthy thing ANYONE can do for, or to, themselves!

I've never understood why someone would willingly begin smoking. Furthermore, why would they continue after seeing, reading and hearing about all the detrimental effects smoking has on a person.

You know, it's funny. I live in the South. And, sadly, the South is also known as the Bible Belt because of high-concentration of people who are very religiously motivated. As such, they have lobbied and gotten legislature passed that bans the sale of alcohol on Sundays (I'm sure the northerners and mid-west\west coasters are laughing right now!) since the consumption of alcohol is a ''sin''.

The thing is, this only betrays their ignorance. In actuality, some alcohol is good for you - red wine, for example, is great for your heart and circulatory system and, like anything good for you, is beneficial when taken in moderation; however, every Sunday, as I drive along and pass church after church after church, I see people outside, standing, talking...and smoking. No matter how you slice it, smoking is destructive to the body - there is not a single aspect of smoking that is beneficial to you, yet it's okay to do this, and not drink?! Absolutely absurd.

And, for the record, I neither smoke nor drink because, as the Bible so plainly states, your body is a temple and should be offered up as a living sacrifice. How can I offer up a tainted sacrifice? I just wish people would get their facts straight before betraying their ignorance. So, you want to save some money during a recession? Stop smoking AND drinking sodas and watch that wallet sigh a long deserved, and eased, sigh of relief…as should you. Report
I wouldn't save a penny. I have not bought soda in years. Report
I used to crave diet Pepsi and gave it up cold turkey saving LOTS. I don't miss it though I may have one occasionally when dining out. I much prefer ice cold water with lemon now when eating out. Report
I used to be very fond of soda. In fact, we had a local charity that you could donate your returnable bottles too -- the other day I realized they weren't benefiting from me any more, so I wrote them a small check (which by the by is tax deductible anyway!) I cut it out by buying seltzer (club soda works) and diluting fruit juice with it to make sparking juices, and then transitioned to using less juice and increasing actual water. Finally I got the taste for actual water and that has worked great... plus it probaby saved me $3-5 a week! Amazing how it works. But I still like an occasional seltzer -- even plain. But it's rare, more of a treat. Report
I LOVE Pespsi. I am happy to say that I quit buying soda pop all together from the grocery stores. I only buy milk, juice, cool-aide, and tea for us to drink. We have both sugar for the cool-aide and splenda for the tea. Report
I drank regular coke at least 4 per day for severina I would stop for the 44oz in the morning and have another can or two later in the day...some days another 44oz. or 4-6 cans/day. No wonder I'm overweight...I think of all those liquid calories and shudder. Now that it's been a while, I don't crave it like I did and the 8 cups of H2O a day is keeping me pretty busy now. Report
I drink a soda once in awhile. I refuse to drink the high-fructose corn syrup kind and prefer a glass bottle to a can or plastic. This minimizes my choices and makes me have to make a mission for a soda. Some days that long bus ride just isn't worth a soda. When out to eat I will order a soda water with a lime wedge. This took some time to get used to, but now I actually like it. Report
I drank only diet drinks for years. I quit almost a year ago. I read in a health magazine that sodas aren't good for our health and the article convinced me to quit. I only drink green tea or black tea sweetened with Sweet & Low & lemon. For my green tea I use 1 cup of V8 strawberry/banana Smoothie to flavor it. Tastes delicious. This I drink daily with my dinner meal. I will never go back to drinking soda. Report
I too have just given up soda for yet another time. I hopefully can stick with it. Report
I used ot have a diet coke addiction. Going through a 12 pack in 2-3 days. I would try to hit the sales to stock up but I was still spending like $20-$25 a week on it. Now that I have been drinking water the pop tastes funny to me. I haven't bought any pop this year! Report
Though I do not consider diet sodas a deadly sin, our family has cut way back in the consumption of it due to the price. We only keep some on hand for company.

But... with water I do not buy it! Ever! I bought a water filter and carry my own water. Bottled water in regards to the environment is priced waaaay too high! We need to drop bottled water like a bad habit. Report
I have never had a "soda habit". I don't drink it and don't like it. I prefer water and 8 times out of 10 I'll choose water over tea or 100% fruit juice. When I was a kid allllllll my mom ever bought was soda and because that's all I ever drank I grew to HATE it. When I got older and started drinking alcohol... I didn't even like using it as a chaser lol. There is how however this Bahamian drink called Goombay Punch and if I am in the Bahamas or at a local Bahamian function I will have one. Technically it IS soda but I've probably had 3 of them in the past 5 years lol. My husband on the other hand is ADDICTED to Pepsi and Cherry Pepsi. I weened him off of it when he first moved down last January so changed the amount he was consuming a little. This year I've been able to convert him to store brands (YES!!! lol) Report
Before I got on track with my healthier habits, I used to stop and get a 44oz. fountain pop each morning on my way to work. It cost $1.38. I would drink that throughout the morning, and then after lunch I would buy a 20oz. bottle of pop for $1.20. I was spending $2.58 a day on pop on weekdays, and weekends I would usually drink even more than that! I still drink pop probably 3-4 times a week, but I'm still saving at least $600 a year just from what my own consumption was! Now I drink bottled water, which probably doesn't save me much, but it's a lot healthier! I was drinking regular Mountain Dew then, too, and now only drink diet pops. So I'm not only saving money, I'm saving probably about 800 calories worth of pop each day, too! Report
In order to make tap water a bit more exciting, I buy concentrated lemon or lime juice (usually in the baking or juice aisle of the store) and then add a few drops to a glass of water or a splash in my nalgene. I bought a 32 oz. bottle of 100% lemon juice yesterday for 2.19, and they last forever. Definitely worth it! Report
We tend to buy "generic" store brand soda to help save some money. Soda was originally a "convenience factor" and still is. Since then made some significant steps. we've switched to using bottles from home (travel mugs, nalgene bottles) with water and we've also reduced our intake significantly- he still drinks more, but I'm down to a can a couple times a week if that. Report
My DH is a Pepsi nut, and I haven't found a way to get him off it. I usually keep some 8 oz cans of Meijer store brand soda for when I want a treat, generally once a week. The grape is just like Grape NeHi, to my thinking, and the orange is excellent. The root beer is a bit sharp to me but my parents both love it. I have noticed just this week that DH will drink an 8oz Dr. Pepper and be happy. I think I'll start getting 8 oz Pepsi. that will cut his intake by 1/3. I think it will be more expensive, monetarily, but will save him calories. I keep trying to find a tea I can brew that he would be happy with, but no luck so far. Report
The only time soda was a regular part of my diet was in college and even then I maybe had a soda 1-2 x's a week. It was not something I had growing up. My family doesn't drink it at all although DH does have one once in a while when dining out. My kids get some on rare occasions when it's available at a family celebration like Christmas, but I've noticed too that they'll take a sip or 2 and then be done with it. I don't think they like it. Report
I gave up Diet Coke towards the end of last year. I still get a can here and there but I no longer drink 2-3 per day like I was. I drink tea and water now, and of course my morning coffee which I am unwilling to give up. I save at least $260.00 per year. Report
I am down from about 4-5 Diet Cokes a day to one. Somedays I don't have any. But I an still having headaches- not as ofter. So I know I am weaning myself off. But have saved sooo much $$$$. I just can't justify $4.50 for a 12 pack. So its water and tea for me now. And I actually am starting to feel much better. Report
wow i didnt think the price was going to be that high!!! Report
Ive never been much of a soda drinker, but my husband can sure go threw them and to make it worst he drinks mountain dew. yuck!!! Report
I am way down on my soda comsumption. Want to quit sometime this year. I have also noticed that it adds almost ten dollars to our bill if we go out to dinner.
Our famliy of 4 saves lots by just by having water! Report
When I cut out soda from my diet I felt so much better. Soda only made me bloated and more thirsty. In an average day I think I was drinking about 3-4 and it was doing it's damage considering I have acid reflex. Report
i gave up soda almost three years ago after i worked at a drugstore and discovered i was addicted to it. I was going through a twelve pack in a day and a half. i've had maybe 2 sodas in the past year, and i've regretted it every time. now my issue is that i love the non-carbonated substitutes, so now i'm weaning canned sweetened tea and lemonade out of my diet too. The lemonade was easy, after i read that one of the ingredients in lemonade and other fruit flavored sodas was wood rosin...right on the can! i'm starting to drink unsweetened tea, or add my own sugar because i don't do the artificial stuff and i can control my sugar/ caloric intake. Report
I am lucky that i LOVE water.... but i do drink soda like twice a week . ... I don't keep it in the house though... It is when i am eating out or at someone else's house .. But i don't know if i could give it up all together .. I am thinking of giving it up for a month to see how i feel ... It is amazing how dependent we are on things we don't need..... Report
I'm down from 3-4 Diet Cokes a day to 1. Drinking lots of water makes you feel much better. Report
I have cut my consumption to a minimum already. However, when I want a Diet Caffeine free Coke I must have one. A 6 pack of 12 0z bottles can easily last about 2 weeks. Whereas, there was a time when it would last 3 days. Report
I never buy soda, but I waste a lot of money buying seltzer, bottled water, and tea. Thanks for the reminder that I could save money by drinking more tap water (and I do already have the Brita). How boring, though!! Report
I rarely drink soda, and I don't buy it. That is clearly a contrast to growing up years as I was a fan of Sprite, orange, grape, fruity soda drinks. (Rarely did I drink any dark drinks until I was introduced to the taste of Pepsi in my late teens; I didn't like cola that much and diet cola at all until then.) Now, the only time I drink it is if I am someone's house and that is only drink available. Even then I have to avoid it and try to find juice, tea, or water since I experience acid reflux symptoms upon drinking it. But still I taste it every now and then. Fortunately I quit drinking soda consistently years ago. Report
I try to limit myself to one per week, but some weeks are tougher than others. Report
I have a soda about once or twice a month now. I used to have them daily. Report
I have come a long way from my Coca Cola addiction of 2-2 liters to a 12 pack a day. I do still buy a 12 pack every two weeks and share it with my husband and daughter. (spending about $8.00 a month) I only allow one can a day (2 at most on a bad day...rare) I am doing much better. I mainly drink it now because it keeps my migraines to a minimum. I plan to cut down to a six pack , and eventually try to drink none. I am hoping by increasing my exercise I won't even miss it. I do love water though! It is actually my favorite drink of all! Report
I cut way back on my diet soda intake, which was hard since its free at work. i feel so much better when i work out because i have less carbonation inside! Now when i do drink a diet soda with a meal, my stomach feels terrible, all bloated because of the carbonation and bubbles; I just can't handle it anymore! This is good! So I drink tea, cold and hot. There are so many different varieties of tea, you can create your own flavors that even taste like Dr. Pepper! No joke. Report
I've pretty much given up drinking soda in favor of hot tea. I just like it better and it's still cheaper than soda.
(I'm still not keen on drinking plain water or water with lemon though. I just don't like it. Or, to be more precise, I hate it. Trying to get over that...) Report
Okay, I must confess Coke has been my best friend , I used to see Coke 3 or 4 times a day but after making some changes in my diet now I see my friend once a week and I know that I will be better to let go of this friendship but it is hard, I know I will get there...And please no diet Coke, or any other can replace my old friend. Report
Ive cut out soda for a while now, jus use it when im out as a mixer, but sayin that i drink vodka and cranberry most of the time Report
I rarely drink soda any more. I'd much rather have water or indulge myself with a cappacino if I've earned a reward. Sometimes I'll have soda when I'm traveling, but certainly not a necessity in my world. Report
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