Try these inexpensive substitutes for soda
Drinking Water in All Seasons
The soda industry should have to carry a warning label on their product as cigarettes do. I never knew when I began drinking soda that it was so addictive, let alone expensive. I started drinking soda as a teen. Being a waitress, hitting the fountain was no big deal. Now that I have grown, I realize that I have become obsessed. I researched only to find out how bad it is for me. I remain four cases a week addicted, looking for a way out. Yes, I have cut back only to come back drinking more than I did in the past. Any suggestions are welcomed.
Fizzy Soda Substitute
Try drinking carbonated water. It is sweet and fizzy without the caffeine. It is less expensive at about 59 cents for a one-liter bottle. We give this to my nephew instead of soda, and he loves it.
Realistic Substitute Goal
Having a goal in mind, try to cut back slowly at first. Eliminate the first or the last soda of the day. I seem to remember Gary (dollar stretcher editor) speaking of this. You must have a realistic goal.
Also, you may want to try decaffeinated beverages or perhaps switch to lemon iced tea. By doing this, you may be able to quench your thirst without all of the sugar and caffeine. I had a terrible soda habit, until I switched to tea. I like mine with caffeine and hot. But decaffeinated tea is surely better for you. Lemon water is another great beverage, as it cleanses the palate.
Another idea may be to add a great deal of ice to the soda. Let the ice melt and then force yourself to drink the ice water before you reach for another soda. It's the weaning method, so to speak.
Heather in Newnan, GA
Crystal Light Substitutes for Soda
I know it's not "fizzy," but if you haven't tried any of the many flavors of Crystal Light, I suggest that you give them a try as they're really wonderful! You can make the "batch" with about half the amount of regular water and then fill your glass the rest of the way with carbonated water.
If you're concerned about the sugar, there is no sugar in Crystal Light. If you're concerned with sodium, there is low-sodium carbonated water available. Otherwise, another alternative is homemade lemonade. You can use whatever sweetener you want, the flavor is always great, and I can't think of a single thing that lemonade doesn't go well with!
My Soda Substitute
These suggestions have worked for me.
- Remove all soda from your home and workplace.
- Drink plenty of tap water. Flavor it, if you wish, with a squirt of lemon. Always keep some in the refrigerator (stored in a glass container is best).
- For a treat, buy carbonated water. Some of that is flavored as well. Seltzer water is good.
- Always order water in restaurants.
- I used to drink a lot of iced tea in place of soda. But this carries its own set of problems.
Persistence pays off. After a few weeks, you will notice the difference in how you feel without all that sugar or sugar substitute. Also, the other ingredients don't do anything to help you either.
You will also notice a very nice amount of money left in your wallet from this positive change. Try it. You will succeed with the substitutions and wonder why you ever drank soda in the first place.
Addicted to Soda Convenience
The most addictive thing about soda is the convenience. I also was addicted to soda. I finally bought a 48-ounce insulated cup and keep ice in it all day. I keep refilling it with water. When I'm not drinking from it, I keep it in the refrigerator. Since it's so large I'm not constantly making trips to the faucet. If it gets too warm, I can always add more ice.
Carbonated Soda Substitute
I have a friend who doesn't drink soda. Instead, she mixes a fruit juice with carbonated water or soda water. I do this for my children, since they are small. By doing this, you get the "feel" of a carbonated beverage, but this is healthier and more cost effective. Buy your juice concentrates and carbonated water in your supermarket.
Substitute? Quit Cold Turkey
I've been in the hospital with a horrible kidney infection for two to three days from drinking too many soft drinks. (I say 2-3 days because I was so sick that I can't remember.) Just go cold turkey and drink lots of water. In my opinion, that's really the only way to "cut down" on anything addictive. Just cut it out entirely.
Before allowing yourself to drink any pop, sip a glass of water first. By doing this, you will satisfy your thirst. Then, if you still want some pop, wait ten minutes after you finish the water to see if the craving is still there. Most times, it will not be there.
After doing this, I was eventually able to cut out soda from my diet entirely. And have been able to drop 26 pounds in the last year. I think that this is because salty snacks do not go as well with water as they do with soda. So I was able to eliminate unhealthy snacking too.
Buy groceries, earn cash back at Checkout 51
Water Best Soda Substitute
I have found that a water purifying filter pitcher is an excellent way to slow down the soda habit. I also got a glass bottle with a lid to keep in the fridge door so I always have about one gallon of pure, cold, ready-to-drink water on hand. I also add a small splash of bottled lemon juice to the water to make it "taste like something." The tap water where I live is horrible, but this system works very well. I keep a note on the fridge door about when I need to replace the filter in the pitcher.
Take the Next Step:
- Love soda? Get a Soda-Club soda maker at Sodastream.com
- Do you struggle to get ahead financially? Then you'll want to subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.
- Visit our Pinterest board for Smart Couponing and Grocery Budgeting.
Discuss "Frugal Beverages" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
Also in Food & Groceries
- 9 secrets to making groceries last longer
- 7 restaurant tricks you shouldn't fall for
- 7 frugal ways to save money on groceries
- Savings challenge: Create a weekly dinner menu
- What successful shoppers know about groceries
- How to get good deals on wine
- How to clean a gas BBQ grill
- Basic spices to have on hand and where to use them
- How a little time in the kitchen could save some dough
- Souper-saver winter soups