The cost of beverages can bloat your grocery budget

Reducing the Cost of Beverages

by Tamara Wilhite

Do your grocery store expenses seem high? Even when you subtract the paper towels, cleaning wipes and other non-food items? Then maybe you have a drinking problem!

Total up how much of the food budget goes for soda, beer, and bottled water. If it is more than 20%, then it may be time to change your drinking habits. Try these ways to reduce the cost of beverages:

  • Use refillable water bottles instead of bottled water.
  • Never drink bottled water at home. Put a water filter on your tap instead. And remember to turn off the filter when washing hands, dishes and other items.
  • Use bottles filled with tap water mixed with sweetener or drink flavoring packets like Crystal Light instead of soda.
  • Related: Money-Saving Soda Substitutes

  • Experiment with the generic store brand soda. Find a brand you like and you'll save up to half the cost of the branded soda.
  • Shift to simpler beverages. Elaborate flavors (black cherry with vanilla, diet raspberry lemonade) are more expensive than the generics. This will save money and often eliminate side trips to other grocery stores to find the one, perfect combination flavor.
  • Find what triggers you to drink as much as you do. A family member over 21 can legally enjoy a beer while watching a game. However, if your friends gather for a few beers on game day every week, they are driving up your grocery budget. Do you drink a soda while surfing the net and simply refill to keep going? Set a sleep schedule and turn off the computer at a set time to end the need to "refuel" and keep going all night.
  • Is your athlete going for sports performance? Sports drinks do not have to be expensive designer brands. Generic sports drinks are often just as good. Low sugar fruit juice also quenches thirst without unnecessary calories.
  • Related: Homemade Energy Drinks

  • Are you a juice addict? Hook up with neighbors in food co-ops and take their unwanted fruits and vegetables to feed your juicer. You could repay the favor by giving them unwanted produce of your own or returning a favor.
  • What do you want for Christmas or your birthday? If you enjoy a beverage, request it as a gift! It's better than a knick-knack you do not want and will save you money.

Reviewed January 2018

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