How to Save a Lot of Money by Making a Few Simple Drink Changes

Water is good for you, but let’s face it, water can get boring. As a result, nearly all of us drink something else as well. This may be tea, coffee, soda, beer, wine, and the list goes on. However, our quest to find interesting drink options, can lead us to spending more money than we realize.

For example, let’s say you spend $6 a day on coffee for five days out of the week. This could be the venti latte that you get from Starbucks (or the like) every morning on the way to work. Well, $6 a day means that you’re spending $30 a week and whopping $1500 a year just on coffee. While this might be a bit extreme, this example serves to illustrate how we can easily overspend on drinks in the long run, even though they are relatively inexpensive upfront.

The following list features some common drinks and how to save money when you buy them.

Coffee – As you saw, it is easy to overspend when you buy a lot of coffee house coffee. One of the easiest ways to avoid the high costs is to make your own coffee. A typical can of coffee costs anywhere from $10 to $30, and you can make hundreds of cups of coffee from it. If you do not have the time in the morning to make coffee before you leave, you can try setting up a coffee maker at your office or buying better coffee for the existing office coffee maker.

Still, if you are simply addicted to Starbucks, you can try switching to a less expensive option or size.

Soda – It is also easy to spend too much money on soda, especially if you drink a lot of it. If you are buying cans or small bottles on a regular basis, you can switch to buying two liters. Two liter bottles are often cheaper per ounce than cans or small bottles. Additionally, you can buy off brand soda or store brand soda, which often tastes about the same, but it much less expensive.

If you shop at one of the warehouse stores, like Sam’s Club or Costco, buy your soda there because you can get deals when you buy in bulk.

Alcohol – If you drink alcoholic beverages, you can know how easy it can be to spend too much money on beer, wine, and liquor, especially if you drink alcohol two nights a week or more.

Some tips for saving money on alcohol include buying second shelf liquor instead of top shelf liquor. Generally, the difference in quality is not that much, but the difference in price will be. Also, if you plan on serving mixed drinks, you can usually get away with using less expensive liquor.

Be adventurous, and try cheap wine or beer. You can also look into large bottles and/or boxes of wine, which have come a long way in the past few years and are generally less expensive options. One last tip is to alternate purchasing expensive beer (wine or liquor) with less expensive, generic beer (wine or liquor).

Water – Last, but not least, people tend to spend too much money on water because you can buy flavored water and/or bottled water.

Some tips for saving money on water include using a reusable water bottle and buying a water filter, such as a Brita pitcher. This way you can have the bottled water quality without the cost. If you are addicted to flavored water, you can look into Crystal Light, and similar products. You can buy hundreds of flavor packets for a few dollars.

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How to Save a Lot of Money by Making a Few Simple Drink Changes — 37 Comments

  1. Coffee – I bring my own, everyday. Even though I buy the expensive, fair trade, organic brand at the store, it’s still cheaper than the cheapest coffee shop serving, and tastes far better.
    Soda – I just don’t drink it. I’m glad I didn’t drink it much as a kid so I never developed a taste for it.
    Alcohol – We bottle our own wine and beer. The average cost of a bottle of home made wine is $3, the average cost of a bottle of beer is $0.50. Great savings!
    Water – Our drinking water is tainted with arsenic, so we have to haul in water by the jug from our local town, we still don’t buy bottled though.

    • Some people like the taste of bottled water over tap. My wife is like that, even though we have a filter she prefers bottled water. I love water from the tap on the other hand.

  2. I don’t drink coffee, so it’s never a concern for me, but I have heard many times that there are a variety of options for at-home brewing that taste just as good as going to Starbucks or Dunkin for less (and no conundrum over tipping).

    As for wine, beer and alcohol I’ll go top shelf any day of the week over the cheap alternatives. There is a reason (most of the time) why there is a premium price attached, and my taste buds and stomach thank me for not being cheap. Especially when it comes to cheap beer–it’s almost all water anyway so why pay for what would normally be free. Plus, if you drink wine, a store like ABC liquors has monthly specials for rewards members (free to join), and twice a week members get 10% off non-sale bottles.

    I guess it all depends on preferences, but there are some things I just will not cheap out on.

    • I’ve read a few places that alcohol is mostly branding and not quality. Most people can’t taste the difference between cheap stuff or premium stuff. I’ve heard this a lot about vodka’s!

      What kind of alcohol do you drink? What is your experience with premium vs cheap value brands?

      • I don’t drink a lot, but when I do, I drink vodka (Grey Goose), whiskey (Jack) or tequila (Patron), and wine. Not so much beer any more.

        I definitely notice a difference between Patron and other, cheaper tequilas in terms of taste and smoothness. Same with the vodka, and especially if you try that $9 plastic jug stuff–it tastes like rubbing alcohol. I’ll admit that some of it is just branding, like how Belvedere, Hipnotiq and Nuvo and other disgusting stuff was made popular by rappers, but most of the more expensive brands are deserving of those amounts.

        • I don’t drink a lot either, but you can definitely tell a difference between good (costlier) liquors and the cheaper ones. I’d say the same for beer, too. Maybe some of it’s branding. But most of it’s quality in my experience.

        • haha at the 9 buck plastic jug stuff. I’m definitely can tell the difference between patron and other tequila. The other stuff I can’t tell.

  3. I just kicked soda a couple of months ago! I’m all water and juice from here on out. I do spend too much on my water. They started fracking in my area. I’m not about to risk my family’s health like that. So I buy bottled. And bottled far away.

  4. My big splurge is electrolyte water because I get dehydrated super easy. But I discovered an electrolyte supplement called “endure” that wasn’t flavored and I can just add it to my water. Saved me a lot of money.

  5. I love drinking water and sometimes a tea or hot chocolate. My husband enjoys a Venti Caffe Mocha so several years ago we bought an Espresso machine and we buy coffee beans and dark chocolate so that he can make his own. Saves a lot of money.

  6. My drink of choice is soda. Although, I don’t drink it all of the time, I love having it from time-to-time. My strategy is to shop at dollar stores and buy the gallon sizes for just one dollar each. This cuts the cost for me, because most bigbox grocery stores only sell the 2-liter size for over a dollar. Doing this often cuts the price down significantly.

  7. I am not much of a soda drinker. I’ll have water instead. I however am not very frugal on this topic. I am a beer fan. I live in Colorado which has more micro-breweries per capita in the US. Too much good beer for me not to enjoy 🙂

  8. Great post! I drink home-brewed coffee, bottled water and the occassional soda. I also stretch the dollars more by refilling my water bottles at least a few times per day from our filter system.

  9. Funny you say water.. once I began working out a lot I drink more and more water over soda/juice/alcohol. Water isn’t too bad, and it’s actually feels you up.

  10. It’s amazing coffee could run someone $1500/year. No coffee or soda for me. I bring a cup to use the office water cooler. Besides saving on the purchase prices, your health expenses should be dramatically lower as well since you’re not consuming too much caffeine and sugar!

  11. I’m a timmy’s fan _ and Yes it does break the bank!!!! Thank Goodness I don’t have one too close to me, Or it would be a daily occurance. it’s right now a 3 x a week thing.

  12. I have cut down on all of my non water drinking, besides OJ for vitamin C and something caffeinated when I am very tired.

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