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52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}

Every week in 2013, I’m sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

I’m going to be stepping on some toes here today… but I guess since I recently temporarily stopped drinking coffee and stopped eating gluten and sugar, I can commiserate with those of you who are addicted to soda pop (or pop, or soda, or carbonated beverage, or whatever it is that you call it in your part of the country!)?

Think How Much You Could Save

Drinking soda pop is addictive and expensive. If you drink one pop per day and you get it on sale with a coupon, that’s still close to $100 spent per year for one person. If you pay for drinks from a restaurant or vending machine and you drink one pop per day, it’s going to be closer to $150 to $250 or more spent in a year for your soda pop habit.

There’s No Real Redeeming Value in Soda Pop

There is almost no redeeming value in soda pop, except that maybe it tastes good and makes you feel good. {Though it does neither for me, but I also basically never drink it — because I’m weird like that! :)} The calories in non-diet drinks can wreak havoc on your weight and the chemicals in the diet drinks can wreak havoc on your health.

So, all that to say, I’d heartily encourage you to consider cutting back on the soda habit — or maybe even get brave and ditch it altogether? Here are a few ideas:

1. Order Water at Restaurants

Drinks are one of the most price-inflated purchases at restaurants. Learn to order water with lemon and you’ll cut calories and costs. Not to mention that water is one of the most healthful things you can drink.

Flavored water from The Yummy Life

2. Replace Your Sodas With Homemade Flavored Water

There are many fun ways to flavor water that are quick & easy, frugal, delicious, and all natural. Check out this tutorial on How to Make Homemade Flavored Water over on The Yummy Life.

Challenge yourself to replace 20% of your usual soda intake with water. Then, gradually work up to 50% and beyond. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll feel more energetic and have more zest for life by drinking more water and less soda. I dare you to at least try. 🙂

3. Get More Sleep

If you’re turning to caffeinated beverages for your afternoon pick-me-up, there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough sleep at night.

Make yourself go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each night for a week. If you’re still tired in the afternoons, add another 15-30 minutes for a week. Keep extending your sleep like this until you find the amount of sleep you need to get to feel rested and refreshed all day long.

If you’re a mom who is getting up a lot at night with a baby or child or you work crazy shifts, this might not be an option for you, but most of us could get to bed at least a little earlier if we made some changes to our evening routine, shut the electronics down earlier, and/or just got more disciplined about it.

Have you cut back or ditched the soda habit? What has helped you?

photo from Big Stock

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  • Victoria says:

    I so wish my husband would ditch the soda habit. He drinks 3 to 4 cans a day. He constantly complains that he is tired and has cluster headaches and a real sweet tooth and every year we pay out over $1000 in dental bills that the dentist tells him is directly related to sipping sugary soda all day long . I also know after almost 18 years of marriage sadly I cannot make him do it, he has to do it himself, the best I can do is set a good example in how I care for my own health without the nagging (believe me I went down the nagging road before and that backfired). I once told him if he gave it up I would gladly give him every penny of the grocery money I spend on it and that we would save on dental bills to spend on another habit that was good for him but he has yet to take me up on that offer.

    • B says:

      Sadly this is me! My husband quit drinking soda cold turkey years ago. He does drink one here and there. I have been drinking soda since I was a little girl. (I’m 33 now) I get the headaches and feel tired alot too. I tried to stop drinking soda a couple years ago but got the bad headaches. Thanks for writting this! I want to stop the soda drinking!

      • Jessica says:

        For me, the headaches were a short term thing. They were bad, but they were only bad for a few days to a week. Once they stopped, the fact that I had headaches (i.e. caffeine withdrawl) helped reenforce not drinking soda, because I didn’t want to go through the caffeine withdrawl again. Try switching to regular or sweet tea, and then reducing how much of it you drink each day and replace it with water.

      • Michelle says:

        If you’re getting caffeine headaches, you might try Excedrin. It actually has caffeine as one of the ingredients. I don’t suggest it for long term use, but it can work temporarily to take the edge off of the withdrawal effects. (Said as someone who’s been there, trust me!) 🙂

    • Erin says:

      Have you tried simply “forgetting” to buy it? I’ve found that when I don’t “facilitate” some purchases, they don’t happen. And if he chooses to buy soda himself, seeing the cost as a separate line item in the budget rather than lumped in the grocery
      budget might make him think about its cumulative cost to your family.

      • sue says:

        Forgetting to buy it would never work for my husband..He would stop by a convienence store on the way home from the gym , get a cold one and pay top dollar…much worse than me looking for sales and having it stashed in his truck…

    • me says:

      I told my husband i wasn’t going to buy it. If he wants to buy it, he can buy it out of his allowance. I buy my SB out of my allowance, so why not?

  • Kelly says:

    It’s amazing how much money we save at restaurants by ordering water. With a family of five, paying for that many drinks would cost almost $10 more on our bill. I’m going to look into the flavored water recipes. Sometimes, I do wish I had something with a little kick in it. This might be the solution.

  • Jessica says:

    For certain! In college I was addicted to diet mountain dew. I would drink 4-5 cans of it daily. This was 15 years ago, so a case of it was only about $4. Then when I was a year out of college, I went for a dental exam and had a lot of cavities. My dentist filled one and within hours it was killing me. I returned for emergency treatment and ended up needing a root canal with a specialist from a dental school. Even though I drank diet, the acid in it was ruining my teeth. I quit cold turkey. Now I have a can of pop at most once a month, and it’s usually a diet 7-up for a belly ache. For our kids, they get it for their birthdays and that’s it! My $500 root canal, $500 crown, $300 gum surgery to fit the crown and $600 crown replacement after 12 years were expensive lessons on the pop habit.

    • sue says:

      That is the BEST reason for stopping!!! My dentist told me that diet pop was worse than regular pop—neither are good for you OR your teeth!!!!

  • I love making homemade flavored water! So fresh and delicious, and healthy too!

  • Sandy says:

    I gave up soda and coffee about 3 months ago (following the Eat to Live dietary plan and down 27 pounds!) and I too, am sleeping far better. Plus, I’ve saved on my grocery bill. I’m a big water fan so, I really don’t miss it. I’d much rather sleep well at night than have a cup of coffee in the morning.

  • Anna says:

    Water is my go-to beverage, but I also enjoy club soda. Now, I realize this isn’t going to save money, but for me bubbly water with lime (or lemon) lets me feel like I’m drinking something special, but it doesn’t have any of the negatives health-wise as other drinks. I usually order water, and my husband does most of the time too. The kids enjoy orange soda and sprite, and he’ll get those for them sometimes. I try to not stress over that, although I do encourage the water drinking. Little kids don’t have to be taken to the potty as often when we order them water as opposed to diuretics like soda, if ya-know-what-I-mean! 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      I really enjoy the club soda, too. I splash a little oj or cranberry on the top, and it is a nice, healthy alternative to soda. Being pregnant, it also makes me feel like I’m “celebrating” when we have a nice dinner with friends and everyone else is having a glass of wine.

      • Susan says:

        My friend taught me a great thing to do with club soda … we buy flavoured stevia from amazon and put enough drops into the club soda to make it taste great! We have root beer stevia, vanilla stevia and lemon stevia. The kids (and mom!) love this special treat from time to time. It tastes fabulous and is certainly a “reasonable facsimile” for real pop!

  • Danielle Hull says:

    I have replaced my Pepsi and Dr. Pepper addiction (for the most part) with iced tea. It has no carbonation (which inhibits calcium absorption), no caramel coloring, and I control how much sugar and caffeine. And it’s a lot cheaper!

    • Amber S says:

      I second the iced tea idea. I enjoy flavored iced tea unsweetened. I have Moroccan mint brewed right now, but there are many delicious flavors out there. It’s a refreshing change from water sometimes! Although I have been drinking flavored waters too lately and enjoying them.

  • I stopped drinking coffee and soda about 2 months ago. The first 2 weeks were hard, but it keeps getting easier. I have less headaches, sleep better and overall feel better. I drink tea in the morning now instead. I tried a lot of different teas and love having different teas every morning to try. I keep a water bottle with me at all times! I still have 1 or 2 sodas a week, but working on cutting it out completely. I am interested in trying the flavored waters. The other thing that helped me stop my soda habit was that I want my kids to drink water, and they do what I do, not what I say. They kept saying, “I am going to drink soda when I get bigger” But I want them see me drinking water and want to drink that.

  • Angie says:

    I wouldn’t put lemon slices in a restaurant water though. There are lots of chemicals on conventional lemons, plus I’ve heard they rarely get washed. Yuck!

  • Kendra says:

    I’m interested to read the comments on this post because I am a lifelong soda addict. My mom admits to putting Coke in my bottle when I was a baby, seriously. I currently drink 1-2 cans a day, but I never go a day without one. I’ve tried to quit at least a dozen times, the longest stretch being 9 months (pregnant) but I always go back to it. I love the taste, but I hate the dependency and the health consequences.

    • Chris says:

      I went through this as well, but haven’t had soda since 2010. The thing that helped me was excedrin, it has caffeine in it. When you start gettng the withdrawal headache, take enough just to get rid of the headache and only take it when you get the headache. Time should go longer between the headaches them they’ll go away.

  • Gigi says:

    I absolutely agree that we all probably need more sleep. And I have to admit that some times I will go for a soda for that afternoon pick me up. (I love soda!) But I have found that when I down a huge glass of ice water instead I feel so much better. And that energy boost lasts longer than one from soda, without the caffeine affecting sleep. Water is amazing. And so many people are actually more dehydrated than they realize. It is my go to solution for being tired, having a headache, and so much more. My favorite – a really big glass, loaded with ice and a straw. The straw helps me drink more. Not sure why, but it does.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Ashley_P says:

    I was a Mountain Dew junkie for years. It started in college to keep me awake during all-nighters, and just never went away. When I started trying to conceive, I read that caffeine can inhibit your fertility, so I quit cold turkey. After the caffeine withdrawal headaches went away, I never felt better.

    BUT… I still had a problem drinking water. I tried flavoring it, but still no good. Once I got pregnant, the morning sickness kicked in. Did I say morning sickness? More like ALL DAY sickness! Nothing helped. Not crackers, not ginger ale, nothing. Then I remembered something. My grandmother used to have indigestion problems and drank seltzer on a regular basis. I started off buying bottled seltzer, but it was SO expensive! One day at Walmart, hubby and I ran across the SodaStream water carbonator. The price made it a bit of an investment, but let me tell you… SO worth it. The carbonated water helped with the morning sickness and in a way, sort of tricked my body into thinking I was drinking soda. Before you knew, I was drinking a liter of carbonated water a day. (Hubby used some of the syrups that came with the gizmo, but I prefer my bubbly water plain.)

    So, if you need a way to encourage yourself to drink more water, maybe a water carbonator might be a good investment. We only have to replace the CO2 cartridge every 2 months, and if it gets me to drink more water… I think it’s worth it.

    • Jill says:

      My doctor told me to stop drinking caffeine back in January for my blood pressure and then a week later I found out I was pregnant, so I had to definitely stop with the caffeine then. It was hard at first and there are still certain meals that a Coke sounds wonderful with, but overall I feel so much better. The money saving aspect is great on it, and I think the health benefits are even greater (and you will also possibly save money on healthcare in the long term if you don’t drink caffeine!). For a while I was counting down the days until I could have a soft drink, but now I don’t think I will even go back to them once I am able to again.

      • Ashley_P says:

        Same here, Jill. Even once my little boy arrives this summer, I have no desire to go back. I like my bubbly water. 🙂

        And I’ve learned that it’s easier to stay awake with apple juice. It works almost as well as coffee without the caffeine.

  • Amanda H says:

    Good Tip is to leave the soda out of the kitchen/fridge area. We have soda, for the occasional craving, but we keep it in downstairs in the basement. Most of the time I forget it is there (out of sight, out of mind) or am just too lazy to go down the steps to get it!

    • Jen says:

      We do this too! And when a soda sounds great, like with pizza or popcorn, my husband and I will often share one, so we get the craving satisfied without too much sugar.

  • I feel the same way about coffee as I do about Soda. It’s a waste of money! It has no real dietary value and we could really live without it but we think we need it so we spend money on it. I only buy soda when we are having a get together and it’s really more for the guests. We always order water when we go out to eat unless I let my youngest have milk.

  • Tammy says:

    I’ve never bought soda on a regular basis, maybe only a few times a year? I do drink coffee and I know I can quit if I choose to but I don’t choose to. 😉

  • Lana says:

    Where we live in SC it is ALL called ‘coke’! You want a coke? Sure I’ll have a Dr Pepper would be the most common request.

    • Kathy says:

      LOL! I was thinking the same thing when I read the beginning of this post. It’s all Coke here in Tennessee, no matter what you’re drinking 🙂

    • Meredith says:

      I almost commented on that. I live in sc too and when someone says soda pop, I think it sounds funny. No offense…just different in this part of the world 🙂

    • Wendy says:

      I’m from a rural area in Western Kentucky and it’s always been Coke for me too. It sounds funny to me when someone says pop or soda. Kind of like when someone from another part of the country comes in and tells me I have an accent. Nope, I don’t have an accent – YOU do! 😉 And your conversation makes perfect sense to me. Would you like a Coke? Sure, do you have Dr. Pepper, Sundrop, Sprite, etc… If we want someone to know we mean actual “Coke”, we’ll probably say Coca-Cola. LOL

    • Kim says:

      It’s “coke” in Texas, too! 🙂

  • megscole64 says:

    I’m a soda addict and I know it costs us a LOT. I do my best to only buy when it’s on sale and i have coupons. But even then, a 24 pack costing $4.99 is still $0.21 a can and I drink 2-3 a day. *sigh* If I drink 3 a day, that 24 pack lasts 8 days … so if I say one week per 24 pack I’m spending $20 a month just on my soda. 🙁

    On the other hand, I don’t drink coffee, smoke, or drink alcohol. So I figure as long as we budget it in and are aware of the costs it’s one of those habits I’m okay with for now. I do drink a lot of water too and have never had issues from acid affecting my teeth.

    Oh and we do recycle our cans so I put that money away toward other things…a whopping $8.80 for 22 pounds this last time. lol 🙂

    • WilliamB says:

      I’m pretty much wher Megscole64 is – soda is my designated bad health habit. I drink decaf diet soda, too – one wonders why I bother, eh? The reason is I like carbonated drinks but I don’t like club soda, and caffeine doesn’t keep me awake so why drink it? It’s not a positive habit but I figure it’s pretty mild for a worst habit.

      • megscole64 says:

        LOL Yes with no caffeine I can’t imagine drinking diet soda. 🙂 I can’t stand club soda. Diet Mt Dew and Cherry Coke Zero are my addictions. I don’t love Diet Dr Pepper. And I don’t drink any caffeinated soda after lunch. It does keep me up if I have it too late.

        When I wake up…the craving and first sip of Diet Mt Dew is like heaven! LOL

  • I have cut back a bunch on soda. I really only have a soda when we go out to eat once a week, and I consider that my treat. We do have soda in the garage for guests (when family members come over they enjoy it), and for my husband when he feels like it. But we buy the generic Costco coke, (a big pack of cans) which is only about $5, every two months.

    We also invested in a Soda Stream, and purchase the Italian Soda flavorings instead of the flavors that come with it. The italian soda flavorings last a long time, and are not that expensive. Plus, they are made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

    We also invested in a water system for our home that allows us to drink tap water. That in and of itself has saved a huge amount not having to buy bottled water.

    • Ashley_P says:

      Glad I’m not the only SodaStream fan on here! We don’t even care about the flavorings. I like my bubbly water just the way it is. It actually makes drinking water more fun. 🙂 Besides, hubby didn’t like the flavors that came with the starter kit. Maybe I’ll have him check into the Italian thing.

      And we, too, keep a little soda around for company. Especially when we have cook outs. Most of our friends have kids, and it’s hard to convince a 10 year old boy to eat a big cheese burger with a glass of water. 😉

  • Bethany Kirks says:

    Carry water with you everywhere. Get a durable water bottle and keep it filled and with you. I quit drinking soda and when I would start to get a headache I’d drink lots of water to help keep myself hydrated and knock the headache out.

  • Meredith says:

    I’m an addict too. I have cut back drastically since I was in my 20’s. However, my husband doesn’t want to cut back and they are in the house all of the time. I just budget them out. I won’t pay over $2.75 for a 12 pack and when they are out, they are out. It’s hard not to pick one up when they are there (oh my beloved Diet Mt. Dew). Crystal has so many amazing ideas on here but I can’t only spout out so many of them to my husband and have him agree. Thanks for the post though….maybe I can do it and save half that amount. You’ve challenged me now!

  • Michelle says:

    I have found the healthier I eat the more my taste buds change and the same with soda…..went a week without and now it just doesn’t taste right. It’s a hard habit to break…I usually drink a can a day….hoping to break the habit for good! And drink it once in a while.

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    I just finished reading “Wheat Belly”, and he makes the point that our bodies are designed to maintain a very fine pH level. The carbonic acid in soda really puts a strain on our body’s pH and often forces the body to draw calcium from the bones to balance out the acid (thus reducing the bone’s density).

    That made so much more sense than my mom telling me when I was growing up that “Soda pulls the calcium out of your bones!” True, but now I feel as if I understand a bit “why”. 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Interesting! I have heard that too and wondered how that could be….this actually makes some sense.

    • Emily says:

      How did you like the book? I’ve been thinking about reading it.

      • Susan in St. Louis says:

        I liked it; tons of science and great info. It’s a lot to process, though, because wheat is ubiquitous. When my son and I ate out today I felt guilty “letting” him have a ham sandwich. Our family is a work in progress, and I plan to cut back on our wheat/gluten, but know it’s unrealistic for us to never have it.

        I’d definitely recommend the book, however! 😉

    • Julie says:

      When my brother-in-law broke his ankle stepping off a curb, the doctor asked if he drank soda. He showed him the x-rays. His bones looked like spider webs. The calcium had been stripped away. Poor thing. It took him years to recover.

  • Kathryn Cothern says:

    I stopped drinking regular and diet sodas years ago, and for no real reason…I just stopped. I don’t miss it all. I am one who doesn’t like to drink my calories. I only like drinking coffee (which is very seldom these days) because I like my sugar free french vanilla creamer. Thankfully, I can give up coffee easily if I needed to. Water is my favorite go-to beverage! 🙂

  • kat says:

    When I was a kid my parents never gave me soda. I always drank water, milk, or juice from a juicer. I tried soda in middle school and it burned my throat and it gave me hiccups after my first sip! Now as an adult, I never drink soda because it still gives me hiccups whenever I try a sip of it! I’m glad my parents never allowed me to drink it as a kid because it made me dislike it as an adult. Plus, I have never had a single cavity! Whoo hoo!

    • Jen says:

      I am encouraged to continue this for our boys! They never even drink juice because my doctor discouraged it, just milk and water!

  • Missie says:

    I quit drinking soda the day after Labor Day 2012 and it was one of the best decisions healthwise I’ve made in my life. I loved my Diet Vanilla Coke and Diet Dr Pepper! But I decided to act on the knowledge I had and quit. I didn’t want to be a slave to a food or drink item, which I had become. I didn’t want something to have that much control over me.

    I sleep better, look better, don’t have headaches any more, am in a better mood (except during one particular week of the month 😉 In fact, a nutritionist friend saw me after six weeks off soda and asked me what was different. I hadn’t lost any weight, mind you. I was just less inflammed and bloated looking.

    I would encourage anyone who wants to quit to just bite the bullet and do it! You won’t regret it.

  • Amy says:

    I gave up my diet pepsi first and then my morning vanilla bean latte (made at home but store bought) which is full of sugar and empty calories. I was already drinking mainly water every day. I didn’t drink soda every day, maybe 2-3 times a week approximately 4-6 oz each time but the latte was every morning. Neither were for the caffeine as that does nothing for me in terms of giving me energy or “waking” me up. I just like diet pepsi, although now it kinda tastes funny unless it is fountain soda, which I will get when we eat out and at the most once a month. Lately I’ve been calling in the order and we eat at home so the temptation of ordering a diet pepsi isn’t there. I don’t miss the diet pepsi at all. I mainly quit the soda because of the negative effects on our bodies, the chemicals, etc. However, the latte….oh. my. goodness! how I miss my latte every morning. I really wish I liked coffee but I don’t, not even “doctored” with some sweetener or creamer/milk. So, I now drink water all day every day. I think in the dead of winter when it is freezing I will miss it more. My daughter has been drinking much less soda, which I am happy to see. My husband doesn’t need it, but likes to drink it and I will buy it for him if it is on sale. If it isn’t in the house I know he will stop and buy a bottle for while he is at work. Maybe I should just quit buying it for him and he’ll have to buy it out of his “allowance”. 😉

  • So true! Water is so much better for you! I did a post last year challenging my readers to cut back on soda, and shared some data on why they should do it:

  • Holly says:

    You can also make healthy lacto fermented fruit drinks that have that fizz to them 🙂

  • Jen says:

    You need to quit calling yourself weird!! Almost every time you say that it’s something I do or don’t do. And I think I’m perfectly normal, not weird. 🙂

  • A protein snack is a great afternoon help with energy—a hard boiled egg, or some bean dip with vegetables, and a great big glass of water!

    Soda has never been a big problem for me, so it’s never been a strain on the budget for us. When I speak about eating on .40 a day, it’s one of the things I ALWAYS mention. It’s not just soda, either. People spend a huge amount of money on drinks. Water is wonderful!

    Most people hate the water where I live because it is high in chlorine. I am grateful to have clean water. We fill up containers in the refrigerator and let the water sit. As it gets cold, the chlorine taste dissapates, and it’s wonderful. We go through 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water at a meal as a family, plus we drink it throughout the day. I start my morning with 12 ounces of cold water every day.

    • Ashley_P says:

      I’m not gonna lie. I like my water. But if I could have my choice, I’d rather have a tall glass of ice cold milk every time. Especially since I’ve been preggo. I can tell you, my son is gonna have some AWESOME bones from all this calcium. Yeah, it has fat in it. But I was underweight anyway. 😉 I just wish milk were as cheap as water is!

      • Joy Y. says:

        Don’t feel bad about drinking milk when pregnant! Those healthy fats in the milk are WONDERFUL for your developing baby…..and congrats on your pregnancy =) I am 3 1/2 months along myself, and just downed 2 big glasses of milk, so I kind of chuckled to myself reading your post.



        • Ashley_P says:

          Congrats on your little bundle as well!

          I’ll probably keep up the milk habit even after little JJ arrives. I just love the taste of the stuff. I’ll just have to keep my metabolism up to process the extra fat. As I said, I was underweight to start with anyway, so I could stand to gain a pound or two! And I don’t drink anything but whole milk. Could never stand any other kind.

          Drink another glass for me! I’m stuck at work with no milk, and the water in the fountain tastes funky. Maybe if you drink some, I’ll feel better. 😉

  • vickie says:

    This is good because I know I’ve just recently cut back my soda habit- I’d be embarrassed to tell you how much I’m saving a month. I drink one soda a day , iced tea, water, and one cup of coffee in the morning probably still too much caffeine but I’m working on it.
    Much better for my health too.

  • Stacie says:

    Yes!!! I hardly drink soda anymore! I never drank a lot- maybe 1 a day, but now I’ll have maybe 1 or 2 a week and I drink so much more water! The Aspartame in diet soda was giving me really bad acid reflux, and I felt so much better when I cut that out. Real soda is good…esp. a nice, cold Coke…but I really have cut back and I drink mostly water during the day with lemon in it and then have something different at dinner. The water always makes me feel more alert and awake and is so good for my body. I’m trying to get my husband to drink less, but that’s a little tougher 😉

  • Brenda says:

    This was a very applicable post. Last summer, we went camping in 100+ degree weather. That weekend, I HAD to drink lots of water just to stay alive and hydrated. Dr. Pepper just didn’t hydrate. I was amazed at how much more energetic I felt and how I didn’t really even crave Dr. Pepper – as much.

    I decided then to not buy the usual 2-3 cases of pop each week. I didn’t tell myself I could no longer drink it. I just didn’t keep it on hand. I couldn’t just reach into the fridge and grab one. I still drink a Dr. Pepper about once a week while I run errands (I’d like to cut that out) and sometimes on really stressful days, I go out when Aaron gets home and grab one (I guess there’s still an emotional addiction there). But it has made such a tremendous difference to just not keep it on hand. If it’s not there, I don’t drink it.

    I have no idea what the money savings has been, since we’ve been buying bottled water (cheaper than pop), but the health benefits outweigh money benefits.

  • Karen says:

    We have been ordering water at restaurants about 50% of the time. It does save a lot! A few years ago we were extremely financially stressed and I told my husband that we just could not afford to buy pop anymore. His solution was to donate plasma! No kidding! He would donate the plasma and then buy the pop and his munchies with the money he made. But soon he realized just how much he was spending and he cut way back. He no longer does donating plasma and has cut way back on pop. I myself quit drinking Diet Mountain Dew last year. Had my last one New Year’s Eve. I woke up New Year’s Day with no desire to have one and feel much better for it! I still drink Diet Pepsi, but it does not leave me feeling bloated and icky the way Mtn Dew did.

  • Amanda says:

    I finally kicked my Diet Coke addiction when we moved overseas and the Coke tasted SOO different that I didn’t even like it. By the time we got home, my several cans a day habit is now just the occasional splurge on a hot summer day 🙂

  • Marie says:

    I make homemade sweetened decaf ice tea and love it. But other then that we drink mostly water and milk. In the summer I will make homemade lemonaid.
    But when our family of 5 eats out we all get water or I would bring a sippy with milk for the kids. Even now my 6 year olds never ask for anything but water when we’re at a restraurant. Recently, they asked me what pop was? I never fill bad about not ordering drinks either because it’s healthier and we are choosing to still provide business by the meal part of eating out. Drinks are way over priced. If I was a soda drinking person I’d rather take that money and buy a case!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not a soda drinker but I do have a cup a coffee every morning. Be careful with drinking lemon and water the acid will erode your teeth so chew xylitol. Thanks for the great information everyone is giving.

  • Mei-Lyn says:

    Growing up we never bought soda. We could drink it if it was available (at parties and get-togethers), but it wasn’t around the house and it was a treat. As an adult, I am so, SO thankful that our parents didn’t get us hooked on soda. We also didn’t have sugary juices around the house, so it was pretty much water or maybe milk.

    We also didn’t have any cavities, in all four kids, and are generally pretty healthy (not all a direct correlation to not drinking soda, but I’m sure it helped…or rather, didn’t hurt). I’m so used to drinking water that it’s what I naturally grab and easily get in my 8×8 glasses a day. Seeing soda as a ‘luxury’ and not a necessity has definitely saved me money and kept me a lot healthier.

    For those of you with small children around the house, consider ditching soda to set an example to them. If you tell them ‘no soda’ but they see you drinking it regularly, they’re going to think it’s something all adult drink (which may be a little bit true). On the other hand, if they see you grabbing water instead of sugary, carbonated, and expensive drinks, they’re a lot more likely to pick up that good habit.

    Okay, done with my soap box now, sorry. It’s just something that I’m so thankful my parents instilled in me, even if it was just them being frugal. 😛

    • Jenna says:

      We were allowed one can a week growing up. My dad drank lots of coke back then, so, against what my mom would have liked, it was always around. Usually, I’d drink mine with my breakfast on Sunday (first day of the week). :). I definitely think my parents choices helped me to drink more water and less sugary drinks as an adult.

      I think you make some good & valid points!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with you on this. I know of someone who drank Dr Pepper while pregnant and the baby came out addicted to caffeine. Poor baby was having withdrawals. Doctors/ nurses were not pleased. Parents please set a good example for your kids.

  • AJ says:

    Homemade kombucha & water kefir – probiotics & delicious!

    • tiffany says:

      This is exactly what we do. I like the occasional soda, but when we started making our own kombucha I lost my desire for it!

      My kids only drank water and (very little) milk until recently, but now they like the kombucha!

    • Linda says:

      I wish I liked kombucha. I remember as a child my mom making it once in a while but I hated it. I have a strange palate and many foods that don’t bother others, really bother me. They either taste too acidic or metallic, some even have a musty smell or taste to me.

      I’ve heard of the great benefits of both kombucha & kefir, but I guess I’ll have to stick to my boring chamomile tea…

  • Danielle says:

    I just decided I wasn’t going to drink it anymore. There are so many chemicals in diet soda, which is what I drank. Now that I am a mom, I wanted to set a good example for my son so I ditched all processed foods. I get a little bored only drinking water, but I just tell myself there is no other option.

  • Connie says:

    I quit my 20 year addiction to Diet Coke last month. I have hated the idea of “needing” anything like I felt I needed my 3-5 cans of diet coke a day. In the past I wasn’t able to get past the headache stage, but this time I took advantage of a bout with the flu that forced me to go without diet coke for 5 days, and I gutted out the last few headache days until the physical effects were over. I still crave it. Fizzy water with lemon in the morning helps, then I’m able to go to regular water for the rest of the day. I think that I feel better, and am even eating better. Probably because it’s hard to imagine french fries without that yummy diet coke!

    • Erin R. says:

      Coca Cola was my drink of choice. I had attempted to cut back on my habit, but since it was the only liquid that entered my body it was useless. October 5, 2012 was the last day I drank any soda. It was ROUGH!!! A solid week of headaches, crabbiness, and general blahs. But, I persisted and came through on the other side with the help of ibuprofen. It took about 4-5 months for the cravings to go away completely. I feel SO much better! I’m more alert, less tired, and my mood is much more stable since I got off the sugar rollercoaster. I also did not get sick at all this winter (even though I work in an elementary school). I started eliminating many carbs from my diet that day and have successfully lost 35 lbs. I feel fantastic! I estimate that I’m saving at least $435/year.

  • Sue says:

    Great advice! I wish I could cut my pop addiction. It isn’t as bad as it used to be, but when money is tight, I hate spending money on pop.

    My biggest problem? I don’t like water! I don’t care what you put in it…I just don’t like it. I’ve tried just about anything to spice it up and I just don’t like it. I will almost do anything to not drink it!

  • Jenna says:

    I’m down to 1-2 sprites/7ups a month. Usually its at my parents house where my options are well water and pop. (Now that I live in the city, I can’t handle the well water taste. Since I only drink pop at my parents, my mom always tells me I need to cut back on pop…I don’t want to admit to her that I just don’t like their water anymore ). 🙂 Haven’t had caffeinated pop in 3 years! Drank tons in college, but I hated the ‘crash’ feeling I’d have after not having one.
    My husband loves coke. I’ve gotten him to stop drinking it gradually over the few years we’ve been married. Now he just gets one every few months when we’re out at a restaurant–special treat instead of daily ‘need’!!
    Good luck to those that are wanting to kick the habit! It’s hard, but you can do it! 🙂

  • Christy S says:

    2 weeks (?) ago, I switched from Dr Pepper to sweet tea. I was going away from HFCS and all of the other things in soda. I have gotten my soda a couple of times and it really doesn’t taste as great as I’m remembering now though. I think I’m kicking the habit… The tea will be next, but at least I know what goes in that.

  • Rebecca says:

    I stopped drinking regular soda pop over a year ago and to help me transition I replaced it with MIO water enhancers and Zevia, a stevia sweetened soda pop in multiple flavors. I love the carbonation and sweetness of soda pop and found Zevia to be a great alternative. Most flavors are even caffeine free. I buy mine at the health food store for my special pop treat once or twice a week. Though, I mainly drink filtered ice water and carry around a Contigo water bottle with me wherever I go.

  • RachaelP says:

    I’m about to give up the soda thing again. I had been off caffeine for several years and then I got pregnant with #3 and we’re home schooling and I work part time. With this pregnancy, I’ve had some major problems with insomnia (hence, I’m writing this at almost 4AM, lol!) and resorted to having the soda to ‘survive’ and not be so grouchy. The caffeine in tea doesn’t help much and I’m not a coffee drinker.

    After I’m done teaching in a couple weeks, things will slow down and I’ll stop drinking the soda again and all should be well, just in time for baby to come in June. (I don’t drink caffeine while nursing so quitting is a must!) Thanks for the reminder!!!

    • Jessica says:

      I just want to cheer on all of you who are working to remove soda from your diets. You can do it, and oh, is it ever worth it!

      I decided to give up all the diet soda drinks that I loved for a Lenten sacrifice, about five years ago. After an odd, uncomfortable week (I realize now that I was “detoxing!”) I suddenly began to wonder why I was feeling IMMENSELY better each day. Then, I wondered why my stomach turned when I took a sip of soda again! After talking with my doctor, he realized that it was the aspartame. I was quite literally addicted to it – that is what it does to your body, making you crave more; some people are more susceptible than others.

      Ladies, get rid of it. Get it out of your homes and out of your bodies and work to prevent your children from consuming it – or anything else with aspartame – on a regular basis.

      _ hops off soapbox _

    • Kirsten O. says:

      At Jessica,
      I found out the hard way in high school the health issues with artificial sweenters! I never drank diet sodas, but I was always chewing gum and drinking sports drinks.
      I started have hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that weren’t there and having awful panic attacks! I thought I was going INSANE!
      With some online research, I discovered other people were having these symptoms too from splenda and such.
      As soon as I cut it out from my diet, I was back to being healthy and happy!
      It’s really tricky to keep it out of my diet, there is multiple names for aspartame, and it’s in everything from candy, sport drinks, gum, mints, mouthwash and toothpaste, but it beats the horrible side effects!

  • We haven’t given up soda but have cut way back. Well, my husband has. I never drank more than 1-2 a week anyway. I’m still doing the same amount on those days where I just need a caffeine kick. My husband likes to have half a can on ginger ale mixed with his cranberry juice with dinner.

    The one thing we did do was start buying Pepsi Throwback. It’s still soda and still not the best for you but it has real sugar in it. Since I rarely buy wine or beer anymore (hubby doesn’t drink but I enjoy it occasionally), it is our “splurge.” The Throwback often isn’t included in the soda sales unfortunately.

  • Emily says:

    My husband is a huge soda drinker, but mainly because he wants some flavor in what he drinks. He’s not a fan of plain water. So I’ve started making him a gallon jug of unsweetened ice tea every day. Yes, I still have to buy the tea bags, but it’s so much healthier and cheaper in the long run! (Plus, the tea has caffeine, which he also needs while working midnights!)

  • Maria says:

    When I was a teen, I gave up pop for Lent. I remember running home from school the Monday after Easter, going straight to the basement, and chugging a Sprite……and I was completely disgusted! It felt like I just coated with teeth with some sort of film. I was so shocked that I gave up on it ever since. I still drink Vernors or Cheerwine once every couple of weeks, mainly as a cofort when a day goes stressful. Caffiene hits me in unpredictable ways, so I have cut that way down too.

    Another interesting thing was that my husband decided to reduce down his pop a few years ago. He didn’t like water, so he switched to Gatorade. He got tired of that, so then he switched to Kool-Aid. He drank 2 quarts of it a day. Cheaper and healthier than pop, right? We were shocked a year ago when a doctor informed us my husband was prediabetic. When we started looking into it, we realized his biggest treatment was to lose weight. To our astoundment, we figured out he was drinking about 700 calories daily in his Kool-Aid! He switched to all water and dropped 50 pounds in less than 6 months. His blood sugar went back to normal. He only gets unsweet tea at resteraunts now, I get water, and the kids get lemondae/Sprite/root beer. We still have a ways to convert to be super healthy, though this one change has affected us a lot already.

  • Just gave up the Dr. Pepper habit two weeks ago. I’m down to sweet tea and water and I do have half a cup of coffee in the morning….I have lost five lbs so far just by cutting out pop. I can’t believe the change. It’s the best thing I have ever done.

  • August says:

    In my opinion, the best way to stop it, is to literally stop. Don’t experiment with a few less; just STOP. Don’t go down the sugar isle at the store, go to the bathroom before drinks are ordered and have someone else order the water for you, get it out of the house and only buy healthy products. The headaches will suck and you’ll crave it, but you’ll get past that and be so happy you did.

    My mother-in-law quit because she was on a mission trip to Haiti. No cravings while she was there because it wasn’t available. As soon as she came home, it was in the house and she instantly started back. You have to get rid of it or you’ll relapse.

  • Courtney says:

    I have to admit I indulge in a can of Coke every afternoon when the tot naps. It’s my ‘yay you made it through another day’ celebration, lol. I have stopped ordering it out though, it really lowers the restaurant bill AND forces me to drink more water! We also go a soda stream for Xmas. Now I can make fruit flavored sparkling water whenever I feel the need for bubbles!

  • Lora C says:

    I recently stopped drinking sodas. I am working on living a healthier lifestyle and want to lose weight. I haven’t had a sip of soda since April 30 and surprisingly I don’t miss it. I was what I call a “Cokaholic”. I have loved Coca Cola my entire life and would have guzzled it in my bottle if possible. I have replaced my soda habit with water and juices. My friends on SparkPeople (free weight loss website) have been very supportive. I can’t wait to see the effect that this is going to have on my waistline and my pocketbook!!

  • I kind of cheated…I ditched the habit because I absolutely COULD NOT tolerate it with my morning sickness! 😉 Three months later when I was FINALLY over that it was a little easier to break. LOL!

  • Natalie says:

    I recently kicked the habit with a little help from a friend! We made a bet.. he gave up his guilty pleasure and I gave up mine! It quickly became a pride issue and now I am 5 months soda sober 🙂

  • Hillary says:

    I weened myself off soda in a different way. I swapped from diet sodas to only peach fresca, which is a carbonated water soda. Then I swapped to just flavored carbonated water, then to flavored water and now I really only drink water, juice and sometimes flavored water.

  • Rebekah says:

    I don’t know that I can ditch my soda habit all together, but I will say I hate spending $2.49 and up at a restaurant for a soda. Instead, I get water and use one of the new liquid flavorings. I really like some of the Crystal Light ones, the Mio and Dasani are good too, and sweetened with splenda, not aspartame.

    • Sandra says:

      I mostly stopped drinking sodas about a year ago (although I will have an occasional lemon San Pellegrino soda). Mostly, I drink water, lemonade, or iced tea. Recently, I had some Coke while we were on vacation, but it didn’t taste as good as I remembered.

  • Kirsten O. says:

    My cousin was first to cut out soda and noticed right away she lost weight and her face cleared up.
    I however, love my food and drink. I just went two weeks on a kangen water study where I wasn’t allowed to drink any soda, caffeinated beverages, or anything unless it was straight up kangan water or juice concentrate mixed with water.

    It’s tough. I love carbonated beverages!
    For awhile I was cutting back on soda and switched over to IZZE sparkling juices, because it didn’t have corn syrup, caffeine. But I couldn’t even have these on this study!

    For the first week and a half I was craving soda so bad! I even cheated, and had a couple of glugs of my husbands orange fanta when we went out to eat. It’s now been just shy of 2 weeks of staying away from soda (minus my minor orange soda relapse) and I’m not craving it as horribly as when I first started.
    Having a jug of water nice and cold in the fridge made it more appetizing to drink and I always tried to bring a gallon jug with me on errands, along with a solo cup. I knew if I grabbed a water bottle, I would drink it all, and then justify buying myself a soda when I got thirsty because:
    1). Soda is everywhere, IZZE is not
    2). If bottled water and soda are the same price, I want soda!
    3). Usually when I’ve been really thirsty from running out of water, I feel parched and crave the wonderful cold carbonation of soda!

    So now, when I leave the house for errands or the day, I bring my good old jug of cold water. Having it handy makes it easier to reach for.

    And the results?
    Well it’s only been a couple of weeks, but I am no longer constantly bloated! YAY! Right now I am PMS so slightly breaking out, but perhaps later on I’ll get more results. Now that I am done with the study, I am going to try to stick with just drinking water with the rare occasion of soda now and then when I can’t find a place with IZZE’s.

    Best of luck to all the rest on quitting or cutting back! YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Shannon says:

    I just found out how bad soda is for your kidneys too. A specialist told his patient, after years of coming in with kidney problems, that if his patients gave up soda, he’d lose half his patients. The patient was shocked he’d never heard that before, gave it up, and hasn’t had any problems since. Wow! I don’t drink soda because it gives me a stomach ache — since my husband married me, he hasn’t had any more problems with kidney stones. I told him that’s a fringe benefit of our marriage. 🙂

    Also, studies show that soda impacts your bone density. Way more likely to break a bone if you drink lots of soda.

    We haven’t ruled it out completely, but it’s a treat at our house. I find when my kids get the opportunity, they’ll take it, but often won’t drink it all, commenting that it’s “too fizzy”.

  • Anna Brown says:

    Hi, we have a real addiction to fizzy in our house (adults only, our kids are better trained!) but I have found a much cheaper way:

    I bought a SodaStream drinks maker. We had one in the 80s when i was young and loved it, but from a practical point of view, after the initial purchase (£10 cheaper on Amazon, I might add) the syrup makes 12litres for £2.99, but a 0.5l bottle in shop can cost £1 or more… I also read a book recently about saving money whilst being eco-friendly and it said it’s better to produce your own and the bottles are reusable, so no packaging waste and just found out Argos stores will give you 1/2 off price of a gas cartridge if you take back old one for recycling.
    So we are still happily indulging our bad habit….but saving money!


  • Kate SDDS says:

    I would drink bubbly water if it was the bubbles I was craving – and I would sometimes have an iced tea if it was the sweetness & caffeine kick I was craving – I VERY rarely have soda anymore – maybe one or two a month – I do feel MUCH healthier!

  • Rose says:

    I never drink soda, and don’t miss it. Now coffee, on the other hand…

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