Go Green to Save Green: make your own fizzy drinks!
Today’s post is about making your own soda and other fizzy drinks.
Yes, I know that water is the best and cheapest thing you can drink, but once in a while, isn’t it nice to have something fizzy? Problem is that most commercially-made sodas are chock full of chemicals, tons of high fructose corn syrup and leave a giant carbon footprint.
Which is why I absolutely love my Soda Stream. This is one of those things that CAN save you money if you use it right, but more importantly, it’s great for the environment. It also doesn’t hurt that the kids love it, too, because they know it’s a treat.
A couple of years ago I was reading some books for ways to save money AND be “green” at the same time. Several authors mentioned the Soda Stream and I filed it in my memory bank. While soda doesn’t take up too much of the grocery budget since we don’t drink a lot of it, it’s probably a lot healthier to give up all that high-fructose corn syrup AND save a little money, too. So I decided to save up my money and buy the $100 unit.
Low and behold, in one of my many Thrift-Store-Karma moments, the following week I was perusing one of the Green Bay Goodwill stores and there it was–IN THE BOX. A Fountain Jet Soda Stream maker. It had two bottles and still had the carbonator, too! Of course, I didn’t know if it would work but when I saw the price was $29.95, I HAD to get it.
Turns out the carbonator was still full of CO2, the bottles were still good (there are expiration dates on both), in fact it looked like someone got this as a Christmas present, probably tried it but never really put it to good use. But I did.
I went to the Soda Stream website and found that one SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters of fizzy drinks, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans. And the company has a recycling program so you can send the carbonator back to Soda Stream and they’ll reuse it.
The Soda Mix flavors taste very close to the brand-name products they mimic like Dr. Pete’s mix which is a replacement for Dr. Pepper. None of the mixes contain high fructose corn syrup which is one of the things I try to avoid in my diet. The regular flavors contain Splenda, the diet flavors do not contain aspartame, something I also avoid. They even have Sparkling Tea, Energy Drinks and Water Essence flavors. But my favorite mixes have to be the Sparkling Naturals which have no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no artificial sweeteners.
I also bought coffee syrups in “soda” flavors like blueberry, marshmallow, lime, etc. Coffee syrups are a good option if you don’t use too much per serving and want “funky” flavors. They do reduce waste and it is possible to see a slight savings over buying soda at the grocery store but don’t taste as good as Soda Stream mixes.
Mixing juice with the tonic water (1/1 ratio) is a good alternative to regular juice. My older kids like the fizzy juice–heck, Juicy Juice, V-8 and Ocean Spray now makes fizzy juice so I won’t have to buy those!
I also throw in a pinch of True Lemon, True Lime or True Orange to fizzy water once in a while.
For more inspiration, you can try Homemade Soda: 200 Recipes for Making & Using Fruit Sodas & Fizzy Juices, Sparkling Waters, Root Beers & Cola Brews, Herbal & Healing Waters, Sparkling … & Floats, & Other Carbonated Concoctions. I just borrowed this book for my Kindle and found lots of fun recipes!
Don’t want to invest in a soda maker? Check out the following in order to make your own soda without using a soda siphon or soda maker:
You can also check out Green Bay Consumer’s Pinterest board aptly titled Soda
Be sure to check out Green Bay Consumer every day this month for more tips, tricks and resources to help you save the earth and save your pocketbook.