Simple Beverage Savings That Can Reduce the Grocery Budget

by Chantal King
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

We all need to stay hydrated, but it does not have to be at the expense of our grocery budget or our taste buds. Keep your family from drowning your food budget with these eight ways to cut beverage costs without sacrificing taste.

There’s water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. At least, that is what my children say as they look in our fridge for something to drink. I always have lots of bottles of cold, sparkling water on hand, but they prefer soft drinks, juice boxes, Gatorade, Hawaiian Punch, flavored milk like chocolate and strawberry, and sports drinks. They’re all enjoyable, except the price.

8 Simple Beverage Savings

After another sky-high grocery bill, I decided to take action and lower our “drinking” costs. There are several ways that I found to reduce it, without sacrificing taste.

1. Milk

Milk prices are enough to make even the cows bellow. Flavored milk usually adds at least $1 to the cost of the already steep cost of white milk.

I discovered that buying the chocolate and strawberry powders that you add to the white milk saved us in the long run. Plus, I was able to use coupons on the cans, saving even more. My twelve-year-old says it tastes better than the pre-mixed flavored milk.

2. Juice

Frozen concentrated juice is typically much cheaper than fruit punch, and it is very convenient.

All I do is get a can out the night before, put it in the fridge to thaw and then add water the next morning. I use a fancy pitcher that the kids like to grab when they want a fruity drink.

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3. Sports Drinks

Gatorade is another favorite but spendy drink. A pack of individual bottles costs anywhere from $5 to $15, depending on the size and number of bottles.

Gatorade is another instance where buying the powdered version can often save you considerably.

4. Soda

Canned soda pop can deflate your budget. And the larger cans often get wasted. My children only drink about half and then leave the rest sitting around.

I countered by buying small pop bottles on sale and then refilling them from the larger bottles bought on sale. The kid-sized bottles have just the right amount, so I don’t pour my money down the drain anymore. Even so, soda is an occasional treat in our house.

5. Hot Chocolate

As the weather turns chilly, hot chocolate is a favorite. Yet the pouches disappear faster than I can buy them.

I discovered a giant, family-size canister in the oversized aisle for less than half per serving than the individual packets. There is a convenient scoop included, so it is still easy to measure the right amount.

6. Kool-Aid

Don’t forget the old stand-by, Kool-Aid. The last time I counted, there were seventeen varieties at my local store. It is actually cheaper to buy the pre-sweetened kind since it is all too easy to add too much sugar.

7. Coffee

It seems the coffee section in our grocery store keeps getting longer. There are so many choices, and some of us are very particular about our coffee consumption. However, if you want to save, you might need to make some concessions.

I tend to find more coupons for instant rather than beans, grounds or pods and usually spend the least when buying instant. If you’d rather sooner drink mud than instant coffee, grounds are usually cheaper than beans and almost always cheaper than pods. I wait for the BOGO sales on bags of grounds and stock up on our favorite brand and flavors. If I run out, I buy whatever brand is on sale to get us by. However, once I add a flavored creamer, of which I also buy whatever is on sale, I cannot much taste the difference between coffee brands.

8. Water

Last but not least, nothing beats good old water. You can spend lots of money on specialty-bottled water, or you can “make” your own.

If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, you can buy water filter pitchers like Brita. You leave it in the fridge so it is nice and cold. You can also install a filter directly on your faucet.

These are some different ways to save money on beverages. Young or old, we all need to stay hydrated. How you choose to do it can save a bundle on your budget. Here’s to you!

Reviewed August 2023

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