Every year, Americans spend nearly $74 billion on soft drinks. You might assume that making soda at home would be cheaper, but you should think twice before investing in a homemade soda maker.
First, let's take a look at the costs. Depending on the make and model, a basic soda machine can run you between $70 and $200. Flavor mixes cost between $5 to $10 per bottle and yield 6-12 liters of soda.
Lastly, a carbonator goes for $30 to $50, with refills costing an average of $20. If you're a big seltzer drinker, this could cut your costs down to 20 cents per liter, saving you in the long run.
Flavor mixes, however, are more costly, and since they only make upwards of 12 liters of soda, you're still paying about $1.30 per liter, which isn't any better than the prices you'll find at the grocery store. And remember, the price per liter doesn't include the initial cost of the machine itself.
If you and your family aren't consuming at least a liter of soda every day, a soda maker won't save you money. However, they will help to save the environment by reducing plastic bottle waste, so that's something to consider.
Although making your own soda won't really help you cut costs, there is a way to get a better deal on carbonated beverages. Simply look through weekly supermarket ads for the best prices. You'll often find 2-liter bottles for as little as $1 to $2 at CVS and other convenience stores.
Also, knowing the best time of year to buy can sometimes make all the difference. The three best seasons to stock up on soft drinks at the lowest prices are around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and the Super Bowl.
So, when it comes to sweet, bubbly beverages, invest in a soda maker to help save the environment, not your budget. Otherwise, soda savings just comes down to knowing when and where to buy.