Penny Pincher 5, Thoughts on Beverages

You wanna save money? Drink water.

This one is sort of a no brainer, but I have been crunching some numbers just for fun. With a family our size, we could easily drink a half gallon of fruit juice every morning at breakfast. Even at a very conservative estimate of 2 dollars for a can of concentrate, we could consume $730 a year just in juice. If we bought the high end stuff, fresh from the grove and all that, the number would double. I won’t even go into all the pure sugar calories, but here is a link for free if you want.

Then there is the soft drink issue, which in America borders on ridiculous. I absolutely cannot believe the numbers when I research, but I found them in multiple places. According to this site, the average soda consumption in America is 216 liters a year, per person. Our local grocery store has a sale on Coke this week. You can buy 2 liters for $1.33 . If you buy all your soda in 2 liter bottles when they are on sale, you can scrape by with $143.64  on one person’s soft drinks per year. Or, in a family of seven, it would tally to $1005.48 spent on an addiction to “poison”. Does anyone else notice a bit of insanity here? Obviously, there are a lot of people drinking more than their fair share, because I am sure we are not the only people who avoid soft drinks except for very special occasions. I won’t open the obesity can of worms.

Anyway, let’s get back to water, pure (we hope) and free and plentiful. Drink water if you want to save money (or if you would like to stay healthy) (unless you live near a chemical dump and therefore have to pay for bottled water) (in which case you won’t save money buying water) (except on your hospital bills). Dear me, the qualifications are getting to me. The uncertainty about the use of so many pairs of parentheses in one sentence is also getting to me. Oh well, moving on.

I can’t really get on too high a horse, because I am a dedicated tea drinker. We drink prodigious amounts of tea, gallons and gallons of it. One cup at a time, of course. If there is a study on The Health Benefits of Tea when I am old, I will volunteer for it. I should be properly steeped in it by then, with a touch of sugar and a splash of cream in my daily Earl Grey. To be fair, here are the numbers on tea consumption. I spend about 10 cents per tea bag, which at a rate of one a day comes to $36.50 in a year. Not everybody in our family drinks tea, but we often use 3 tea bags in a day. That brings our cost up to $109.50 in a year. Even nursing students can almost afford that. 🙂

Occasionally I like to brew coffee, but not often enough to know how to figure the numbers. I find that regular caffeine kills me with migraines, a great incentive to keep my intake down. On the mornings that I drink coffee, I look down my nose at my tea drinking self, and on the mornings I have tea, I feel superior to my coffee drinking self. My mind supposes this big divide between the two kinds of individuals: coffee drinkers are urban and sophisticated while tea drinkers are tweedy and contemplative. It amuses me to be both.

But mostly I drink water.

3 thoughts on “Penny Pincher 5, Thoughts on Beverages

  1. What I like about this is how you have thought this out and figured out what your identity is whether you are being superior or tweedy. I always see myself as a sort of spoiled privileged sort luxuriating with tea and crumpets (tho sadly the crumpets are always missing) and when I drink coffee I drink it earnestly, with the same feeling one gets when one changes a tire.
    Soda? What’s that? Eh? We have doc pepper with lemon about once a month I always pay with terrible things happening that I do not desire to say on any public forum.

  2. on those rare times when you actually get to eat out, you really do save money if you skip the drinks and just drink water.

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