Soda Stream ~ Does It Actually Save You Money?

image from sodastream.com media page

image from SodaStream.com media page

image from sodastream.com media page

Soda Stream is a home soda maker, countertop appliance about the size of a coffee maker that transforms water into fresh, fizzy seltzer/sparkling water at the push of a button. Soda Stream operates without batteries (bonus!), electricity or plumbing (yeah! no connection a dedicated water line!), so it is a simple to use in a kitchen and great for bringing along on a boat, RV or to a second home. Making seltzer and soda takes just seconds and requires no clean-up. The 1 liter bottle does need to be hand washed.

A reusable, one-liter carbonating bottle (it comes in with the system) is filled with water and screwed into the machine fitting. A CO2 carbonator, housed inside the soda maker, adds carbonation at the touch of a button – as much or as little as the consumer prefers. After carbonating the water, simply add a capful from one of over 25 soda mix flavors to make his or her favorite, great-tasting soda. Soda Stream even has mix in flavors that are free of high fructose corn syrup! There are even fruit flavored water essences that can be added for a fresh sparkling flavored water!

I met the wonderful Soda Stream people at BlogHer’12 and I was impressed at what I saw. They explained how many plastic bottles the Soda Stream can save each year. I was shocked at the numbers but encouraged that the soda stream was here to offset these numbers.  Check out what I found on the website:

Stop the Bottles – Save the Planet

340 billion beverage bottles and cans are not recycled every year worldwide. That’s a recycling rate of about 26 percent.1

141 billion beverage bottles and cans are not recycled every year in the United States. The recycling rate for all Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles is only 23.1 percent, so that 100 billion beverage bottles were not recycled in 2009.2

Carbonated beverage and sparkling water consumption is growing rapidly. The environmental cost to produce the plastic bottles and transport the goods to consumers is high.

With an average consumption of over 118 liters of carbonated drinks per capita annually, it’s time to consider an alternative to packaged carbonated drinks and sparkling water.

What it takes to  manufacture those PET bottles:

  • 2.7 million tons of plastic are used for the production of bottled water EVERY year. Most of this ends up as garbage or in landfills.3
  • 100 million barrels of oil. That’s the amount of oil that is used to produce the plastic for bottled water globally every year.3
  • Each bottle produced requires nearly 5 times its volume in water to manufacture and may have caused the release of nickel, ethylene oxide and benzene during its production.3

1. Euromonitor 2009 – Beverage Packaging

2. Container Recycling Institute

3. Emily Arnold & Janet Larsen. “Bottled water: Pouring resources down the drain.” Earth Policy Institute, Feb. 2, 2006

Soda Stream sent me the Genesis (pictured above) and OODLES of flavors! I was beyond thrilled with all the flavors that are available!

Here are the diet flavors.

  • Diet Lemon lime (my kids favorite!)
  • Cranberry-raspberry
  • Diet Pink Grapefruit (soo yummy!)

No high fructose corn syrup in these!! Splenda is the sweetener here.  I so appreciate this!

  • Cola Naturally Sweetened (the wrapper DID come fulling in tact. My 2 year old just likes to peel labels. Who doesn’t?)
  • All Natural Ginger Ale
  • All Natural Black Currant & Pear

I was impressed with these all natural flavors. Burnt sugar syrup is the sweetener in these. All the flavorings are all natural and there are no preservatives. Once opened they do need to be refrigerated.

I can’t tell you how much I LOVED the natural ginger ale. It tastes like ginger ale should, not how some one in a lab tells us ginger ale should taste. The cola was tasty but I am not a cola drinker so this one was not for me. I was intrigued by the black currant and pear. It is a mild flavoring for the soda and it was not something I would have normally picked up off the shelf but I am glad they included it in the pack. It is good to try flavors outside your comfort zone!

I am ADDICTED to the root beer! I love that it has Splenda as the sweetener. There is no compromising in yummy root beer flavor.

I thought these were an interesting twist on soda. I am all about adding fresh squeezed lemon to my water so adding all natural flavor essences to my sparking water was just natural for me! I was delighted by the orange essence.

 

The Soda Stream is a great product and I love all the choices of flavor add ins. But where is the savings? Is there any?

For argument sake let’s call one of the bottles of flavor mix $6.50. This is the equivalent of 33 12 oz. cans.

I can get a 24 pack of soda for $4. Give or take depending on the sale.

So this comparison comes out in the wash if you can get a sale either for the soda cans or the bottles of flavor mix. BUT the flavor mixes come in over 100 varieites and a lot of them come with Splenda and all natural flavorings and no preservatives. AND there is less waste with the bottles of flavor mix. Less packaging to create, ship, fill, use, recycle, transport to the recycling plant, then recreate into other items. That is a pretty big carbon footprint for a little soda can!

I liked that I could only make 1 liter of soda at a time. 1 liter is enough for my family of 5 for a meal. So often we open a 2 liter of soda and it goes flat by the time we get to the bottom of the bottle. So instead of throwing out 1/4-1/2 of the 2 liter bottle we drink the entire thing. PLUS we don’t over indulge in soda. Once it is gone it is gone. Portion control!

I believe that the Soda Stream can save you money over time if you family goes through a lot of soda. We are not huge soda drinkers so it would take us longer to see a significant savings.The soda makers can be found at a lot of major retailers and some of those major retailers such as Kohl’s and Bed Bath and Beyond offer significant savings coupons in their mailings or in store. By using one of those promotional coupons a Soda Stream could be purchased at a significant discount. The same goes for getting refills of the co2 cartridges. Use a coupon to purchase those as well. I appreciate that the Soda Stream is a very earth friendly product and I am able to only make the amount of soda or fizzy drink that my family needs at that particular time.

My kids liked making the soda. They thought the whole process was a lot of fun! But learn from my mistakes:

  1. Make sure the bottle is screwed into the fitting. Don’t just sit the bottle under the nozzle and push the button. I don’t know what I was thinking! Soda water every where!!
  2. Release the pressure by pulling the bottle towards you (on the Genesis model). I didn’t know about this feature till about my 10th bottle. I would just twist off.  I always got shot by the releasing pressure.
  3. TILT the soda stream bottle when you add the flavoring. First time I made a bottle of soda I didn’t tilt and it was like a volcanic science experiment.
  4. Don’t pinch pennies by adding less flavoring. I am always trying to find ways of pinch a penny with products. I only put 1 flavor stick in 32 oz of water when it calls for a full stick in 16 oz of water. This makes my flavor sticks last longer. But don’t skimp on the flavoring! I am not a fan of seltzer water flavor and that is what is made when the carbonation is added to the bottle. It needs the flavoring.

 

Did you catch my tweets about my experience with the Soda Stream?

 

**How I Pinch A Penny/Sarah Mock was provided with a Soda Stream soda maker and a variety of flavors to review. All opinions are my own.

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About Sarah

Sarah is married and a mother of 3 small children. She is always in search of a better or lower cost way to go through life. She finds excellent deals and creative ways to save money around the home. On this blog she hopes to share with you how she pinches pennies and how you can too!