I’m not much of a soda drinker (even before going Low-FODMAP removed all high fructose corn syrup from my diet), but Todd’s daily Coke Zero habit would rival any coffee drinker’s. It’s his caffeine of choice and while I would prefer he not drink so much of it, he’s a grown man and it’s his one vice.
At around $6 per case, that’s about a quarter per can and, at his usual rate of 4 cans a day, $1 per day. At least it’s cheaper than a Starbucks addiction, right?
Still, I’d hear about the SodaStream year before last but I wasn’t sure if he’d really use it. Just before Christmas, though, I decided it was worth the gamble and settled on the SodaStream FizzÂ in black for part of his present this year. Of course I got him a bottle of their Cola Zero syrup, too, just to see how he liked it.
Putting aside the initial investment of the machine, bottles, and a second CO2 tank as a back-up, here’s the way his daily consumption breaks down:
At $4.96 per bottle, each bottle makes 12 liters ($0.41/Liter), and Todd makes 2 a day, so $0.83 a day. The CO2 containers cost 29.99 new, but if you take them to a store that exchanges the used canister, you only pay the difference, about $16.02 at our local Wal-Mart. Â Each canister (of the size we buy–they come in different capacities) makes 60L, so $0.27 per fizz and we’re still up to only $1.36 per day. Of course, how many liters you really get out of a canister depends on how fizzy you want your soda. The Fizz has a level indicator that not only tells you when it’s time to change the CO2, but how fizzy you’ve just made your drink: light, medium, and heavy.
I think Todd likes his extra-fizzy, so we’re not really saving anything after all.
Where we do save is storage, clutter, and recycling. We have 3 of the 1L bottles that are good for about 3 years, and Todd takes 2 of them to work each day. The third gets used when I want to make something or if he wants some rootbeer or other flavors on the spare evening we’re not drinking water. They take up no more room in the fridge than our water bottles we refill and chill on a regular basis, but we only put out about half the recycling any more. That’s kind of nice in the grand scheme of things.
Other things we like about SodaStream is that there’s no cord to plug it into the wall so it can go anywhere, and there really are plenty of flavor options available–and none of them contain the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup, which means I can have a soda whenever I feel the urge. That’s a nice change of pace.
What I don’t like about the SodaStream is that the syrups do use a bunch of other sugar substitutes that I’m not sure are all that better, nutritionally speaking, than HFCS, but at least they don’t trigger an IBS episode. I’m a smart girl, though, and I figured I might be able to make my own syrups with regular ingredients and sugar–after all, that’s what they used to do at the old fashioned soda fountains, right? And I’ve got a copy of Fix the Pumps with plenty of recipes inside.
Turns out, though, I didn’t quite have to go that far: SodaStream must have been hearing a lot of the above because I’ve noticed they’ve come out with a “sparkling natural” line in limited flavors that does use regular ol’ sugar and other recognizable ingredients. Now I can have ginger ale again with very little hassle! The downside (and this is SUCH a good example of why the food industry uses sugar substitutes and how it is NOT cheaper to eat healthier) is that the bottles of Sparkling Natural hold 25.4 fl oz (compared to the 16.9 fl oz of the other syrups), cost twice as much, but only make half as many liters of soda. This is, quite literally, the price we pay for real food, even in soda form.
But the ginger ale is tasty, and I plan to pick up some of their Orange Pineapple Sparkling Natural syrup since the sample flavor pack that came with the Fizz included the most awesome Orange soda we’ve tasted. I’ve also tried out there Tonic mix and while I’m not crazy about the sugar-substitute aftertaste, I plan to pick up some .5L bottles for those times when I need a bit of fizz for a cocktail but don’t want to waste (or drink) an entire liter before it goes flat.
Even if Todd opts to go back to canned soda (of course, the way prices keep going up, that may not prove a savings for much longer), the convenience factor and just the fun of the variety make me not regret this purchase at all. And, hey, if you just like your water fizzy instead of still, this is a great way to get it and they even have aÂ pretty glass carafe for just this sort of thing.
I received no free product in exchange for this review, I’m just a happy customer/gift-giver. The links in this post, though, they’re all Amazon affiliate links. If you should choose to purchase anything by clicking on one of those links or anything else having followed the link and clicked around a bit, I’ll earn a small referral fee (I think it’s around 4%) that will go towards my monthly hosting fees.