In today’s age of DIY just about everything, it’s no wonder there’s so much hype about DIY soda with the SodaStream machine. Some people use it for ‘health benefits while others assume it saves them money over buying soda all the time.
While we know buying a soda from the store regularly can get quite costly, does the SodaStream machine save you money, or is it just not worth it?
I will help you understand SodaStream and whether it’s worth it below.
What is SodaStream?
The SodaStream machine is a magical appliance that promises to make you flavored soda or sparkling water on demand. No more running to the store or your local fast food restaurant to get your soda fix – you can make what you want when you want in your kitchen.
Before you get too excited, though, you should know not only must you buy the appliance, but you’ll need a CO2 cylinder and flavored syrups. Depending on how much you use the appliance, you’ll need to replace both quite often, which makes its cost add up.
It may seem fun to come up with your concoctions, and honestly, it is fun but it’s short-lived. Most people looking for their soda fix don’t have the time or patience to make it themselves. They’d rather pop open a can or bottle and enjoy immediately.
What is the Cost of Using SodaStream?
The cost of the appliance itself varies. You can buy them at Amazon, Target, and Walmart among other major retailers. The cost typically varies from $89.99 – $129.99, but you can catch them on sale or use a coupon too.
Even the basic model comes with a CO2 canister and plastic bottle to get you started, but you’ll likely replace both down the road.
How often you must replace the CO2 canister again depends on how often you use it. One CO2 bottle can make up to 60 liters and each 16-ounce cup is about ½ liter.
When you need to refill the CO2, you could go buy a brand new CO2 bottle, but why waste the money?
You can exchange the bottles at stores like Target for 50% of the retail price. At most stores, this means $15 versus $30, but of course, the price varies.
If you like flavored syrups, you’ll pay around $4.99 per bottle of syrup. The average bottle of syrup makes 12 liters, so you’d need 5 bottles of syrup per CO2 bottle.
But how much does it cost per cup?
Let’s assume your average cup of soda is 16 ounces, like a can of soda. You’d get 2 cups per liter or 120 cups out of each CO2 bottle. If you bought the basic SodaStream for $89.99 and bought 5 bottles of syrup, you’d spend $114.99 for 120 cups of soda or $0.95 per cup.
So how does that compare to buying soda at the store?
The standard grocery store sells 2 liters for $1.50. You’d get 4 cups of soda out of it, which means each cup costs $0.38.
The answer seems obvious, but sometimes it’s not just about the money.
Are There Health Benefits of Using SodaStream?
Yes, the SodaStream costs more per cup than regular soda, but there are some health benefits you may enjoy that may be worth it to you.
You can Control the Sugar Content
If you are trying to watch your sugar intake, you can make use of sugar-free syrups. Even if you use the regular SodaStream syrup, they have about ⅓ of the amount of sugar in store-bought soda.
You may Drink more Water
If you struggle to drink enough water, you may find it easier with a SodaStream. Since you make it with water, you are getting your hydration, while making it a little fun creating your soda.
You’ll Feel more Refreshed
Drinking soda isn’t refreshing. It can make you full before you eat the right nutrients and even make you more thirsty. The SodaStream ‘soda’ can help you feel more refreshed and it may not fill you up as much as sugar-laden soda so that you get your calories from the right foods and not empty calories from soda.
It may Help you Kick the Soda Habit
Kicking the soda habit is hard, especially if you drink several a day. There’s just something about the fizziness of soda that plain water or even tea doesn’t satisfy. With SodaStream, you get your bubbles but without the calories and sugar in regular soda.
The Pros and Cons of the Soda Stream
Like any appliance, there are pros and cons you should consider aside from the financial aspect of SodaStream.
- It can be fun to create your sodas. You are in control of the flavors and there are many recipes out there to create fun combinations.
- You’re in control of what you put in your drinks. Instead of drinking additives that you can’t pronounce, you know exactly what’s going in your drink.
- You use fewer plastic/aluminum cans. If you’re worried about the environment, SodaStream can decrease your carbon footprint.
- You have to replace the CO2 bottle after 120 cups. If you drink a lot of soda, this could add to your expenses significantly.
- The appliance itself is costly. A base model is around $80, but it can go up to $300 if you want a fancier model.
- It’s another appliance to store in your kitchen. If you have limited counter space, this could be a serious problem.
How to Make SodaStream Cheaper?
- Get creative with the syrups – You aren’t required to use the SodaStream syrups. The sky’s the limit. Try snow cone syrup (even cheaper), juice concentrates, or any other flavor you think would be fun. Just don’t add anything except SodaStream syrup to your machine. Only add other flavors to the water itself.
- Use a coupon to buy the machine – Don’t shop without a coupon for the SodaStream. Your major stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond run coupons and sales often. Wait to get the best price on the machine before buying it.
- Refill the CO2 tank – Don’t buy new CO2 tanks every time you run out. Instead, check with your local stores (especially Target) and see if they offer refills. Just like you refill your propane tank for the grill, you can do the same with CO2 and save about 50% off the price.
Is SodaStream healthier than soda?
At first glance, SodaStream may seem healthier than soda with its 30% fewer calories, but don’t stop there. Nothing is healthier than plain water. If you’re adding any syrup to your drinks, you take away the health benefit.
That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself once in a while and not consuming regular soda can be a lifesaver for many people. If you need the bubbles, SodaStream can be a great alternative.
How long does the CO2 cartridge last for SodaStream?
You get about 120 cups from each CO2 cartridge, but that may last some families a long time and others only a week or two. It depends on how often you use the machine and drink the soda. Use it sparingly and you’ll cut down your costs. If you use it more often, it will cost you more, but it may prevent you from drinking regular soda.
Can you use tap water for SodaStream?
While it won’t ruin the machine, it’s not recommended to use tap water in your SodaStream. It won’t taste good. Tap water has chemicals in it that will alter the taste of your final product. Instead, use purified water to get the true taste of SodaStream products.
Final Thoughts – Is the SodaStream Worth It?
Honestly, unless you drink a ton of soda, the SodaStream isn’t worth it. Your best bet is to kick the habit and try to find a healthier alternative. If you must have ‘the bubbles’ and you don’t mind another appliance on your countertop, make sure you find one sale and use a coupon to save the most money. Beyond that, make sure you know how to get the C02 tanks for 50% off and only buy syrup when they are on sale.
For many people, though, SodaStream is a fad. They think they’re going to use it and ‘get healthy’ but it ends up collecting dust in the cabinets. Rather than spending the money on SodaStream, use the energy to kick the habit once and for all and drink plain water.