Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saving Money on Beverages

Beverages can be another way to save money on your food bill.  Many beverages can be made or mixed at home in your own kitchen. All you need are the proper tools and the willingness and commitment to make your own beverages. 

Today I made 100% grape juice from concentrate in my frugal kitchen. Many of the fruit juices you can purchase in your grocery store’s refrigerated dairy case are made from concentrates, which means someone else has added water to the concentrate, which is something you can easily do in your own kitchen to save money. 

Oftentimes the cartons of juice from the dairy case cost twice as much as the frozen concentrates, which makes this an easy way to save money.  

When you make your own beverages at home, you will need containers to store them. Yard sales are a good place to look for pitchers. In the photo above is my Tupperware juice pitcher, which I bought at a yard sale for 25¢. I was also lucky enough to find one in the one gallon size as well. 

If you cannot afford to purchase containers, free containers are available by using what you have on hand like a repurposed milk jug or jar.  

Narrow mouthed jars can be filled using a funnel and usually make the job easier.  

What are some of the ways you save money on beverages? 

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Great post, Belinda. Some things I do to cut costs:
    -don't buy juice boxes, we've been using refillable Rubbermaid 16 oz bottles for years, replaced as needed. Current batch is going on 3 years, BPA free
    -drink water from the tap (we are on a well). I do keep a flat of bottled for power outages. Thirst? there is the sink. Water comes out cold, even in Summer
    -what do I put in the aforementioned drink bottles for kid's lunches? used to be Aldi's generic Koolaid made with reduced amounts of sugar. With the current price of sugar, we moved to tea, unsweetened which is our preference. I am saving my sugar for baking
    -I use reconstituted dry milk in baking, pudding. I pay $2.48/gallon for instant milk vs the usual $3/gallon for fluid milk
    -I make OJ from concentrate as well, have for several years. $1.29/12 oz can at ALdi's, this is a bargain.
    -I limit soda to "pizza night" or it's on hand for sick tummies. I try not to pay over $1/2 liter bottle.
    -2 l bottles of seltzer with a splash of juice is often a substitute for soda. Seltzer is usually 69/bottle vs $1.59 for soda
    -I take home brewed coffee to work, always have
    -I make cocoa for Winter bfsts; 10 ct pouch at Aldi's is only $1.19
    -got leftover tea or coffee? make tea/coffee ice cubes and store in separate bags in the freezer. Great come Summer and won't dilute your drink like water made ice will
    -I try to only buy real juice and not juice flavored drinks and when I do, I use a sale plus coupon or more likely, get them at Aldi's, where many of the juices do not have HFCS
    -when I know that I'll be away from home at a mealtime, I try to plan ahead and pack a sandwich and drink if not just a drink and a granola bar to tide me over, avoiding the takeout window.
    -when I do end up at the drive thru, I turn to McD's $ menu unsweetened tea with lemon. Much better for the diet and not so rough on the wallet.


    1. What a great response, Carol. So many terrific ideas in your post. :)

  2. Hi Belinda,
    I hope you are feeling 100% better this week!
    What a great find, that 1 gallon pitcher!

    For most flavored drinks, we make lemonade from bottled lemon juice, with sugar. Later in spring I make rhubarb lemonade, using a tangy infusion of rhubarb for half or all of the lemon juice called for in lemonade.

    I don't buy orange juice as much as I used to (it's expensive, and I think it's probably better if we eat whole oranges). But when I do buy it, I buy the frozen concentrate, and I always add an extra can of water. I don't like the juice made up according to the label on the can.

    For a treat, I do buy Kool-Aid when on sale for 20c a packet or less. I know, it's not the best thing for us. But it does make great popsicles.

    1. Thank you, Lili. I am feeling much better. :)

      I was so tickled to find that one gallon pitcher. I found it at a yard sale in Crossville, Tennessee and I have used it for years and still can't understand why the person sold it.

      Your rhubarb lemonade sounds delicious. I love lemonade as often as possible.

      We keep a ready supply of Kool-Aid on hand too. I don't make it very often anymore as my daughter is a teenager now, but every now and then it fits the bill.

      Great suggestions! :)

    2. Belinda, I had to chuckle. My teens and their sophisticated college friends all choose "koolaid" when I suggest beverage options. : ) Must bring back memories.
      Also, I love Aldi's fzn lemonade concentrate,reminds me of Minute Maid's version. Very good and I think it costs about 69 cents/can

    3. LOL, Carol, how funny. :) I'll have to try the Aldi's frozen lemonade because I really like lemonade and I like the Minute maid brand as well.

  3. I remember those days of making pitchers of drinks, especially in the summer. But my dd is grown now so I don't do that anymore.

    Dh and I generally drink water and if I do buy soda it's when we have company for dinner. I will indulge in a glass then, but I don't miss soft drinks at all. I do admit in the warmer weather I like a nice glass of iced tea. Although I do buy the small bottles of cream soda for dh to have now and then. That is much too sweet for me.

    But everyone had some great ideas especially with the warmer weather coming soon (I hope).

    Glad you're feeling better Belinda.

    1. Thank you, Mary Lou. :)

      Cream Soda takes me back to the days when my Grandmother would make punch for Holidays. She would add it to Lime Sherbert. It was so good.

  4. I'm a big fan of water. It also saves money on the dentist!

    The dentist made DH give up soda in his 20s, and I had to stop drinking sugary drinks when I was diagnosed with PCOS, so really, the money saving aspect was an afterthought.

    1. Water is always a good thing, and another great way to save money. :)


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