Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Saving Money with Tea Bags

It's been twenty years since I wrote an article about saving money with tea bags.  

Back then a two liter bottle of pop could be had for 99¢. While that can still be true today, a two liter bottle of Pepsi regularly goes for $1.25 at Walmart these days while a two liter bottle of Coke is going for $1.68. 

The price we currently pay for a ten pound bag of sugar is $3.76  and $20.88 for six hundred Red Rose tea bags. My daughter prefers the taste of Red Rose, so that is what we use. 

There are 22.5 cups of sugar in a 10 pound bag and at a cost of $3.76, that works out to 17¢ per cup. 

We use 1 cup of sugar in our gallons of tea, which works out to 17¢ for sugar. 

There are 600 small tea bags in the box of Red Rose tea we buy, and I use 10 bags for each gallon of tea, which works out to 35¢ for the tea bags. 

Figuring out the math we determined that a gallon of tea cost us 51¢ to make at home.

One gallon of Tea = 51¢ ($53.04 @ 2 per week for 1 year)

We also figured what a gallon of soda would cost if it were sold by the gallon:

One gallon of Pepsi = $ 4.74 
($492.96 @ 2 per week for 1 year)

One gallon of Coke = $ 6.36 
($661.44 @ 2 per week for 1 year)

These figures amount to a savings of $608.40 if you drink tea over Coke or $439.92 if you drink tea over Pepsi. 

Of course, you can lower your costs with the tea even more. 

Switch to a lower cost tea bag to save money. Red Rose is one of the more expensive brand of tea bags. Of course, we save money in other areas, but this is one area where we splurge. 

Using less sugar or none will also save money. 

Using less tea bags than we do will save you money too. 

For example:

100 Great Value tea bags cost $1.94, which works out to 20¢ per gallon using 10 teabags plus more if you use sugar. 

100 National Cup tea bags cost $1.00, which works out to 10¢ per gallon using 10 tea bags plus more if you use sugar. 

We like our tea strong, so ten bags works for us. You may find that using less tea bags works for you. At only 51¢ per gallon, I'll happily use ten Red Rose tea bags and not worry about it. :)

Of course we all know the ultimate way to save money on beverages is by drinking water but that is another topic for another day. ;)

~ Living within our Means ~
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SAM said...

We drink a lot o ice tea in the summer, but not really sweet versions. I get a large 16 ounce ice tea from a tea bag, ad a spot of lemon juice, or other fruit juice if we have on hand. both my daughter and I love it and she is not a pop drinker at all. Tea is so refreshing.

Nil @ The Little House by the Lake said...

I too am a tea drinker. I usually drink tea (with milk) in the morning.
Never thought of calculating the cost per cup though. 😊

You are right, we can save so much money by not drinking soda. I don’t think too much soda is good for us anyway.

Jackie said...

Wow, those are amazing savings. The tea would be a bit less expensive here in Canada (we blend it up here) but sugar is way higher.

God bless.

Belinda said...

Thanks, Jackie. How neat that you can get less expensive tea up there in Canada. That is wonderful. Now we need to work on getting you all some cheaper sugar. LOL

Take care!

Belinda said...

We like milk with hot tea too, Nil. It’s very good. I’m with you on the soda. There is no nutrition there. I’ll stick with tea and water. I normally have one glass of tea with dinner and then water all the rest of the day.

Practical Parsimony said...

I mostly drink water. But, when I drink tea, it never has sugar in it. My children learned to drink tea with no sugar. I never drink hot tea.

Anne in the kitchen said...

We are Luzianne tea freaks. About every 6 weeks Publix has the family size bags BOGO. During the week it is on sale I stock up. I also save the water while waiting for the hot water to warm up each time I do dishes. I have enough to fill the Keurig and make a pot of tea each morning. Luckily I have my grandmothers old tea pot and put it to good use daily. Coffee, tea and water are our go to drinks, though we do keep small bottles of soda for occasional drinks. They are only bought when Publix has them BOGO but TheHub buys them every single time they have a sale. We have a stock pile of them since we drink them rarely.

Belinda said...

That's great that you all don't drink tea with sugar and your children learned that from you too. I only fed my daughter whole wheat bread when she first started eating bread and that was all she knew until she went to school and came home and told me her friends sandwich was just like hers except her bread was white. It was all downhill after that. lol

Belinda said...

That sounds so good, Sam. That’s a great way to sweeten the ice tea with fruit juice if you have it, and a good way to save money too

Belinda said...

Luzianne is one of my favorite teas too. It's the only one I used to buy back before I had my daughter. Buying it on sale at Publix is a great way to save money on tea.That's great that your hub looks for them on sale too.

Tetley is another favorite of mine. :)

Hawaii Planner said...

I buy flavored herbal teas when they are on sale, and often have a cup after my single cup of coffee (which I drink with almond milk). I prefer mine without sugar.

I originally would only drink sweetened tea. Then I worked on a tree farm, trimming trees. I think I was 13 - we lived next door. Every day, the owner would have a big container of unsweetened iced tea, and we could fill our water bottles from it. After that, it's the way I prefer it. ;-) If it's iced tea, I also like a bit of lemon as well.

Love that you wrote about this back in the day, as well!

Kathy said...

Thanks for the price breakdown. I love sweet iced tea! Will check out the red rose tea as I usually buy luzianne or tetley if it is on sale.
Of course I do like Dr Pepper, but I try not to drink it too much. I'm definitely not a coffee drinker.

Cheryl Kimbley said...

I love iced tea and make it and Kool-Aid a lot. Water - good old alternative - a splash of lemon juice and delish!

Belinda said...

I love that you make Kool-Aid, Cheryl. It's a great money saver. And I love iced cold water to drink, like you, it's delish.

Belinda said...

There is something about liquid that isn't sweetened that makes it a better thirst quencher. That is why I love ice cold water. It is so refreshing and thirst quenching. Sweet iced tea is thicker than water if that makes any sense. I can see why the unsweetened tea was so refreshing. I need to make me some green iced tea and leave it unsweetened. I see you're an almond milk drinker too, that is what I use too.

Belinda said...

You're welcome, Kathy.

My exdh loves Dr. Pepper. I used to buy it when I could find it on sale. Me and my girlfriend were in Chattanooga once (around 1994) and they had it on sale for $1.50 a 12 pack. I think we bought about 30 cases each of it. I had it stacked under my countertop for months. LOL

I don't drink coffee either. It smells good, but I don't drink it. Just think of the money we save by not drinking it. :)

Out My window said...

I love that you have items you splurge on and then you re also frugal on other things. That is what I do. It is nice to save money but not be selfish or cheap.

Anonymous said...

We prefer Lipton tea at our house. I have tried to save money buying store brand teas, but we just don't like them as well. I have never heard of Red Rose brand tea. Will check it out the next time I am grocery shopping and give it a "try". This might just be our new preferred tea! Penny S.

Belinda said...

I so agree, Kim. It is nice to save money, but being selfish or cheap isn't.

Belinda said...

I forgot about Lipton. It's been a while since we've bought that. Looks like the last time was in August of 2016, so four years ago, but we did get the 100 count box for $1.11 at Publix using a combo of sales and coupons, so a good price.

I remember finding it at our local Fresh and Low on clearance one time. They were really small boxes of 16 tea bags selling for 20¢ each, but that was back in 2011, so a LONG time ago. LOL

My grandmother used Lipton tea, but she used the Instant tea, which I have not used since I've been an adult.

I hope you try and like Red Rose tea, Penny. I know what you mean about some of the store brand teas, some of them are really weak too, so that would be a false economy.



Practical Parsimony said...

I drink Lipton instant decaffeinated tea. I did use teabags, but when it was just me, I could not finish a pitcher of tea. I hate it after it has been refrigerated and it gets fuzz on it when left on the counter overnight. So, it has been instant since then. I do drink Cokes, but not often. I really prefer water.

Belinda said...

Yes, water is my main beverage of choice. I do like to have a glass of tea with dinner though. :)

Anonymous said...

Went to our local Piggly Wiggly today and looked for some Red Rose tea to try. No luck finding it at this store. Will keep looking. What store(s) do you find it? Penny S.

Belinda said...

Our Walmart and Food City both carry it, but we have been buying it at Amazon since the pandemic. I hope you can find you some, Penny.

Unknown said...

Hi, Belinda! I’m also one of those who can’t comment on blogs, other than the prudent homemaker, for some reason. We’ll see if this works! I’ve been reading you for several years.
I drink hot, green tea with jasmine. No sugar, although, i used to add one teaspoon of honey to the first cup. If i drink cold, i like it with no lemon and no sugar. Which is difficult to find when we went south two years ago to see our daughter. Everything had lemon or sugar so i went with hot. You Southerners love the sweet tea! My BIL would make gallons of it for his crew every day. They were in southern Indiana.

Belinda said...

We do love our sweet tea. LOL Southern Indiana has the sweetest cantaloupes anywhere. We always stop and get some on our way thru there.

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