How Water Saved Me $1000 A Year

One of the worst habits I used to have was drinking soft drinks. There are no two ways about it – I was addicted to them. I would have a minimum of three a day and was spending close to $100 a month on them. I knew I needed to drastically reduce the number I was drinking, but the more that I was told I couldn’t have my daily sodas, the more I craved them. It wasn’t until I used a simple trick that I was able to break the habit.

We’ve all grown accustomed to to having some type of flavor in our drinks. Usually the flavor is pre-made and thus can become quite expensive over time – not to mention being unhealthy in many instances (and if they are “healthy” pre-made drinks, they’re even more expensive). If you’re like I was, you could save over $1000 (I still think about what a waste of money that all was!) a year, but even the average person can save well over $100 a year by cutting down on flavored drinks. The simple answer to this is to go back to drinking water instead of soda, fruit juices, etc.

Glass & Pitcher of water

When I came up with the plan, all my friends laughed. They knew how addicted I was and when I mentioned that I was going to begin drinking water, they had already dismissed the plan before I could even explain. What they failed to understand was that my plan wasn’t to stop drinking soda and only drink water, but to use water to unhook me from my soda addiction.

For those who would like to stop drinking expensive beverages to save money, my ultimate success came about by taking a different approach than trying to replace soda with water. I instead told myself that I could have as much soda as I wanted. The trick was that before I could have the soda I wanted, I had to drink a full glass of water. Simple. I could have as many sodas as I wanted as long as I drank a full glass of water before having the soda. The result? I didn’t feel deprived of my soda because I could drink one anytime I wanted, but by making myself drink a glass of water first, the water reduced my cravings for the soda. It didn’t eliminate my soda cravings, but drastically reduced them to the point that I now rarely have them.

For those who are not addicted to the extent I was, simply drink three glasses of water a day. One when you get up in the morning, one at noon and one in the early afternoon. many people go for flavored drinks becasue they aren’t getting enough liquids and by committing to 3 glasses of water a day, they won’t feel near as thirsty.

I think this lesson is a close analogy to how many people approach saving money. Many approach saving money as “no longer being able to spend” which just makes them want to spend more. Part of the challenge is to come up with fun ways to save money so that it is no longer an activity that is depriving you of something, but is an activity that is something that you want to do to achieve certain goals.

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20 Responses to How Water Saved Me $1000 A Year

  1. Madame X says:

    Good idea, but only if you’re not drinking expensive bottled water!

  2. houstons28 says:

    For the last three month’s i had use this method of drinking two glass of water when taking my diet pills, and four glass of water during my meals and sinde then i have lost 25 pounds and believe me , i feel the difference.

  3. RS says:

    Great idea, I am going to try this. I drink waaaay too much soda right now, everybody knows that I am addicted. Hope it works, thanks for the idea.

  4. mapgirl says:

    I give up soda every year for Lent, actually anything that effervesces, beer & champagne included. I never get to toast my own birthday with champagne, it’s a bummer. I started out doing it because of the calories and corn syrup, but you’re right, water is much cheaper.

    Somewhere out there is an article, I think I saw it in the Wall Street Journal, that children’s cavities are on the rise again b/c everyone is giving them bottled water instead of flouridated tap water. Go figure.

    Keep on drinking that HzO.

  5. Frugal Momma says:

    I very rarely drink soda or other drinks-coffee, water, tea and milk. The kids mostly drink water and milk and one juice box for school.

  6. Zorro's Steno says:

    That’s a great idea. A bit off topic, but I read somewhere that the reason most people eat between meals and snacks is that their body is saying it’s thirsty. However most people don’t realize it and will eat something before drinking a glass of water.

    I don’t know if it’s true, but something to think about.

  7. Perky says:

    I did that a couple years ago, for health, not money (I was a dink at the time!) I still drink an enourmous amount of water, and a bonus, I think straight pop or juice is sooo sickeninly sweet, I can’t drrink it! (took a couple years, and don’t worry I still like chocolate :).)

  8. Uncle Foobar says:

    As a Pepsi stockholder, i find all sorts of holes in your plan.

    1st, do you really want to give up a delicious glass of cola, so satisfying and refreshing?

    2nd, High Fructose Corn Syrup is Brain Food. Without it your brain will shrivel to the
    size of a peanut.

    3rd, Your Buying Soda LINES my Pockets with MONEY MONEY MONEY. My Personal Finance RELIES on you Soda drinkers, drinking and drinking and drinking.

    Did i mention that you will end each day sad and unrefreshed without a great can of soda?


  9. Tanya says:

    What a good idea. The only downside that I can see, apart from Uncle Foobar’s finances ending in tatters, is that water tastes awful! Even when cold I can’t tell the difference between normal tap water or the bottled stuff. So it is tooth strengthing tap water for us. We use fruit juice instead of cordial and make it up in a ratio of 1:3. Soon this will be 1:4. Like perky says straight fruit juice is sickenly sweet.

  10. Loi Tran says:

    I drink about 1 gallon of water a day. I got used to drinking a lot of water. I think I’m getting addicted to soda again. I usually drink 3 or 4 cups of soda at places with free refills.

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  14. Jason says:

    #9: Yes, plain water is not the most appealing, taste wise. Try putting a tea bag in a near-full gallon jug of water to flavor that water up a bit (let is sit for several hours cold before drinking). Green tea gives a nice energy boost, or something like Japanese barley tea gives a caffine-free flavor kick.

    This adds a little extra cost, but not that much if you don’t opt for the fancy-schmancy expensive teas.

  15. Meg says:

    I used to be addicted to soda and sweet tea as a kid because my mom had awful sulfur water. However, when I moved into my own place the water was so much better that I started keeping a cold pitcher of water in the fridge. Now I rarely drink anything but water, even when dining out. It saves money at home, of course, but the real savings comes when dining out. I hardly even noticed what I was paying for drinks until I stopped. And of course, I’ve found it much easier to loose weight and keep it off without all that high fructose corn syrup.

  16. Meg says:

    P.S. My mom showed my a little trick growing up. Order water, then squeeze the lemon and add sugar from the little packets on the table. Presto! “Home-made” lemonade!

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  20. Walt Sellers says:

    I’ve had success breaking my soda habit with sweet tea when at restaurants and home. I started with the trade-off that while it may have a lot of sugar, it doesn’t have the various ingredients of a soda (like sodium for instance.)

    Over time, I’ve lowered the sugar content and adjusted easily. Even my kids didn’t really notice.

    I do recommend boiling the sugar in water to help it last longer. (Don’t put sugar in a coffee-maker or tea-maker.) And to me it tastes better that way.

    Also, on days when my first reaction to water is to want something with more taste, I try to think about ice-water’s taste after working outdoors in high heat and humidity. Water tastes much better then.

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