Food / Groceries, Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Shopping

Staying Hydrated Without Spending A Fortune

Summer is coming to the Northern hemisphere so, for most of us, we are going to be feeling the heat very soon. If you live in a climate that is already hot, as I do, the heat will be even more intense. No matter where you live, you will need to drink more, and more often, to avoid dehydration. If, like me, you have an aversion to public drinking fountains which, to be blunt, I find really disgusting, you will need to plan ahead if you want to avoid purchasing beverages when you are out and about.

Have you ever noticed the difference in price between a single serving bottle of a beverage and a much larger bottle is not all that great? Indeed, the other day I was in my local grocery store and I realized that the chilled 16.9 ounce bottles of soda by the cash registers cost $1.49 while the unchilled two liter bottles were on sale for $1.25! Stores know that if a customer wants a cold beverage, they will pay more to get it! I suspect that is why grocery stores usually do not offer chilled two liter bottles.

Anyway, most people already know that buying a single serving bottle of cola is going to be more expensive than planning ahead and bringing something from home. Here are the other things that I do to help ensure that you do not find yourself in need of a quick beverage fix while you are out:

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Don’t drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol. Caffeine contributes to the dehydration of the body. Avoid it by drinking decaffeinated coffee, tea and soda, or just limit yourself to water and fruit juice when you know you are going to be out of the house for extended periods of time. The same holds true for alcoholic beverages so avoid those as well!

Stock up on Bottled Beverages and Keep Them on Ice

A bottle of soda can cost $2.00. Some iced teas can cost much more than that. So-called energy drinks are even more expensive. Whatever drinks you enjoy, buy them in bulk when they are on sale and keep them on ice so that you can bring a few bottles with you when you leave the house. If you keep a cooler in your car, you can help to keep cold beverages chilled for hours and you will save as much as much 90% as compared to buying one bottle at a time while you are out.

Brew Iced Tea and Coffee at Home

If you enjoy iced coffee and tea, keep a pitcher of brewed coffee or tea in your refrigerator. Fill your travel mug before you leave the house to run your errands or go to work and you can enjoy your favorite beverage for pennies on the dollar as compared to buying one cup at a time. You can even purchase better quality tea and coffee and enjoy a finer brew than you would otherwise get in a store or coffee shop.

Look for Summer Beverage Deals

Race Trac is offering its “Freefill” cup for only $6.99 at any of its 500 gas station and convenience store locations. Purchase the Freefill cup and you can refill it with fountain beverages all summer long. If you live near a Race Trac, that is quite a bargain.

Keep a Bag of Sucking Candies in Your Car or Bag

If you watch survival shows on TV, you know that by sucking on a rock or two, you can stimulate the production of saliva to keep your mouth moist. The same holds true if you suck on a candy. Purchase a bag of sucking candies and pop one in your mouth every so often to keep your mouth from drying out.

How are you going to stay hydrated this summer? What are your tricks for cutting down on beverage costs during the dog days of summer?

8 thoughts on “Staying Hydrated Without Spending A Fortune

  1. I have a stainless steel waterbottle in my car that I always make sure is full before I run any errands. When I’ve run out of water, I always have gum in the car, which seems to work a lot like the hard candies. 🙂

    Also, last fall I went to Las Vegas. I was fascinated and irritated by the fact that there wasn’t one drinking fountain anywhere in the joint and a smallish bottle of water cost $4! I was there for a convention, so I paid for one of those silly bottles and then refilled it periodically from the tap in my room. If I’d driven, I would have headed to a local store and purchased a case of bottled water for what I paid for that one bottle in the casino. 😉

  2. The reason for the no water fountains in a casino is they do not want you to leave that slot machine for anything. That’s why they serve *free* drinks while playing. You still should tip the waitress, so they are not really free. I will go up to the bar, put a $20 into the slot machine built into each seat there, play a quarter and get a free drink (they will serve water there too) then, tip the bartender a $1, cash out and walk away. Where else can you get a mixed drink for $1.25? – I don’t gamble much but I do like to walk through the casinos there.

    Note: They didn’t build those casinos with the winners money.

  3. I’m disappointed that you don’t talk about the most important beverage to drink over the summer–WATER. You make a clear point that caffeine can actually dehydrate you, but all of your points are about soda and tea. There are so many possibilities with water, such as buying a re-usable water bottle and Brita pitcher in order to save money. The most attractive thing to me in the summer is a sweating pitcher of water with a couple slices of lemon in it!

  4. With regards to the your point about making iced tea, your readers might be interested in a report featured on the bbc news website telling us about research which indicates that tea (and coffee) drinkers are likely to be improving their chances of reducing heart disease – tea doesnt surprise me, but coffee?

    anyway, here’s the link:

  5. After my morning cup of coffee, I drink water until bedtime. I have 2 stainless water bottles that I fill up from home and take with me to work or errands. If it’s a really hot day, I’ll add ice first. I can always stop somewhere and refill if I need to.

  6. I use and reuse my bottled water bottles over and over and over. Where I live the tap water is good. This saves a lot of money. If your tap water is not good, get a filter at the sink.

    Walmart has drink mixes that are fairly inexpensive. Some of them are quite “strong” and can be diluted beyond the instructions.

  7. I always bring water bottles from home when out and about. We are on a well though and since I’m not sure about the purity of the water in regards to my health, we buy all our drinking water by the gallon. I figure it is cheaper than picking up a germ that my doctors would have a hard time diagnosing and the docs agree with my use of bottled water.

  8. Water. Period. If your city’s tap water is any good, then tap water. Aside from utility bills, it’s FREE.

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