This Monday series checks out whether something that sounds like a good deal — or takes a bit of extra work — is a good deal. We’ll look at cost and benefit — with everything filtered through my individual experience. Please chime in with your take.
Mr. Cheap and I have a joke, especially in these hot summer months, where we ask each other, “Excuse me – do you have the most refreshing drink in the world?”
Sadly, the answer is often no. Still, we keep seeking, and we have our personal favorites now.
- Mr. Cheap prefers peppermint tea, brewed and iced. It is indeed refreshing.
- I am a fan of SPORTea. (I’m an even bigger fan now that I’ve confirmed their weird spelling and seen their very refreshing photos on the Web site (which, dear readers, Mr. Cheap just saw, causing him to dub my beverage “Dork Tea.”))
- Once in a while, we make a delicious hot or iced tea that consists of Earl Grey tea with some fresh mint leaves steeped in the tea, then sweetened with honey.
But I must confess that for me, sometimes, nothing beats the crisp satisfaction of a cold soda. The sweetness (usually diet), the bubbles, the cold can — ahhh.
Which beverage wins in wallet refreshment?
The cost breakdown:
A can of soda from a 12-pack bought on sale at the grocery store costs about $0.25.
For the teas, I’ve included the cost of water and gas to heat the water:
- One glass of peppermint tea = $0.06 (a 77% savings over the soda)
- One glass of SPORTea = $0.22 (10% savings)
- One cup or glass of Earl Grey/mint tea = $0.23 (10% savings)
The winner: Homemade. Soda doesn’t have a bubble to stand on..
The priceless factors:
- No caffeine.
- No scary sweeteners.
- Earl Grey is full of antioxidants.
- SPORTea is full of vitamins and herbs (it really does give me a boost when I’m down — I’m not sure how good that is, but it can’t be worse than Diet Dr Pepper)
- No cans to recycle.
- No box to recycle.
A couple of caveats:
Keeping a pitcher of tea takes up fridge space – but lukewarm tea is far more pleasant than lukewarm soda.
I will try to change my ways, even though I think it’s harder to give up an occasional treat than a daily habit. Tea just isn’t the same as soda – but if it does the job and is better for you, it’s hard to argue.