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How to stretch your drink dollars

Buying a case of bottled water may save you money compared to buying individual bottles, but do you really need to buy water at all? And if you're dropping dollars on vending machine beverages or single-serving containers of your favorite drink, you're sp

Buying a case of bottled water may save you money compared to buying individual bottles, but do you really need to buy water at all? And if you're dropping dollars on vending machine beverages or single-serving containers of your favorite drink, you're spending too much cash to rehydrate. Here are some money-saving tips on beverages, courtesy of Stephanie Nelson, better known as the Coupon Mom.
Buying a case of bottled water may save you money compared to buying individual bottles, but do you really need to buy water at all? And if you're dropping dollars on vending machine beverages or single-serving containers of your favorite drink, you're spending too much cash to rehydrate. Here are some money-saving tips on beverages, courtesy of Stephanie Nelson, better known as the Coupon Mom.

Save money on beverages

1. Skip the vending machines

"When you enjoy soft drinks or sports drinks, buy them on sale at the grocery store or drugstore and bring them from home," recommends Nelson, who is considered the nation’s top expert in couponing. "Vending machines and convenience stores will cost you five times more."

2. Forgo pricey packaging

Instead of buying single serving containers of your favorite drinks, Nelson suggests choosing the least expensive container. "Skip the expense of individual packaging of juice boxes, [and keep in mind that] making punch or lemonade from a powdered mix is less expensive than buying a 2-liter," she explains.

3. Get healthier with seltzer

Stop buying soft drinks, which are not only expensive but will also cost your health in the long run. "Health experts will tell you to cut back on soda and adult beverages to lose weight," says Nelson. "Try an inexpensive, healthy and delicious alternative to carbonated soft drinks: seltzer water with a splash of fruit juice." Keep your kids from drinking too much fruit juice.

4. Make your own tea

Do you find yourself stocking up on bottled teas every week? "Instead of buying bottled iced tea from the store, make your own for pennies a glass," says Nelson. "Try sun tea and you’ll save energy, too." Just fill a big jar with water, add tea bags, and leave the covered jar outside in the sun for several hours.

5. Skip the bottled water

"Water can cost as much as $10 a gallon when we buy it in individual bottles as compared to 0.5 cent per gallon when we turn on the tap," says Nelson. "It you are unsatisfied with the quality of your tap water, it is less expensive to purchase a filter than purchasing bottles of filtered water. Factor in the filter and pitcher expense and it only costs 22 cents a gallon." Bottom line: Stop buying bottled water to save money.

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