# Is SodaStream Cost Effective? We Did the Math for You

Is it cheaper to buy a SodaStream over canned seltzer water? The short answer: It depends on how much you drink. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes 43 gallons of carbonated soda annually. That’s the average. Taking into consideration those who don’t drink soda at all, and you have a much greater average consumption for those who do.

We are talking big numbers here, in both consumption and cost.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a 12-ounce can of store-bought soda or sparkling water is 51 cents. There are more than 10 12-ounce cans of soda in a gallon, and with an average annual consumption of 43 gallons, the average soda consumer consumes 430 12-ounce cans in a year. At 51 cents per can, that’s \$215. Per person. In a four-person household, that’s \$860 annually.

So now you know why some people shell out \$100 for the basic model SodaStream device. And the \$30 for the CO2 gas cylinder. And the \$15 for each SodaStream cylinder exchange. All in an attempt to spend less on soda.

The question is whether those people are actually saving money that way. The following provides the answer as to whether SodaStream is worth the investment.

## The Cost of SodaStream

The 60L SodaStream gas canister makes 15 gallons of carbonated water on average, depending on how carbonated you want your carbonated beverage to be. That’s 160 12-ounce sodas, which would cost you \$80 on the open market. Spending the \$100 initially on the SodaStream device, which comes with a full CO2 canister and the necessary carbonating bottle, and you have not yet saved money.

But, with each replacement gas canister (\$30 each at Target unless you turn in your empty, which halves the cost to \$15), you are still getting the \$80 worth of soda for much less money. Amortizing the initial cost of the soda maker over time,  you quickly end up spending less on soda than you do if you buy soda cans at the store.

There are other cost considerations. Some SodaStream models reduce the work involved in carbonating the water— pushing a carbonation nozzle button a number of times depending on how much carbonation you want your drink to have. They are more expensive, but that time is money.

You are also paying for the water that is going to be carbonated. You can use tap water or filtered water as you wish. You can use bottled water, which is an additional expense.

The soda goes into a plastic bottle provided in the initial SodaStream packaging, but you may want to use glass bottles instead. If several members of the family are using the device, you will need to invest in multiple glass or plastic bottles.

If you are flavoring your carbonated beverage, there is a cost for the syrup used to do so. A 440ML container of Pepsi flavoring costs \$5.94 at Target, and it provides approximately 304 ounces of soda flavoring, which translates to 25 drinks. Add that to your computations on whether SodaStream is cost-effective for you.

## Is SodaStream Worth It?

Yes, it is cheaper to make your own carbonated beverages at home than buying it in a store, although how much cheaper depends on how much bubbly water you drink, and how much fizz you want in your carbonated beverage. Overall, this is one of those shopping moments when the more you spend, the more you save.

## Ways to Save Even More Money on Soda

The prices mentioned in the section above are the suggested retail prices. You can save money on nearly every detail of creating fizzy water at home beyond what is mentioned here.

### Shop Other Soda Makers

There are other soda makers similar to SodaStream that may be purchased at cheaper prices. The cost of the CO2 cylinders depends on where you buy them, although this is one item that is not necessarily cheaper through Amazon. Shop around for the best prices.

### Shop Deals on LaCroix

If you’re not ready to shell out \$100 for a SodaStream, you can obviously save money on your carbonated beverages by purchasing them in warehouse stores, or look for sales at your local grocery store. Soda is rarely sold at the suggested retail price in those locations.

A case of 24 cans of lemon lime-flavored LaCroix costs \$12.69 at Costco. That’s still 52 cents per can, so the math there remains similar to the examples above.

### Shop the Store Brand

Most grocery chains offer store brands for carbonated beverages (the Albertson’s chain is Signature Select). A 12-pack of Lemon-lime flavored soda costs \$4.29 at Albertson’s stores, and that is only 35 cents per can.

## Other Considerations

Overall, using a device like SodaStream can save you money on sparkling water if you drink enough. If you can make your SodaStream last several years, you’ll only pay for the CO2 canisters, which reduces your costs.

The other benefit of switching to SodaStream is that you’re producing less waste thus reducing pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. By exchanging your CO2 canisters, you are not putting anything in your trash that ends up in a landfill. You are reducing your carbon footprint by using this environmentally friendly alternative.

However, you may face opposition in the household because homemade soda does not taste like store-bought soda. This battle is fought endlessly when it comes to store brand snacks and cereals versus name brand items. Prepare for a personal preference backlash within the household.

The only other consideration is the space a SodaStream device takes up on your kitchen counter. If you have the patience to take your SodaStream out of a cabinet when using it and put it back when done, this is not a concern.

## Pros and Cons of a SodaStream

Pros
• SodaStream allows you to cut back on sugar. You can buy sugar-free syrups to add to sparkling water to make it taste like cola, ginger ale or Dr Pepper.
• SodaStream produces less waste than purchasing cans of sparkling water or soda.
• You know exactly what you’re drinking when you make your own sparkling water.
• SodaStream is cheaper overall than purchasing cans of sparkling water from name brands like LaCroix. is cheaper overall than purchasing cans of sparkling water from brands like LaCroix and bubly.

Cons
• The gadget takes up counter space, which can be hard to swallow if you’re already starting with a small kitchen and minimal counter space.
• You have to plan ahead to refill your canister, or you may end up without sparkling water for a few days.
• Like any kitchen gadget, SodaStream can break down or develop mold if not cleaned regularly.
• The bubbles from SodaStream water may not last as long as commercial sparkling water, especially if you don’t drink it right away.

## Making the Choice: Is SodaStream Worth it for You?

There are three main factors involved in determining whether SodaStream devices are a good fit for you:

### Cost

The more you drink carbonated beverages, the more likely a SodaStream is a viable option from a cost perspective.

### Convenience

This one’s a mixed bag. Just like with store-bought soda, you have to keep a supply of CO2 cylinders and syrups at home. There is a mechanical aspect to replacing the CO2 cylinders, so it helps if you are handy. Some people may think it is simply more convenient to grab a can from the fridge and pop it open.

### Counter or Cabinet Space

How many devices do you currently have on your kitchen counter? Do you have room for a SodaStream? Do you have cabinet space for it if you don’t want to have it out all the time?

The final decision comes down to how important bubbly beverages are in your home.

Ohio-based contributor Catherine Hiles writes about finance, cars, pet ownership and parenting for The Penny Hoarder. Freelancer Kent McDill contributed to this report.