Fruit Flavored Drinks=I know Koolaid is cheap, but think about how much sugar you are putting into your body. No way. If you use a sugar substitute then I would say its better but there are no health benefits from it. We drink the store brand of Crystal Light. Its sugar free and doesnt taste like it. Its sweet and yummy. No measuring any sweetners, just add water and drink. You can find the store brand for only $1.75-$2 at Walmart or Winco. You get 5 packets to make 5 gallons. I will buy name brand crystal light only if I have a coupon with a sale and its cheaper than the store brand. That doesnt happen often.
Fruit Juice Concentrate=I really find it hard to pay $1.50 -$2 for each can of juice. My kids drink so much that I would need 1 per day costing me $15 and more each week. So this one is out. I do buy lemonaid during the summer when Fred Meyers has them for as low as 10 cents. But thats it. When my girls were younger, I did need to buy apple juice and orange juice for them. I would wait out for a sale and stock up. Little ones need the health benefits. I also make lemonaid with lemon concentrate ($1 or so). Use 1 cup of lemon juice, 3/4 cup of sugar and fill the rest with water in a quart container. My kids love this.
Tea=Tagless black tea is your best value. You can add some sugar and a tsp of milk to make it yummy. I will also get tea in the mark down section but only will pay $1 or less. I have so much tea that I could just drink tea for a few years and be fine. I drink tea with no sugar during the summer with lots of ice. Might add some lemon juice(bottled). Dont waste your money on specialty tea's. They have the same amount of caffine as all the rest. You can also get good value with instant tea. I dont like the taste of it so I dont buy it. Thats just my taste.
Coffee=Again I stay with store brands. If I have a coupon with a sale price, I sometimes will buy the name brand coffee. On my birthday each year I ask for gift cards from coffee places like Starbucks or Tulleys. Then I go take the gift card and purchase coffee grounds. I have them ground it to expresso. (I get better flavor this way). This way its no money out of my pocket and the value goes a long way. I have a expresso/coffee machine (xmas gift $99 at Fred Meyers had it for 3 yrs now) So I just use 1 tbsp of coffee grounds and I get 4 oz of expresso. Then I add milk and sugar to taste. If I still need some caffine, I just add more water and use the same grounds again to get another ounce or two out of it. If I buy coffee grounds and dont have a coupon or sale, I will buy it only if I can get it for $5 or less per lb. Winco has a good selection of their brand coffee. Or I will use what friends and family have given me. Were not picky on brands, they taste the same to us. Stop buying foo foo drinks(starbucks and etc) and buy their grounds. You will pay 50 cents or less per cup verses $5 they want to charge you for making it for you. I cannot even remember buying a specialty drink. A friend brought us 2 coffee's a few weeks ago but other than that, nothing.
Soda=Another waste of money. I will only buy soda if I can get it for free. Once in a while I find coupons for them. Other than that, its a no go. We recieved some from friends and family and save those for when we have company or for a treat. I found that once I stopped drinking soda, I would just crave the carbination. Once I I got past that, I was fine.
Water=This is the biggest waste of money if you ask me. Why pay for water in a bottle when it comes through your own pipes at home? It seems so silly to me. We drink alot of water in our house. If we eat out, we drink water. If we pack drinks for the zoo, or hiking, we pack water. Its a no brainer. If you do buy a water, reuse the container. This is doing two things. Saving you money and recycling. Just make sure you wash the bottle after each use. Vitamin waters and things like that are also a big waste of money. If you take a multi vitamin everyday, you dont need that to drink.
Energy Drinks=Unless I get a coupon to get it for free, I dont buy them. My husband (urr) buys them at work but they dont come out of my budget. I wont allow it. I allow myself 2 caffinated drinks in the morning/afternoon (coffee usually) and no more after 2pm. Way cheaper than a energy drink thats full of sugar and cost $1 -$3 each.
Milk=We drink milk but water usually first. Milk is used for cereal, coffee, or cooking. I buy powdered milk for baking and cooking. Its around $2.50 per lb and last forever so you dont have to worry about it going bad and wasting your money. Fresh milk is bought if its $2.99 or less per gallon. I bought cereal last week 3/$5 and recieved a free milk coupon. I used that coupon towards organic hormone free that was $5.79. Coupon was good up to $4.50 then I had a $1.50 off coupon for that brand of milk. Making it FREE! There are ways of getting milk for free. Did you know you can freeze milk? Yep! So buy those marked down small containers of milk and just freeze them for later use. Same goes for butter, yogurt, and things like that.
Here is what we have in our fridge always
2 gallons of fresh milk
1 qt homemade store brand crystal light
1 qt water