I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, the store displays and perhaps even know someone who owns one of these new at-home devices: The Soda Stream. It claims to make soda (or pop or “Coke”, depending on where you live in the U.S.) at home on your counter top for a fraction of the cost of buying a bottle or cans in the store. However, with all the parts that are required to operate a Soda Stream, how expensive does owning one really get for you in the long run?
The cost of the Soda Stream unit, itself, ranges from $60 to $170 (with the $130 model being one of the most popular choices by consumers). The new box comes with the Soda Stream unit, a carbonator that says it produces 60 liters of carbonation (whether you use it to make a soda or a seltzer) and a starter flavor bottle. To get a wider variety of soda flavors, you have to buy separate bottles, which are roughly $5.00 each.
Granted, each flavor bottle has a set amount of bottles it says it does, however, that amount may vary depending on how strong you make your drink. These syrups are concentrated, but you can put in as much or as little as you wish. In fact, it may take a few tries to discover just the right combination you prefer. That means you’ll go through your syrup bottles a little quicker than you may anticipate – or – a little longer, once you figure out the right amount you want to use.
The other issue that affects the overall cost of owning a Soda Stream is the carbonator cartridges. This is really where the bulk of your money is spent after the cost of the initial unit. Replacement cartridges are about $60 for two of the 60L cartridges, and $100 for the 130L selections. They have continued their intent to stay green by offering a cartridge exchange with many major retail stores where you may bring in your empty carbonators and exchange it for a filled one at about half of the price.
The ability to save money with this unit is obvious. However, it also depends on what the Soda Stream is replacing in your life. If you buy nothing but name brand sodas, you will see the biggest savings. If you normally purchase store brand drinks, the savings will be smaller. And, if you are just looking to have some bubbly water around, you’ll save some money, but the cost of the carbonators may offset that a bit, depending on if you use tap water or filtered water. It’s also pretty obvious that breaking even on the up-front costs versus continuing to buy pre-made drinks at the store may take a little longer to calculate than you may be expecting.
Do you own a Soda Stream unit? What do you think of the savings you’ve seen from it?