So, you’re ready to purchase your first SodaStream? That’s great! I’m certainly not going to talk you out of it. SodaStream drinks taste better than canned soda, it saves you money, and it’s good for the environment. As a company, SodaStream has continued to grow and was recently purchased by Pepsico for $3.2 billion! I’m guessing they saw SodaStream as a profitable company or maybe a threat? Either way, homemade soda is here to stay and is growing more and more popular every year.
Why are soda companies so profitable?
- Millions of people drink soda every single day.
- Soda is very cheap to make when you have the right equipment.
- People are used to paying $1-3 dollars for a soda that really cost only pennies to make.
Cut out the middle man
Restaurants and gas stations offer customers free refills because it costs them pennies to do so. Commercial soda fountains use 5 pound bags of soda syrup with large Co2 tanks to make drinks. A soda that costs you $1-3 dollars actually has a huge markup!
With just a little bit of effort, you can set up your SodaStream machine to make soda like a commercial soda fountain!
The SodaStream system consists of the machine, the Co2 tank, and the soda syrup. Mix the ingredients with water and you have soda. Most SodaStream machines use a small Co2 tank that costs around $15 to refill at certain locations. The containers of syrup are also sold in small packages with no way to buy in bulk.
Now, the SodaStream system is cheaper than buying cans but you’ll save much more if you buy soda concentrate or syrup in bulk. You can also purchase a large Co2 tank with converter hose to save yourself money on Co2. A large tank of Co2 also means fewer trips to the refill station!
The only way I’ve found to save money on flavoring is to use snow cone flavoring or create my own with concentrated juice or powdered mix. Ralph’s Soda Mix is another alternative to SodaStream’s flavoring. They provide flavors that SodaStream doesn’t have and get pretty good ratings. I recommend trying their sample pack to see what you like. After that, you can buy bigger bottles of Ralph’s to save money. Soda syrup by the gallon is also an easy way to buy flavoring, just remember to look at the mixing ratios when comparing brands of syrup. SodaStream’s concentrate has a 24:1 mix ratio. If you want to save even more money you can buy concentrated syrup. Concentrate can go far but it usually involves making your own mix with the concentrate and sugar. A concentrate is the most cost effective route, but if you don’t want to deal with mixing, then
If you buy a SodaStream you will eventually have to refill the Co2 tank that puts bubbles in your soda. A standard SodaStream tank lasts users about a week or two. If you use the machine less it can last longer or vice versa. The standard size bottle works for some people and there’s even a double size bottle available for select models. I recommend investing in a larger tank that you can fill for cheap but lasts way longer than a SodaStream bottle.
I recommend buying a brand new larger sized tank because this ensures that the tank was never used for anything besides Co2. Some tanks are used to store harsh chemicals that you do not want to be mixed with your soda. If you have a large family or drink lots of soda you should look into buying a new 5-10lb Co2 tank to get filled at local air stations. Since you will have to go somewhere and refill your tank you might as well fill a bigger tank that lasts longer, right? You should be able to fill a 10lb tank for around the same price you’ll pay to refill a standard sized SodaStream tank. To go this route you should find a restaurant equipment store that fills Co2 tanks or an air/gas business that fills oxygen, welding tanks, etc. Pretty much every town will have a place like this nearby. The tank I like is pictured above. You can also get a 5lb Co2 tank for around $50 but I like the 10.
In order to use a bigger Co2 tank, you’ll have to buy a converter hose that connects your big tank to the SodaStream’s Co2 connection. Here’s the hose I recommend Click here.
If you don’t need a 10 or 20lb Co2 tank you can get a 24 oz tank that will fit in a Jet machine but gives you more gas. This 24 oz canister with adapter is a cheap and easy option for expanding your Co2 storage capability. It won’t save you as much as the big tanks but it’s still better than the stock setup.
Food Grade vs Non-Food Grade Co2
Most Co2 is all the same stuff but you should ask for a tank of food grade Co2 that ranges in size from 5-20 lbs. The bigger the tank is the more money you will save. You’ll get a better price on the refill and make less trips to the station! Just make sure you have a place to store it at home. A tank of Co2 is pretty cheap and easy to get. You can buy tanks new, pay a deposit on one, or buy a used one. I’d recommend investing in a new 10lb tank for the reason I listed above. If you know that a used tank was never used for anything but quality Co2 a used or rented tank can also work. 5-10lb tanks are small, cheap to fill, and will last a long time. You should be able to fill a 10lb for about the cost of filling a SodaStream Co2 bottle which is much smaller.
Another method for refilling your SodaStream tank is to refill it yourself with dry ice. You simply unscrew the top of the canister and put a specified amount of dry ice into the canister using a funnel. You can refill a SodaStream canister for a couple dollars this way and it’s actually very easy. The only downside to this is that dry ice is potentially dangerous to work with, you cannot store it in a normal freezer, and it’s a little more work. It’s also challenging to find it sometimes. Dry ice is often found at the same places that sell Co2 tanks.
Buying this equipment is a significant investment but you will save lots of money in the long run. You will not only save money on the products but save tons of time and gas money that would be used traveling back and forth refilling tanks and buying flavors. Any investment that saves you money, in the long run, is a good one. That’s why I recommend the system I wrote about here. The Co2 tank and hose should last you a very long time. There’s a good chance it will outlast your soda machine. Luckily, the cost of a SodaStream machine without a Co2 tank is low, so, if your tank outlasts your machine you can easily replace it. This system will make sodas that compare with anything you’d get from a restaurant or commercial soda fountain!
So what exactly does the ultimate money saving soda kit look like? Here you go!
The SodaStream Source Machine, Carbonator Not Included
A 10lb Co2 tank (should cost $15-$20 to refill)
Co2 Converter Hose
Ralph’s Soda Syrup Or Anything Similar
With this setup, you can make soda for pennies and keep your refill trips to a minimum!