Shopping for Beverages

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Shopping for Beverages

Adults and children can easily consume more than 400 calories every day in beverages alone. Making good choices for drinks can reduce calories and save money, too!

Water for the win!

  • Water is a great option for saving money and calories.
  • Water from your faucet at home is the least expensive. But, if you need to buy water at the store, the gallon-size containers are the best value. Compare prices of different brands to get the best buy.
  • When you eat out, order water instead of tea or a soft drink to keep the costs and the calories down.
  • Before you leave for work or other activities, fill a reusable water bottle from your home faucet. Put it in your backpack, bag, or car, and drink from it throughout the day to stay hydrated. If you freeze it the night before and put it in your lunch box, it can keep your lunch cool and be ready to drink by lunchtime!

Don't forget dairy!

Make it kid-friendly.

  • Make water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100-percent juice easy options for your kids.
  • Keep ready-to-go containers of these drinks in the refrigerator where kids can reach them easily. Include them in lunchboxes and backpacks so they will have healthy options when they are away from home.

Control the calories, sodium, and caffeine.

  • Soft drinks, energy or sports drinks, juice-blends, and other sugary drinks contain a lot of calories from added sugars. They have little nutritional value. They can also be very high in sodium and caffeine.

Make it a treat.

  • If you just can’t do without sweet tea or a soft drink, make it special. Don’t have these drinks with every meal. Instead, have them as a special and occasional snack. You will enjoy them more, and you’ll save money and calories.
  • Cut back on the size of the container.
  • Check the serving size and number of servings in the can or bottle.
  • Choose smaller cans, bottles, or cups instead of the super-sized options.

Teach your tastebuds.

  • If sweet tea is a favorite, gradually reduce the sugar. Try half-sweet/half-unsweetened tea for a while. Then try unsweetened every now and then. Eventually, you will be a fan of unsweetened tea!
  • If you just have to have the bubbles of a soft drink, try the sparkling water or club soda options. Choose the ones with no sweeteners, no caffeine, and no sodium.
    • These come in a variety of flavors, so you can find the ones you enjoy most.
    • The store brands of these drinks are usually less expensive than national brands.
    • If you can’t find them on the soft drink aisle in your store, check the bottled water aisle.

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.