SodaStream: Product of the Year 2010

Today, I’d like to tell you about my favorite purchase of last year – SodaStream. If you told me a month ago I’d be writing this article, I wouldn’t have believed you. I put it at the bottom of my Christmas list behind a Kindle and a 2 Terabyte Hard Drive for my media center project. I saw the product in SkyMall about a year ago. (Anything in SkyMall instantly gets downgraded in my opinion.) I researched whether it would save me money and decided against buying it. At the time, I thought about writing a post about it, but I didn’t think it was interesting to tell you about a product that I wasn’t particularly interested. However, a friend, Steve from Brip Blap, mentioned it in passing which combined with Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s big push this year made me revisit the product. I decided to buy as a gift to myself after Christmas. I was fully prepared to sell it on Craigslist in a month as a failed experiment.

I know what your thinking? What is SodaStream? It’s a kitchen appliance that is used to make your own soda at home. That was the concept that interested me when I first heard about it. I have a little Diet Coke addiction and usually making food at home is less expensive than buying it. The interesting thing is that its not new. It’s actually a product that’s been around since the 70’s. Check out this fantastic commercial:

It’s hard to imagine that this isn’t in everyone’s household with a slogan like “Get Busy with the Fizzy” and the cool grandma sealing the deal at the end. That commercial is entertaining enough to entail at post in itself, right? Well, fortunately it isn’t just marketing. J-Lo better look out because SodaStream is the rare product that is a quadruple thread. It can save you money, instill healthier habits, help the environment, and save you space in your home.

SodaStream Can Save you Money

This is probably the weakest argument, which is why I passed it over the first time I heard about it. The initial cost for a SodaStream is around $99. It comes with a carbonation canister (good for 60 liters) and enough soda syrup to make about 12 liters (one sample of each of a dozen flavors). Refills of the carbonation are $15 and 12 liters of soda syrup is $5.

Breaking it down, it is about $0.50 for a two litter of carbonation and $0.80 for a two liter of soda syrup. That comes out to be about a $1.30 for a two-liter of soda. Costs of soda ranges widely in my area, but I’ll can often find generic soda (I’ll cover taste later) for $0.83 at my local grocery store. Ouch! Laying out $80 to pay more for soda is a horrible idea!

The equation changes when you realize the flexibility it provides. I found that you can add a cap-full of lemon juice in place of the syrup and make a tasty drink. It turns out that lemon juice is quite cheap. I have a 32 ounce bottle that I paid a couple of bucks for on sale. It has 189 servings of lemon juice and after a month of more than 60 liters, I have used about a third of the bottle. I’ve essentially taken the $0.80 soda syrup out the equation. Now, I’m actually saving money and I like the taste of carbonated lemon water as much as diet soda.

Some of you may be quick to point out that I’ve lost the caffeine that I was getting before in the soda. That’s a fair argument. Fortunately, one can choose to buy some generic NoDoz caffeine tablets if they feel like they need it. Personally, I’m enjoying the experience of eliminating caffeine form my diet.

The savings don’t just end with the lemon juice trick. Since I’ve written about how MonaVie, an acai juice blend, I’ve decided to try V8 Fusion Acai Berry juice. It’s around $3.10 at my grocery store (Wal-Mart has great prices as well) for 46 ounces. A half and half mixture of V8 Fusion and carbonated water from SodaStream is pretty close to their V8 Fusion Light products (half the calories at the same cost). The carbonation makes it more interesting too. This saves me money as well.

SodaStream Instills Good Health Habits

With regular soda, you are typically choosing amongst high fructose corn syrup, full calorie cane syrup, or some man-made sweetener (Aspartame or Splenda for example). Many health experts will say that you shouldn’t drink your calories. So that eliminates the first two choices. Other health experts have questions about the long-term effects of those zero-calorie sweeteners. I don’t want to get in a debate about that, but if I can avoid them all and go with something more natural that’s a health win, right?

I looked into that lemon juice that I mentioned above. It uses sodium benzoate as preservative. When combined with vitamin C that forms a carcinogen called benzene. (Yep, I learned that with MonaVie too, because they combine sodium benzoate with vitamin C – mmmm, cancer, yum). While the FDA says this isn’t an issue, I figure why risk it? I didn’t think my lemon juice had vitamin C, but I just checked it and it does, so I’m going to be ditching that right now.

All is not lost though. The sodium benzoate issue lead me to look for more natural solutions. I’ve stumbled upon True Lemon, which the best stuff since True Blood. True Lemon is a little packet of natural, zero-calorie, crystallized lemon. It is less than $0.10 a packet (good for one liter). I found some great prices for True Orange (which is just as great as True Lemon) on Ebay. I’ll give True Lime a shot the next time I go to the store. So I’ll pay a little more, but I’ll be eliminating some of the chemicals that I used to be ingesting.

There are additional health benefits. I have a Brita filter, so I can use filtered water. That further adds to the cost, but I’m not sure about the quality of the water in soda. In addition the containers that you make the SodaStream in are BPA free, which means that there’s no leeching of chemicals that you may have heard about with water bottles.

The big takeaway here is that since I’m making it myself, I control what goes into it. This gives me great peace of mind.

SodaSteam Helps the Environment

This is a no-brainer. I’m no longer buying two liters of soda. Even if I were to recycle those bottles, it does take energy to make them reusable again.

SodaStream Saves you Space in your Home

Why is saving space important? The late, great, George Carlin said it best when he explained the purpose of a house years ago:

“That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it… That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore!”

The switch to SodaStream means that I have to store less soda in my home (the syrup is condensed so it doesn’t take up much space). It also means that I wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store to get more soda (which was rare, but it still occurred).

Finally, with the sample packages, we can make a liter of whatever soda we want on demand. There’s even a generic Red Bull flavor (which doesn’t have the guarana in it). It will come in handy if we want to make some kind of vodka – Red Bulls for guests.

How Does it Taste?

When it comes to soda, I’d drink all kinds of generics. I could tell the differences in taste, but I wouldn’t say that any soda taste better than any other soda. My sense of smell is terrible and I think it has an effect on my taste buds. However, my wife has a great sense of smell and taste. She confirmed that the diet soda syrup tastes pretty good. However, she, like me, is looking more at the health benefits of eliminating soda than replacing it.

Bottom Line: Go out and get a SodaStream (through the official site or through Amazon).

Are you still reading this? You should have left this website by now to get a SodaSteam. Seriously!

Update: I found that I could get True Lemon and True Lime much cheaper online. The 32 packet box I was getting was around $2.50 for 0.91 ounces. I was in the spice of my local military commissary and found a 2.85 ounce shaker of it for about the same price. It’s not as convenient to travel with, but more than three product for the same price is certainly a big savings ($2.74 an ounce vs. $0.88 an ounce). I’ve seen a True Lemon 10.7oz Shaker on Amazon, which may be an option for those of you without the military connections. Since the commissary doesn’t have True Lime in the shaker, I’ll probably be headed that way. True Orange, sadly, currently doesn’t seem to come in a shaker of any kind.

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  1. If you’re not using the mixes wouldn’t be easier and cheaper to just buy a two liter of soda water and just mix it with juice or whatever?

    This product is interesting to me but after looking at the reviews I’m not convinced it is a good deal.

    • Unfortunately a two-liter of soda water in my area is still 83 cents. It’s considered to be just another flavor like diet cola vs. root beer. I’d love for someone to chime in what soda water costs at WalMart. It’s a 20 mile drive for me and I’m a little too Lazy to check myself.

      Speaking of being Lazy it is nice not to have bottles to return to get the deposit back.

  2. Lazy, I have pretty much eliminated pop from my diet but I would love to pop by for a home made red bull and vodka martini! Too bad I live in another country!!

    As I said, I eliminated soda pop from my diet years ago but I DO crave something sparkly ever so often. I know it has had some bad press lately but I often buy POM or pure grape juice and mix it with one of them there fancy sparkling waters (one of them is always on sale & go to Costco you can get it for much, much cheaper) because it has less sodium & I believe some natural minerals. I know it is not economical but, it is a much healthier choice and I KNOW what I am putting into my body. Now when I have any of the store bought soda’s or flavored waters, I find them waaay too sweet!

    That said, I think if people live in a household where a lot of soda is consumed, it is a great idea because you can control the contents, but I concur with Spela…I think it will end up collecting dust next to that bread maker….let us know if you make it a habit to use it!

  3. I have to second the ‘product of the year’ accolade – got the SodaStream last year and love making selzer without the mystery ingredients and knowing where the water’s from.

    I haven’t priced out the cost with the cartridges (can always find a discount code online when I order them) – but having just pure water go into the choice makes it worthwhile, and it’s one less thing to lug home from the grocery store.

    I don’t use any of the mixes. Just add lemonade or whatever when the mood strikes.

    • I forgot to factor in that cartridge refills can be bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond who consistently flood my mailbox with 20% discounts. So it is essentially $12 for 60 liters or 40 cents for a two-liter. I’ve only been though one cartridge, but I think we’ve gotten a lot more than 60 liters too. I’d estimate it closer to 75 as I use less than the recommended fizz, which is more than enough if you are drinking it right away (as I often do).

  4. SodaStream: Product of the Year 2010

    I second your recommendation. I thought this would be a waste of money (my wife wanted it). But we bought it in March of 2010 and it is AWESOME; we use it EVERY day.

    If you haven’t tried it, your really missing out on something fun and all the other good points made above. The kids love it too and we like that we can give them a bubbly drink with fruit juice instead of that garbage in Coke. We trade in our CO2 cartiridges at www(dot)sodastreamusa(dot)com (the company’s website).

    Haven’t bought (or had to carry or store or recycle) canned soda in 6 months.

  5. Love the idea of using lemon juice and v8 juice in place of the syrup, Lazyman – a terrific money saving idea and a much healthier alternative!

    Humiliated, I have to second the red bull and vodka martini! Too bad we’re all in different countries.

  6. I’m glad I could recommend this to Lazy, and I’m glad he likes it, too. I did recommend it quite highly to him, and to anyone who thinks they won’t use it – wrong. It’s far better than buying seltzer at the store, which I did for years before getting a Sodastream. No lugging bottles back and forth, you never run out, you generate NO waste (the cartridges are exchanged and refilled, not thrown out, and the bottles you use at home are good for about 4 years). It’s healthy, you can mix almost anything with it, and it is cheaper. If you love carbonated drinks, I guarantee you will not be disappointed with this product. I have used it everyday for about 2 years now – I can’t even imagine why you wouldn’t get one!

    Hey, have you tried putting some MonaVie in there, by the way? :)

    (We did mix in a little acai berry juice, but the Costco version – not bad, but even Costco acai berry juice is too pricey for me)

    • Steve, I wouldn’t give the MonaVie people any ideas there :-). I had thought about some POM Wonderful because it is generally too sweet for me to drink by itself. I think 48 ounces is $8 at my local military commissary. Even that is pretty expensive, but when mixed with carbonated water it is going to go a lot further.

    • It is my understanding that club soda is just carbonated water. If so, then yes, it makes club soda. You carbonate the water and then add in syrup (like cola, root beer, generic red bull, etc.) for flavor. You can skip the syrup and just drink the carbonated water. Or you can do what I do and add a little True Lemon or True Orange to provide a little flavor.

  7. Those people are having so much fun drinking soda! I think it sounds like a great product, but don’t really drink soda otherwise I’d totally get fizzy :(

  8. Years ago I realized it wasn’t the sweetness of soda that I like, but the carbonation, so I started drinking sparkling water. My youngest son got hooked on it, too and was buying 12 packs. He was drinking about 6 cans a day, that’s a lot of load and lugging so I bought him a SodaStream for Christmas 2009. I really like that we can use our well water, instead of water from who knows where stored in aluminum cans with BPA in the lining. There is another product similar to SodaStream… the inventor promised months ago to send me the product to try out and review, but never heard anything back from him. Glad you are liking your SodaStream!

  9. Lazy,

    I’m highly considering buying a Sodastream in order to cut my store-bought soda habit down significantly (at home anyway.) I only drink diet sodas, but I’d like to get away from the extra sodium and caffeine and I think home-made seltzer with lemon or other flavoring would be a great alternative.

    What is making me go back and forth is the cost of the CO2 refills. I did some searching and have found a couple of products (the better looking one at http://www.co2doctor.com/) that let you use standard CO2 bottles like paintballers or regular soda fountains use, refilled at local welding supply stores. This brings the cost per liter bottle down to a couple of pennies each, not to mention the additional environmental saving of not shipping bottles back and forth all of the time.

    I was wondering if you’ve looked into that option and if it seems like a good idea? I haven’t found anything negative regarding using these, but was surprised to see you not mention them since you tend to be good at finding ways to cut expenses.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog!

    Jeremy

  10. The products made by co2doctor.com rock!

    I was spending over $80 a month on the stupid refills from sodastream. Their cost savings estimates are pure BS!

    Out of frustration, I purchased the freedomone+ system that uses paintball tanks and now I can get my co2 refills for $4 instead of $30!

    I had plenty of 20oz paintball tanks but I also picked up some 24oz ones from them as well. I highly recommend these folks.

  11. Sadly, the idea that there’s such a thing as “consumable” or “food” grade co2 is just a myth that is fostered and perpetrated with people like sodastream. Everything I’ve read and researched tells me that all co2 (with the exception of research or lab grade) has the same purity and made identically. In fact, most suppliers for the beverage industry also supply the welding and industrial gas users.

    • Well, chemically, CO2 is going to be C02 – a carbon and two oxygen atoms (please come through 7th grade chemistry). As I understand it, the problem is that not all CO2 that you might buy is pure CO2. There could be trace amounts of other gases. You mentioned an example with research or lab grade CO2. You don’t want to mix the two up.

      I find nothing wrong with the beverage industry supplying the welding industry for example.

  12. I have visited just about every CO2 gas manufacturer and the ones the specifically sell “graded” CO2 show tables that indicate their worst grade as being 99.99% pure CO2 and the other .01% being either moisture, oxygen, or other non toxic gas which occurs naturally in nature.

    My biggest concern was not other gases but real contaminants and from what I can see, there are none of any consequence.

    I even ran across urban myths like the one about paintball stores putting oil in their CO2. The two local stores I visited laughed when I told them that story. It just so happens that these two stores on opposite sides of town buy their gas from a place called Matheson Tri-Gas who carries only 99.999% purity grade CO2 and they fill tanks for the local bars and restaurants. The fellow there told me the same trucks that deliver to welding shops also deliver to the local Chick Filet, Burger King, and most other restaurants that require delivery of tanks or bulk delivery (tanker trucks).

    Marketing never ceases to amaze me and how they twist the American Consumer’s mind to their own benefit. Hey, the new iPad just came out and Steve Jobs says I must have one! :)

    Oh well, maybe I’m wrong but I doubt it. Time will tell if my four liter a day club soda habit will kill me due to the .000513% helium content in my CO2!

    • For the sake of the discussion, let’s presume that you are right John. The problem I have, is how to make use of this information. It’s not immediately obvious to me how to turn something industrial like a CO2 tank into an easy kitchen appliance. It seems like that would require some significant construction. I could see such a project if I was going to make a bar or something, but for most people, something that fits on a counter-top is a good compromise.

      I’d love to know how much the CO2 tanks you buy are, what your set-up is, and how many liters they make. This would be fun cost analysis.

  13. Just bought a SodaStream this weekend. It works great & I love it. Totally agree that cost savings is a very weak argument – it may not be any cheaper than regular soda but I don’t think it’s much more expensive either. The main benefits are not having to lug around bottles of soda & sparkling water plus I can make whatever concoctions I want. It’s helping me kick my soda addiction & my kids think it’s superfun. I typically do not like having a lot of machines in my kitchen – but since I love carbonated beverages – this one’s totally worth it. And it’s small.

  14. I also purchased a freedomone+ system from co2doctor (co2dcotor dot com) and am using it with standard 24oz paintball tanks. My wife and I absolutely love it. LazyMan, there’s nothing is my setup that looks bad or requires any alterations. My tanks are small and it is only a minor inconvenience to have an extra tank sitting behind my soda machine. Considering that I now save over $25 on every refill, I am saving almost $100 a month! We have three kids and drink lots of sodas and carbonated juices, for us it has been a lifesaver.

    Not unlike Mr. Wheeler, we also researched the CO2 purity issue and found it to me just a marketing ploy by sodastream to sucker us all into believing their CO2 is better and safer. Considering the contaminants in tap water, 99.999% purity CO2 is fine by me.

    As a customer and real life user of their product, I can only state high praise for the folks at co2doctor dot com. My system paid for itself in two months!

    Jason

  15. Lots and lots of people are refilling their cartridges at home. That is where the real savings can come into play. They buy a tank (can be bought on craigslist for less) and fill it once a year or longer, depending on the size of the tank. Sites sell adapters, even new tops to fit the Sodastream cartridge top that is now fit w/ a tamper resistant plug so people have trouble filling it themselves. It’s a small investment, but works out that you walk to your basement or garage every once time the cartridge runs out, give it a fill, then continue using. This eliminates the printer-business model, give the printers away for free, sell the ink for big bucks.

  16. Just wanted to add, I plan to try the above method, still reading how to articles and deciding the best size tank to buy, so I’m not speaking from experience.

    But there are videos on youtube showing how it’s done, and different places selling the retrofit ‘kits’…

    • Yeah, I’m not a big fan of heading out to the garage each time I want make a liter or soda. Of course I could do a batch, but then I have buy a bunch of SodaStream bottles. I find that the $10 a month ($15 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but $10 with the $5 coupon they give out every month), to be pretty fair.

      I don’t use much of their soda mixes – almost everything is a True Orange, True Lemon, or 3-4 ounces of 100% fruit juice per liter. The later option is a particularly refreshing low-calorie, all-natural beverage.

  17. I agree “Lazy Man”, BB&B’s deals are great, but what burns me is sodastream’s “green” marketing pitch. All the recycled co2 tanks and UPS shipping creates a less than green environment when compared to doing it yourself.

    So far so good with my setup, my savings keep racking up and so far I have a new 55″ LED TV to show for it (well, not all from soda savings) but I honestly could not have bought my TV and support my family’s soda habit with sodastream’s refills. My initial investment in the co2doctor.com setup has paid for itself many times over.

    Sara hit it right on the head when she writes about eliminating the printer business model. Realistically, sodastream could not survive on just plastic soda bottles and soda machines, the co2 is what keeps them in business. While I’m all for business, I’m also for saving money no differently than why I buy no-name inkjet cartridges at 1/3 the cost, even though Canon says the warranty is void if you use them.

    • I think the “green” marketing is in relation to how people generally buy their soda. How much soda is being shipped by truck where it is mostly water that is readily available in most people’s homes? Shipping a small CO2 tank seems a lot cheaper than shipping 60 liters of soda.

      I looked up the co2doctor.com website and there is some interesting stuff there. It isn’t practical for me to have a 50lb CO2 tank in my kitchen. However, their gadget to refill the SodaStream mini-tanks is interesting. It doesn’t seem like an easy solution though. There’s a lot of technical terminology that the average person wouldn’t know what to do with. In addition there are a lot of warnings about doing bodily harm, which is always something I like to avoid.

      What is interesting is this statement: “On average, it costs less than $30 to refill a 50lb CO2 Tank, that’s just $5 more than it costs to get a Sodastream CO2 Carbonator exchanged. The difference is that a 50lb tank will give you over 24 33oz refills, at the Sodastream cost of $25 each (average), that would cost you over $600 with Sodastream as opposed to just $30 with the 50lb tank. Obviously, CO2 prices will vary depending on your location.”

      My SodaStream refills at BB&B are $10, not $25. That said it seems to be that a $30 generic 50lb tank would be the equivalent of $240 dollars worth of CO2 from SodaStream. That is pretty significant.

      I realize that it is a razor and blade model or a printer and ink model, but it still is a very good savings versus other products. The big ink or blade is the soda itself. That’s a majority of the money that SodaStream makes… and it is something we don’t use.

  18. SodaStream exaggerates when it says you can get 60liters from a small canister. I’ve been getting 30-35 liters. I contacted them to find out what’s wrong. They never answered. Obviously, customer service isn’t one of their strengths. I’ll be looking into re-filling the cannister myself, even if it’s against their “licensing agreement”

    • I’ve been getting 60 liters, maybe more. I don’t go for the three buzzes though as they recommend. I don’t need that much carbonation. We might even get 75 or 80 liters as we do at least two a day and replace every 35-40 days.

  19. My wife wanted one of these when she heard about them. Then we had some at a friend’s house. It was not very carbonated and definitely not very tasty. Perhaps our friend was just preparing them wrong?

    • Sorry for not getting back to you quicker Steve.

      You can control how much carbonation you put into a bottle. You simply press the button down more.

      As far as taste goes, my sense of smell has always been terrible and they say that dulls the sense of taste, so I’m not a good judge. I don’t use their soda though. Instead I tend to make light juices by mixing in 3 or 4 parts SodaStream with 100% juice. You could probably do the same with Club Soda, but this is cheaper for me. I also use TrueLime, TrueLemon, and TrueOrange most of the time. I think these are more economical and healthier options.

  20. During my work career I was as an design engineer for one of the bigger commercial drink fountain manufacturers.

    If you have above average consumption volumes, the savings can be real. The real deal is for those that chose not to or(like my wife)cannot consume typical fountain syrups and don’t want the salt and other additives found in most commercial club sodas. The costs of trips to the store as well as the associated “green” issues are also things to consider today.

    Commercially, filtered tapwater(almost $0)is used and carbonated using the industrial CO2 ($30 plus bottle deposit) as described in the previous discussions.

    Commercial fountain syrup is about $35-60 for a 15lb box pack,(depends on quantity and brand). This is good for a horrendous amount (over 1500 16 oz.servings) of beverages.

    Typically the cup and ice costs more than the soda portion.

    The home refilling of the original cylinders requires knowledge, care and additional equipment to be safe. Unless you have and understand this I don’t recommend it. The risks are not worth the savings.

    I do agree that the large cylinder version defeats the ease and convenience of the original, as safe storage and use really requires a built in type of arrangement.

    There have been many other home carbonating systems in the past. The CO2 refill cost/convenience issues have typically been the product limiting issue and will probably be with this version.

    My wife and I decided that the what we got was worth the investment. Some will find this to be true for them(purchase one)others will not (don’t purchase one).

  21. Absolutely worth it! I rarely add syrups. I can get 10 limes for a dollar at a local produce store. a lime per liter. no sugar, no preservatives, no junk.

  22. We just ordered one; my husband loves carbonated water, but we were hauling a lot of bottles of Perrier and Pellegrino home from the store; when not on sale, they cost about $2.70 a bottle. Then “we” (i.e. ME) had to haul them to the dump to get them recycled. Just hated the waste. One CO2 cartridge coming via UPS every so often can’t possibly use up as much gas as shipping all those bottles to our local store…

    We had to wait until I could get my husband to try one of these at a friend’s house; he agreed it tasted fine. We did get a unit where you can vary the amount of carbon as our friends’ didn’t seem to put as much “fizzy” in as the bottled waters have. He did the math, it comes out a lot cheaper than bottled water as well.

    I’m not planning to give up my diet coke for home-made stuff quite yet, though! But looking forward to the unit arriving.

  23. Interesting discussion. Thought I’d add my experiences. Lazyman, I’m not sure how you’re paying $10 for your refills (after tax?). I can’t find them for less than $15. Co2Dr’s price of $25 was not for the 14.5oz bottle, but the 33oz (130-liter) bottle (the 33oz bottle used to be the only one offered by SodaStream, and is unfortunately less available now). Note that he says, “give you over 24 _33_oz refills” (not 14.5 oz refills)

    You don’t need a huge 50lb tank to make buying your own gas practical. I bought a 5lb tank (equivalent to 5.5 of your 14.5oz bottles) and fill it up for $13 total. Let’s assume your $10 / 14.5oz. That gives:
    $10/14.5oz vs $13/80oz
    $.69/oz vs $.16/oz
    If it’s $15/14.5 oz, the savings becomes:
    $1.03/oz vs $.16/oz

    Assume 14.5oz/60-liters = .24oz / liter
    $.17/liter vs $.04/liter (plain sparkling water–I don’t use the mixes)
    ~50 cents a liter(supermarket) or
    17 cents a liter(SodaStream) or
    4 cents a liter(DIY)
    It costs 4 times as much to use their gas!!
    @ 1 liter/day:
    $62.05/year (SS)
    $14.6/year (DIY)
    $47.45 savings a year.

    The cost savings is small, but obvious. Plus, there’s less shipping of CO2 tanks all over (assuming you have access to gas locally) = green points, and fewer trips to refill gas (5lb lasts almost 1 year @ 1 liter/day)

    It’s unfortunate that CO2Doctor doesn’t make it a little more obvious which product is needed, but if you read through the website, it’s really not all that complicated. I purchased the “FreedomOne” adapter ($89.99 at the time!), and a 5lb tank($69 after tax/shipping). you screw one end of the adapter into your SodaStream, and one end into the tank. Piece of cake. I put the SS in a kitchen cabinet, and the tank (about the same size) hides behind it. So, initial outlay is high ($159!), but I’m saving 13 cents a liter. If I drink about a liter a day, that’s $3.95 a month, or $47.45 a year. It’ll take over 3 years to break even. Since my 5lb lasts over 5X as long as the SS bottle, I don’t have to hassle with exchanging it as often (no monthly trips to BB&B).

    Well, that was two years ago! Still love my SodaStream, AND my 5lb tank, and highly recommend both.

    • Bed, Bath, and Beyond offers numerous coupons, which bring the price down. I didn’t count tax, because that varies due to state (some states have no tax) and no matter where you are buying your gas, you are going to have pay tax if your state has tax. In short tax doesn’t impact the calculation.

      I don’t argue that you can save money buying bulk gas. I don’t argue that can be significant. However, living in a small apartment, form factor of the gas is significant. I don’t have the option of retrofitting my apartment for even a 5 gallon tank. It would also have to be aesthetically pleasing to pass the “wife test.” The kitchen cabinet works if you have the cabinet space for it. This means that it can’t be a loose tank next to the refrigerator or something. One could make store it in a basemen or garage (if temperature control is not a problem), but then you are making trips down there to fill up every time.

      And then there’s the risk of filling gas with an aftermarket gadget. I feel that this would be minimal, but I’m not sure the wife agrees that compressed gas is something to mess with.

      So buying gas separately from SodaStream itself is probably a no-brainer financial move. It is the other factors that come into play

  24. Aha! The old “SAF” (spousal acceptance factor). I’m fortunate enough to have enough cabinet space that I can keep both the SodaStream and the 5lb tank hidden inside a cabinet (the tank hides behind the SodaStream).

    Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and $5 off coupons from BB&B. ;-)
    That certainly would help offset the cost.

    BTW, CO2 tanks all come with safety valves (in case some idiot overfills one).

    In any event, gas from the gas store, gas from SodaStream, it all makes yummy sparkling water.

    Thanks for your response.
    Brian

    Here’s my initial counter-top setup:
    http://hoogerbrugge.org/co2

    • That’s excellent. I showed the wife and she gave it a thumbs up, so it passes the SAF. However, I’m going to try to push my luck and get a 20lb CO2 tank. It costs a little more to start up, but this article mentions how about $20 in gas will make $1324 liters, which should cover us for a couple of years.

      Even with the BB&B coupons all over the place, we still probably spend about $150 a year on carbonation, so to make it about $10 is sweet. It will pay for itself in 18 months or so and be all profit (well savings) after that.

  25. No! Really? haha!

    Yeah, that article mentions the “Freedom One” (Same adapter I bought). It’s pretty cool. Now, that 20lb tank is truly going to be big and ugly!! It won’t fit on the counter (sideways?). Make very certain that it’s a non-siphon tank!

    You guys really drink a lot then? Like 2 liters a day, or more? Yeah, you should be able to make 1324 liters! Hmmmmm… I’d look into making an attractive wood case for that tank, or paint it, or something. You saw how my 5lb tank hides nicely behind the SodaStream, but you’re talking about something that’s 4 times the size. Yikes!

    Keep us posted on how it goes. :)

    • It doesn’t look like the 20lb tank is that much bigger (http://www.micromatic.com/images/articles/89/CylinderDimentions.jpg). It will have to be something that goes under a sink or even outside the kitchen. We can probably go through more than 2 some days. We are trying to drink more water. What’s the recommendation 64 ounces (nearly two liters) per person a day.

      I don’t understand the siphon vs. non-siphon now. I thought that the FreedomOne website was suggesting that you get a siphon tank. I guess it’s a bit of research.

  26. Yah, 2(women) or 3(men) liters per day, “they” say. I don’t get even close to that. Ooops!

    From their site:
    http://www.co2doctor.com/freedomoonespec.htm

    “WARNING YOU MUST USE A NON-SIPHON TYPE TANK (Kegerator/Beverage Type)!”

    The bright red text caught my attention for when I was ordering a tank from off of Amazon. The beverage tanks should all be of the non-siphon variety (they disperse gas, not liquid). The siphon type are used for refilling other tanks, and disperse liquid.

    I was a little nervous when I ordered $160 worth of gear, but it turned out to be a piece of cake.

  27. Woo Hoo! Well, that was several months ago! Hope all is going well. I recently refilled my CO2 tank.. A WHOPPING $13 out of my pocket! Ha! ;-)

    DIY is almost ALWAYS the best way to go. :)