Stay Connected

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What I'm drinking this summer, for about a nickel a gallon

How much is a 2-liter bottle of soda? About 99 cents? How about 2 quarts of Kool-Aid? Maybe 20 cents? What about iced black tea? Plain, no sugar or lemon, depending on how strong you like it, if using 6 Dollar Tree tea bags, per 2 quarts, it would cost me 12 cents per gallon, and that's unsweetened.

I could be drinking plain water. And that would certainly be healthy. But I prefer some flavor in my water, and just a hint of sweetening.

This summer, I've been making pitchers of iced herbal tea, using the pineapple mint, spearmint, peppermint and lemon balm from my garden.

I use a large tea pot to brew the infusion. I stuff a very full handful of washed, fresh herbs (various combinations of the above), in the tea pot. Then I pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep. I pour this infusion into a 2-qt pitcher, add 1/4 cup sugar, and stir until dissolved. I then top off the pitcher with fresh, cold water, making 2 quarts.

The herbs are free. The sugar costs me about 2.5 cents per quarter-cup.

Would you like to hear an interesting comparison? Many years ago, I had a huge diet cola habit. I bought and drank a 12-pack of diet cola, any brand, every week. At the time, a 12-pack cost about $2.50 to $3. I was spending about $10 per month on soda, or $120 per year, just for me.

If I drink herbal iced tea, year round, my cost, at a gallon per week, would be about $2.50. That's a savings of $117.50 per year.


  1. Iced mint tea. That does sound refreshing. I usually drink water but I might enjoy switching it up sometime and this would do the trick.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      It is refreshing. And I love the lightness about mint, in summer.

      Have a wonderful day, live and learn!

  2. My favorite is just plain ice water. I tried basil water and some other fruity waters but I went back to plain water. We don't buy a lot of soda. I have a small amount in the garage on a the shelf for the occasional tummy ache or if I want to enhance a punch but nobody really drinks a lot of pop anymore. We used to serve milk at dinners but now it is strickly water.


    1. Hi Alice,
      My son no longer drinks milk with meals, but my two daughters still do, most of the time. I also like fruit waters, lime water being one of my favorites.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  3. The tea pot is so pretty. I drink water all day every
    day but a nice pot of iced herbal tea would be lovely.
    I would use tea bags. Wish I had mint growing here. I need to find someone that has some to get a start.
    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      I wish you lived nearby. I could supply you with a couple of cuttings to root in a pot. If you do ever try to grow mint in a pot, especially in your area, it would probably do best in a shady spot of your patio.

      You have a great day, too, Patti!

    2. I have mint, mint, and more mint; peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint! Wish you lived nearby!

      I also make mint tea as you do without sugar. I make it very strong and freeze in ice cube trays. Then all that's needed is plain water and the mint cubes for a wonderful refreshing drink!

  4. Mint tea is so very refreshing, but my mint is just not thriving this year!

    1. Hi Anne,
      I wonder if it's been too hot this summer in your area? My mint does best when it is kept very moist. I have the bulk of my mint down in a low area of the yard, in a pot, in semi-shade. But I have one pot up on the deck, and even in the shade of a tree, the deck is hot and dry, and that mint doesn't like its spot.

      Here's hoping for a revival with your mint when the temps cool a bit!

  5. That tea sounds very refreshing, Lili. I also was a diet Coke fan, drinking one a day for years. The last several years it has been water for me, with occasional iced tea in the summer and some hot tea in the winter. I like your mix of ingredients.

    1. Hi Mary,
      I am sure that it's far healthier for us both, to have given up the Diet soda habit! And we're saving money on top of better health choices!

  6. Sounds great! I took a tip from Carol and have been using up my herbal tea bags to make iced tea with. SO good and refreshing. Yours sounds good too.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      I have a few friends who give me tea bags that they acquire, but don't want. Mostly they're herb teas. I reserve all of the fruity ones for summer iced tea. I do love those as iced.

  7. That's funny. I've been making some iced herb teas - vanilla chai and peppermint/licorice (from a bag though) and as I've made them I've been thinking that I probably got the idea from you and how I felt very 'Lili'!! Then this blog post pops up! Nice to see that you still have the iced tea habit!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      How funny -- I'm an adjective!
      Do you do your iced tea with milk?

  8. I made my very first fresh herb hot tea from chopped up basil leaves, and added 1/2 teaspoon honey to my serving cup. It was delicious. At least we have a low cost alternative to buying herbal tea at outrageous prices.

    Hope you are having a wonderful day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      I'll have to try basil tea this summer. Sounds intriguing!

      Have a great day!


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post