How To Save Money #6: Drink Healthier Beverages

“Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.” (Quote possibly originating from Maela.)

Another way to save money in the food department is to take a look at what you are drinking and make some healthy adjustments. People in America drink way too many soft drinks, and soft drinks are nothing but flavored, carbonated water, usually sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (very bad for you), often with phosphoric acid, with caffeine thrown in just to add insult to injury. And don’t get me started on aspartame/NutraSweet/whatever they are changing its name to so you won’t know you are ingesting poison.

Instead, save yourself money and try something different. Water is great! If you can’t consume sugar because of diabetes or some similar difficulty, you are better off drinking water than drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners.

Or try tea. Remember when we were all told that tea was bad for us? Nutritionists and scientists have done a 180 on that one. Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether you like black or green tea—they both have great health benefits. Which makes sense, since they are all made from the same plant. Tea has no calories or sugar, but it tastes great and is very good for you.

What about caffeine, you ask? I once read that our bodies process the caffeine in tea differently than the caffeine in coffee. Whether that is true or not, as brewed, ounce for ounce of the two beverages, tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee. Not that I personally think coffee is bad for you, but although I have known coffee addicts, I have never yet met someone who was addicted to tea. And caffeine withdrawal is pretty nasty.

One of the reasons tea is such a frugal choice is that, properly brewed, one teaspoon of tea leaves can make many cups of tea. One of the methods to use is to steep the tea leaves in a cup using a mesh tea ball, then remove the tea ball and re-use it for two or three more cups of tea.

And there are so many different kinds of teas, if you experiment a bit, you may well find one you like even if you don’t think you like tea. One of my favorite places to get tea is at Try their organic Jasmine Pearls tea—it is one of the best jasmine green teas I have ever had. Although it may look like it is pretty expensive at $36 per pound, that pound of tea would last a long, long, LONG time even in a household of tea drinkers drinking it every day. It will certainly last a whole lot longer than a pound of coffee. Though I recommend you purchase smaller amounts—tea, like coffee, is best brewed when still fresh; basically, in the same year it was dried.

If you find it hard to think of giving up soft drinks, read The Health Hazards of Drinking Coca-Cola and other Soft Drinks. Or Soft Drinks: America’s Other Drinking Problem. Or Four Dangers of Soft Drinks. Or—heck, just Google “health dangers of soft drinks.” These links are just from the first few of the 19,000,000 (yes, nineteen MILLION) results.

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