If you calculate the cost of syrup and the cost of CO2 canisters, there’s not much savings in using a Soda Stream but I am using it for several reasons:
- Corn syrup vs. sugar. I don’t like drinking corn syrup. In Texas, I could buy Dr. Pepper made with cane sugar but here, I cannot. I can buy Dr. Pepper syrup made with real sugar and no corn syrup.
- Storage. This time of year, storing five or six 12 packs of soda in the garage where it’s so hot is a bit risky. We had a few of them blow up in Texas. Normally, when I find Dr. Pepper on sale, I’d buy *several*, whether it was 12 packs or 24 packs. We even found a 36 pack at Walmart the other day.
- Variety. We do love other things we can make with fizzy water. Even plain fizzy water is good. After Beth Ferrier posted about making fizzy lemonade, we’ve been giving the Soda Stream a workout. There’s so much you can do with it.
The other day when we changed the CO2 canister, Vince said “There has to be a better way”.
We can buy the 60 mL canisters for $30 at Walmart. There’s an exchange program through Soda Stream which I’ve never used but I think it’s about $15 per bottle and you have to send your empty bottles back. I believe you pay shipping (unless you order 4 or more bottles) but the return shipping is free.
Vince started doing some research and figured out that we could get a 40 pound CO2 canister like they used to use in restaurants, and some probably still use those, get it filled and attach it to the Soda Stream. He contacted our friend here who knows everyone and asked if he knew of anyone who had a beverage grade canister for sale. The friend talked to a friend who has a restaurant and he’s recently changed out the way they do drinks and he gave us a canister. We got it last night so this morning we went to the place that refills them. Actually you take the empty one and they give you a new one so we did that. $41 to fill the tank. We had to order a $30 kit from Amazon that allows you to connect the bottle directly to the Soda Stream.
The 40 pound canister is equal to 44 of the 60 mL Soda Stream CO2 bottles. At $30 each, 44 bottles would be $1,320. At $16 each, 44 bottles would be $704. Even with the $30 kit and the $41 to fill the tank, I think our drinks just became a whole lot less expensive.
-Wow, I wish our CO2 was that inexpensive, I pay 37.00 for a 5 pound container refill.
If you haven’t already, you might check around. We found some of those kinds of prices here too.
Nancy H. says
You have to ask Vince how hard it is to connect that canister up. I wonder how much the canister would cost to buy in the first place… But that is such a savings. How did you find the location that does the refill? I know so many questions but I am wondering if I would be capable of doing that also.
The gas company that fills them here doesn’t sell them. They lease them for $60/year, whether you get a 5 pound or a 20 pound – same price to lease. You can order them online for “less than $100” per Vince but he said the shipping is outrageous because they’re heavy. You can often find them used locally but need to make sure it’s beverage grade and then fill it with beverage grade gas. Vince googled something like “CO2 refills local to our zip code”. There are places that fill cartridges for air rifles and paint guns but I don’t think that is beverage quality gas.
Vince said they are easy to hook up. If you can hook up a propane tank, you can hook this up. There is a kit that comes with the line and the fittings you need for the Soda Stream from Amazon – just be sure it has a regulator included.
Is the big tank directly connected to the soda stream machine or are you just refilling the smaller bottles?
I have three soda stream bottles and I usually go to a local store to switch out containers (bring in your “old ones” and get filled ones for less). That reminds me that I need to get some refills and make sure the store still does the exchange!
The tank can be set up either way – to refill bottles or hooked directly. We will hook ours up directly. There are places here that refill them too but it’s about $20 plus gas and we calculated that refilling them with the tank is less than $1.00 and one tank should last us at least two years.
Thanks – I still like the soda stream, but cut back. I was drinking the soda late in the evening, so silent gerd issues…
So where is your soda stream machine since the CO2 bottle is so large! It seems like a soda station in your lower garage would be the ideal place. Once you are finished with your downstairs kitchen, you need to do a post with pictures.
BTW, the old homestead in Michigan had a downstairs kitchen and Mom used it in the summer to cook. When I was older, I raided the kitchen for all of the blue enamel pots that she had. They are decorations now, but I did use them to water bath can jams….memories..
We have a soda stream downstairs and one upstairs. We use the downstairs the most so it will be hooked directly to the tank. We probably only need two CO2 canisters per year for the one upstairs so Vince will just bring those downstairs and fill them from the big tank.