This instructable outlines the cost of many common drinks as priced per gallon to help you decide the best way to spend your money at the store. Often when comparing drinks at the store, the little comparison tags will give comparisons in ounces, liters, quarts, pints, or weights for powdered mixes; all different from each product to the next, making comparisons tedious. I went to the store and recorded the current cost of many drinks and they are all displayed here from cheapest to most expensive. Please don't take the prices completely literally, but simply see how some drinks roughly compare to others. This is made to help look at your options. If you have any information on cost of products, or new drink ideas, please comment it and I will add it to the instructable.
All prices will be rough estimates based on the largest quantity of "cheap" products i could find (mixed at manufacturer recommendations if need be)
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Step 1: Tap Water: $0.003 / Gal
Tap water costs between 0.1 and 0.6 cents per gallon and is the cheapest thing you can drink aside from rain water, water from a moving stream or distilled urine.
When thinking cheap, bottled water is ridiculous. Some people may buy bottled water to use the bottles; I tried to re-use the pop-top arrow head bottles but found they all failed quite fast under normal use. A good, cheap water bottle with a one handed operation is your best bet.
You should drink a good amount of water each day, whether it's in other drinks or foods. Don't worry about numbers, rather learn the signs of dehydration and obey your thirst. Keeping water around you constantly helps hydrate your body because there's less chance of going thirsty because you're too lazy to go get a drink.
Water is great and all but few people want to live on water and food alone, so here are some common drinks available at the supermarket:
Step 2: Cheap Coffee: $0.58 / Gal
Step 3: "Light" Lemonade From Generic Powder: $1.00 / Gal
Step 4: Plain Tea: $1.15 / Gal
Step 5: Lemonade From Powder Concentrate: $1.20 / Gal
Step 6: Lemonade From Generic Lemon Juice Concentrate: $1.60 / Gal
Price includes $0.25 for sugar. Noticeably better tasting then powdered lemonade. Add some blended cherries, strawberries or raspberries and you get my favorite drink.
Step 7: Nesquik With Water: $1.60 / Gal
Step 8: "Crystal Light" Drink: $1.60 / Gal
Step 9: "Arizona" Drinks From Powder: $1.70 / Gal
Step 10: Lemonade From Generic Concentrate $2.20 / Gal
Step 11: Kool-Aid: $2.20 / Gal
Step 12: Any 2L for $1.25 Drink: $2.37 / Gal
Step 13: Gatorade From Powder: $2.50 / Gal
Step 14: Flavored Tea: $2.50 / Gal
Step 15: Any 2L for $1.50 Drink: $2.84 / Gal
Step 16: Milk $3.00 / Gal
The average cost of milk is around $3.75 but i'll assume you can get it for $3 by buying the cheapest of the selection. In Washington it's easy to find milk below $2. Milk is a very healthy and filling drink considering it's low cost.
An easy way to compare drinks at the store is to keep in mind if they are cheaper or more expensive than milk.
Step 17: Lemonade From ReaLemon Concentrate: $3.40 / Gal
Price includes $0.25 for sugar.
Step 18: Hot Chocolate With Water: $3.60 / Gal
Step 19: Any 2L for $2 Drink: $3.79 / Gal
Step 20: "Arizona" Brand Juice: $3.80 / Gal
Step 21: Gatorade 8-pack: $4.00 / Gal
Step 22: Apple Cider (good Price): $4.00 / Gal
Step 23: Punch From Generic Concentrate: $4.25 / Gal
Step 24: Nesquik With Milk: $4.60 / Gal
assuming $3 for milk
Step 25: Generic Apple Juice: $4.75 / Gal
Step 26: Orange Juice (good Price): $5.00 /gal
Step 27: Orange Juice From Generic Concentrate $5.20 / Gal
Step 28: Most "pouch" Drinks: $5.30 / Gal
Step 29: "Pure" Cran/Grape/Rasp Drinks: $6.30 / Gal
Step 30: "Hawaii's Own" Juice From Concentrate: $5.30 / Gal
Step 31: Hot Chocolate With Milk: $6.60 / Gal
assuming $3 for milk
Step 32: Odwalla: $10.00 / Gal
Step 33: Homebrew Beer From Kit: $10.50 / Gal
I did the math on some homebrew beer based on a $30 kit.... Re-usable hardware aside, the theoretical minimum is roughly $8/gallon ($0.75 per 12 oz serving) - realistically (estimating propane, soap/sanitizer and etc.) it's more like $10 or $11 per gallon ($0.94-$1.03 per 12 oz serving)
Step 34: V-Fusion: $13.90 / Gal
Step 35: "Naked" Juice: $16.00 / Gal
Step 36: Quick Conversions
When you are at the store following the comparison prices keep in mind these conversions:
1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups = 128 ounces
1 gallon = 1.89 2-liters = 1.26 3-liters
Step 37: Overview
Price per Gallon:
$0.003 - Tap Water
$0.58 - Coffee
$1.00 - "Light" Lemonade from generic powder
$1.15 - Plain Tea
$1.20 - Lemonade from powder concentrate
$1.50 - Lemonade from Generic lemon juice concentrate
$1.60 - Nesquik
$1.60 - "Crystal Light" drink
$1.70 - "Arizona" drinks from powder
$2.20 - Lemonade from generic concentrate
$2.20 - Kool-Aid
$2.37 - any 2L for $1.25 drink
$2.50 - Gatorade from powder
$2.50 - Flavored Tea
$2.84 - any 2L for $1.50 drink
$3.00 - Milk
$3.30 - Lemonade from ReaLemon Concentrate
$3.60 - Hot Chocolate with water
$3.79 - any 2L for $2 drink
$3.80 - "Arizona" brand juice
$4.00 - Gatorade 8-pack
$4.00 - Apple Cider (good price)
$4.25 - Punch from generic concentrate
$4.60 - Nesquik with milk
$4.75 - Generic Apple Juice
$5.00 - Orange Juice (good price)
$5.20 - Orange juice from generic concentrate
$5.30 - most "pouch" drinks
$6.30 - "Pure" Cran/Grape/Rasp drinks
$6.60 - Hot Chocolate with milk
$5.30 - "Hawaii's Own" juice from concentrate
$10.00 - Odwalla
$10.50 - Homebrew Beer from Kit
$13.90 - V-Fusion (bad price)
$16.00 - "Naked" juice
That's basically it. Use this information next time you go shopping to help look at your options. The ability to vaguely compare all drink options at once is VERY helpful.
Be sure to comment any requests or changes. If you have any prices per gallon of your favorite juice mixture or smoothie recipe, I would love to add that, just give me a picture and a price. If you have a lot to add, ask if you want to collaborate.