6 Tasty Homemade Drinks to Stay Refreshed This Summer

by Tracy · 1 comment

Summer’s heat makes it hard to resist an icy cold beverage. The problem is, spending $2-5 a pop on refreshing treats adds up to several hundred dollars over the course of a summer, not to mention all of the extra calories and sugar that most of us don’t need.

The answer is to be proactive and have your own tasty drinks ready to go at home. Not only will you save money, you’ll be able to custom make the drinks to suit your own preferences for sugar, caffeine and fat.

Here are six suggestions for making your own summer drinks at home.

1. Don’t forget the water! If your tap water isn’t the best-tasting, a home filter and keeping it icy cold can take care of that. If that doesn’t work, many grocery stores sell filtered water by the gallon for super cheap and you can reuse the same jug week after week.

Many people re-use plastic water bottles, however many experts recommend against this because of the danger of chemicals leeching from the plastic and because they can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Instead, opt for re-usable plastic or metal bottles, preferably ones that are labeled BPA free. Get at least one per family member and after each use, wash and refill and put in the fridge so that you have a bottle ready to go!

2. Iced tea is refreshing, light and delicious. Look beyond the traditional black teas and try iced green, herbal and fruit teas, too. Follow the directions on the package for brewing, making it extra strong so that the flavor remains once it is diluted with ice and water.

If you want to sweeten your tea with sugar or honey, it’s best to add it to the hot, brewed tea so that it dissolves thoroughly.

3. If you have extra coffee in the pot in the morning, don’t throw it out, chill it to make iced coffee for an afternoon treat! Another frugal option is to make cold brewed coffee (one recipe) to use in chilled coffee beverages. Even if you splurge on gourmet beans, it will still be much cheaper than buying it from the coffee shop.

4. Not a fan of plain water? Tickle your tastebuds with homemade infused waters. Play around with adding different fruits to pitchers of water to come up with the combination that is right for you. Some to try:

  • Thinly sliced cucumbers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Mint

You can sweeten it lightly to taste before serving, although many people enjoy it as is. You can find some recipes here.

5. If you like fruit juice, try mixing them half and half with sparkling water to make a refreshing fruit juice spritzer. This is a great way to stretch some of the more expensive juices and halve the sugar and calories.

6. If you must have soda, try using a soda stream to make your own. There is an upfront cost, however you can custom make your own sodas and gradually wean yourself down to drinking only lightly flavored fizzy water, to save cash and calories.

What are some of your favorite summer drinks? How do you avoid the temptation to buy fancy iced drinks?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bluesauger July 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Great ideas here. I especially like the idea of saving your extra morning coffee for afternoon iced coffee. In terms of flavored water and things like that, I’m partial to just plain ol’ iced water.

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