I've noticed a couple money-draining culprits around our house lately, particularly in the food department. I'm normally Johnny-on-the-spot with the budget, but lately I've been so busy that I keep just grabbing whatever looks good while I'm shopping. It's definitely been showing up on the credit card statement at the end of the month! One such high-priced item in our household is drinks. We've long been a water-guzzling family, but recently we've started down the slippery slope of sugary drinks and beverages with a big price tag. It seems innocent enough: a dollar here, a few dollars there. However, it adds up quickly. Nate's new favorite is this fancy coconut water that runs as high as $5 for a large bottle. Yikes! I decided to try swapping this budget blower for a less expensive alternative that's still a nice change from water all the time.

budget drinks

I recently got the chance to check out Clear American through one of my #CBias projects with Collective Bias (a blogger group that I'm part of). Clear American Pineapple Coconut sparkling water is less than $1, compared to the small bottle of coconut water at $2.99. That's more like it! Nate and I both agreed that it's sweeter than the coconut water and has a real fruity kick that Zico is actually missing. The sparkling water is a clear liquid whereas the coconut water is kind of milky, so I personally think that Clear American is more refreshing and would be better to take along on a jog.

budget drink comparison

In terms of calories, the Clear American is a far better choice with zero calories, no carbs, no sodium and no sugar. The coconut water has 60 calories per 14-ounce bottle, with 13 grams of carbohydrates, 160 milligrams of sodium and 12 grams of sugar. The coconut water does have 16% of the daily value of potassium you need, so if you're looking for that nutritional benefit I would suggest eating a banana with the sparkling water. Overall, I think Clear American would be a good choice for anyone looking for a low-cost way to supplement water with a more interesting drink without spending a fortune. They're available at Walmart in the drink section.

Is your family guilty of spending too much on drinks? Try swapping them out for this lower-cost alternative and see how much you save per month. While you're at it, curtail that Starbucks habit and make coffee at home instead. On those nights you eat out, skip the high-priced alcoholic beverages or see if you can find a restaurant that lets you bring your own wine (but beware those corkage fees!).

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, which is a vendor for Cott Beverages Inc., the manufacturer of Clear American® brand beverages. All opinions are my own.