Originally this blog was supposed to be more general then just economics, so will use this installment to discuss something more mundane: a home soda maker!
Not a world-changing thing product, but if you like carbonated water (I picked up the habit on a European bike trip) and find yourself spending .80-$1.50 for little bottles of carbonated water which run out in a few days, then you’ll love this.
The system consists of a carbonating maching, carbon tanks, and bottles. The carbon tanks screw into the carbonator. Then the soda making process just involves filling the bottle (about 32 oz), screwing it into the carbonating machine, and pushing the button several times. The process takes about half a minute. I probably fill bottles 5-10 times/week and a carbon tanks probably lasts a couple months. I calculated the cost/bottle at about .25-.30, much less than what I was spending at the store (though I shop at Trader Joe’s not Costco). The carbon tanks (about 12 inches and light) can be exchanged by mail.
For about $100 to get the bottles and carbonator, I calculated my payback within a year. The water tasted as good or better than most bottled water I have drunk. Not having to lug bottles from an added bonus. And means less wasted plastic bottles for the environmentlly conscious. All in all a good deal.