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Gave it up.

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I think it was during the interview process that someone asked what my hardest sacrifice would be during this journey. I think I responded travel or something which is very true as I LOVE to travel. But as I started looking at things and where I could cut back, I found the hardest one – Coke.

I am hands down a Coca Cola addict. I don’t drink water, I drink Coke. I drink a Coke when I get up in the morning and then pretty much constantly have them in my hand throughout the day.

I quit Sunday.angry mob clean

The way I figure it, cutting soda out of my diet will take a good $30 off our weekly grocery bill. Whether it’s a 12 pack at the grocery store, two taller ones at 7-11 (2 for $2,) or two 2 liters for $3. It adds up quickly especially when it’s a constant. Not to mention the health factor, which a whole different aspect.

I am determined. But right now, it feels like a bunch of little people jumping around in my head with pitchforks and sledgehammers!

So raising my glass of lemon water to you as I cheer myself on in this endeavor. Once the headaches reside I’m sure more great ideas will come to mind to speed this process along.


34 Comments

  • Reply scarr |

    Wow, you are a braver soul than I! My diet coke habit was getting costly, so I found a cheaper store brand to lessen the weekly cost. I should have just eliminated soda completely, but bla bla bla no good excuse 🙂

    I do make conscious attempts to drink less soda by having a glass of water instead of a can of soda, making a pot of coffee to get my caffeine kick but I still find a way to drink a can or two in the afternoon.

    Good luck! I would be interested in seeing a running tally of how much you have saved by ditching soda. I bet it would be inspirational to a lot of people, myself included!

  • Reply Scooze |

    Good for you! I gave it up 10 years ago and couldn’t be happier. If water works, great! Or you could try SodaStream – you can make your own club soda/seltzer water (I use the essence of flavor bottles that are cheap and give just a hint of lemon or lime or whatever with no actual sweetener of any kind).

    Its far cheaper than soda and is essentially fizzy water. I love mine. You could also drink unsweetened tea like lipton. That is super cheap and gives you something to suck down as well.

    Good luck! Great choice to give it up. You’ll lose weight, too.

    • Reply Jim |

      I have had a SodaStream for three years, and can’t seem to get the carbonation right. It just doesn’t taste good to me

    • Reply Hope |

      I’ve decided cold turkey is the only way I can sustain it. A cheap substitute will never satisfy. 🙂

      I’m definitely finding my weak time of day so working on strategies to stay strong during this hardest time.

      Sticking with lemon water for now has really helped.

  • Reply Zebbie |

    I am so impressed with your dedication to reducing your debt! I substitute Crystal Light with caffeine in the morning and it has helped me get over my diet coke habit.

    • Reply Hope |

      I am trying my best not to replace one with another so am sticking to water with lemon or orange squeezed into it to get me through. I’m afraid if I do anything else I’ll just create another issue and cost.

  • Reply Kerry |

    It’s nice to see other grownups who drink Coke–the full sugar, horrible kind. 🙂 I feel you. I stopped for a year once, but haven’t been able to stop since. Drinking tons of water does help as it helps cut down on the craving for sweets while keepin you hydrated.

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    Great job and sacrifice. 🙂 You may want to substitute some other type of caffeine in graduated smaller doses to help with that headache during withdrawal. $30.00 a week – that’s huge -$120.00 a month goes a long way!

    • Reply Hope |

      Hey Mary!
      I thought of that with trying tea, etc. (I’ve never been a coffee drinker,) but am afriad a relapse to bad habits would be too easy for me so I’m going cold turkey and no substitutes…water it is!

  • Reply Meghan |

    Congratulations Hope!

    Giving up a want and not a need like soda is exactly the type of change I love to read about in this blog. I applaud you for going cold turkey! I believe that once you make it through the withdrawal period you will feel the benefits both financially and physically!

    Cheers,

    Meghan

      • Reply Meghan |

        I would probably agree then with the poster who suggested pain reliever for the headache. Then just lots of water and time to flush your system out and allow your body to adjust.

        Don’t forget, there are lots of other things you could add to the water besides lemon to flavor it. Limes, oranges, cucumbers, strawberries, and fresh mint can all be refreshing!

  • Reply Lynn |

    WOW! Good for you. No one who has not had the soda addiction can appreciate how difficult this is. I had the shakes for a week after I dropped diet Coke – just like the addict I was. First thing in the morning, I drank a diet Coke and last thing at night and about 6-10 cans in between. I always said I would quit drinking coke when the pried it from my cold dead hand.

    Forward three years – I feel one thousand percent better and I NEVER have a craving for it any more. I cannot tell you how much money you will save.

    What a great start toward your new financial life!! Congratulations.

  • Reply Meghan |

    Iced tea you make at home is a cheap option. I can’t imagine quitting caffeine cold turkey. Whew!

  • Reply Theresa |

    Good for you Hope. You should also weigh yourself today so you can privately track your weight loss.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hey Theresa,
      I thought the same thing, but decided I didn’t want this to be a weight thing but rather a money and a health thing….losing weight would be AWESOME, but it’s not my end game, at least right now.
      But you know, if I’m forced to buy new clothes (new to me clothes that is) down the road that would be an okay thing if it’s from a healthy change.

  • Reply Den |

    Good for you!

    I gave up diet coke cold turkey too – take aspirin every 4 hours for the first few days and that helps get rid of the headache. And drink lots of water – you will feel better AND SAVE MONEY -win win!

  • Reply Alexandra |

    I used to drink 1-2 Diet Cokes a day, but I gave it up for Lent a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back! I did keep a DC handy after Lent just for the purpose of knowing I *could* have one if I wanted. I finally cracked it open one day, and the taste did absolutely nothing for me. I don’t like it at all anymore! Props for taking that difficult first step! Take it one day at a time, and keep a big bottle of water with you all day. Hot water with lemon in the morning is a great habit to form. Good luck!

    • Reply Hope |

      Way to soon for me. If there was soda in my house, that would be the end of my self-restraint, at least right. Luckily, soda was a ‘mom’ only thing except for special occasions so hasn’t been hard the kids to not have it in the house.

  • Reply Mary |

    My ex-husband was a total pop addict however when he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, he had to give it up. He switched to water and adds these Dasani Flavor Enhancer drops to the water (his favorite flavor is Strawberry Kiwi). Anyway, he’s in his 50’s and drank pop his whole life and has now been pop free for 3 months and doesn’t miss it. Not sure if this helps at all (not sure how healthy Dasani is either since it’s full of chemicals, lol) but it saves a lot of money.

    • Reply Hope |

      I agree, Mary. I think that’s why I just decided just straight water with fresh squeezed orange/lemon to add a hint of flavor. To make sure I wasn’t picking up another “bad” and to make sure this was a clean break.

      • Reply Kerry |

        Try cucumber slices in your water or chunks of canteloup or honeydew. You can also bruise a little mint or lemon verbena for flavor and put it in the water too.

  • Reply DC - Kate |

    Good for you! You just added over $1500/year back into your budget. In 10 years, that’s a car. I cut soda down from a can/day to 2/week. I rarely miss it. Congrats, that’s a really positive change!

    • Reply Hope |

      Oooh, I like the way you think. As much as I love my “beast” of a car, I can’t help but long for the day when I get to drive a “cool” car again…only 10 years away (when my youngest will go to college.) So I will hold on to this mathematical nugget.

  • Reply tami |

    One thing that I’ve found helpful is to move the amount of money you would have spent on Coke (in my case, it was a latte) into a savings account. Then at the end of the month you can really see the money you would have spent. This is a really great way to motivate yourself, and you can show it to the kids. Small amounts add up. Well done!

  • Reply nw_marie |

    Way to go, you can do it! I was addicted to Pepsi and never thought I could give it up, but it’s been a year now and I don’t even miss it. I also gave up Starbucks a few months ago because of the high cost (and calories!) and I save so much money each week. I have also lost 16 pounds just by switching to water, an added bonus. Best of luck, I am really enjoying this new format.

  • Reply Juhli |

    Good for you! I clearly remember my Dad stopping smoking cold turkey back in the mid 1950’s when I was about 8 years old. He did it because they were broke and it was an unnecessary expense. I had no idea how hard that must have been for him until I was much older. You will be glad you did this for so many reasons!

  • Reply manda |

    Keep at it, girl! I agree, cold turkey and no substitutes. For me, when I quit something I want to quit and I can’t substitute because I want to process the whole thing so that I don’t go back. In the end I remember what it was like to withdraw, what it felt like to get healthier and what it means to say, I’ve not eaten fast food for 7 years. You can do this. Embrace the water with lemon!

So, what do you think ?