Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Product Worth the Price: SodaStream Penguin Sparkling Water Maker

image from Williams-Sonoma
Among all the beautiful, thoughtful, and useful wedding gifts we received, there were a couple gifts we received that surprised me in how much I love them. I knew I'd love the china and the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, and I do. But what surprised me was how much I love one of the gifts I didn't even realize was on our registry: the SodaStream Penguin Sparkling Water Maker. We use it constantly, probably making five to eight bottles of seltzer a week.

We don't drink soda, and the advertising for SodaStream always seems to center around making soda at home, so it never occurred to me how much I would enjoy our Penguin. When we first got it, we bought a few of the soda flavors to try them out, but we like the sparkling water so much with just a squeeze of lemon that we no longer buy the flavors. We also add it to our cocktails instead of other options like tonic water -- fewer calories and chemicals, and very easy.

Not only is it far more convenient to be able to make sparkling water at home, but I save money by not buying bottles of seltzer. And even though I recycle bottles, it still takes energy to recycle them, so while it's certainly better than not recycling them, not buying the bottles in the first place is really the best thing for the environment.

For a while, I thought part of my adoration came from living in a city where walking plays a role in everything we do. If I want seltzer, I must carry the bottles several blocks home from the store, and up the multiple flights of stairs to my apartment. Later, when they're empty, the bottles must be carried back down the stairs, and then to the store if I want to get back the nickle I was charged when I bought each bottle. Having the SodaStream means I do not have to go through this process. But at a friend's house in the suburbs recently, I noticed that she had a large collection of empty bottles, which I assume were being held onto so that she could bring them to a recycling center in exchange for her nickles being returned to her. I realized that town or country, using a SodaStream makes a lot of sense if one is interested in saving time, money, and the environment.

The quality of this SodaStream has been wonderful in our experience -- we have had the Penguin for over three years without any problems. Also, we like that the carafes on this model are glass, so we needn't worry about the chemicals in plastics.

As far as the monetary savings go, we received two of the cartridges with the Penguin, and so far it's been just once a year that we have had to replace them. When we do replace the cartridges, it costs $15 per cartridge, because the stores that sell them give a credit for the old ones. That means that we've only spent $30 a year on our carbonated water.

Something else that is very helpful is that when we have guests over, we never need to worry about running out of seltzer -- we can just make up a new batch. We bought this sampler a while back, so we also have multiple soda flavors on hand for guests.

I talk about how much I love this product often, so I have convinced several friends to go out and buy the SodaStream already, and they have all been happy with their purchases. If you are considering one, definitely buy it!

(I test a lot of products. In order for it to be a Products Worth the Price, it must be an item I've lived with for a while and absolutely will purchase again.)

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