I finally made my first official purchase from Costco UK’s online shopping site. I usually just find everything we want or need at the actual store, but this time, I knew I could only get it online. It’s taken me far too long to get a bit of Costco.co.uk shopping done and I’m actually a bit ashamed at the delay. Of course, for part of that time we were in Australia or tiny temporary housing, so that’s my excuse.
So, what was it that finally got me shopping with Costco.co.uk? A SodaStream, of all things. I got an email from Costco UK and it was one of the products they featured and it made me give it some consideration. I will admit that for the last couple of years I thought this was just kind of a silly kitchen gadget, but after seeing it in the email, it got me thinking about how much we were spending on sparkling and/or flavoured waters from the supermarket or Costco. I quickly realized that this was probably the perfect way to save some money and shopping time and all of the plastic bottles in our recycling. For those of you that aren’t up on the SodaStream, it is a home drinks maker that helps you turn normal tap water into sparkling water and soda right in your own kitchen, anytime you want. It’s basically just a way to dispense the right amount of carbon dioxide into a bottle of tap water that you can then flavour, or not. It doesn’t need to be plugged in and is super simple to use, plus you can make the flavours you want and make it as sweet and bubbly as you want too. What more could you want?
They have four different SodaStreams for sale on Costco.co.uk, so you have a bit of variety to choose from. They have the super fancy high end one down to the very basic version that we got. We decided that we would get the SodaStream Genesis Megapack because it came with not only the machine itself but also several of their carbonating bottles, the gas cylinder, as well as a sample kit of twelve of their flavoured syrups. So, really, you’ve got everything you want to get going in one handy little package for £54.99 (with VAT and delivery included). Here’s exactly what you get for that:
- White Genesis drinksmaker,
- 1 – 60L gas cylinder,
- 2 – 1L carbonating bottles,
- 1 – 12 sample flavour pack,
- 2 – 0.5L carbonating bottles
The drinksmaker itself is kind of tall at 41.7cm or 16.4 in in height, but it fits tidily under our kitchen cabinets. It isn’t that wide or deep, so it really doesn’t take up much counter space, even in an incredibly small kitchen like ours. We mostly use the big carbonating bottles, however, the smaller ones are great for picnics or taking to the park. All of the bottles are nice and thick with the only real requirement being that you do not put them in the dishwasher. I like their durability because if you do take them with you, you don’t need to worry about them crushing or getting damaged.
The weakest aspect of this pack, or maybe just the SodaStream in general, is the concentrated flavour syrups. We got twelve different flavour packets, each one enough to flavour 1 litre of water: cherry, cream soda, dandelion and burdock, cola, diet cola, energy, lemon lime, orange, blackcurrant, apple, pink grapefruit, and tonic. Out of the twelve that we tried in our sample pack, we liked two of the flavours: pink grapefruit and cream soda. The pink grapefruit flavour was definitely the favourite though and we’re actually planning to purchase this in a full size. It is really refreshing and tastes like Fresca with that nice citrusy taste. But the other flavours were not winners for us, some of them were barely drinkable (dandelion and burdock, I’m looking at you). We came to the conclusion that the mix of sweeteners was probably what caused us to dislike the flavourings. SodaStream uses a mix of sugar and artificial sweeteners – sodium cyclamate, acesulfame potassium, and aspartame – that neither of us finds very palatable apparently. They just left us both with this weird, unpleasant taste in our mouths. So, that’s a bit of a bummer. But it was great to try the twelve flavours.
We also tried the SodaStream Natural Strawberry Flavour Essence (we had to purchase this from Ocado) and it was horrible! It’s only ingredient is natural strawberry flavour, and while it smells really, really strawberry, it doesn’t taste even remotely of strawberries. At least not to anyone in our house. What we have found is that cordials do the flavouring job way better, or even just fresh lemon juice. We’re big fans of the Belvoir Elderflower cordial, but there are so many cordials available, we should be able to find plenty more to enjoy. Also, if you drink a lot of just plain water, like I do, then the bit of carbonation is sometimes a great change all on its own, no flavouring needed. We keep the two, one litre bottles filled with tap water chilling in the fridge, so that we can have a nice cool sparkling beverage whenever we want. This is particularly nice right now when it is hot hot hot here in London.
We are really pleased with the SodaStream purchase so far, even with the flavourings not being to our tastes. And I think we’ve already saved the cost of the machine probably in buying plain and flavoured sparkling waters at the regular supermarkets. Here’s a good example of the savings for making our own sparkling elderflower drink at home. A 750ml bottle of elderflower sparkling water from Waitrose or Ocado is £1.99. However, if we buy our own Belvoir Organic Elderflower Cordial from Ocado it is £2.73 for a bottle that will make 5 litres of elderflower sparkling water with the help of our SodaStream. So, instead of paying £1.99 for something that isn’t even a litre (it would be £2.65 for a full litre) our homemade version is just £0.55 per litre! That’s a big old savings of £2.10 per litre; not accounting for the cost of the SodaStream. And if we’re having just plain, no flavour, sparkling water, we’re saving about £0.75 per litre. The cost of a replacement 60 litre gas cylinder from Amazon breaks down to a cost of about £0.25 per litre of sparkling water made, so after we pay off the initial investment of the SodaStream purchase from Costco, we’ll have to take that into account for price comparison purposes.
So, how much are you saving getting the bundle over just buying the individual pieces at someplace like Amazon. Here’s the cost breakdown from Amazon for the various components in the package deal:
- White Genesis drinksmaker: £49.31
- 1 – 60L gas cylinder: £15.17
- 2 – 1L carbonating bottles: £9.99
- 1 – 12 sample flavour pack: £6.65
- 2 – 0.5L carbonating bottles: £15.60
- Total for buying separately at Amazon: £96.72
So, buying the individual items would be much more than the £54.99 for the bundle at Costco. I will point out that Amazon also has the same bundle for the same price as Costco. But obviously, no matter if you buy your bundle from Costco or Amazon, you are saving £41.73 over buying the products separately. Obviously, I think you should get your SodaStream Genesis Megapack from Costco though.
I do find it kind of curious that I couldn’t find one SodaStream drinksmaker in the warehouse. I think this bundle would be perfect to have in the actual stores. But I’m glad that I finally noticed that it was at Costco.co.uk and bought it because we’re definitely going to save money and won’t be putting so many glass and plastic bottles into the recycling bin, nor will anyone have to cart the heavy bottles of water back from the supermarket.