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Make Soda Free

Continuing our Cheaper Gatherings series we discuss how you can get soda more cheaply, or completely free by exploiting loyalty programs. This compliments our article on Buffalo Wings quite nicely!

We may be anti-junk food in general, but some people just really enjoy their one little splurge: soda.  So we have some ideas that will help make your one little vice be more healthy, and cheaper too!

How Do You Get Free Coke?

Currently, there is a good amount of residential construction around us, I know, surprising, right?  With construction comes construction workers, and at the risk of being too stereotypical, with construction workers comes soda drinkers.  Why do you need to know this?  A quick walk around some of these construction areas yields many empty 20 oz bottles of Coca-Cola and 12 pack boxes.  The bottles have caps with codes on them and the boxes also have codes on them.

Another method that we’ve tried for collecting codes, which has also been helpful, is to let some co-workers know that you’re collecting the caps.  We’ve gotten a good number of free points from this method as well, and no one asked why (surprisingly!).

Walk, Burn Calories, & Help Your Neighborhood

Going on a little walk through your neighborhood can yield some free codes, you get a little exercise and you pick up around your neighborhood.  So, while many may consider soda as a completely bad thing, you can turn it into a positive and healthy thing if you do it this way.  I figure I’ve been on 8 different walks so far for finding codes and I’ve found codes each time.  That means on 8 different occasions I got a half hour of modest exercise, I helped clean up the neighborhood and I got free points towards something I enjoy.

I would talk about Pepsi, but as far as I know they don’t have any nifty code program.  Collect these bottle caps and codes off of the packs and go to http://MyCokeRewards.com.  Enter your codes in and let the points add up.  Once you reach 240 points you can print a coupon for a free 12 pack, or at 30 points you can get a free 20 oz.  There are many other products that you can get at different point levels but we only get the free Coke since we drink it sparingly.

The Mathematics

Naturally, we need to cover the mathematics of this little program so we can maximize the use of these points.  If 30 points gets you a 20 ounce and 240 points gets you 144 ounces (12 cans x 12 ounces), then which is the better deal?  Basic mathematics reveals that the better deal is the 20 ounce soda because each ounce only costs you 1.5 points where the 12 pack costs you 1.667 points per ounce.

How Hard Is It To Get Points?

A 20 oz bottle code will give you 3 points and a 12 pack code will get you 10 points.  This obviously doesn’t seem like a good system if you are just buying the products, but if you are finding your codes, then the points add up very quickly.

As you can see in the image to the right, we slacked a bit and only got 28 points this week, but we didn’t pay a penny for those 28 points!  We have 162 points in total which means we are 2/3 the way to a free 12 pack, or we’ve earned 5 20 oz Cokes.

It’s Not Worth My time

Some people’s argument against this is that it takes too much time to get enough points.  That may be true for some but we like to look at the other advantages:  It helps to balance out the unhealthy aspects of soda, it helps to moderate your intake, it helps clean up the neighborhood, and it’s free.  If you go out of your way to make a job of collecting codes, then absolutely you’ll be wasting time, but if you can treat it as a little side task, then you’ll receive a tangible reward in the future.

If you liked this idea then be sure to check out our article on how to get or make chicken wings for a fraction of the price!

Photo Credit: Coke Bottle by Auntie P.

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