Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tips on Avoiding the Sugar Tax

Image courtesy of Marc Jones
The UK chancellor has just announced a tax on sugary soft drinks due to start in a few years time. Many people have welcomed this as they feel that it will help people to stay healthier whereas others feel that it is unfair to tax freedom of choice and turning the UK into even more of a nanny state. Whatever your views on the tax, there are ways that you can avoid it and it could be worth getting into the habit of not buying the sugary drinks now, so that it is not so tricky to avoid them when the tax actually comes in. Below are a selection of tips on how you can do this.

You may just decide that you do not spend enough on these drinks to worry. However, it is worth calculating exactly how much you do spend and what the tax on the drink will cost you in a year. Remember the price of the drinks will probably have gone up by the time the tax comes in as well and so it could be even more of a price hike. A simple measure, as described below, could save you putting that money into the governments pocket. You may not mind though, the money has been pledged to be spent on primary school sports, so you may be happy to be funding that.

Buy Drinks with Sweeteners

Of course the obvious alternative to the sugary drinks is to buy the same drink but with sweeteners instead of sugar. The tax should make most of these alternatives cheaper than their sugary alternatives and so they could be a good option. However, many people are concerned about using artificial sweeteners. There are products with more natural sweeteners that you can choose from. however, many sweeteners, both natural and artificial can raise blood sugar in the same way as sugar and so it is possible that there will be no benefits with regards to weight loss. There may be better better research results before the tax comes out which could influence the tax and sweeteners used by big drinks manufacturers.

Switch to Fruit Juice

Fruit juice (the types with no added sugar, as opposed to fruit juice drinks), are not covered by the tax. This is because there is no sugar added to them. This means that you could find that using these instead of fruit juice drinks could save money. They can be expensive, but if you water them down or add half and half with carbonated water, you can have a fizzy drink that should be sweet enough but minus the tax.

Make your own sugary drinks

If you really miss the sugar, then you could consider making your own sugary drinks. Using flavourings, sugar and carbonated water it should be possible to make a fizzy drink. You can even tweek the ingredients to make it exactly to your taste. Adding some concentrated lemon or orange juice and sugar to fizzy water should give you a fizzy fruit drink which would not cost that much money.

Drink alternatives such as tea, coffee, milk or water

There are many alternatives to sugary soft drinks, that we can have instead. Tea and coffee, for example could be sweetened at no extra cost, if you like it that way. You can also drink milk or water. Some of these may not be cheaper than fizzy drinks but others will be. They may not hit the same spot as a can of fizzy drink, but if you get used to having them as an alternative you could end up saving a great deal of money in the long run.

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