Walk down the soda aisle of any large grocery store and you'll see the same thing. Either Coke products are on sale for something like $4/12-pack and Pepsi products are full price, or the Pepsi products are on sale and the Coke is full price. The next week, it flips.
But the generic sodas never change. They cost some thing like $1/99 gallons. The often skipped house brand Grape, Orange, Black Cherry, Cola, Root Beer, and Lemon-Lime products are golden.
This is the good stuff. Crisp sweet flavor and a stronger carbonation than I see from the big folks in the industry.
If any tries to stump you with that great Buddhist koan, "What does 'artificial' taste like?" relax, and hand them a generic soda. One sip and you know this flavor does not exist anywhere in nature. If you ever wondered about why we developed a major chemical industry in this country, it's so scientist could invent these beverage. Curing disease and inventing plastic were purely secondary concern. There is nothing organic or natural about these things. I'm sure even the water in them is made with top secret hydrogen isotopes.
Not only is this stuff good, but it's also dirt cheap. For every can of Coke you buy, you can get a truck of the generic stuff.
This isn't a new discovery for me. Back in high school, I lived on White Rock Black Cherry soda from the vending machine. Readers from the North East may be familiar with the scandalous topless fairy (Psyche) on every can. At one point I was eating Munchos and drinking Black Cherry soda for lunch every day. If I was really hungry, I might splurge on a frozen Charleston Chew. It's not like I didn't have plenty of other options for lunch. Bringing a good lunch was always an option, or I could have purchased one the cafeteria. But this particular diet seemed like a really good idea to me at the time, and I stuck to it with level of determination you have only in high school.
Today my eating habits have evolved from Munchos and Black Cherry to coffee and instant oatmeal (apple spice flavor, please) and if I'm feeling really hungry, I'll microwave a chimichanga. I've come a long way.
But my point is this: don't turn your nose up a the cheap, generic soda in the grocery store. Because that stuff is awesome.