My daughter and I had a major addition to those $1 large drinks at McDonald's. We were going there on a daily basis just for Diet Cokes and sweet teas. It seemed like such a bargain. Only a dollar for a giant drink! Wow! But then we got to thinking about it -- and doing the math. Our little habit was costing us about $60 a month. Even more money than that, if you consider the gas we spent to get our fix and the other little goodies that tended to find their way into our car when we went "just for drinks." It was clear this bad habit needed to go, but we were unwilling to give up our treat. Please Log In to view this link! to the rescue! For only about $20 -- about a third of our "just for drinks" budget -- I was able to easily make iced tea at home that was better than the tea served up at McD's. The iced tea maker is easy to use. I try to stock up on the big Lipton or Luzianne iced tea bags at Dollar General when they go on sale. It's easy to break out two of those big tea bags and pop them in the top of the iced tea machine, fill the reservoir with some water, and flip the switch to get it to brew. While it's brewing, I get the ice out of our freezer ice maker and fill it up to the line indicated on the pitcher. The whole process of setting up the tea takes less than two minutes. To make sweet iced tea, I add 2 cups of sugar or Splenda to a little hot tap water and give it a stir while the tea is brewing. When the tea is ready, all you have to do then is add the sweetener that you've already dissolved to the tea. The plastic pitchers wash up just fine in the bottom rack of the dishwasher with the heat dry turned off, and the little piece you put the tea bags in goes in the top rack. After I make the tea, I leave the top lid open for a bit to cool off and dry. Occasionally my husband runs a little water and vinegar through the machine to keep it fresh and clean. Other than that, it's a workhorse and requires very little maintenance.