Stevia is a plant extract that is 15-200 times sweeter than sugar. It has no calories and does not effect your blood sugar levels. Unlike other no calorie sweeteners, it is not a man made chemical, but a naturally occurring plant.
The stevia I buy costs almost $32.00 per pound. By the pound, it is more expensive than every other sweetener. And I get a deal on my stevia. I have priced stevia at every area market that sells it, and this is by far the cheapest stevia. The next cheapest is $40.00 per pound.
If you look at most recipes with stevia, they call for something like 1/4 teaspoon of stevia, or maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia. It doesn't get much higher than that. Still, for each of those recipes, the equivalent in white sugar is cheaper. Stevia is actually cheaper, per recipe than honey or agave nectar, the other natural sweeteners..
What makes stevia a bargain is that I don't want sweet things often anymore. My husband and I used to go through almost a box of ice cream per week, each. Yeah, we were a little chubby. I still make my husband a shake at night, but it is more because he likes habits and rituals than that he is actually craving something sweet. I make myself one of these shakes maybe once per month because I am a little more honest about what my body wants..
I still enjoy sweets when we go to social functions. But I don't need them, and if they weren't offered, I would very rarely take the initiative to make them. Not making cookies, cakes, and brownies as often does save us money, because those foods get eaten up quick and leave us wanting more, so we eat more.
Stevia was more of a health choice than a financial one for us, but the economic benefits have been a pleasant surprise.