Thursday, August 5, 2010

Have Thermos, Will Travel

In an effort to save money (and the environment) I've stopped picking up coffee each morning. For the last three years I have been a dedicated Caribou girl. Each morning I would stop and pick up a large dark roast to take to work. On Fridays it would be accompanied by a piece of Cinnamon Coffee Cake or a French Toast Muffin. My treat for making it through the week.

But you don't have to be a math major to figure out how fast that adds up. A large coffee with tax is $2.11. A large coffee with pastry is $4 something. Over the course of a week that works out to $13, and that's only if I don't tip. So this week I stopped going. I drove past Caribou and went straight to work. But don't even get the idea that I've stopped drinking coffee. In fact, I'm drinking far more than ever.

A couple years ago I bought a Thermos brand thermos, which came in incredibly handy when I broke my ankle. And while I would make coffee at home occasionally, I never really used the thermos. Now I keep wondering why. My thermos can hold most of a pot of coffee and the amount left over is perfect for a travel mug (it's like they planned it that way :-) ). The thermos can keep the coffee hot for at least eight hours which means that I can have wonderfully hot coffee in the afternoon, if it lasts that long. So I've started making coffee at home and taking it to work.

Now instead of a 20 oz coffee to start my day, I drink an entire pot...of decaf. I know that I shouldn't drink an entire pot of regular every morning (not that I can't) so I brew decaf. I've set up my coffee pot to delay brew and have fresh piping hot decaf ready for me each morning. So far I haven't noticed the lack of caffeine. The only thing I worried is that I would miss the coffee lid. I used to hate drinking coffee through those tiny slit lid. Now I find that I'm addicted. I love how slow it allows me to drink, savoring my coffee for hours while still keeping it hot. Luckily the folks at DC Craft have my back. This is the "I Am Not a Paper Cup" cup. Refillable, washable, it comes with a silicone lid and silicone wrap for my hand. It holds almost 20 ounces and makes me incredibly happy. So in one week I've gone from Caribou addict to happily self-sufficient. If only my meals were that easy.


Salt said...

Good show! Mind over Budget (and Coffee)!

The difficulty I have, as frugal as I am, is when I want to cut back on doesn't make much difference. Even at the absolute pinnacle of my Diet Dew addiction (8+ cans a day), because I refuse to buy soda for more than .25 per 12oz, I was already right within your price range for a single coffee a day.

I've since cut that in half (or better), and spend less than $1 per day on my caffeine fix...for a grand savings of about $7 a week.

If only I smoked or drank, or something that I could (reasonably) cut out so that I could see some REAL savings...I'm not, for example, going to quit driving my car, a 42 mile commute is too far to bike.

Cat B said...

While I'm impressed that you've cut your caffeine habit in half, (wow 8 cans!!) I can understand your frustration. $7 a week doesn't feel like much (although it works out to $350 extra a year). And yes you spend less than I do for a single coffee. Wow that's sad.

Heh, I wouldn't recommend taking up smoking or drinking just so you can quit. Although I'm sure the savings would be incredible. Do a mental exercise. Imagine that you smoke. Now imagine that you've saved by quitting. Does that help? Do you feel better about your budget already?

And you get AMAZING gas mileage so no worries about stopping driving. Hmmm, I wouldn't even know where to begin cutting your budget. I'd joke and say your WoW account, but that just seems mean.

Salt said...

Even the WoW account, I do the $78 for 6 months plan, which works out to be $13 per month, or... about $3 a week.

"For just $3 per week, or less than a latte grande, you can help these poor, bored dwarves find adventure in the world!", it doesn't quite flow as well.