Going to get a coffee is one of the simple luxuries of my life. It is often the event of which I plan my day around. If you ask someone who knows me to play a word association game with my name, I would bet “Coffee” lands in the top 3. After Jesus. Hopefully after Jesus.
I love to go out and get a coffee, but I also pride myself in being a budgeteer. Well, I don’t actually have a budget so I guess technically I shouldn’t use that word…I guess cheap is a more fitting term?
Ok, I am addicted to deals. Getting the most bang for my buck. Tell me a day of the week and I will tell you a restaurant in town that has a special.
Fajita Wednesdays (On the Border!)
Free Shot (of espresso) Fridays! (Biggby)
3pm-6pm Appetizer Deals (Monday-Friday Rockwells)
4-7 pm Happy Hour! (On the Border)
No weigh Fro yo Thursdays! (Peach wave) Disclaimer- the cups are smaller. Keep this in mind and sample more.
3 for 10! (Chili’s every day which is why its the GOAT)
HALF PRICE APPS (Applebess, nightly)
I love getting deals.
It’s hard spending $6 on a coffee drink and enjoying it because I understand it is a ridiculous sum to spend on something that is here and gone in 20 minutes. So over the years, I have developed some tips and tricks when it comes to my coffee to try and control the amount I am spending on it. Here they are below:
- Be creative with your order
The lattes and fraps and machiattos are what set you back 6 bones. I typically will create my own version on the drink using just coffee as the base, and it taste super similar and is half the cost. (If you know of MacroBarista, he has tons of great recipes but I have been doing this long before him 😉 )
For years, I would order a coffee, then have them add a couple pumps of whatever flavor (you can mix them up, white mocha and caramel, toffee nut/vanilla) and add a splash of cream. You can even have them add steamed milk.
It is not the exact same experience as a Caramel Machiatto, but it is pretty darn close. Back in the day, another reason I did this was to save a load of calories not having the base be milk. But now it is more about the money.
2. Use the Rewards/Frequency cards
I am ashamed to say I do not use the Starbucks Reward program and realize this makes me lose credibility…honestly I just get overwhelmed by it and subconsciously think it will make me spend more. I don’t want to load money on the card, I just want the stars. Someone explain it to me.
But I do have frequency cards to other coffee places. Earn that free drink with a bunch of cheap coffees and then have your free drink be an $8 special! Also, Groupon sometimes offers a 5 for 10 special for Starbucks. There are also tons of coupons that come in the mail to certain places. Be the crazy coupon lady. Have no shame while handing them the crumpled up, beef-stew stained coupon! They are the ones charging $8 for a drink!
3. Get Your Hands on Gift Cards at All Costs
Coffee gift cards give me such joy. I would highly recommend becoming a teacher, because it guarantees you will get them at some point. If you are a teacher, I would also recommend talking frequently about how much you love coffee, so when the students’ parents are wondering between a candle or a gift card, their child will put them on the right path.
Beg other people who don’t like coffee for their gifts cards. I’ve done it.
One of my best friends doesn’t like coffee (I know…) recently sent me SIX “free drink” coupons to Biggby. Biggby speciality drinks are so expensive. DOES SHE KNOW THAT IS WORTH LIKE $50? They didn’t have a limit! Her act of kindness and mercy left me speechless and caffeinated.
4. Get really good at making coffee at home (or marry someone who can)
This one is boring because I know half the reason getting coffee is so great is to have that little cup with you as an emotional support tool as you work, shop, talk and go about life.
But learning to make a great cup at home has saved me a lot of money when it’s coffee I am wanting and not necessarily the experience.
My husband has mastered the French Press. If there were levels of achievement, he would be at the highest. He takes so much pride in making me a perfect cup of coffee.
We buy good coffee, grind it, nurture it, speak truth over it. We have a milk frother on hand, cinnamon sugar shaker and all the equipment.
5. Make it last
We all know the best part of going out to dinner is having the leftovers the next day. I apply the same principle to my coffees.
This one is kind of odd, but I often make my coffee last for 2 days. I actually prefer to get a coffee after work around 3:30, but can’t drink it all because #caffeine. Instead, I will drink half of it and save the rest for the next day. Sometimes I will add some homemade coffee to it, as well. Since like I said, half the fun is having your coffee drink with you by your side, I get an extra day of toting along my cup and being basic.
Also, on BOGO days (Wednesdays at Biggby) I will sometimes buy two and save one for the next day. It is technically called “Buy One Give One” there, but I am giving…to myself. There is currently a Coconut Milk Latte in the fridge about to be warmed up.
( Sometimes I share, too. )
6. Self Reflect before Going on a Coffee Run
Sometimes I just like the idea of going to get a coffee. I need to get out on my lunch break. I have a coupon. I have time to kill. I don’t know what to do with my hands.
All of those are reasons I have used to go get a coffee, but honestly there are times I say to myself…do you really want/need the coffee? I try to save my runs for the times it really sounds good. Coffee usually sounds good, but there are occasions (typically after already drinking copious amounts of it) where I just don’t need it and can save my money for another time.
I also don’t think it’s good to give into cravings/wants every single time. It’s good to deprive yourself on occasion from getting what you want. If I went every single day, would it still be as awesome? Okay, yes it would but you know what I mean.
Those 6 tricks have helped me save money on my coffee situation. (My students call it a problem, I call it a situation). Obviously I am still spending money on coffee, but using these tricks allow it to be a simple luxury without doing major damage to our financial situation.
Do you have any money-saving coffee tricks? (Besides not drinking it, that doesn’t count and isn’t real.)