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My Starbucks Habit

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Old 07-27-2006, 03:52 PM   #1
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Default My Starbucks Habit

Ok, so I've been thinking about this one... pardon the thinking (typing) out loud.

I don't go for the caffeine, because I've been off most caffeinated drinks for a couple of years...

I don't go because it is such a good deal, because...well... I spent $3 on a decaf coffee drink this morning...

I don't go because I love coffee so much. I do love the taste of coffee, but I'm fine if/when I don't have it. I rarely even order decaf if we go out for breakfast, and I don't drink it at home, even though hubby makes a pot every morning.

I think I go because it is a habit, and it also makes me feel part of something. You know, you walk in and the evil baristas know you and chat with you, and you get a little sense of a group of people hollering, "Norm!" at you.

So, the question is... how do I break this habit. I can't change my route to work to avoid passing a Starbucks. There is literally NO route to my office which does not pass by a minimum of 3 stores, and some routes pass by 5. (I live in Portland, Oregon - we loves us some coffee. There are literally 4 Starbucks within 2.5 miles of my house).

I really want to save the money I am spending, which averages about $3 a pop.

I don't think it is something that I can do only on occassion or in moderation, at least not right now. The problem is that I occasionally have to meet people for business at a Starbucks, and if I've broken the habit temporarily, that tends to start my cycle all over.

Anyone else ever deal with a similar issue and have any suggestions for me? I really want to devise a strategy, and not rely on willpower, because I don't believe willpower exists. (At least, it doesn't for me ).

-Sara
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:22 PM   #2
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Hi Sara

You're wise to consider the money you would save if you gave up your daily Starbucks habit. Have you heard of the latte factor? This might help you put it into persective and encourage you to stick with it.

I saw this on Oprah David Bach, author of the Automatic Millionaire, said we can become millionairs just by giving up our daily coffee and muffin. He based this on a $5 a day habit:

$5 per day (the average cost of a latte and a muffin) x 7 days = $35 per week

$35/week = $150/month

$150 per month invested at a rate of 10% annual return =

1 year = $1,885
2 years = $3,967
5 years =$11,616
10 years = $30,727
15 years = $62,171
30 years = $339,073
40 years = $948,611

http://www.finishrich.com/free_resou...attefactor.php
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:35 PM   #3
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Default YES! Same problem.

I started going to Starbucks/Caribou/Dunn Bros Coffee when I quit smoking five years ago. I started out drinking mochas, then mochas with a little 'extra' (whip, flavor shot, etc.), and often a pastry to boot. Every day. (and that has a lot to do with why I'm on 3FC right now, heh)

I realized I was spending $4 a day on coffee, which was more than cigarettes at the time, and when I quit smoking I did it in part for financial reasons. I decided to switch to a plain cup of joe instead of a frou-frou mocha, cutting that coffee bill in half.

I eventually decided that I'd rather spend that time in the morning at my house preparing my breakfast and packing my lunch, drinking coffee at home. I save a ton of money, and there is no temptation at home to eat a pastry or to change my plain joe to a 800-calorie liquid high.

Part of why I went originally was because I felt I deserved a "treat" every morning. Sure, I deserve one, but why not save that money ($800-$1000/year) and give myself a REAL treat, like go on a vacation? I'd gladly sacrifice overpriced daily coffee for three years if it got me a week in Greece!
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitt
I don't think it is something that I can do only on occassion or in moderation, at least not right now. The problem is that I occasionally have to meet people for business at a Starbucks, and if I've broken the habit temporarily, that tends to start my cycle all over.

-Sara
Rabbitt -

Is it the physically being in Starbucks that sets you back or is it the specific menu item that you order? If it's the latter, could you order something different (juice, tea, etc.) when you're there on business? It seems like the last time I went to Starbucks they have a large number of non-coffee beverages now.
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Last edited by BreakingFree : 07-27-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:56 PM   #5
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I think it is just the snazzy feeling I get from being one of the special Starbucks drinkin' people. So in terms of everyday specialness, maybe if I come up with something else that makes me feel just as snazzy...? I'll have to think on that one.

As for the business meetings.. well, how about I just decide to get a short, plain old coffee, and leave it at that. No mocha yumminess, no whip (which I don't get anyhoo), no frappucinno-ing anything, nada, except maybe a little non-fat milk. I will give that decision a go around for a while. Besides, I already have a couple of strikes against me business-wise. Being heavy and being a young-looking female (even though I am 37), puts me behind the 8 ball when meeting with people to start with. I think it sometimes looks even worse if I order some frou-frou drink to boot, rather than a simple coffee...

In terms of the money... dang, that's a lot of money. I was just thinking of keeping a log for every time I skipped my drink, and then treating myself when I get to some certain number of $$ saved. I want to get my teeth whitened at one of those 1 hour places, and I was going to make that my, say, 50-pound loss treat. But maybe I will make it my I've-skipped-a-darn-lot-o-mochas treat instead.

Yay!

-Sara
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitt
I think it is just the snazzy feeling I get from being one of the special Starbucks drinkin' people. So in terms of everyday specialness, maybe if I come up with something else that makes me feel just as snazzy...? I'll have to think on that one.
I think I know what you mean about this (you expressed it so well above when you mentioned the whole Cheers/Norm phenomena). Having a place where I go most days and feel like I belong and people are happy to see me is extremely important to me. I've been lucky in that most of my workplaces (and college/graduate school before that) have been that way or I've been able to create a niche there "where everybody knows my name." I love the idea that you'll work on finding this for yourself outside of Starbucks. It may take time to find/create such a place but it's worth it. It's those in-between times when I'm new somewhere and haven't found where I belong yet that are difficult.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitt
I was just thinking of keeping a log for every time I skipped my drink, and then treating myself when I get to some certain number of $$ saved. I want to get my teeth whitened at one of those 1 hour places, and I was going to make that my, say, 50-pound loss treat. But maybe I will make it my I've-skipped-a-darn-lot-o-mochas treat instead.
GREAT IDEA!
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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I hear you on this one! I would go to Starbucks every day (if not twice a day). I think my coffee intake was 3-5 cups a day! I weened myself off of it 2 weeks ago. It was soooo hard. I thought my head was going to blow up from the withdrawal. There are 2 Starbucks on the way to work and I heard them calling my name! But, i knew I would be saving myself a whole lot of calories and a heck of a lot of money. With that, I am getting monthly pedicures and I have money to spare.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #8
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I tell you what, I have a friend that owns a coffee shop and her mochas are even better than starbucks. I love a good mocha, I love the atmosphere (this is my friends place) I love the smell of coffee, I love the feel of drinking it. You get my point, I love the whole experience. I started to make coffee at home (not everyday just sometimes, not really addicted just really like it). Then I bought sugar free hot chocolate and sugar free torinos (the fancy coffee flavoring) and non dairy creamer. I make it myself sit and have a wonderful cup or six and don't have to feel nearly as guilty or have it impact my pocketbook as much. Sometimes when I really get in a mood I will put it in a fancy glass and just enjoy. Anyway that is what I had to do to fix that habit. I know it is not quite the same but then I know what is going in and I can make a pretty fancy coffee and it does taste yummy.

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Old 07-27-2006, 11:06 PM   #9
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Oooh, pedicures! Now THAT is something that would make it even more worth it to save the mocha money, AND it would still give me that snazzy person feeling, I bet. Kinda like wearing new, sexy underwear.

Plus, I could leave the tooth whitening as a 50 pound (or so) treat...

Great idea!

-Sara
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:53 AM   #10
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My boyfriend and I go to Starbucks after we go out to dinner to people watch and just chat. Actually we go to any coffee shop but Starbucks is his favorite. Seoul has one of the largest Starbucks in the world and we like to go to that one sit in the window and watch all the shoppers go by. It is fun. As far as drinking the coffee....I can't get a decaf off base but I choose a tall now with a little milk.....yes no skim either there. We probably do this once every two weeks but I try to keep it at a minimum. I think of it as a dessert treat.

As for caffiene...I am trying to break myself of it this summer by drinking coffee lite (from Maxwell House) I figure to continue the trend I need to mix a pack of decaf with a pack of regular and shake them together so I can have the same when I get home. No coffee lite on base either.......
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitt
I think it is just the snazzy feeling I get from being one of the special Starbucks drinkin' people. So in terms of everyday specialness, maybe if I come up with something else that makes me feel just as snazzy...? I'll have to think on that one.
I don't know how special it can be to feel like one of those Starbucks drinkin' people when a lot of people drink Starbucks. I don't particularly feel special when I spend 3, 4, 5 dollars on a drink. I feel like they are making some good money off of me.

I do go to Starbucks out of convenience once in a while, usually in an airport or if I'm walking around and I need a drink. They do have good unsweetened iced tea, which is what I drink these days.

Personally, I think it is important to save money as much as it is to save calories. I've even started ordering water in restaurants just because the price of iced tea has gone up a lot and I'm just as happy with water as I am iced tea. Our nation is increasing their debt as much as they are increasing their waist lines. Do I want to be "in" on the yuppie crowd that is experiencing so much debt these days? Nope.

I say save your money and use it for other things that are better
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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To save calories, I get a "double tall SF Vanilla Non-Fat Latte" and only 1-2 times a week (that helps with the saving money too!). I definitely get the social thing - you walk in to your regular Starbucks and not only do the baristas know you and say hi - the patron recognize each other too. Now when I go with my friends, I'll either get the above or if I've been in "too much" this week I'll get an herbal tea - costs about a $1 and I enjoy it just as much.

As for cold turkey and a social substitute - the pedicare idea is a great one. I would get a manicure (usually a french) for a few weeks running and the staff and customers are the same if you go at the same time and they like to chat, etc. You can get your nails done for $15, about the same as a coffee a day.

Great topic!
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:24 PM   #13
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Usually when I go to Starbucks with friends, I get cafe au lait instead of a "coffee drink" (an redundancy if ever I heard one). It's basically the same thing -- coffee and milk -- without the fanciness or the price. The coffee is just as good, but because it's brewed (coffee) rather than steamed (espresso), it has a bit more caffeine and a slightly different flavor. And it's usually much less expensive, unless you add shots and such. I've never cared if I had foam, as long as I have milk.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:54 PM   #14
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I'm kind of the opposite. Once the baristas started making our drinks before we ordered, we realized we'd been spending too much time and money there! So we cut it off cold turkey. We do go about once a week now, and I order a decaf coffee light frappacino (2 pts. for those on Weight Watchers) and my DH an iced tea/lemonade. However, the only reason I go so often is because I had a tin of change I put in one of those Coinstar machines. I chose to put it on a Starbuck's card because there was no fee. Thought I had about $30--had over $100 in change in my little tin. Once I start having to hand over real bills instead of the plastic card, Starbuck's will be an occasional treat again.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:59 PM   #15
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Yeah, I switched my Starbucks trips from being an everyday staple to being a treat while out with friends. I enjoy it so much more that way!
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