How I Kicked My Expensive Coffee Habit

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For me, going to bed is generally a pleasant experience. Waking up? Not so much. Getting myself out of bed in the morning and dragging myself to work is dreadful. That’s probably true for everyone, except weirdos I guess.

At least there’s coffee to perk us up! The discovery of the effects of coffee was revolutionary, and it’s popularity certainly hasn’t gone out of style. Americans, with our fast paced lifestyle, seem to be ever dependent on coffee. In other words, we’re all a bunch of friggin’ addicts.

You’ll see t-shirts and mugs with phrases like “life begins after coffee” or “okay, but first coffee.” In her hit song “9 to 5” Dolly Parton even refers to coffee as a “cup of ambition.”

I used to feel the same way. I would drink up to four cups of coffee a day, sometimes more. Just about every day I would buy a latte, and those aren’t cheap. The average price is $3.44. So each week I spent about 24 dollars on my mandatory morning beverage. It pains me to think about all the money I’ve wasted. That’s 96 dollars a month! Multiply that by 12 and it’s a whopping 1,152 dollars! That’s how much I used to spend every year (sorry bank account)! Before I explain how I kicked my cravings, I shall first summarize how they came to be.

I wasn’t always a coffee drinker. I knew nothing of Starbucks, and it wasn’t until 10th grade that I first partook of it. It was autumn and a friend of mine was raving about “p-spice” lattes. When I took my first sip my eyes widened in delight. It was like receiving a warm, sweet and spicy hug. Just like that I was hooked. I was merely a sad teenager who abhorred high school and needed something in the morning that gave me the will to live (not literally, please do not be concerned.)

For a while my mom would drive me to school every day and we’d stop at Starbucks. I didn’t have the money to pay for it back then so it was on my mom (sorry mom…) Eventually I was buying them with my own hard-earned money. I didn’t care for the prices, but they didn’t scare me away. I also discovered they were cheaper at Wawa or Dunkin Donuts, and almost as good.

Eventually I realized I could save a lot of money if I just made them myself. I acquired an espresso machine and a milk frother and became my own personal barista. This did not help my addiction.

I made lattes everyday but I found they weren’t as good as the ones from Dunkin, Starbucks, or Wawa, so I still indulged occasionally.

I couldn’t go a day without my cup of joe. It wasn’t just lattes, I would drink coffee anytime it was available, and I was always good at locating free coffee.  Eventually I felt that the amount I consumed might be unhealthy.  So every once in a while I would just stop drinking coffee altogether. It would never last though.

I poked fun at myself but deep down I felt like I had a problem.  I began to have intense chest pains consistently, that seemed to occur after consuming coffee. I attributed this to the acidity of coffee. That’s when I decided I would no longer drink coffee. Unfortunately I traded one addiction for another.

It wasn’t hard to quit drinking coffee cold turkey. I had no withdrawal symptoms. As long as I had some kind of beverage in the morning I was fine. What I chose to drink after giving up coffee was V8 sparkling energy drinks. They had fruit juice and green tea in them so it felt healthier, it even seemed to rev me up more.

Once I began drinking them, coffee had lost its appeal. I would sip someones coffee but it just didn’t taste the same. I was over it. I had a new drink. I started buying the V8 drink everyday at wawa. Two for four dollars seemed like a good deal, but then I realized they were sold at the grocery store. I started buying them in four packs, but they didn’t last me very long. I soon became uneasy about how many of them I was buying. Some days I drank four of them, and soon I became sick of them.

That’s when I decided to eliminate the drink from my life. Currently what I drink to wake myself up is tea. I save so much money now. It also just feels good to take control of what I ingest, and what I spend. Although I must admit, now that fall has come around again I can’t help being enticed into buying a pumpkin spice latte every now and then. Call me basic, but I don’t care!

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