Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drinking Your Own Drinks

I was taking a long, hard, cold look at my budget a few weeks ago, knowing I was going to have to tighten the whole thing. An anticipated rise in my car insurance and a car payment for the next six months was going to take a big bite out of my budget.

I am already a frugal living kind of person so where do I trim up next? Ack!

I knew where. My "little" trips to the convenience store. A coffee here, a soda there. Add in a candy bar or granola bar or a little ice cream. Yeah, you get the picture. I didn't do this everyday, but 2-3 times a week. That adds up in a hurry.

I will guess-timate for you:

$4.00 (high estimate) x 2 times a week: $8.00
$8.00 x 4 weeks: $32.00 a month
$8.00 x 52 weeks: $416.00 a year

What would the figures look like if you did this every work day?

$4.00 (again, high estimate) x 5 times a week: $20.00
$20.00 x 4 weeks: $80.00 a month
$20.00 x 52 weeks: $1040.00 a year (Yikes!!!)

Not much you say? Yes, it is when you are trying to live a little more cheaply and healthy.

This is what I do. You should do what works for you. I have habits I am struggling to break right now. Those habits are named bad sugar/sweeteners and caffeine.

I bring my coffee everyday to work which equals roughly two cups in the container. I can sweeten my coffee the way I like it while trying to reduce the sugar little by little. I did switch from regular refined white sugar to organic sugar in my coffee to help me feel better about the sugar that does go into my body. I also noticed that organic sugar is not quite as sweet as refined white sugar.

I also bring a soda with me everyday. Just one. That is all I have allowed myself to drink a day. If I am drinking two sodas a day, you can guess my stress level or how tired I truly am. Right now the poison is Diet Pepsi. I need to find a more acceptable substitute and I will take suggestions.

Those two things take care of my caffeine habits. The savings:

Coffee: 1 bag of coffee is $4.99 and lasts me a loooong time (at least a month). I only use a tablespoon of grounds every day. At the convenience store, a cup of coffee is $.89 and that times 5 days is $4.45; times 30 days is $26.70.

Soda: 1-12 pack of soda is $4.00 and in Iowa, you pay a bottle deposit of $.05 a can so the total is $4.60. At the convenience store, a can of soda is $.79 and that times 5 days is $3.95; times 12 days is $9.48.

I drink a lot of tea and water to fill in the gaps. I am partial to all and any teas. I am trying to learn to drink them unsweetened, but that doesn't always happen. A bottle of tea at the convenience store ranges from $.99 to $1.69. That is just expensive so I started making my own cold tea as well. A bottle of water ranges from $.99 to $1.69 also. I bought myself a cute water bottle and fill it up with filtered water.

Making your own drinks also gives you the piece of mind of knowing what is in your drinks and where they came from. I buy fair-trade coffee as well as organic teas for additional piece of mind.

As you can see, buying these drinks add up. I know the store is convenient and the drinks are cold. But is the convenience store worth it? Not to me!

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

PS I have linked to Living Well Blog Hop! Come on over and see what great things you can learn!

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