Thursday, January 24, 2013

Starbuck’s Should be a Treat, Not a Lifestyle Choice

I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea.  But even so, going to a place like Starbuck’s is nice.  I use the term Starbuck’s generically in this case, fill in the name of any similar place, such as Panera Bread or Tim Horton (shout-out to Kim!).  In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time.  I know a lot is being said lately about austerity measures, both in our personal lives and in government.  Some people can live in total deprivation, keep their eyes on the prize, and be content.  I am not one of them.  Before my BFF moved away we took the time occasionally to go out and have a treat.  Might have been dinner, or a drink and pastry, or even a snowcone.  The place didn’t matter, it was a time to decompress from our busy lives and catch up.  I miss those dates with her but that just means the time we will spend together on our infrequent visits will be that much sweeter.

My problem with the aforementioned treat spots comes when people start treating themselves too frequently.  It’s no longer special.  It can turn into a habit, something you don’t even enjoy anymore but since you stop for coffee and a muffin on the way home every day, why change the pattern today?  And it turns into an enormous money drain.

As in most areas, I don’t want to say “This is the way it should be done”.  Rather, my message is “Think before you act”.  Not original, I know.  Very little in this world is original, but when it’s good advice, it bears repeating.  And this is good advice. 

THINK.  What is that purchase costing you per week?  Per month?  THINK.  How could that money be better spent?  THINK.  Are there alternatives that will satisfy?  How can you implement them? 

If coffee and pastries are your thing, do an internet search.  Here’s a coffee treat recipe I’m told is really tasty.        

I like chai tea, but at Panera it’s around $3.  Not worth it.  I can throw some cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and cream or milk into a cup of tea and it’s just as tasty, in my opinion.  No idea what it costs but I can assure you, it’s nowhere near $3 per serving.

As for those pastries, baking from scratch can be fun, and a worthwhile skill to cultivate if you don’t already know how.  Yes, I know it takes time, and you’re a very busy person.  We all are.  Even a muffin mix is cheaper than one muffin at a coffee shop.  And once people know you can bake, you’re going to be very popular. 

THINK.  That’s all I’m asking.              

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've tried really hard to teach my children this same concept.

Fortunately living in the country makes it easier to avoid over doing it on things like Starbucks because we only go past one once in a while.

Our splurge on things like this are the peppermint drinks out around Christmas....a tradition daughter and I look forward to all year.