How I saved almost $100 on coffee | Gabby's January Challenge

On January 1, 2018, minimum wage in Canada went from $11.60/hr up to $14/hr. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this topic, whether they’re for it or against it. While I think it’s amazing that people are getting paid what they deserve, I wanted to see just how much this wage hike would affect my day-to-day life. I thought I’d start with the price of a simple cup of coffee, and look at what I could do to save some money in the midst of all this.

I immediately noticed a price difference at Starbucks. Normally, I get a grande americano almond misto (my fave drink) and it costs around $3.85. When I ordered one at the beginning of the month, I was shocked to see it went up to $4.15! That’s a $0.30 increase, which can really start to add up! But Starbucks isn’t the only place to raise their prices; take a look at other increases at some of my favourite coffee shops in the area.

Strange Love

Americano: +$0.15

Jimmy’s Coffee

Americano: +$0.25

Dark Horse

Americano: +$0.22

I’m all for saving a couple bucks here and there, so for Christmas, I asked for a french press. My sister Karyn was my Secret Santa this year and hooked me up! I got a single-serve Bodum french press and it is BOMB. 

On January 2, I went to Strange Love–this amazing coffee shop across the street from my work– and got a simple bag of ground coffee. It only cost me $20 AND they gave me a free drip coffee with purchase. This is looking good so far.

Every morning at work, I’d make a cup of coffee with my Bodum. It took roughly 7 minutes from start to finish (5 minutes to let it steep, 2 minutes to clean the parts), which is about the same time it would take me to walk across the street and get a cup of coffee at Strange Love (if there were no lines and all the crosswalk lights were green).

It became so easy to just whip out my french press and make a coffee at work that I would sometimes drink two coffees a day. Normally I’d only drink one because I wasn’t down with paying $3 for every cup, but when you make your own, it’s a lot cheaper, so you think it’s ok to drink more. I would start to crave coffee for comfort, not fuel, and in turn, get the jitters. I realized that if I didn’t get this under control, then it could easily lead to an addiction. BUT HEY. Workin’ on it.

Here are the final results!

For the month of January, I drank 32 cups of coffee.

- 24 using the french press

- 6 bought at cafes ($24)

- 1 was bought for me

- 1 was free with the bag that I bought at Strange Love

If I had bought 24 cups of black, drip coffee from Strange Love, I would’ve spent $72 on coffee for the month of January! I bought that bag of coffee for only $20, and there are still 14.5 scoops left in the bag. So really, I saved $95.50 in total! SO AWESOME.

Here’s my math:

24 + 14.5 = 38.5 scoops of coffee in 1 bag

38.5 x $3 = $115.5 (what I would’ve spent if I had bought drip coffee at $3 a pop

$115.5 - $20 (for the bag of coffee) = $95.5

TOTAL SAVINGS = $95.5!!!

Some things to consider:

Time it takes to walk and get a coffee vs. make a coffee with the french press: If you factor in lineups and waiting for lights to change to cross the road, the french press would win for time consistency (roughly 7 minutes vs. 10+ at a coffee shop.)

Price difference: Saved $72 in the month of January using the french press.

Other factors: I have to clean the parts of the french press but I don’t really mind. It’s something to take my mind off work for a couple minutes. And I get to socialize with people in the kitchen :) Also, the ease and convenience of the french press has caused me to consume more caffeine than I normally would, but this is controllable.

Overall, I learned a lot doing this experiment!! I think I’m going to keep up with buying bags of coffee rather than single cups, just because I’d be saving way more money. One thing I’m going to work on is drinking coffee with intention rather than for comfort.

Do you have a french press? How are you feeling about the wage hike? Let us know in the comment section!

My February challenge is to take a social media break! I couldn’t wait for February to come, so I already started and I AM LOVING IT. Stay tuned for my findings! 

💓 Gabs

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