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How I spent $9.95 at Starbucks and saved myself $2861.60!

Updated on July 9, 2012
I love Starbucks!
I love Starbucks!

I love Starbucks...

Let me begin by saying that I LOVE Starbucks! I totally embrace their concept of marketing a whole experience rather than just selling you a cup of coffee. It’s a system that works. People will go to their local Starbucks and spend on an average between $2.00 and $5.00 for a Flopp-Moppa-Woppa-ccino (or something equally hard to pronounce) instead of hitting up the local generic coffee shop for a regular coffee. Why is that? It’s because Starbucks have marketed themselves so well and have created a place for relationships to be built which isn’t a home and isn’t a workplace. Go into any Starbucks and relationships are happening, business is getting done, smiles are abundant, and, as a bonus, some coffee is being drunk.

So, yes, I love Starbucks and have been a faithful patron of theirs for many years. I would go so far as to say that I was having a love affair with Starbucks, being addicted to a Grande Americano or Tazo Tea more often than was probably good for me. Then one day that all changed…

An unusual purchase...

I went to my usual Starbucks to get my usual order in the usual way, but something unusual happened. As with most Starbucks, there was a line up, and so I found myself killing time waiting to get to the front of the line up to place my order. As I rounded the corner of the marked trail to the counter I passed by the display stand which was full to overflowing with a variety of china mugs emblazoned with the Starbucks logo, bags of various blends of coffee and other coffee related paraphernalia. As I gazed idly at the display my eyes were drawn to a tall, bronze cylinder tucked at the end of a shelf behind some white china mugs. The lights in the café were reflecting off its shiny surface and it literally shone its presence towards me. I reached in and picked up the cylinder, discovering that it was nothing more than a Starbucks travel mug. This mug, however, was not like any mug I had seen before. It was tall, slender with a slim waistline that was ergonomically pleasing to my eyes, like the female form. The lid did not pop open as was the custom with travel cups, but instead it twisted open to allow access to the treasures within. There was a sticker on the side that said it was double-walled insulated to keep the beverage hot. The clincher for me was that there was an orange sale sticker on it boasting a reduced price of $9.95, down from the regular price of $24.95. The combination of good looks, low price and promise of a warm beverage for hours was enough for me and I made the purchase. I have not looked back since.

My well-used, trusty, double-walled travel mug.
My well-used, trusty, double-walled travel mug.

Save yourself money...

From Starbucks point of view, that purchase has been the worst thing that they could have ever done for me. Since owning that travel mug, my regular visits have gone down through irregular, to sparse, and finally to seldom. I can honestly say that the only times I go into Starbucks now is when I am just out socially, whereas before it was a regular daily hotspot for me.

Okay, so that explains how I spent $9.95, but what about the $2861.60? The travel mug does such a great job with what it is created to do that I now have no need to buy a drink at Starbucks. Instead I simply make my own tea at work and then when that is gone, I make another. On average I will drink 4 travel mugs full of tea a day. If I were to purchase those 4 teas at Starbucks, that would cost me 4 x $1.96 which totals $7.84. Now do that for 365 days in a year and you have $2861.60! I can get picky and deduct from that the cost of my tea bags but the bottom line is that I save a heap of money. The mug seriously works though. I can make a cup of tea in it and forget about it for several hours and when I return to it, my tea is still piping hot. You can get inferior travel mugs and have tepid tea or you can buy a double-walled insulated Starbucks one and have a beverage that will still be capable of burning your lips if you are not careful.

Added bonus too!

There is an added bonus to this too. If I do choose to go into a Starbucks and treat myself to a long lost Café Americano, by presenting my own trusty travel mug I get 10 cents off the price of the drink. It saves me money yet again and the bonus on the bonus is that I am not using another disposable cup, thereby being environmentally aware too

So, next time you are in Starbucks, check out the travel mugs. It may be the best money saving purchase you ever make.

How often do you buy a beverage at Starbucks?

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    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Excellent information! My husband has been on an eternal quest for the perfect travel mug (his coffee is usually cold by lunch time and as he works outdoors in snow, he appreciates a hot cup of coffee) to keep his coffee hot. Voted up and sharing.

    • petenali profile image

      Pete 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @innerspin - indeed we are inseparable... I'm even going to bring her to UK with me when I visit so she can see my home country as I'm bound to be drinking lots of tea there...

    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 5 years ago from uk

      I'm a bit worried what might happen if you ever loose or break your mug, you've formed such a deep bond! It was love at first sight, which has stood the test of time. Really cool hub, thanks.

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      The tea stains will probably come out if you soak the mug in a tiny drop of bleach in H2O, and then scrub with one of those bottle scrubbers. Or, just use Ajax.

    • petenali profile image

      Pete 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tee hee Julie... but the content is all true too! Thanks.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      This title was great...sucked me right in! :)

    • petenali profile image

      Pete 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Rusty... I believe your theory about cold is correct. I couldn't use mine for cold now as the inside is all tea stained, but I'm sure it'll work for you.

    • Rusty RazorBlades profile image

      Rusty RazorBlades 5 years ago

      I actually purchase 2-3 beverages a year from Starbucks, but primarily for their brownies. I love their brownies and other pastries dunked in the Mocha. You have me sold on the mug though. Usually if the mug can keep beverages hot for extended periods of time, then the mug will do the same for cold beverages as well, so I might check to see if the Starbucks I pass everyday has them. Good piece of writing by the way!

    • petenali profile image

      Pete 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Rochelle... I actually use my mug at home too. It is perfect for those times when I get engrossed in something and forget to drink my tea. I come back to it hours later and it is still piping hot!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I'm the first 'never' vote on your poll, but I might consider the mug-- but maybe not, since I'm not out and about very often.

      I enjoyed the hub, though-- and the practical thinking.