*Not an ad. I don’t work for anyone but myself.
I am a freelance writer, and coffee is my savior. While I do most of my work in the early morning hours at home, I often go to what I call a “mobile office” a few days a week. This was usually either Starbucks or Panera. That turned out to be a problem, but I didn’t realize it. Coffee is freaking expensive.
In general, a non-black coffee at Starbucks would cost someone around $5 a pop. If I worked there four days a week, that’s $20 a week and a whopping $1,040 a year. Hello, that’s IRA money. That’s tires on a vehicle. Hell, that’s just money that could go somewhere else.
If I bumped that down to a black coffee, around $2.40 I think, that would be around $9.60 a week or approximately $500 a year. Much more reasonable, but still a bunch of money.
Panera was the same way. Get a black coffee for around $2.40. However, now Panera has a monthly coffee subscription for $8.99. Let me tell you, this has SAVED me money.
With their subscription, you can get:
- Hot or iced coffee (not specialty coffees)
- Any of their hot teas
- Free refills if you don’t leave the store
- Another coffee every 2 hours if you do leave
By working there four days a week and based on my regular work/coffee consumption, I spend around $0.56 per visit on coffee, but I refill it around four times.
- From 4 days a week at Starbucks, this is approximately an 89% reduction in spending.
- From 4 days a week at Panera without a subscription, this is approximately a 77% reduction in spending.
- This saved me around $933 ANNUALLY if I kept going to Starbucks four days a week.
- This saved me around $392 ANNUALLY if I went to Panera and didn’t have the subscription and four days a week.
What I find now, though, is that I go there every day and get coffee, even on non-workdays, and I do not spend any more on food than I would have regularly (which is almost never). I also have business meetings regularly at Panera, so I actually pay for two subscriptions. That way, both my guest and I can have unlimited coffee while we chat or work.
I swear, this is not a Panera ad, but it is much calmer to do my work in Panera than at Starbucks. I still venture to the Bucks every now and then, but it is rare.
Find ways to save money where you can. This worked for me because I already had a routine that revolved around Starbucks and Panera in the afternoons.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of IWB.