Wanna hear a story? It’s about coffee. If you like coffee you might like this story.
Most days at work I have access to a coffee maker where I get to make coffee as strong and as dark as I like. But there are some days that I don’t. On the days that I don’t have access to the ideal coffee maker I use the coffee maker down the hall. The “coffee maker down the hall” and I have a rocky past. You see, sometimes people make coffee in that coffee maker that is so totally watered down that it tastes like tea. It shouldn’t count as coffee but it does. Since someone went to the trouble of making it and since I’m addicted to caffeine and since I’m “frugal, cheap, a penny-pincher, and a saver” I’ll drink whatever coffee is available when I can’t make my own rather than dishing out those bucks for the coffee shop coffee. Tea coffee or not – a dollar saved is a dollar saved.
Now, I know that this is what is classified as a “luxury” problem. I’m know I’m lucky to have work and a coffeemaker down the hall to complain about at all- I am grateful for that. This problem isn’t really a problem. This falls more into the category of “Oh, I got the wrong ice cream flavor” but you are still sitting there eating ice cream. Like, it’s not a problem problem. Still, it’s an inconvenience and inconveniences are bummers sometimes.
The other day, my ideal coffee maker was unavailable and the coffee maker down the hall couldn’t even make it’s signature watery brew because the heating element had bust so I was fixin’ to get a mean headache.
Yes, fixin’ to get a mean headache. You heard right. My Southern accent came out.
Come 10:30 am and I was hurting. Bad. Hurting.
As soon as noon hit I rushed to a coffee shop and ordered the most caffeinated drink I could think of- a large twice brewed iced coffee. Sadly and gladly within the first 2 sips my headache disappeared. I say “sadly” because that just confirmed my major addiction to caffeine. I say “gladly” because – no more headache of course!
At this point I should probably say that I decided to give up on coffee and caffeine and all that bad stuff but this is the point in the story where I tell you that the thought of giving up coffee didn’t even cross my mind. Instead, I thought of how I could avoid this horrible withdrawal again. I saw those Starbucks Via’s sitting there. You know those ones where you heat up the water and pour in the little packet? I got a free sample somewhere when they first came out and thought that those would be the perfect solution to keep in my desk for when this very situation happens again. They actually taste pretty good and not bitter or instant-coffee-y at all.
You know what? Those little packets are e x p e n s i v e. They’re like $8-$10 for 6 packets! Now that’s classified as insane (read: not spending that kind of money on that kind of thing) in my book.
So, I made my way over to the coffee aisle. I found some instant coffee. I grabbed the generic brand of course (cheapest) and for 7oz it was maybe $3. Good deal and it even said “Café Auténtico” on the label so I was thinking I found a loophole around Starbucks and their tasty instant coffee racket. I can get my fix on the cheap! I’ll show them!
I was feeling pretty proud of myself the next morning and I thought I had all my caffeine problems solved when I made up a cup of my Café Auténtico the next day. It was a good day until the bitter, bitter, bitter, nasty, nasty, nasty coffee touched my lips. Man, that stuff was disgusting and I assure you, I did not find any loopholes to any instant coffee racket.
But… that instant coffee was crazy cheap and it was technically caffeine. So, now that canister is sitting in my desk just waiting to get used because you better believe I will use it up rather than buy any more coffee and let that stuff go to waste. Really, there’s nothing wrong with it except for being nasty and today that’s not a good enough reason to let something “good” go to waste.
Back in Month 2 of the Spending Fast I had some gross canned goods I had to work my way through and I did it so you better believe that instant coffee will get used up too.
Is there anything that you’ve “suffered” through consuming to avoid buying something else new? Have you found a way to make cheap instant coffee bearable?