I recently began wondering how I could save more money per year to put into savings for a rainy day. I began considering my daily habits and realized I spend quite a bit, daily simply by buying my coffee out each morning and my lunch out each afternoon. Additionally, on my quest to create less waste, I realized just how much waste my single serve lunches and coffee cups create, Every. Single. Day.
I sat down to calculate just how much money I spend in one week’s time. I generally spend anywhere from $1-$5 on each coffee drink depending if I choose a latte or a regular brewed coffee. That means I am spending anywhere from the range of $5-$25 per week just in coffee! Over the course of a year that is between $240-$1,200 just for my favorite drink.
According to my calculations, I can make my own cup of coffee for as little as 16-18 cents a day. What a difference! That means I would only be spending about $45 a year to make my coffee at home. Moreover, I would be saving on waste by using either traditional mugs or travel mugs that can be washed and reused over and over again!
I decided that I did not want to completely cut out my coffee treats, so I made a compromise with myself. Instead of coffee out every day, I have cut back to just one day a week. I now reward myself with a latte every Friday morning, but make my own coffee the remainder of the week.
I began to consider my lunch choices and realized I was spending roughly $10 or a bit more each day for lunch; racking up a whopping $50 a week or $200 a month just for lunches!
I realized I was often reaching for a quick option due to the business of my work day, which equaled greasy, unhealthy meal choices.
I realized I could start packing more nutritious meal options and save money. In the past, I had thrown many of my left overs away as I simply wasn’t home to eat them up. I started packing leftovers which reduced waste, saved even more money, and were much healthier as I take time to plan healthy meals each night.
I also made sure to pick healthy sides and snacks such as fresh fruit and yogurt. My local grocery store often runs sales on seasonal fruit, as well as yogurt. This proved to be filling, healthy, and cost effective.
Just like the coffee, I realized everyone deserves to eat out occasionally. So, I began treating myself to lunch once every two weeks. This helps when I’m tired of packed lunches or in a hurry but doesn’t allow me to waste unnecessary money.