I’m Just Askin: Why Waste Money at Starbucks?

There’s a Starbucks in my neighborhood grocery store.

Then again, where isn’t there a Starbucks?

I live in a town that has almost as many Starbucks (11) as the Lakers have NBA championships (16). Based on those numbers you might expect that I live in a big city with a large population, but in fact it is a fairly small town with a population of maybe 75,000; that’s one Starbucks for every 4,700 people!

By comparison, we have only two McDonald’s.

Occasionally the Honeybee likes to get a venti Caramel Macchiato which, I’ve been told, is some kind of special caramel vanilla coffee drink. These abominations on the traditional cup of joe cost in the vicinity of $4.60 with tax, which is why I like to call Starbucks “Fourbucks.”

The Honeybee might have one of these overpriced concoctions a couple times a month, which is tolerable as far as our budget is concerned. But I know people that come in to my office with one of these 20 oz. Starbucks coffee concoctions every stinking morning.

I wonder if my co-workers took the time to consider the money they are wasting on a glorified cup of java?

Let’s assume they average two weeks of vacation, and another two weeks of sick time and holidays each year. That means they come in to work with their Starbucks brew 48 weeks a year, 5 days a week. That’s 240 trips to Starbucks at roughly $4.50 a pop, or $1080 annually for a stinking cup of morning coffee! Remember, this doesn’t count the days they go to Starbucks when they aren’t working.

Even worse, if you consider the 10 minutes you have to wait just to get the drink, that means you also waste one entire 40-hour work week each year at Starbucks standing in line!

So can anybody tell me why waiting in line to spend $4.50 for a cup of the foo foo coffee you get at Starbucks better than making your own Folgers at home, or walking in to your local Quickie Mart and taking a minute to pay a buck and change for the Maxwell House blend Apu is serving up?

I mean come on, folks. Is going to Starbucks really worth 40 hours of your life each year and the annual $780 premium?

I’m just askin’.

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  1. 1

    Sabz says

    Rightly said. I used to be one of those fools. he he .. it was almost a ritual. Now the habit is gone and I brew my own from freshly ground beans at a fraction of the cost.

    Yes I still indulge in the occasional Caramel Macchiato, but it’s more on the ‘once every six months, if that’ kind of treat.

    Plus, I’ve discovered so many new brands that I never knew before. So it’s been a win-win.

    • 2

      Len Penzo says

      I grind my own Starbucks coffee at home too, Sabz. I also like drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee too at home. Best of all, you can’t tell the difference between the store-bought and home-brewed stuff either.

  2. 3

    Cal says

    Purchase gratification includes the persona, ambiance and relatively consistent quality of the product. Relatively speaking, a straight cup of coffee from Starbucks is reasonably priced. The 4+ buck fancy stuff serves as a sugar rush. Starbucks has done their homework on marketing, but they have a blind side. What they don’t see is that they have priced themselves out of their own market and have built many chain stores that are too small to accommodate a larger market. The wave crest has passed for Starbucks stockwise because of these errors. Summarily, their vision, although genius, was slightly too small.

  3. 4

    grannyfrugal says

    Starbucks is the most overrated coffee around. I dare you to do a blind taste-test with a cup of Starbucks vs. McDonald’s coffee. The McDonald’s won hands down. And I drink it black.

    • 5

      Len Penzo says

      A lot of folks agree with you, Granny. I prefer Dunkin Donuts, but Mickey D’s coffee is really good too.

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