I’ve never been a fan of coffee. It just tastes like beans and boiled water. But when I learned that average worker customers can spend up to $1,000 a year drinking coffee, I was disheartened. Coffee beans do contain health benefits of many kinds, but Starbucks takes coffee and caffeine to a whole new level—and not necessarily a healthy one.
Oh wait, but you thought Starbucks wasn’t that bad for you? Sadly, you are mistaken.
Starbucks drinks may deliver a strong pack of flavor to your taste buds, but they also deliver a strong pack of calories. A grande (16 0z) white chocolate mocha frappuccino has about 550 calories in it and—wait for it—67 grams of sugar. Did someone order a cup of obesity and diabetes?
Okay so treating yourself to this every once in a blue moon most likely won’t incite disease, but if Americans drink about 3 cups of coffee a day on average, we shouldn’t be so optimistic.
And imagine if everyone jumped on the bandwagon that is the pumpkin spice frappuccino which has more sugar than pumpkin…
Well, what about the price?
Oh, what’s the big deal, you might say. It’s not like you’re spending 10 bucks on a cup of coffee. Well, yes and no. A tall pumpkin spice Frappuccino is around 4 dollars, but if you’re getting similar drinks every single day, it can add up. In fact, Yahoo Finance calculates that buying a 4-dollar drink every day for five years will have you wasting over $7,000 dollars on calories and sugar.
Now that we’re both on the same page, let’s figure out what you can buy with your money instead of Starbucks.
1. A nice high-quality water bottle
Get a nice, reusable water bottle to help you drink more water.
Water trumps coffee because, first of all, it’s 0 . And if you want some flavor, you can add some fruit into the mix—actual fruit and not some “pumpkin flavoring”.
I was given a lovely BPA-free Nalgene, and it’s the best free investment I ever had. It doesn’t break when I drop it, it doesn’t leak, and it holds a liter of water.
Chugging around a reusable water bottle everywhere you go will help you drink more water. And the benefits of water are overwhelming: it helps keep your skin clean, helps your hair grow, and also helps you poo. And if you want to lose weight or be healthy in general, pooping is essential.
How much water you should drink depends on a few factors such as your body weight, your location, and how physically active you are. For instance, if you live in a hot area, you’ll probably need to drink more water than you would a person in Canada.
To see if you’re drinking enough, you could use online calculators, but you can also glance at your urine before you flush it down. The darker the urine, the more you need to drink, according to Prevention.com.
And you NEED water. Water is the bane of our existence. 70 percent of our body is water. Our body uses this water for biological processes like cell reproduction. Without water, we are nothing.
Expensive coffee, on the other hand, you can live without.
2. Protein bars
Along with water, our bodies need protein. Protein helps us build muscle, and these muscles help keep our metabolism running fast and efficiently. In other words, protein can help us lose weight.
When picking your protein bars, you’ve gotta be mindful. Sometimes, manufacturers will delightfully spike a protein bar with tons of sugar (not as much as a Starbucks but still as bad!)
3. Actual food
Protein bars are great and convenient and all, but nothing packs more of a nutritious punch like real, whole foods. Eating a healthy breakfast can kick-start your day with more vitamins and minerals than a Starbucks coffee anyways.
If you don’t know how to cook, that can be arranged; buy a cookbook in addition. You can also stalk sites like Yummly and Pinterest to give you a helping hand in the kitchen.
Canning your Starbucks habit allows room for more money that can be used for something far more important. And you don’t have to use your Starbucks money to buy only food and a fancy water bottle. Just for kicks, here are a few other things you could allocate that extra money towards.
High-quality running shoes
A food processor (you can make your own noodles!)
Trip to the Bahamas/travel ticket
Textbooks if you’re in school
Greener cleaning supplies (the present ones are loaded with chemicals)
Your (future) child’s tuition