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On Giving Up Starbucks

March 2, 2012

starbucks-logoOn Sunday, January 29, 2012, I had my last Starbucks beverage.

I had decided to give up Starbucks for the month of February. This is monumental for me. For the last few years, Starbucks has been a very large part of my life. It began early in 2010, when I was working downtown and Starbucks was only a few short blocks away. My job was stressful and slowly began to involve working later and later hours. I started going to Starbucks in the morning before work for a caffeine boost – the late hours had messed with my sleeping schedule and I was often waking up exhausted. Then I began taking a break in the afternoon with my co-workers for a Starbucks pick-me-up. The real trouble began in August when Starbucks began their $2 drink promotion: buy a drink before 2pm, get a coupon for a $2 grande drink for after 2pm that same day. I started going twice a day, morning and afternoon. The caffeine helped me get going in the morning and stay going as I worked late into the evening.

frappuccinoWhy didn’t I just make my own coffee, you ask? Well, the truth is, I don’t really like coffee. My beverage-of-choice is a caramel frappuccino, which is vaguely coffee-flavored but mostly tastes like ice cream. My second choice is the salted caramel mocha, which is basically just hot chocolate with a barely-recognizable shot of espresso. Making coffee at home was never an option, because I couldn’t make those drinks at home.

Starbucks quickly became a crutch for me. Not enough sleep? Starbucks. Long day? Starbucks. Pre-exercise pick-me-up? Starbucks. Road trip? Starbucks. Need to work on the weekend but don’t want to do it at home? Starbucks. Need an evening to myself to read or journal? Starbucks.

I realized that Starbucks was becoming a problem while on a weekend trip to Vegas in January of this year. My husband and I were there with his parents, and I looked up all the Starbucks locations in the city so I would always know where the closest one was. I even left them in the Venetian casino while I trekked over to the Treasure Island Starbucks to get my fix. Hotels, malls, airports… anytime I saw a Starbucks, my heart would lift a little, and I would have to get a drink.

So, I decided to give it up completely for one month. I wanted to see if I could make it without my daily crutch. And, to be honest, my wallet needed a break. I had my last drink on Sunday, January 29.

February 8: The first week is rough. Work is becoming more and more stressful, and I miss my morning frappuccino on my drive to work. My husband and I go grocery shopping and he gets a frapp from the Starbucks inside the Kroger to sip while we shop. I seriously consider making him walk home.

February 15: Work is no better, and I’ve started buying the caramel frappés from McDonald’s as a Starbucks replacement. They’re cheaper and contain 1,000 times more calories than the Starbucks version, but they do in a pinch. When I contemplate getting one on my way home from work after having just had one that morning, I realize that I’m just trading heroin for methadone. No more frappés for me.

February 22: I’m able to make it through most days without thinking of Starbucks at all. I feel myself slipping from their giant, tasty clutches. But! I’m also counting the days until I can go there again. My caffeine dependency is under control, but my days are a little less joy-less. Nothing else seems to feel quite the same as my little frappuccino treat.

February 29: On the last day of my challenge, I have to get up at 5:00 am to go to work after having gone to bed around midnight. I desperately need coffee. I buy a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino from the gas station and wonder if that’s cheating. The drink is like a caffeine injection to my brain and I’m surprisingly able to function for most of the day.

March 1: My month of no Starbucks has drawn to a close. I did not stop there on my way to work this morning, though I briefly contemplated it. I kind of want to see how long I can keep this going, but I know I’ll probably cave this weekend.

So, what did I learn? I can buy more books and shoes if I’m not spending all my extra cash on coffee drinks. I need caffeine most days but the form doesn’t matter so much. I can make a surprisingly decent cup o’ joe at home if I take the time to do it and have clean travel mugs. And when I do finally have my frappuccino, it will taste extra-awesome because it’ll be a treat, instead of something I get every single day. That’s how it needs to be from now on.

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6 Comments
  1. Sean Gilroy permalink
    March 2, 2012 5:03 pm

    I can’t believe Paul would drink a frapp in front of you, barely a week into your ordeal. You would have been totally justified making him hoof it home.

  2. Porter permalink
    March 2, 2012 6:58 pm

    Great post. I was like, how bad could it be — until you talked about Vegas. Damn!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    March 4, 2012 2:01 pm

    Stop being so weak

    • Esquirette permalink
      March 4, 2012 2:07 pm

      Thank you, Anonymous, for such a thoughtful comment.

  4. Gretababy permalink
    July 4, 2012 7:50 pm

    Ughhhh. I have the same problem! Right now it’s McDonald’s chocolate chip frappe’s. But, this has been an addiction for years. It started out with Tim Horton’s iced cappuccinos in Canada, and since moving the Arizona I’ve become addicted to Mc’D’s iced mochas and frappe’s. I’ve quit them a few times (6 weeks being the longest), but I always go back. ALWAYS. I feel like a slave to these stupid drinks. I love them so much, but I know I’m wasting my money and they’re no good for me.

  5. September 28, 2012 11:25 pm

    where was the company originated ? (school project )

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