Going to Starbucks and other gourmet coffee shops has become a common practice nowadays, specially for Pinoys.
Is it because we are too lazy to make our own brewed coffee or espresso at home? Maybe.
Is it because we simply love having their blended drinks like the Mocha Frappe? More likely.
Or is it because these gourmet coffee shops offer the best ambiance to hangout or pass time? I believe so, and I think that this is the most common reason for us why we actually go to these places like Starbucks.
Any frugal person would say that going to these gourmet coffee shops is an expensive activity and should be avoided if one wants to save money.
I would have to agree but I think that you should also consider that these places has become an integral part of people’s lives that one cannot simply decide not to go there.
I personally have accepted the fact that I would eventually have to go to Starbucks whether I like it or not.
Personally, I go to these places only for a couple of reasons: first is to hangout with friends and colleagues and second, to meet up with clients.
As a freelancer, I get most of my income opportunities through these social networks. If my target market are Caramel Macchiato and Café Latte drinkers, then these gourmet coffee shops become more than just a place to hangout but also an extension of my workplace.
So the question now is, how do you become financially smart when going to these places?
I’ve personally discovered a great way to save money in Starbucks here in Manila – and that is to drink tea.
Remember my post about bulk buying? That is what I usually do.
I purchase a box of Tazo® tea from the counter. That will cost me P250 (approx $6) for a pack of 24 bags. And then whenever I need to go to Starbucks to meet a client or hangout with friends, I just bring a bag to the counter and request the barista for hot water in a mug for my tea and buy a couple of honey sticks at P5 each.
This brings my total cost for my drink to a low, low price of approximately P24 (approx $0.54). Great way to save money huh?
Lastly, I’d like to share some varieties I do so that you won’t drown of boredom with your hot tea.
- Iced Tea – ask your barista to steep the tea for 5 minutes then pour lots of ice and enjoy a refreshing cold drink.
- Tea Latte – steep for 5 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of honey and top with milk (preferably half-and-half).
- Tea Infusion – add a shot of syrup for a few extra cost, I would recommend Valencia (orange) on black tea.
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Photo courtesy of Peter Owen