Tuesday November 3, 2015
My husband and I have decided to contribute more of our earnings to our savings account. Now that we have a son, we quickly realized that we have only 18 short years before that first tuition bill arrives in the mail. And I imagine it will be much larger than the tuition bills I’m used to! We started by looking at our historical recreational spending. We copied our monthly statements off our banking website and used Excel to categorize our purchases and chart our spending. We found a lot of ways to save money, but the one I want to share with you is regarding our daily coffee purchases.
Lindsey’s Order: Extra Large Hot Hazelnut Coffee, Black = $2.76
Rick’s Order: Extra Large Iced French Vanilla Coffee, Black = $3.40
Both of us were stopping on our way to work every single day to get a coffee. Neither of us was willing to simply give up coffee and we weren’t willing to budge much from the size – both of us spaced our coffee consumption out throughout the day, so the larger size was necessary. Going to a different coffee shop with cheaper prices wasn’t a good option, as it would result in extra driving (the coffee shop we both used was on our route to work), plus we really enjoyed the flavor of the coffee we got and preferred to stick with that brand. Some quick math and you can see what these coffee breaks cost us:
(Lindsey’s Coffee $13.80 weekly) + (Rick’s Coffee $17.00 weekly) = $30.80 weekly
We’d also grab coffee on the weekends:
Weekend Coffee = $12.32
Our coffee consumption tallied up to a whopping $2,242.24 a year! That’s a lot of money for a family that has a Keurig and a Breville coffee maker sitting on the counter. We did a little bit of research and found that the place we bought our coffee from brewed a popular brand of bean that I could buy in my grocery store… for $6.75 a bag. Unbelievable! We calculated that we’d each use 2/3 of a bag per week based on our current consumption. Our new totals would look like this:
Lindsey’s Brew = $4.52 weekly
Rick’s Brew = $4.52 weekly
Coffee Filters = $1.99 annually ($0.04 weekly)
At that rate, we’d be on track to save $1,770.17 a year! We decided to change our coffee practices. We invested in some Yeti tumblers that guaranteed to keep our coffee scorching hot or ice cold for hours, which would allow us to nurse the coffee throughout the day like we were used to. We spent a collective $69.98 on the tumblers (an amazing investment, as it turns out – these tumblers honor their guarantee). My husband brews a large batch of coffee each week and stores it in the refrigerator. I brew my coffee every morning while I’m prepping my lunch for the day. We both pour our brew into our Yeti’s and we’re out the door – coffee in hand with no stops and no delays.
This year alone we will push an additional $1,700.19 into our savings account. A savings completely generated from coffee without sacrificing brand, size, or time.
These types of situations present themselves in healthcare all too frequently. Saving money doesn’t mean you need to change brand or product – it’s about taking a good, hard look at the practice. We need to constantly be asking ourselves, “Would performing this process differently lead to the same, or better results, but also reduce the cost of care?” My coffee tastes better when I brew it myself and it stays hot throughout the morning in my new tumbler. If I hadn’t looked at my data, I’d still be stuck in my old ways, drinking coffee that I didn’t even know was sub-par. I don’t know about you, but it makes me wonder what else I’m overspending on…
Read Week 1: Celebrating What Is Most Important.
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Lindsey is the Director of Utilization for Blue.Point Supply Chain Solutions, an avid angler, hydrangea fanatic, and self-confessed chocolate nut. Above all, she is obsessed with the objective of clinical product utilization.