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Could You Wake Up Without Coffee?

When creating your budget, or tracking your expenses (whichever you prefer), you must take into consideration what you are and aren’t willing to spend your money on in order to reach your savings goals.

Clearly these choices are extremely personal as everyone is different in their tastes and preferences.

For example, I enjoy going out to the bars with friends, (perhaps a little too much), which means I’ve needed to cut back on my spending in other areas.

This is the only way I could justify to myself all that bar spending: at least I was still reaching my savings goals by spending less on other things.

One such area I’ve cut out virtually all my spending?

Coffee.

Are You Spending Too Much on Coffee?

While reports vary in how much money the average American spends on coffee per year, one number I see reported often is over $1,000 per year.

That’s $20 a week or about $3 a day.

On the one hand, $1,000 is a lot of money, but $3 a day doesn’t seem like much at all.

This just goes to show how fast small daily expenses can add up.

For the record, I’m not advocating that anyone should necessarily give up coffee to save money. There are many easy ways to bring that number way down such as making your own coffee at home.

If you truly enjoy coffee and can’t go without it, there’s no need to take that out of your life.

After all, there are much bigger fish to fry when it comes to ways to trim your budget, such as your big house/apartment, fancy car, cable bill, cell phone bill, etc.

So just how much do I actually spend on coffee?

From analyzing my past spending and knowing my personal habits, I reckon I’ve spent about $50 on coffee… in my entire life.

Going by the above numbers, this would mean I’ve saved close to $4,000 since I started working compared to the average American, by not spending money on coffee.

The Weird Relationship with Coffee

Before you say anything, I want it on the record that I actually like coffee. Not like it as in I’ll make it for myself (since I never have), but I actually have it a couple times a week currently simply because I don’t mind the taste.

One of the perks through my current job is that my company offers free coffee and tea, so I’ll have a cup of coffee or tea a few times a week.

It hasn’t always been like this though; throughout my first two years of working I didn’t have free coffee as part of my job perks.

(It could be argued that the coffee/tea isn’t “free” since I’m paying for it with my labor hours, but that’s a separate discussion :))

The fact that I have this benefit doesn’t change my main point: I simply have not been willing to spend my money on coffee.

Should my company take away the free coffee/tea, I would not begin brewing my own coffee prior to leaving for work (who has time for that!?), nor would I stop anywhere to grab a cup before going into the office (not in my budget!).

(Side-note: I have a few co-workers who buy Starbucks coffee and bring it in everyday, even with the free coffee at work! This I just can never understand.)

There are a couple reasons I don’t drink coffee more often even though I enjoy it.

Firstly, I like tea just as much and (in my mind) it’s much easier to just boil some water and be good to go.

Secondly, I’ve noticed how coffee has the ability to be addictive to many people. These people will say they need to have coffee every day, and often times multiple cups of it, in order to function.

This honestly scares me a bit as the thought of having an addiction, even if it is just to caffeine, to be productive is troublesome.

Lastly, and probably most important, I’ve found ways where I don’t need that jolt of energy to wake me up in the morning.

How to Wake Up Without Coffee

While I don’t really consider myself a morning person, I have almost always been able to be productive and alert during the mornings, whether that be in high school, college or work without the benefit of coffee.

Here’s what works for me and others:

Drink Water in the Morning

One thing I’ve always made sure to do is drink an ice cold glass of water within an hour of waking up. After 6, 7, or 8+ hours of sleep, your body can become dehydrated.

By drinking a glass of water when you wake up, it can re-hydrate your body and also increase blood flow to your brain, giving you more energy.

Morning Workout

Some people swear by a morning workout that helps them to wake up and have energy throughout the mornings.

While I’m not a huge fan of morning workouts, I almost always will get out of bed and do a couple quick push-ups and yoga poses or stretches to get my blood flowing and body looser.

Get Natural Light in Your Room

One thing I have never had is those curtains that completely black out your room into total darkness even when the sun is out.

While this has certainly affected my ability to sleep in sometimes on the weekends, the natural light that makes its way through my blinds has an effect of telling my body it’s time to get up and be more alert. When it’s sunlight that creeps through the effect is even greater!

End Your Shower with Cold Water

This is not actually one that I consistently do (since the cold is not fun!), but I have noticed it helps a bit when I have done it.

You don’t need to take your entire shower cold, just the last couple minutes (or seconds) and it may have the effect of increasing your metabolic rate and help you to feel more awake.

There are undoubtedly many other methods you could partake in to help you wake up in the morning sans coffee/caffeine, (such as eating carbs for breakfast, apples, listening to upbeat music, etc) but these are the methods that work for me.

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Do you drink coffee in the mornings? If so, how often? If not, what methods do you use to wake up without it?

8 thoughts to “Could You Wake Up Without Coffee?”

  1. The American fascination with coffee is something I do not understand. Like you, I don’t mind the taste but it’s not something I’d go out of my way for. If it’s there and free, I may have a cup. But that’s the only time you’ll see me having coffee.

    I’m also not a morning person but I don’t have great difficulty getting going. I’d just rather sleep a bit more, but when you have to get up, you just do it. 🙂 Having a glass of water is so underrated. That’s what I do, and I squeeze a full fresh lemon into it as well. That really wakes you up and is very healthy!

    I’m not sure I’ll be doing the cold water at the end of my shower, but to each their own. The thought of that makes me cringe haha!

  2. I’ve never purchased coffee for myself, but I’ve kept it in the house for my roommate/renter… Personally I don’t like the taste, but I feel I go overboard on the teas.

    If people are averaging $1,000/year on coffee, I’d estimate I’m at $75/year or so on tea alone, just from keeping my pantry stocked with lady grey and peppermint, and occasionally ordering tea on dates in lieu of a beer or dessert… Does that make me a social (tea) drinker?

    I’m with you on caffeine-free mornings, though – I’m a fan of 8fit these days to get me out of bed doing some form of exercise with an overly upbeat playlist. Water, natural light, and a cold shower are good ideas, too.

  3. Heh I make instant coffee which means I only have to wait for the electric kettle at work to boil 😉 I would love to say I’m drinking coffee every morning solely because I like the taste and the ritual of it, especially on weekends, but I would be lying to myself! These are excellent suggestions for getting up without it, though. I will NEVER take cold showers because I don’t hate myself, but I should definitely try to incorporate turning the hot water off at the end much more than I already do. And as far as blackout curtains, buying them for the winter was an interesting experiment, but those suckers are coming down as soon as I find time for it. I love the fact that my room is usually flooded with sunlight in the morning!

    I have a feeling one of my future experiments this year will be to start the morning off with some form of exercise!

    1. Yea it’s worth a try! There’s nothing wrong with having coffee I just wanted to point out some alternatives that have worked for me! I’m still attempting the morning workouts with little success 😂

  4. I drink coffee most mornings, but it’s decaf, and I bring it from home/brew it at work in my reusable K-cup, so I figure that’s more or less the same thing 😉 As long as I get enough sleep, I’m good to go in the mornings. Unfortunately for me, that means 8-9 hours every single night.

  5. I love coffee but don’t spend much on it. I buy the Aldi brand or get the Kirkland stuff on Amazon when they run a sale. It’s super cheap. I wish I got free coffee at my job but I don’t.

    I’ve been meaning to try a coffee detox for a while now, just to see how my body reacts.

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