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10 Coffee Commandments for the Coffee House Addict

I’m obsessed with coffee. 

Seriously. I wake up and I feel this force that pulls me to the coffee machine within 30 seconds of stepping out of bed. 

Naturally, I love my fancy expensive coffees too! Even as a financial coach, it takes some serious willpower to avoid grabbing an extravagant coffee at any point of the day. I can come up with all kinds of excuses why it’s a good idea (and even more reasons why I deserve it #momlife #amiright?)

But because I practice what I preach, about a year ago, I realized I had to have a sit down with myself and my coffee habit. You might have seen a social media post or two about emotional triggers out there lately, and coffee is DEFINITELY one for me.

So I asked myself – why are so many of us addicted to coffee house coffee?

Did you know the average American spends $1,100 a year on coffee?

That’s $92 a month! What!?

Maybe my coffee habit isn’t quite THAT bad, but I still wanted to dig into what it was about a coffee house chai that had me so addicted. 

Like I said in this post, figuring out your emotional triggers means spending some time thinking about what buying (anything) does for you. What I learned about the fancy coffee addiction was that it was more about the experience than the actual quality of the coffee.

Coffee Experience is more important than Actual Coffee Quality.


Once I realized that the pleasurable experience was what I was really craving, I not only enjoyed my special coffee treats more, but I developed a way to keep myself in check. 

Dopamine is a strong drug and it can be hard to use our rational brains when our pleasure centers are lighting up like a Christmas tree.

Here are the 10 Starbucks Commandments I created for myself. Try them out to keep your coffee addiction from draining your bank account:

10 Starbucks Commandments

1.Give yourself a coffee guardrail!

My most powerful trick to focus on your coffee habit is to purchase a gift card at the beginning of each month. This gift card is now your coffee budget. You can get whatever you want, but once those funds are out, you must wait for the beginning of the next month to refuel that gift card. 

This is the biggest and best way to reign it in on fancy coffees. 

2. Flex those muscles and pass on the extras.

Nobody is saying you can’t get your favorite shop coffee drink. But this is the time to remember why you are there. Most of the time, you didn’t just wait in line for 15 minutes for the scone; it was for the hot sweet drink. So just order the hot sweet drink! Take it a step further and be happy with the drink in hand and pass on upsizing it. 

3. Know your caffeine content. 

If you’re in it for the caffeine, know how much is really in your drink before you upgrade to the largest cup Starbucks will give you. Many beverages—mainly lattes, macchiatos, and mochas —have the same caffeine content in the grande and venti sizes (two shots) or in short and tall sizes (one-shot).

The odds are that a larger size is only slowing down how fast you drink your caffeine while costing you more money. Check out the almighty caffeine guide.

4. Enjoy $2 iced lattes.

Order a triple espresso over ice in a venti cup, and then fill your cup with milk over in the condiment area. That’s one affordable Starbucks drink!

5. Let’s go half-sies! 

For a less expensive bill for two, split a venti with your significant other or friend. When getting an iced drink, a tall size is 12 ounces, while an iced venti is 24 ounces. Splitting a bigger size can get you just as much drink for less.

6. Cut out the ice.

Ice cubes take up a lot of cup real estate. You’re paying for your drink—not for ice—so ask for light ice. If you still want the full amount of ice, ask for it on the side, and order your drink in a larger cup for an easy way to save money at Starbucks.

7. Switch from frappes to iced.

Frappuccinos are magical, but they’re also more expensive and packed full of sugar. An iced coffee like a white chocolate mocha or caramel macchiato tastes amazing and will save you money —and some unnecessary calories and sugar.

8. Don’t buy the bottled water.

Don’t fall for the trap. Next time pass on the bottled water and ask for a cup of ice water with a lid in any size for free. All you have to do is ask.

9. Build your own chai latte.

Chai lattes speak to me. The moment I step outside on a rainy day in Portland, I crave a chai latte. Try simply ordering a chai brewed tea and then add milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar to your liking at the condiment station.

10. Don’t be a sucker. 

Starbucks will dangle “extra” rewards points in front of you if you buy baked goods, pretty cake pops, or promoted drinks. Don’t be a sucker.

Life is about moderation, in your caffeine, your sugar AND your Starbucks.

Utilizing just ONE of these easy savings tricks will make your bank account happy over time. Pick one and implement it this month.  I always say to my clients that they can buy anything they want – just not everything. 

Which Commandment is your favorite? 

Tell me which one you are going to try this month in the comments below!

Meet MicKallyn

mickallyn ellis in her office


Hi, I’m Mickallyn, a Mortgage Lender/Banker turned Financial Coach.  When student loans put me in debt, I knew I didn’t want to live the rest of my life paying them off, so I figured out how to pay them all off in just a year. Now I have zero debt, 3 homes, 4 college degrees and am raising two little boys. I’ve traveled to over 22 countries and live a debt free life. I’m committed to helping others do the same through 1 on 1 coaching and personalized plans that actually work.

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