Monday Musings #12

A Rant About Starbucks:

Outback

First, please pardon my lack of postings last week. February’s been a tough month, but I think we’re finally getting over the hump. At the same time, I think the last 4 months before a wedding are the worst. So we’ll see how this goes. Especially with the stress of my first dress fitting in 8 weeks. #makemeskinnynowplease

OK. A rant about Starbucks today. I’ve been a pretty loyal fan of their overpriced coffee-type beverages for several years ago. Call me your typical white girl (I did own a pair of Uggs [til the bottom ripped off], and I have an iPhone with monogrammed phone cases), but I’ve never denied my Starbucks habit. I get at least $50+ in gift cards every year to Starbucks.

I secured my gold status in like April last year to stay safe until March 2016. The way their rewards system has been set up is that each purchase gets you 1 star, and (if you’re a Gold member) after you hit 12 stars, you get a free menu item.

Ever since I started to unsuccessfully diet, I stopped drinking their Frappuccinos, mochas, etc. and settled instead for a plain old cup of coffee. Usually the blonde roast, but the Pike Place was fine too.

It was a good set up. After I bought 12 coffees, I would get a free one.

But NOT ANYMORE.

Starbucks announced today that they’re overhauling their rewards system. Which I will agree was necessary. Only earning 1 star regardless of whether you spend $3 or $20 is unfair.

What they’ve done is made it so that now you earn 2 stars for every $1 you spend, and if you’re a Gold member, you’ll earn your free item after you hit 125 stars. Which means for every $62.50 you spend at Starbucks, you get a free item.

Listen, if you’re someone who does drink a $6 beverage everyday, or who gets coffee and breakfast, or whatever, yeah you’ll probably benefit from this.

If you’re someone like me, though, who buys a $2.33 cup of coffee maybe 2-3 times a week, you just got 100% screwed over. I’ve done the math. They count partial stars, so you would have to buy 27 cups of coffee to get 1 free, instead of 12.

I drink coffee at home quite often. But some mornings, I just want to be able to take my coffee on the go. That would be easier if I had more than one travel mug, especially that I would quit leaving at my work desk every time I do use it. 

In all honesty, the rewards thing isn’t even really what kept me going there. I just like the atmosphere. Especially now that I’m a “regular” and just about every barista knows my order.

But UGH. I dunno, I get that people have been requesting a revamped rewards system. But what they’ve done is screw over so many people. Including me. And for that, I’m upset.

I will say that in comparison to the month I’ve had, this is something stupid to be upset about. But if this is at the top of my annoyance list today, it’s a good day haha!

It’s their business — they can change whatever they want about their rewards system. That’s one of the basis of capitalism. And I am a staunch supporter of capitalism.

It’s also my money — I haven’t actually used my own money at Starbucks in several months, but I think once I get to my next free drink, I’m done making it a habit. I’ll just go buy 5 travel mugs (that way if I leave them at my desk every damn day I’ll still have one for the next day), and save myself a lot of money in the long run.

Because say I bought one coffee from Starbucks 3 times/week every week of the year. That’s $2.33 x 156 = $363.48/year I’m spending when I have a perfectly functional Keurig at home. Especially considering that 99% of the time, Brad buys the K-cups for it. I have debt I could pay off with that money…

So I am making a public declaration here. I am going to quit going to Starbucks so often, and start making my coffee at home.

But I’m still going to drink gallons of coffee a month. That won’t change.

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23 thoughts on “Monday Musings #12

  1. Good for you. I’m not a big coffee drinker and wouldn’t dream of spending as much as you. My pet hate is drinking coffee out of paper cups, and having to pay for the privilege!

    • I think in the process of writing this is how I realized just how much I’m spending, even on just coffee. I think I justified it for awhile because I used to buy frappuccinos that are $5/each, and now I spend half the amount. But it’s still so much money!

  2. That’s annoying… My partner and I spend at least $10 each visit though, so I think we’re okay. But… it involves math, therefore I’m inclined to dislike it.

  3. When I spend my hubby’s hard earned money on coffee, I don’t do it at Starbucks. Unless it’s a caffeine emergency. LOL
    But I’m lucky to live where there is an abundance of high quality coffee places.

    • We don’t have too many, and the ones convenient to my work aren’t convenient to get in and out of quickly. I work close to downtown so I’d have to pay to park (unless I get lucky and find nearby street parking), get my coffee, and then maneuver my way back out of downtown lol. Starbucks is easy.
      When we move to San Antonio though, won’t be a problem anymore lol

  4. Once in a while, I like to go to a Caribou Coffee and get a breve, but they cost so darn much, I haven’t gotten one since I used a gift card from Christmas. $5 is a penny more than I pay for the 17 oz. brick of German Roast from Aldi’s, which has spoiled us for pretty much any other brand. it’s weird. We tried Starbucks (ground coffee from the store) when it was on sale, and neither of us like the flavor of their coffee anymore. I just hope our coffee maker keeps working (we’ve had it since December, 2010). 😉 Hope you enjoy the money savings, and that your coffee maker lasts a good long time and makes you coffee that tastes better than Starbucks’ over-priced drinks. 🙂

    • We just got an Aldi recently and I seriously need to go shop there. I feel like I’m missing out on so much!
      Honestly I’m not so picky about coffee. I’m totally fine with our Folgers k-cups, haha!
      I’ll cross my fingers for your machine! 🙂

  5. If you the Starbucks loyalty program was bad, try being a Marriott Rewards member. I cancelled my Marriott Visa card that I was paying for because the only place I could stay for their free night was in a tent in my own back yard 🙂

  6. I’m the kind of person who always manages to buy more than one coffee in a trip “oh, you’re going to Starbucks? I’ll take…” So for me it’s probably a good thing. Before this they didn’t give a crap if you bought 1 coffee or 8 coffees…it was 1 star.
    The good news? You’ll probably like the homemade coffee better anyway! Made to order 🙂

  7. Many people’s are upset due to changes in reward points, even my husband too. Now we both skipping going Starbucks frequently. Few days back, I read an article, why pay in big coffee chains, whose CEO are already a multimillionaire, why not just drink from small coffee shops. That will also help them to grow, yeah for sure few shops can’t compare in taste but few of them will. We loved this idea and it makes sense. We are going to follow that for this month and will see what happen.
    My Recent Post – brewers to brew Fresh coffee

    • I was surprised how many people are upset! The system needed an update, yes, but they’ve basically just told loyal, daily coffee buyers that they don’t want them anymore by making the rewards system suck for them.
      I’ll definitely check out your post, and yeah if I’m not brewing it at home, I’ll be finding some new local shops for sure!

  8. Pinching pennies seldom leads to customer loyalty. Where I live there’s a coffee chain called Dutch Bros. Their program works like this: “You buy 10, you get one free.” That’s it. They keep track of this with stamps on a business-sized cart. They don’t care what you bought. When you have 10 stamps you get any beverage you want. Any size, any type. There’s no quibbling about the pennies. Theoretically I could buy the 10 cheapest things then cash in my freebie for the most expensive. Perhaps some people do that. I don’t really feel its worth the effort. I just get what I want. Even on the freebie. Why go large if you’re not in the mood? Fans of the coffee chain call themselves the Dutch Mafia and are fiercely loyal.

    Like you I also played with Starbucks rewards long enough to get the gold card. I found that even when I had freebies on my account they’d still take my money. You’d have to ask for it to get it. That’s not a real reward. That’s a mind game.

    I no longer go to Starbucks unless I have no other choice.

  9. Pingback: Monday Musing #6 – Unexpected Inspiration – at Milliways with a pen

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