Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kicking the Pop Can Habit

The dreaded 3:00 pop.

My office has had free pop for years. I've been here 10 years in May and the tradition is from well before then. At the end of last year, that changed. We went through a series of layoffs and along with it, my boss decided to raise the cost of soda to $.25 and coffee to $.10. The point was not to have employees pay for their own pop, (although it would have seemed strange to still have free pop when friends and coworkers were just laid off) but the point was to constantly remind us that we are in tough times and need to be frugal. It was a way to encourage us to conserve and save money.

I've never been a huge soda drinker, but somewhere along the line I developed a 3:00 pop habit. Come 3:00 each day, I'd find myself heading on over towards the break room for my fix. The increase in price and my fixed budget slowed me down, fortunately, and it became more of something I had when I was having a rough day. I'd throw some quarters in my desk drawer and see how long they would last. Some weeks I didn't have any, other days I ended up having 2. Almost always when I did indulge it was at 3:00.

I'd say that is when my blood sugar drops and when I start craving something sweet, except that I always drank Diet Caffeine Free Coke. It has nothing in it, and yet, I was addicted. What was I drawn to? I have no idea. The odd thing is that I rarely drink soda at home - occasionally some ginger ale or sparkling water, but that's about it. Occasionally I will have pop out at a restaurant, but I am just as likely, if not more likely, to have water or ice tea. If I am on vacation or away from the office, I don't have this craving at all. It is only here where I work that I feel that dreaded puuuulllllllll....

Of course, that has all got to stop.

Soda at work is definitely an unnecessary expenditure. So, as part of my No Spending Challenge, I am going to break this habit. Honestly, I think soda is pretty evil. We are talking about a whole lot of chemicals and no nutritional value - so why am I putting it my body? I love tea and usually keep a few different kinds on hand at my desk so, if I need a beverage I am going to have a cup of Earl Gray or Peppermint tea and skip the soda.

This is another one of those little things - $.25 or $.50 a week really isn't all that much when you compare it to $900 a month. Even if I have 3 cans a week, it is still under well $40 a year. However, being frugal isn't just about saving money - it is about making wise choices. Is drinking these chemicals really a good choice - even if it does cost me change? Can those quarters be put to a better use? I'm going to use this Challenge to motivate me to drop kick my work pop habit. My consumption outside of work is so small that I don't see it as a problem at this point, but the work sodas gotta go!!

Photo by: Dom Garcia


getting stuff done said...

diet coke has nothing in it?? are you sure? I am convinced it is even more addictive than fat coke. Folk I know who drink diet coke/ diet pop have a serious habit and crave it. Also it has something in it that is very not good for your liver. A friend of my husband was having a health check and thought that he had a drink problem because of the state of his liver. He was teetotal, but had a serious diet drink habit (like 5 a day or so) and he was told to stop drinking the stuff.

might help with the not drinking it?

Dawn said...

Wow - eeeeewww... I find that scary. Yep, that definitely helped! Cool clear water or herbal tea for me!

K-money said...

I read an article about a study of dieters and diet soft drinks. The results were that dieters who drank diet soda lost less weight than those who only drank sugar soda (if they drank soda at all). The conclusion was that after tasting something sweet the brain expected to receive actual calories and when it didn't it just became more hungry for them, leading to eating of more food.

I can't have diet anything. It makes me literally sick. If in makes me sick then I think there must be something bad about it.

Dawn said...

K-Money... wow! That is really interesting. I can totally see how that would happen. I am drinking my ultra healthy big mug O water and being really glad this challenge is going to help me kick my habit. After the comments from you and getting stuff done, it might be permanent!

J. Money said...

good luck, you can do it! i gave up soda for Lent the other year and now only limit myself to drinking it on the weekends :)

like everything it just takes some getting used to.

Dawn said...

I think this one will be an easy habit to break. Especially after all the comments I've been getting about the dangers of pop! The stuff scares me now!

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

This is something I just went through myself, only a little different. We don't have sodas at work (sorry, I'm from the south, we call it plain old soda), but I was drinking A LOT on my own. Let me put it this way. I drank so much Dr. Pepper that it was probably running in my veins. It was bad, not to mention fattening as can be. I've been working on dieting and weight loss goals this year because I want to be more healthy and I knew that was one of the first habits I needed to kick. So I've been drinking a lot more tea and water. Like you, I love tea. Matter of fact, need to get some more Earl Gray, but that's another story. But, unlike you, this was also very costly for me. I would buy three cases of Dr, Pepper and that would last me maybe three weeks if I was lucky - and that was just at home consumption. So my habit was costing me a lot of money.

So, dropping the habit has dropped about 6 pounds because I don't have all the sugars and stuff, and left me with more money in my pocket when I leave the grocery store. Sodas really are a bad habit!

Dawn said...

It is 3:04 as I write this and I keep thinking "MAN, I WANT A POP!!" I am drinking water instead.

I don't think I drink enough to change my weight, but if I lose a little I won't object! After reading all the comments on this though, I really think I need to give it up completely. (Well, with the exception of some ginger ale now and again.)