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
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The dreaded 3:00 pop.