A little over a month ago, I pulled the plug on my coffee addiction, quitting caffeine. I had been a moderate coffee drinker, mostly just consuming it in the mornings, though I’d regularly have two or more cups. That said, I love the taste of coffee and can drink it any time of the day or night. I don’t drink much soda pop, so avoiding that has been pretty easy.
Setting the Stage for Quitting
In the last few months, I’ve been trying to be more health conscious. As I’ve talked about on the blog before, I recently got engaged, and my fiancee and I are doing things to save money like combing PerkStreet with Amazon Prime. We’re also trying to trim down for the wedding. This was what got me thinking about all the cream and sugar I like to put in my coffee… I can’t drink coffee black. It’s totally unappealing to me.
But thinking about quitting coffee got me wondering what I’m spending on coffee each year.
Adding up the Cost of Caffeine
Even though I save money at home by taking advantage of reusable K Cups in my Keurig one-cup coffee maker, I still buy a bag of fresh coffee from Whole Foods at least once per month. Sometimes more. This is because I also use a French press on the weekends, which goes through coffee pretty quickly.
What’s worse, I regularly find myself buying afternoon coffees at the local coffee shop near PerkStreet’s downtown Boston headquarters. It’s called Flat Black and it is delicious.
So what am I spending? Between $10 and $26 per month on ground coffee, which according to my calculations has added up to about $225 in the last year. Even if I just buy coffee 15 or so times per month, at about $3 apiece, I’m also spending some $600 per year on brewed coffee. That’s over $800 on coffee! Once I put this together, I was ready to try quitting.
Going Through with It
The first day without coffee was pretty rough. But the second day was terrible. On the first day, which was in the middle of August, I missed my morning coffee. But only out of habit. I had gotten a good night’s rest the evening before, knowing I was going to go without coffee. So I didn’t feel tired or anything without my coffee.
The second day after quitting caffeine was a day I now lovingly refer to as Horrible Unyielding Headache Day. I could not get rid of this thing. It made being at work terrible. By the time I crawled into bed that night, I was sure I’d be caving and pouring myself a tall cup of go juice the next morning.
Luckily for me, I awoke the third day after quitting caffeine and felt great. I was awake. My headache was gone. And I was able to start my new routine. Today, I haven’t even had so much as a sip of coffee and it’s been over a month.
But am I Feeling Healthier?
As I talked about earlier, I had two core reasons for quitting caffeine. Not buying coffee means I’m definitely saving the money I was wanting to. But am I feeling healthier?
No. Not really. Actually, apart from the headache I got while I was experiencing my withdrawal, I feel pretty much the same. In the mornings, I now drink water instead of coffee. This has helped me stay better hydrated, but that hasn’t created a perceivable difference in my feelings of healthiness. Some days, I feel a little sluggish in the afternoons. I try to get up and move around for a few and that usually helps. I don’t really crave coffee much anymore, though the smell of it is still really appealing. I guess I haven’t really missed it lately, which sort of surprises me. But I don’t feel better now that I am no longer addicted to caffeine.
According to WebMD, which apparently was also advocating for caffeine withdrawal to be classified as a mental disorder back in 2004, caffeine withdrawal involves headaches for some 50% of the people quitting caffeine. Other symptoms include:
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle pain
Again, I didn’t experience any of these. Just the headache. All told, I’m pretty excited that I quit drinking coffee and am now saving enough money to take an extra flight to my home state of Colorado and back twice per year. I could also use it to snowflake my debt. Either way, I’m not throwing it away on a silly habit anymore.
Should You Try Quitting Caffeine?
According to PerkStreet’s analysts, the average American spends even more than I do on brewed coffee at stores like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s every year. These little things add up to over $800 for the regular Joe just to drink purchased cups of Joe! That’s more than I’m spending. If you’re average or even below average like me, you might want to try quitting caffeine yourself. Who knows, it might even make you feel healthier.
Would you ever try quitting caffeine? How much do you think you spend on coffee? Share your tips for saving and reactions to the idea of kicking the habit below.