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Saving Money and Drinking To My Health With Free Coffee and Tea

Published 4/19/08 (Modified 3/14/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

I just made the most wonderful discovery a few days ago. Well it was wonderful in my eyes at least. I sleep pretty late these days so I decided to take a stroll downstairs to the condominium lobby. I currently rent a unit in a medium size condo complex. We have a small cozy lobby area with a front management room that doubles as a sales office. However, now that most of the condo units have already been sold, the small lobby is now more of a reception room for guests. Since I almost always enter the building from a side gated entrance, I rarely pass through the main lobby. But on this particular day I decided to visit the lobby for no particular reason other than to have some place to walk to. When I got there I saw something that I hadn't noticed before. Our building apparently stocks a free complimentary automatic Flavia coffee and tea maker for guests and residents to use! I'm sure some readers are rolling their eyes going "oh brother" at my almost whimsical fascination with my "treasure find", but it's a big deal for me. While Flavia coffee machines don't exactly produce gourmet, five-star cups of coffee or tea, they do a decent job of churning out fairly acceptable drinks. They are also extremely convenient. Like most of the dispenser pod-based machines out there, Flavia coffee and tea makers utilize pre-made coffee and tea packets to brew the drink. You simply select select the drink you want by picking out the packet of your choice from among a set selection. Then you pop the packet into the machine and the maker instantly brews your drink in a few seconds. Piece of cake!

Free Complimentary Coffee and Tea Machine Stations Offer Not Only Convenience, But Also Help Me Save Lots Of Money

But it's not just the convenience of having such a handy free machine at my disposal. Most importantly it's the potential cost savings from here on out from not having to buy my own coffee and tea products anymore. I regard coffee and tea as the type of recurring expenses that play a slow but debilitating role at chipping away one's paycheck savings. I lump them into the same common daily expenses that should be done away with to promote better money saving habits - other similar types of useless expenses include cigarettes for some, and lottery tickets for others. Sure they help sooth the senses and serve as mental relaxers and momentary fun for some people, but they really hurt your pocketbook and wallet in the long run. These small but cumulative expenses really add up over time - into the thousands of dollars per year even. If you were to drink just one paid coffee per day at $3 a day, that's already $1,095 a year - and in fact, many people consume more than just one cup daily.

That's why my discovery of a free complimentary coffee and tea machine in the convenience of my own apartment complex is so wonderful. Some might point out that the machine is being paid for by the condo fees exacted from condo owners, and that the rent I currently shell out to my unit owner is indirectly subsidizing the cost of the machine and the replacement coffee and tea packets, but I still consider it a great bonus. Now that I'm aware of its existence, I plan to maximize this benefit to its full potential. So long as the service is available to me, I plan to transfer the expense of my occasional coffee and green tea drinking habits to this free machine. Instead of continuing to buy the occasional Starbucks or Caribou coffee, or continuing to purchase my own green tea bags from the local Asian grocery store, I plan to save money by consuming drinks made by this complimentary machine exclusively. In some strange way it reminds me of that old TV show, "Married With Children" and how Al Bundy and his wacky family would completely raid the free cheese sample trays whenever they visited the local supermarket. But hey, if it's free and it's available to residents and guests alike, why not fully take advantage of it? I saw plenty of empty cups in the trash can so people are obviously using the machine so it might as well be me as well.

Drinking Green Tea Is A Healthy Habit - Drinking Free Green Tea Is Even Better

Besides, this will help promote more green tea drinking, similar to the bottled water drinking habit I've picked up for health purposes. From what I've read and heard, green tea is a very healthy product to consume on a regular basis. It's uniquely rich in powerful antioxidants that not only inhibit the development of cancer cells, but are also effective in lowering bad cholesterol levels and help inhibit the development of abnormal blot clots that lead to heart attacks. Since my Flavia machine discovery, I now visit the 24 hour unmanned lobby to grab a cup of free green tea after every home meal. I feel great health-wise, and so does my wallet! If you're not convinced, maybe this will.

On a side note, this isn't my first encounter with free Flavia coffee and tea machines. In my line of contract legal work I frequently move around and work at different office locations. Many of these law offices offer a variety of complimentary coffee and tea machine services. Sometimes the machine is Flavia and sometimes it's a Keurig machine. They pretty much all operate the same way - requiring the deposit of a little coffee or tea pod to create your drink. They all taste about average compared to barista brewed drinks at Starbucks, but the free price tag usually makes up for any loss of taste (I guess I'm not a very picky coffee or tea drinker). Some of the bigger law firms and business offices even stock large automated Starbucks coffee machines that actually grind real coffee beans. They really make a nice consistent cup of vacuum perfected ground coffee. You can bet your money that I fully took advantage of those easy-to-use coffee machines when I was working at locations that offered those services for free. I was drinking to my health and my pocketbook.

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