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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Coffee, My Clutter


Carl Richards' recent column on throwing away unnecessary stuff got me thinking of what items I could get rid of to declutter my house. I got an easy answer while searching through a kitchen drawer for some dog biscuits - and finding instead a bag overflowing with empty Starbucks coffee sacks.

Allow me to explain.

I love my morning coffee, and I sometimes buy packages of Starbucks coffee at the grocery store to brew at home. (My husband remains a staunch Dunkin' Donuts guy, but that's another story.) A few months ago, while shaking the last few grounds from a package of House Blend, I noticed a message on the side: “Bring us your empty bag. We'll give you a coffee.”

Apparently, if I brought t he empty bag to a Starbucks store, I'd get a free 12-ounce (tall) cup of coffee. Sounded like a good idea to me - a savings of nearly $2! I began thinking dreamily of sipping my fragrant coffee, even tastier because it was free, while I leisurely read my daily New York Times. I started saving the bags.

The problem is, I don't live close to a Starbucks store. Yes, there is a store in my town, but it's not on the route I travel most days, from home to school to soccer field. And that leisurely morning read? I usually have to speed read the paper on weekday mornings. As a result, those bags have piled up in my kitchen drawer, taking up valuable space for a savings that will, in all likelihood, never materialize.

I suppose I could store them in my minivan so they'd be handy in case I happened to drive by the Starbucks. But if there ever was a vehicle that needed decluttering, it's my minivan. (My glove compartment is already overflowing w ith coupons for bagels at Melvin & Elmos.)

So I crumpled up the bags and tossed them in the trash, before brewing myself a fresh pot of coffee. Sure, I gave up the dream of a free drink. But I got the reality of a less-jammed kitchen drawer.

What sort of money-saving ideas have you abandoned as impractical?