My coffee machine of 10+ years broke a few months ago after I carelessly dropped the filter basket. Apparently, in the land of Keurigs and espresso machines, this piece is no longer easily (read: cheaply) available. My unwillingness to spend money on what boils down to a "bad habit" (caffeine treats me horribly, but that's another post) led me to simplify and ditch the coffee maker all together. (Sorry, visitors ... it's tea or water from now on!) But, sometimes I just want a hot drink with lots of cream and sugar in it -- it's the American way. On those occasions, I have two choices: buy one at the McDonalds around the corner (that'll be $2.16 a pop) or find one for free. Spending less almost always wins out with me.
It's actually pretty easy to find free coffee -- many establishments happily feed this widespread addiction. Off the top of my head, I can find free coffee at the YMCA, my bank, any hotel I happen to be staying at, and the dentist's office. Yes, you heard it here: a dentist office I went to recently had a full coffee bar setup in the waiting area. It was a head-scratching moment for me -- kind of felt like having an ice cream shop at a gym, but hey, they're just giving the people what they want. (And making money off of extra teeth whitening treatments?) I also walked into Target yesterday and was greeted by a coffee stand selling the store brand coffee. Would I like a cup? Sure would.
It's not a huge life changer, but it simplifies life just a bit: I don't have to clean the coffee maker every time I have a cup of Joe, and I don't have to spend money on it, either. And I don't get sucked into the daily caffeine loop, only to be left with withdrawals as soon as I skip a day or two.