Splurge Edition: Bending the Budget for Beans

June 10 2009, 9:59 AM

A few weeks ago I wrote about admitting to splurges and embracing those things we believe are worth a little extra cash.

I learned about my latest splurge the hard way. Trying to trim my budget down, I bought the jumbo bag of coffee beans from Costco. I divided them into airtight containers and felt set for weeks of caffeination.

Until I made my first cup of coffee. It tasted like hot water with a hint of dirty coffee. I doubled the amount of beans and then it tasted like hot band-aids. It was so weak I had to choke down two cups just to hope for the morning buzz that gets me going.

Finally, after two cups of the hot mess one morning, I'd had enough. I missed good coffee. More specifically, I missed my favorite coffee: Pablo's.

Lucky for me, I found a compromise. One of my favorite coffee shops, Stella's, offers $2 off of pounds of Pablo's beans every Wednesday. And they're not stingy with the sale; you can get the discounted price for any bean they have in stock, from Danger Monkey (my pick) to Guatemalan, Panamanian, and Costa Rican beans. Which means while I'm not saving as much as I could with the generic beans, my strong, tasty coffee leaves me optimistic and content at 6:30 a.m., with an entire day ahead to hunt for bargains elsewhere.