Cup of tea on a cold morning

Here in the South, it is COLD right now. 21 degrees when I woke up. We only have heat pumps, not furnaces. We aren’t designed for this kind of cold! FYI there is a snow plow for 3 adjoining counties here so you know we aren’t really prepared for much winter. Plus we all have to keep our faucets dripping to keep pipes from freezing.

When the weather is at least chilly, and I’m not rushing to be somewhere and can snuggle up at home, I make a pot of tea. Nothing beats a cup of hot tea on a cold morning!

I prefer Irish breakfast tea as it has a nice jolt of caffeine, and is smooth and easy to drink.

I am a 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 Tbs whipping cream kind of gal. I let 2 bags steep for 3 minutes.

If the weather is cold and blustery, I’ll do two whole pots in a day.  

Side note: regardless of the weather, I have one hot cup of tea every single day. That is my wake up beverage. It is only when chilly, that I do the whole pot (or 2!) of tea.

Whether summer or winter, My frugal self saves the tea bags.

Depending on the brand, 2 or 3 used bags will make a nice single cup of tea for round two. I steep the used bags for 4 minutes to get a good cup of tea. No weak tea in this house!

Considering how much tea I can consume, this adds up to a lot of savings.  

A good sale price on tea bags works out to $.05 a bag. If I have a pot of tea (uses 2 bags), 30x in a winter month = .05×2=.10 x 30= $3.00

20 of those days I have another single cup of tea which would have cost .05 x 20 = 1.00 so this saves me $1.00!

You might be shaking your head, “wow, $1. Sheesh, don’t spend i all in one place.”
But there are oodles of ways out there to save $.10, $50, $1.00.  

That $1 through the winter is now $5 for the colder months. $5 is worth the tiny effort this takes.

There are only a few ways to save on big ticket items like cars, mortgages, appliances and once they are bought, you are done for years.

Those little ticket items add up fast. You would not walk away from $1.00 in the street would you? 

Why leave money on the table when you can easily save it? For me, this is a no-brainer that I don’t even think about.

Going into auto pilot can be a good thing (saving money) or bad thing (eating in front of the tv). Most things have this dual side, good vs bad. Example: Fire: can burn you or save you from freezing to death. 

Let the Auto pilot part of your brain that LOVES to go into automatic zone, work for you not against you.

I do the tea bag thang without being fully awake. I save money without thinking. Having a system in place to do things that save you money over and over again, is how the little bits become big bits.


Automatic deposits for your savings from your paycheck is another great example. Money is taken out before you even get your check and you don’t see it.

We save $30 a week for Xmas starting in the summer. “$30 for Xmas? What is the point? That will barely buy a gift.” you might say.

By the end of December, that is $600! That makes a Xmas I don’t have to sweat over. 


Another beverage saver I implement is with home brewed coffee.

My idea of making coffee is half a cup of coffee, the other half is cocoa. I’m not a coffee person, more of  a coffee-ice cream kind of person! 

Since I’m not super picky about my coffee, I will just add 1 scoop of coffee on top of my husbands already-used-coffee grounds from his morning cup and 2 cups water. Since I’m mixing it with cocoa, it doesn’t need to be pristine.

Once again, the savings, over time add up. If he had not made coffee, I would be making it fresh. For 2 cups of water, that would be 3 scoops of coffee. Coffee is not cheap.

When we are not counting the $.10 here, the $.50 there, it really does cost us in the end.


This thinking is useful in many areas:

Little bits of calories add up to that extra pound (or 15!).

Auto pilot response: don’t have high calorie snacks in the house. Keep halo mandarin oranges or apples around.

Picking up take out for dinner when tired after a long day.

Auto pilot response: keep frozen pizzas in the freezer along with some extra mozzarella and pepperoni to jazz it up.

Buying the kids a treat at the store because you have been grouchy with them.

Auto pilot: Ask them to tell you something about their day and listen intently while holding their hand through the whole story. then hug them. 


Coming up with Auto pilot systems for what is going on in your life, is creative and fun. Make it a game to never pay full price for something. Many of you do that already! Now take it a step further and implement some auto pilot saving strategies.

A Few I have heard of:

  • cut open the toothpaste tube to the get the last week worth of toothpaste
  • storing shampoo upside down to get most of it then cutting open for last 2 washes
  • adding water to dish detergent to stretch it out
  • saving all leftovers in the freezer so no food waste

What are some of those little things you do that have become automatic?

I’m not even going to mention the $4.95 coffee mocha at Starbucks!


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