<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Unexpected bonus


Credit: Wikimedia/Martin Kingsley

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I've found a great bonus to challenging myself to avoid takeaway coffee cups for a month: I've saved quite a bit of money. Previously I would have spent $3.20 on my favourite latte 3 times a week (I wasn't so hardcore that I'd buy a daily coffee). That's $9.60 a week, which works out to $38.40 for the whole month.

Now I've brought in my own jar of Fair-Trade organic coffee, which cost me $7.99 from the supermarket. It should last me for about 10 weeks I think. Plus I'm still buying at least one coffee a week, only bringing my own reusable mug. So that works out to $4 a week, or $16 a month, a saving of $22.

Assuming I keep up my good habits, this will really add up - over a year I'd save $264. I won't be rolling on huge piles of money anytime soon, but when prices are going up on everything else, it's certainly a nice little extra in my purse.

If I really wanted to save money, I could learn how to use the coffee machines here at work. They've got all the bells and whistles to make your own cappuccino or espresso, but I've been too lazy figure them out!

The people who organise it charge only a dollar per cup, just enough so they can buy the coffee beans for everyone. That would take my savings to $35.40, or $424.80 a year.

If you're bringing your own mug to a coffee shop, see if you can get a discount: after all, you're saving them the money it takes to supply all the cups!