The Cup is a Marvelous Invention — Are You Using it to Your Best Advantage?

diogenesI threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough,” said Diogenes.  I say I admire Diogenes’s effort to simplify his life.  But Diogenes didn’t work in an office downtown.

If you work where eating in nearby restaurants is expensive, a cup can help you save a lot of money. Do you go to a fast-food restaurant for breakfast?  Why not take a box of cereal to work once a week and bring your own milk in a mason jar or a reusable water bottle each day?  With cereal, milk, and your cup, you can feed yourself breakfast for about 20 percent of the cost of a daily fast-food breakfast.  Go cup!

And how about lunch?  Fast-food again?  Fast-casual?  Both of those cost far more than what you can bring from home and eat from your cup.  Bring a can of soup or pasta-and-sauce and eat lunch from your cup.  Again, the cost is about 20 percent of eating in a restaurant.

Going to restaurants, some people spend at least $5 for breakfast, $6 for lunch. Add another $3 for sodas and candy from vending machines.  That’s about $15 per day.  Go to work 20 days per month, and that’s $300 per month — $3,600 per year.

Bring food and drink from home and spend as little as $4 per day, maybe less.  Save at least $200 per month — $2,400 per year. One Costco-size bag of Cheerios or Mini-Wheats (which comes in a box containing two bags costing $5 to $7) lasts me more than a week at work.  I use maybe half a gallon of milk per week, so that’s less than $2.  Voilà, breakfast for $1 per day, thanks to my cup!  You can also use a microwave to cook oatmeal in your cup.  That costs about 90% less than buying breakfast.

Since I started eating and drinking only what I bring from home, I have become an expert at finding canned soup and similar for about $1 per serving.  A box of soup in cans at Costco is usually a little more than $1 per can, but I stock up when it’s on sale.  The dollar store sometimes has good canned soup (e.g., Progresso) for $1 per can.  Wal-Mart often sells Chef Boyardee pasta and sauce for $1 per can, or even less.

corning_cupIf your credit card balances aren’t paid down to zero each month …If your mortgage balance isn’t as low as you’d like … Or if the amount you have in your retirement savings account isn’t as high as you’d like, can you afford to pay people to prepare food and clean-up for you?  Can you afford to pay for disposable cups and food containers?  Why not do the job yourself and pay yourself the difference?  Avoid convenience and save the money.

You need one of these cups!*

* One that is 20 oz (591 ml) or larger will hold a can of soup nicely and leaves some room at the top to prevent spilling.  Anything smaller might be difficult to carry without spilling when filled with a full can of soup.


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