Archive for October, 2012

The global finance chief of Starbucks Troy Alstead announced that the company “looks forward” to paying more tax after it was revealed that it had paid just £8.6 million this week despite earnings of £398 million the previous year. A quarter of the chain’s 600 UK cafés are said to be running at a loss, this allegedly due to overly aggressive expansion in the early days of the chain’s arrival in the UK. The UK division of the company has to pay a 6pc royalty charge to the Starbucks regional headquarters in the Netherlands, which is considered very high within the industry as it is more than what most companies charge franchises.

Starbucks’s tax-related issues aside, in September it was reported that coffee has increased in price by a fifth in the last two years following speculators hoarding last year’s harvest and driving it up as a result.

So what can you do if you’re a fancy coffee aficionado but finding yourself a little out of pocket as a result of your habit? Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your caffeine cravings but still save money.

  • Go for something smaller – If you always go for a big old cup of coffee, why not opt for something a little less big? While it might not give you such a high dose of caffeine in one go as a larger size would, it’s certain to save you a not insignificant amount if you’re a regular consumer of coffee.
  • Cut back on the cakes – Although you could argue that you can’t coffee like that made at certain chains anywhere else, their cake, biscuit and other baked good offerings are often somewhat more replaceable. While most coffeehouses will frown on your bringing in food from elsewhere (some will allow it if you purchases a drink, however), you can always buy your snack – and eat it – elsewhere.
  • Get a loyalty card – If you really must continue to maintain your coffee purchasing habits more or less as they are, it may be worth getting a loyalty card if your favourite coffeehouse chain has one. This way you should at least be able to get something back for all the money you spend there.
  • Try somewhere else – Perhaps one of the most obvious options but a sensible one nonetheless. While you might not want to go to a bare basics café, independent coffee houses that aren’t part of big franchises can be a great find. Usually cheaper than the latter and offering their own unique selection of coffees, teas and cakes (often homemade), there’s definitely not harm in trying one out.