User Input

User Input: Not On My Dime

A penny saved is... pointless in Canada now.

My mention yesterday of Kopi Luwak led to a few discussions popping up around the topic of coffee. This is, as anyone who knows me is well aware, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I love coffee. I’m not even picky about how I get it. I prefer my coffee sweet, so I’ll always add sugar to a plain cup, but other than that, I’ll drink just about any form of coffee from plain ol’ gas-station joe to those fancy mocha-frappa-latte-ccino things at hoity-toity coffee shoppes. Hell, I’ve even figured out, on my 10-hour drive home to my parents’ place, which gas stations serve the best plain-ol’-gas-station-cuppa-joe so I know where to stop and tank up.

So many are surprised by my innate distaste for almost anything Starbucks; I’ll drink their fancy pinky-finger-up expensive coffees, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one. Occasionally CaffeineFuelled gets a craving and I’ll join her, but left to my own devices, I don’t think I’d ever bother. I don’t like their coffee, and I can’t find any justification for spending extra money on a cup of it. Sure, in most cases it’s only an extra buck over what you could get at any other coffee shop — or less, since an extra-large at Tim Horton’s is over $2 now, and it’s about $2.50 for the same size at Starbucks — but to me, it’s no better, and in fact probably worse. Even for their fancy stuff; to my palate, Second Cup makes a better fancy drink every time, and it’s noticeably cheaper.

What supposed “extravagance” do you refuse to spend extra money on, even if the difference is small?

  • tiberiusẅisë

    Soap and shampoo. Irish Spring is on sale this week? I guess I'll be "clean as a whistle" for the foreseeable future. Oh, they're sold out but will give me Dial for the same price? I'm glad I use Dial and wish everybody else did.

    • The Professor

      You're lucky. Most soaps give me a rash, and I have to use Ivory soap just about exclusively.

  • OA5599

    I am by no means an oenophile and many sub-$20 bottles of wine taste better to me than ones costing significantly more.

    • Number_Six

      Further to that point, I almost never order wine in a restaurant because I can't wrap my head around paying $45 for a bottle I know I can buy for $11 in a scary dusty liquor store.

      • OA5599

        By the same token, though, I don't have a problem paying a burger joint an extra $0.45 to add $0.11 worth of bacon to my cheeseburger, if I'm in a mood for bacon.

  • The Professor

    Hmmm, I'm having trouble with this one. I tend to be extravagant with my extravagances.

  • zaddikim

    A 24oz is $2 at Timmys (in Canuckistan, dunno about the US locations).

    Stuff I won't spend extra l00t on include –

    Water – Seriously? Get it out of the bloody tap.
    PC keyboards. They are what they is.
    Books. If I can't download it, I won't read it. Besides, I've moved often enough that I am bloody sick of lugging them around. FBReader FTW.

  • skitter

    I can't really answer this question, or yesterday's. I suppose you could include the low threshold where I draw the line for clothing or furniture, or that I kind of don't ever see myself buying a new car. Basically, if I'm looking at purchasing anything, it's going to be solid and reasonably priced, or I'm going to skip it entirely.

  • Pants.
    I've got boxers covering the essentials, anything beyond is just flaunting wealth.

  • same answer as yesterday. BEER!!

    Dogfish Head 120min IPA is $120 / 4 pack due to its rarity
    Dogfish Head 90min IPA is $10 / 4 pack
    Dogfish Head 60min IPA is $10 / 6 pack

    Show me an outrageously expensive bottle of beer and I'll show you something of very similar taste at a fraction of the cost.

    • randomusername

      [youtube jU2j1W7xMXQ youtube]

    • pj134

      Ah the joys of living an hour and a half from the brewery. 60 minutes fall from the heavens and are about 30 a case, and that's with PA tariffs.

      I recommend their Indian Brown to just about anyone though.

      Whats your answer for Westvletern though? I mean, St. Bernardus is close, but not quite.

      • I love their Indian Brown and its a staple in my fridge during the cold months. Often accompanied by their Chicory Stout.
        Warm months my fridge is stocked with Harpoon Brewing Company's UFO. Bought the UFO White last week on accident and its good but a bit too much coriander for my taste.

        I'm still on the wait list for my bottle of Westvleteren, so I wouldn't know what to compare it to.

        • pj134

          There's a beer swap thread that started up on the Hooniverse forums…

  • randomusername

    Scotch. Spirits in general, but mostly scotch. The most expensive bottle of single malt i've bought is 30yo Glenfiddich for about 170€, sure it's damn smooth but not worth it really. My favorites are still Talisker 10yo and Ardbeg 10yo which are both reasonably priced.

    This would also work as my answer yesterday.

    • Number_Six

      Ardberg = meaty, peaty, big, and bouncy!

      • randomusername

        Drink it without water, with water, or like water 😉

    • I keep a bottle of 12yr Glenlivet in the house. I don't drink scotch enough to warrant anything better.

      • randomusername

        Nothing wrong with the basic 10-12yo single malts. The ten year old Talisker and Ardbeg are in the same price range and that's what i usually have, they're still affordable enough to not feel like i'm drinking liquid money… 🙂

        The few more expensive bottles i've bought in recent years have mostly been wedding or birthday presents.

    • GlassOnion9

      I'll pay $100 any day for a bottle of Lagavulin. I guess that should have been my answer yesterday.

  • Kids. My dog is expensive enough.

    And she's cheaper than a kid, more well behaved. more trainable, and — let's face it — cuter than a kid.

    • The Professor

      No arguments from me. I've seen your picture.

  • "A penny saved is… pointless in Canada now."

    At least now I can just wait a few years, then take my stash of Canadian pennies to BC in order to get people to roll their eyes at the hapless foreigner. After all, I'm starting to run low on Canadian dollar bills (and twos).

    • I thought Canadians were too polite to roll their eyes.

    • Plop down two rolls of Cananadian pennies and they'll look at you like you're loony.

    • The Professor

      Build a penny-launching railgun. You could even make it a class project for Health Sciences, as in, it's healthier to stand behind the thing when you touch it off.

      • From your conclusion I infer you haven't seen many of our student projects.

        • The Professor

          Yes, this is true. I assume that I'm hoping for too much?

          • If you're hoping I'll stand anywhere near the results, on any side, then yes, that's too much.

          • The Professor

            Bah! You expect to achieve tenure with an attitude like that?

          • No, but I might make retirement.

  • Plumbers, electricians, carpenters and (for the most part) mechanics. The money I save doing it myself justifies the expense of better materials and any tools I need to get the job done.

    • The Professor

      heh heh, just wait until you try to sell your house…

      • Not hardly. If the home inspector signed off on the clusterf*** that the previous owners created, I'll have no problem selling one that has been redone to code, even if it was done by a well prepared amateur.

        Besides, the only way I'm likely to move out is in a wooden box.

        • The Professor

          You're doing it to code? Where's the sport in that?

          It's the same for me regarding moving. When we moved into this place I told the wife that if we ever have to move again, we're setting fire to the lot and starting over from scratch. Much simpler.

          • As someone who's moved three times in the last 18 months, I fully agree with this statement.

          • The Professor

            Three times? Ouch, that's completely unfair.

          • 1st: move wife from Toledo, OH to Lexington, KY (September 2010)
            2nd: Move me and the rest of the house from Toledo, OH to Lexington, KY (February 2011)
            3rd: Move from apartment in Lexington to house in Lexington (March 2012)

            And we still have to move everything out of the storage unit…

            I can say hiring a moving crew is money well spent.

          • OA5599

            Be sure to scavenge all the forged hardware.