Starbucks Swindle 2014

For the past two years, I bought into the Starbucks promotion that allows you to refill a coffee tumbler for free with black coffee for the entire month of January.

The deal is back on this year and my wife once again was awesome enough to stuff one of these mugs in my Christmas stocking. The cost of the mug was $30 just like last year, which was up from $20 in the first year. At $1.95 per coffee, that requires 16 refills to pass the break-even point.

Last year, I hit that mark in just eight days and went on to drink $101.45 worth of black coffee. Can I do it again this year? I sure hope so, but I’d be happy if I get even half of that.

Visit Date Time Total
1 1/2/13 7:30 am $1.95
2 1/2/13 1:30 pm $3.90
3 1/3/13 7:30 am $5.85
4 1/3/13 11:30 am $7.80
5 1/3/13 12:45 pm $9.75
6 1/4/13 8:15 am $11.70
7 1/4/13 11:00 am $13.65
8 1/4/13 2:30 pm $15.60
9* 1/4/13 4:45 pm $18.15
10 1/5/13 8:30 am $20.10
11 1/5/13 10:30 am $22.05
12 1/5/13 2:45 pm $24.00
13 1/6/13 7:15 am $25.95
14 1/6/13 5:30 pm $27.90
15 1/7/13 3:30 pm $29.85
16 1/8/13 6:15 am $31.80
17* 1/8/13 3:15 pm $34.35
18 1/9/13 6:15 am $36.30
19 1/9/13 11:15 am $38.25
20* 1/9/13 6:15 pm $36.90
21 1/10/13 7:15 am $38.85
22* 1/10/13 11:00 am $41.40
23 1/11/13 8:45 am $43.35
24 1/11/13 9:45 am $45.30
25* 1/11/13 12:30 pm $47.85
26 1/12/13 8:30 am $49.80
27 1/12/13 10:30 am $51.75
28 1/13/13 6:00 am $53.70
29 1/13/13 2:00 pm $55.65
30 1/14/13 6:00 am $57.60
31 1/14/13 2:45 pm $59.55
32* 1/14/13 6:30 pm $62.10
33 1/15/13 6:15 am $64.05
34* 1/15/13 2:30 pm $66.00
35 1/16/13 6:00 am $67.95
36 1/16/13 1:00 pm $69.90
37 1/16/13 3:15 pm $71.85
38 1/17/13 6:15 am $73.80
39 1/17/13 11:30 am $75.75
40 1/17/13 2:30 pm $77.70
41 1/18/13 9:30 am $79.65
42 1/18/13 3:30 pm $81.60
43 1/19/13 8:30 am $83.55
44 1/19/13 11:30 am $85.50
45 1/19/13 11:30 am $87.45
46 1/20/13 7:00 am $89.40
47 1/20/13 9:30 am $91.35
48 1/20/13 3:45 pm $93.30
49 1/21/13 6:00 am $95.25
50 1/21/13 11:00 am $97.20
51 1/21/13 3:30 pm $99.15
52 1/22/13 6:00 am $101.10
53 1/23/13 6:00 am $103.05
54 1/23/13 11:00 am $105.00
55 1/24/13 6:30 am $106.95
56 1/24/13 11:00 am $108.90
57 1/24/13 4:15 pm $110.85
58 1/25/13 10:15 am $112.80
59 1/25/13 2:15 pm $114.75
60 1/25/13 4:30 pm $116.70
61 1/26/13 8:00 am $118.65
62 1/26/13 2:30 pm $120.60
63 1/27/13 6:30 am $122.55
64 1/27/13 11:45 am $124.50
65 1/28/13 6:00 am $126.45
66 1/28/13 11:00 am $128.40
67 1/29/13 6:30 am $130.35
68* 1/29/13 11:45 am $132.90
69 1/30/13 6:00 am $134.85
70 1/30/13 11:00 am $136.80
71 1/31/13 7:15 am $138.75
72 1/31/13 11:45 am $140.70

* Substituted for a decaf americano at $2.55.

Creative Mornings With Bri Emery

I recently attended my first Creative Mornings LA session. Blogger and designer Bri Emery was the speaker and I thought I would share some the takeaways I got from her presentation.

For those who may not know, Creative Mornings is a monthly meet-up with local chapters in 60 cities across 20 countries. It’s been happening over the past five years and, keeping true to its name, primarily focuses on the creative process for people like designers, developers, creative directors, managers and the like.

The theme for this session was “Make” which focuses on what it means to be a creator in the midst of being creative. Many of us are “creative” people but may find ourselves lost when rubber meets the road and we move from concept to creation.

Bri Emery took to the tiny stage to share her creative journey, which has taken her from art student to junior designer to blogger to article director to freelancer to teacher to, well, you get the point. Her career has morphed over the years and she found a way to successfully roll with it and turn it into a productive outlet.

How did she do it? Bri suggests that a lot of her journey, experience and eventual success was the result of a willingness to stay curious and say yes while following through on that commitment. In fact, if there is one thing I took away from her talk (and I presume this is what she wanted to drive home), it’s that the best way to learn is by watching, keeping your eyes open and surrounding yourself with talented people. Having a curious mind is great and even more effective when you are around others who are even more curious and talented than yourself. Say yes to everything, learn along the way, watch others and, if you’re a freelancer, join a collaborative work space. These are all thing Bri recommends.

And things that freak the heck out of me.

Her other key point was that her best decisions in life were also her scariest. As she reflects back on how her career has evolved, she realizes that she often had no clue what she was doing or how things were going to turn out when she was in the midst of them happening. I can personally relate to this, particularly as I decided to quit my day job this year and work for myself. It’s scary and liberating at the same time. Someone like Seth Godin might even suggest that the fear you feel is an indicator that you’re on to something good.

Overall, I enjoyed watching Bri speak. She’s an enthusiastic, charming person who had practical advice with more than a few nuggets of wisdom to share. Thanks to Creative Mornings for a great time.

Starbucks Swindle 2013

Last year, Starbucks introduced the best deal ever when they released a coffee mug that could be refilled with free brewed coffee for the entire month of January 2012. It was a hell of a deal for black coffee drinkers for myself and, at $20, meant it could pay for itself in just 11 visits.

The deal is back on this year and my wife was awesome enough to stuff one of these mugs in my Christmas stocking. Even though the deal went up to $30, I think it is still a bargain, however, I never kept a tally of last year’s refills to see how much of a steal it was. I regret not doing that, so I’m going to use this post to see how it goes this year.

Visit Date Time Total
1 1/1/13 7:30 am $1.95
2 1/1/13 2:30 pm $3.90
3 1/2/13 7:35 am $5.85
4 1/2/13 3:40 pm $7.80
5 1/3/13 5:45 am $9.75
6 1/3/13 2:00 pm $11.70
7 1/4/13 5:55 am $13.65
8 1/4/13 2:15 pm $15.60
9 1/5/13 8:05 am $17.55
10 1/5/13 10:45 am $19.50
11 1/5/13 2:15 pm $21.45
12 1/6/13 8:05 am $23.40
13 1/6/13 4:15 pm $25.35
14 1/7/13 5:25 am $27.30
15 1/7/13 7:40 am $29.25
16 1/8/13 5:20 am $31.20
17 1/8/13 8:40 am $33.15
18 1/9/13 6:25 am $35.10
19 1/10/13 6:15 am $37.05
20 1/10/13 11:18 am $39.00
21 1/11/13 5:47 am $40.95
22 1/11/13 1:05 pm $42.90
23 1/12/13 9:05 am $44.85
24 1/12/13 9:26 am $46.80
25 1/12/13 12:36 pm $48.75
26 1/13/13 9:50 am $50.70
27 1/13/13 2:25 pm $52.65
28 1/15/13 5:45 pm $54.60
29 1/16/13 5:47 am $56.55
30 1/16/13 12:28 pm $58.55
31 1/17/13 5:52 am $60.50
32 1/18/13 5:50 am $62.45
33 1/19/13 10:15 am $64.40
34 1/19/13 2:20 pm $66.35
35 1/20/13 9:15 am $68.30
36 1/20/13 5:50 am $70.25
37 1/21/13 5:53 am $72.20
38 1/22/13 12:56 pm $74.15
39 1/23/13 5:55 am $76.10
40 1/23/13 1:22 pm $78.05
41 1/24/13 12:56 pm $80.00
42 1/24/13 5:34 pm $81.95
43 1/25/13 12:27 pm $83.90
44 1/26/13 3:12 pm $85.85
45 1/28/13 8:15 am $87.80
46 1/28/13 3:35 pm $89.75
47 1/29/13 5:50 pm $91.70
48 1/30/13 6:30 am $93.65
49 1/30/13 12:15 pm $95.60
50 1/30/13 6:20 pm $97.55
51 1/31/13 5:47 am $99.50
52 1/31/13 12:55 pm $101.45