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5 Ways to Have Your Coffee Study Seshes Without Breaking the Bank

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Coffee shops are one of the most amazing places to study. The white noise, the ambiance, it’s enough to make someone actually finish an assignment in one sitting. But half of the reason we want to study at coffee shops is for the yummy coffee, which at five bucks for a vanilla latte, can really hurt our wallets. Even when the coffee isn’t overpriced, a couple bucks shelled out seven times a week adds up! But fear not, coffee shop studiers, there are ways to get around breaking the bank.​

1. Get a plain iced/hot coffee

Frapps and lattes are tempting but more expensive than a regular coffee. Regular coffees, iced or hot, give you the caffeine boost you need for studying and you can customize them to your liking with the milk and sugar stations that are always present in coffee shops.

2. Bring coffee from home

More times than not, your go-to coffee shop will look the other way if you sit down without buying anything because chances are they’ll recognize you as a usual or they’ll be too busy to care. By buying grounds and making your own coffee to bring, you save money overall and gain an excuse to get a super cute coffee mug to bring with you.

3. Make a coffee fund

Set aside money specifically for buying coffees and don’t spend more than what you’ve set aside. By creating a coffee fund for your study coffee seshes, you’ll avoid mindlessly spending too much by swiping your card, and you’ll be forced to think of alternatives once you hit your limit and run out of coffee money.

4. Study at chain coffee shops 

If you don’t care too much about the ambiance of local cafes, study at chain coffee shops as much as possible. As cute as the local cafes are and as much as we want to support them, they have to up their prices to be competitive. Chain coffee shops like Starbucks and Pete’s will make yummy lattes for a lot cheaper than local cafes. If you swap out fifty percent of the drinks you buy at Scouts for drinks from chain cafes, you’ll save quite a bit and you’ll still support the local cafes!

5. Skip the ice 

If you’re getting an iced coffee, ask for ice on the side, less ice, or for no ice at all. Ex-baristas will know that cold drinks are 50% ice which means you’re actually only getting maybe half a cup of liquid. If you ask for the ice on the side or less ice, you’ll get more coffee for your money, and your drink will last you longer so you’ll be less likely to have to go back and purchase a second drink. 

Productive study sessions are important; don’t let money get in the way of your productivity. Not sure where the best place to study is? Check out this article on the perfect place to study based on your personality type!

Andrea is a Communications Studies major at Cal Poly SLO. She likes to spend the day chatting, reading, or exploring new places, and her favorite snack is a Caribbean Passion from Jamba Juice paired with fresh-popped popcorn. If you see her on campus, she'll most likely be daydreaming about traveling to far-away places or thinking about adopting another kitten.