Ask the Readers: Frugal Office Tactics

This isn't me, but this guy knows how to enjoy work!
This isn’t me, but this guy knows how to enjoy work!

A quick, fun post for this Thursday!

I just had a revelation at work. I found a way to get a delicious, premium drink for free.

My company offers free coffee, which is a nice perk (or perc for all you fans of puns out there). I work in the publishing industry, which is known for it’s lower compensation levels (as compared to other industries). So it came as a huge surprise to me when I didn’t see anyone taking advantage of this freebie. Nobody would take the 30 seconds necessary to set up the coffeemaker for FREE coffee. Needless to say, I started making pots of it myself. I don’t drink coffee every day, but about once a week I would make some in the office kitchen and STILL nobody would have any! The work was done, but I still just saw Starbucks cups all around the office.

Of course, the coffee isn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it is perfectly passable. But today… today my world changed. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before, but our office also offers free packets of hot chocolate. Let me tell you, mediocre coffee + mediocre packets of hot chocolate = a delicious mocha coffee! So while my colleagues are dropping hundreds of dollars per year on fancy cafe mochas or whatever Starbucks’ marketing team calls it, I will be getting them for free!

Now, I know that the people who read my blog are savvy. Many of them other bloggers who are frugal gurus! And since companies have different perks, freebies, and cultures, I wanted to pose the question to all of you: what are your favorite frugal tactics in the workplace (whether you work in an office or not!)? Happy Thursday!

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17 thoughts on “Ask the Readers: Frugal Office Tactics

  1. Danny April 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Very nice with the coffee/hot chocolate combo (I use to do that at my last job). To add to the coffee conversation, my work place has two coffee machines (Starbucks and Green Mountain) and an espresso/latte machine…and some people still go out for coffee! Also, at the end of every month our company will do a pizza/Chinese food day (during the summer months it’s once a week). However, my co-workers do take advantage of this. My work place does have several other perks that are not food related (to which I’d question if they’re frugal or not). Overall, best job I’ve ever had, but doesn’t mean I’m not slacking with FI haha!

    • Mr NYBudget April 17, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Amazing! I would love to get a free meal once a month/once a week – that sounds awesome! But yeah, if you have Plum Benefits or a similar event discount service, I view those as similar to Groupon (which I wrote about in a previous post).

      • Danny April 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Actually, we do have Plum Benefits too. Will need to check that out as well as your post 🙂

  2. The Jackal April 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I have a friend who works for “The Ocho” who brings home all the extra sandwiches from meetings (even the ones he didn’t attend). Embarrassing to see him walking down the streets with 12 mediocre sandwiches.

    • Mr NYBudget April 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Sounds like that guy needs a messenger bag!

  3. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living April 18, 2014 at 10:37 am

    lol, I used to make hot chocolate with cofffee when I worked at a church nursery in high school (it was a wealth church and they paid well!) and they gave us terrible coffee. With hot chocolate, it was good!

    We don’t have free coffee at my current job, although certain positions do have Keurig machines and I can freeload off of them. At my last job, we had free coffee and even free half and half, which really made my day!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted: Cut your losses and run?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 18, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Free coffee makes me happy! We have that weird milk-like stuff that lasts for a year. Not terrible when added to coffee and hot chocolate mix.

  4. Kristin April 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Ha! I did the same thing when I worked in an office. Tasty!
    A company I used to work for had an in-house massage therapist. You believe that? And hardly anyone took advantage of it! Needless to say, when I found out, I quickly signed up.
    Kristin recently posted: Happy Earth Day! Here’s a Quick List of FreebiesMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      That’s amazing – man, some companies have AMAZING perks. Of course, I wouldn’t want to trade perks for more hours worked, which is what a lot of tech companies do.

  5. Even Steven April 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Does having a free microwave, fridge, and Keurig count as having perks? I like hearing of the magical perks of office food. lunches, and coffee are out there. Jealous is a word you could use here.
    Even Steven recently posted: B-U-D-G-E-T-S Where is my MoneyMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      The free food I hear about is a perk that is almost like getting a raise! All those lunches add up!

  6. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 23, 2014 at 10:23 am

    When it comes to free coffee, I don’t really care much about the taste. I just like it strong… and free.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: Cost of Living Around the WorldMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 23, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Fair enough! I’m about to go pour me a free cup right now!

  7. CL May 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I love your tactics, and I’ve actually tried it before. One time, I watched this guy (who turned out to be one of the most important people in our company, and definitely probably the most important person in my corner) pour chocolate milk into his coffee. It was profoundly inspiring. I eat company quiche and snacks for breakfast, on top of consuming virgin Arnold Palmer like my life depends on it.

    However, the coffee at work is foul. It’s Equal Exchange coffee, which I’m totally for in theory. In reality, the coffee tastes like cinders. On days when I really need a cup of coffee, I buy (shudder) a chai latte for $2.50 from the company cafeteria downstairs. It happened about once a month through the winter. The only good coffee on campus is the kind that we give to customers (the 1000 or so who are getting trained on campus a day), which is freshly roasted and ground on site. When I was on the training campus for two weeks, I was wired and didn’t sleep for those two weeks. The coffee was so good.

    The president of the company (who has a personal net worth of hundreds of millions at the very least) constantly has a cup of McCafe coffee in hand. It’s funny.

    • Mr NYBudget May 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks CL! That’s awesome about getting quiche from your company – that sounds amazing.

  8. Laura June 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Your post took me back to my college days. My roommate introduced me to the heaven that is chocolate + coffee and it was my go-to drink for particularly stressful days. Even now, I sometimes sweeten my coffee with chocolate syrup.

    • Mr NYBudget June 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Laura! I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth normally, but I do enjoy this!

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