My wife and I have had a good deal of family budget conversations these past few years and have been forced to adapt and make changes as this new period of high inflation has hit us. As solidly middle class business owners, we are very aware of the challenges we have all faced recently.
We love dining at local, independent restaurants; we love shopping at boutique stores; and we love investing in our local small business ecosystem. But all of that has required more creativity as of late as our dollars do not go as far as they once did as businesses try to adapt to rapidly rising food, material and labor costs.
Enjoying a high quality cup of coffee every morning has become one of the great affordable luxuries in modern life. And we want to do our part to make that as sustainable as possible for you while still delivering the quality and traceability you have come to expect from us.
With that in mind, I want to revisit some of the cost-saving steps I shared a year ago that will help you fight inflation as you continue to enjoy your favorite coffee.
Things You Can DO at Carabello
- Take advantage of free shipping on orders over $50. The average cost of shipping 2 bags of our coffee to your home is $9. Last year we added a free shipping threshold as a way to help our customers save and to also reduce the number of packages we are sending out. It is actually a win for all of us if you consistently purchase our coffee in 4+ bag increments or in 5lb bags. It’s an automatic savings of $9+ for you and fewer boxes, bags, labels, etc for us annually. We all win!
- Buy 5lb bags, which saves you 10%. I know variety can be the spice of coffee life for many of us, but we give you a 10% savings when you buy a 5lb bag. Now may be a good time to trade some of that variety for a little extra savings. Combine this with free shipping and it’s a double win!
- Take advantage of our seasonal 20% off sales. We do four 20% off sales per year, with the next one coming up in early August 2023. This is a great time to buy a little extra and capture that savings. We suggest buying a 6 week supply so that the coffee will still be fairly fresh if stored well, but you don't run the risk of ending up with stale coffee buy purchasing too much.
- Join our Bello Bucks rewards program and save 10% every time you spend $150. Our rewards program is a great way to earn and redeem discounts that can also be combined with our free shipping or sale offers. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spent. Join today and get 75 Bello Bucks just for signing up!
Things You Can DO in General
- Buy items you know you will use in bulk wherever possible. My wife has gotten really great about buying staple household goods in bulk from places like Costco. Toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, etc. It takes a little extra cash flow, but the savings can be significant to the budget.
- Go big and take advantage of gift card deals to places you love. Every holiday season, the salon at which I get my hair cut offers a 25% off sale on gift cards. For the past three years I have done the math to figure out how much I will need to cover a year's supply of haircuts and then purchased a 25% off gift card for that amount. Likewise, our favorite restaurant in Cincinnati (Crown Republic) offers a 20% off gift card during Thanksgiving. Same idea. We know we will eat there at least a few times a month, so why not capture a 20% savings for as many of those months as our cash flow will allow.
- Forego that $16 cocktail or $12 glass of wine at your local restaurant and instead, enjoy the same quality (or better) drink at home for a fraction of the price. This has been a big one for me personally. I'm not advocating we don't celebrate when we are out at times. But seeing the markup on alcohol in a restaurant or cocktail bar setting is painful. I've switched to (mostly) choosing to enjoy a really good drink or glass of wine at home and thereby reallocating the dollars in our eat-out budget to the actual food, which is rapidly climbing in price. To make this more fun, I started a recurring Gin & Tonic Porch Hang at my home once a week for neighbors and friends. It has been a success in getting people together while enjoying delicious drinks at a much lower price than we would pay if we went out together.
- Drink fewer lattes at the cafe and brew more coffee at home. Now is the perfect time to up your brew game at home. If you need help, take our Brew Like A Pro class and learn. Brewing a Chemex, AeroPress, or Hario V60 of a really great coffee at home can be done for about $1. I'm not saying cut out the coffee shop altogether--far from it. But by coming a few less times in a week or month and brewing more coffee at home, you will keep the good coffee flowing while capturing some savings.
Things I Suggest You DON'T Do
- Don't elevate convenience over saving, when saving is possible. Saving is rarely convenient. Don't pass up saving on something you love because it will take a few extra steps or require a little more discipline.
- Don't lower quality on the items that bring you tiny joys. At a time when cutting back is important, it is vital we leave some of the tiny things we truly love in place. They will help make the cuts elsewhere feel less painful and give us small moments to look forward to.
- Don't forget the small businesses around you. If you have to, REDUCE what you buy, BUT STILL BUY. If you love the cuts of meat you get from your local butcher or you love the flower arrangements from your local florist, or heck, if you love the coffee you get from your local roaster, keep supporting them! If you need to cut back, cut back. But don't abandon them!
I know this is far from an exhaustive list, but it is a start nonetheless. Cheers to winning the fight against inflation while continuing to enjoy your favorite coffees!