Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

A crazy eye episode this morning and why I sometimes drink Starbucks coffee

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 6.08.04 PM

I woke up this morning knowing something was really wrong.

One of my eyes seemed all cloudy and blurry.

I rubbed it. I washed my face. I tried going downstairs to see if a change of scenery would help.

I tried blinking multiple times. I waited ten minutes thinking maybe I just needed to wake up more or something.

Nothing. It was still all blurry and cloudy.

I started getting concerned… thinking through everything I’d done the day before, everything I’d eaten, how I’d slept.

Finally, I told Jesse that something was wrong with my eyesight. I confessed I was even worried I was going to slowly lose my eyesight (I know, I know, I’m a total worst case scenario person!)

And then it hit me: had I taken out both s last night? I was sure I had, but just to rule out every possibility, I stuck my finger in the eye that wasn’t blurry and starting swiping it to see if my was still there.

Um, yup. It totally was.

So instead of losing my eyesight, I appear to be losing my brain… because I somehow managed to only take out one last night before bed. Don’t ask me how, but I guess it’s better than accidentally showing up to some event and forgetting to get dressed (I have dreams that I do this all. the. time.)

I felt pretty dumb at this point. I mean, here I was running through all these scenarios of losing my eyesight and the problem was incredibly simple: I had a in one eye and didn’t have a in the other eye. This threw my vision out of whack and made one eye seem very, very blurry.

As I went about my morning, I not only felt relieved, but I also began thinking about how a change of perspective can change everything. Sometimes, it’s not exactly what meets the eye (pun fully intended).

For instance, not too long ago, I got a comment from a reader who was very upset that I had posted a picture of a Starbucks cup. She was upset that I’d spend so much money buying coffee when it’s so much cheaper to make it yourself. She went so far as to say she wasn’t sure if she could keep reading my blog because it seemed hypocritical for me to blog about frugal living and drink Starbucks at the same time.

While I completely understand that a picture of a Starbucks drink on might seem like a contradiction, it’s not always what it seems at first glance. In the case of the Starbucks cup, it was a coffee I’d bought at the airport, because you can’t bring homemade coffee through security (I wish!).

In addition, it was only plain coffee, not some fancy drink (coffee is actually one of the cheapest drinks you can buy at the airport). Plus, in this instance, the conference I was traveling to speak at, had given me a generous food allowance for everyday and was reimbursing me for all food expenses. And not only that, but I actually used a Starbucks gift card I’d earned from Swagbucks  to pay for my coffee.

So you see, it’s not always what meets the eye. A change of perspective can make a big difference.

Now, I don’t say all of this because I feel the need to defend myself for occasionally drinking Starbucks coffee. I share this because it was a good lesson for me: I can be quick to jump to conclusions or judge based upon the appearance of what something seems when I don’t know all of the facts.

In the future, I want to remember that it’s not always what it seems. Before I criticize someone or get frustrated or worked up over something, I want to first make sure I know all the facts.

Because sometimes, I just need to change my perspective. Well, and make sure that I actually take both of my s out, too. 🙂

Subscribe for free email updates from December212012® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Mari Lewis says:

    Why do feel the need to explain yourself? So you run a frugal living site, I am very frugal myself, but you are allowed to live your life how you wish. Every person, especially frugalits like us, enjoys that treat in their lives. Otherwise what’s the point? You work hard…. enjoy that cup of coffee no matter where you got it or how you paid for it.

  • Leighann says:

    I don’t believe somebody has the right to criticize somebody else over coffee.

    I know that this is not true in your case, but for some people, that one fancy cup of coffee each morning? That’s it. That’s all they get. They have so much going wrong in their life, so much stress, so many problems, that their single, sole source of stress relief is one Starbucks coffee each weekday morning.

    Or the person who has one glass of wine each night. Or who eats [insert treat here]. We just don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life. We’re in no position to judge anyone else.

    It shouldn’t matter if that cup of coffee was hastily grabbed at the airport or an every day thing. It’s your life and it’s your choice to make. It’s your money to spend. You know your own value; unless someone else is paying your bills and walking in your shoes, they should keep their value judgements to themselves, before you start pointing out * their* coping mechanisms.

  • says:

    I know what you mean! I taught a grocery budgeting class one Friday where I emphasized my tight budget and the need for spending control. Many of the ladies in the class were a part of a homeschool group that meets for coffee once a month. We call it our “sanity renewal meeting.” The next Monday, when we were meeting for coffee, I was so paranoid about what I was to order. I mean, these ladies know me, but I was just convinced someone would be thinking about my class and how I must be a hypocrite if I order a beverage they deem to be too expensive. I went ahead and ordered what I normally do and walked into the room proclaiming that I wouldn’t judge their drink if they wouldn’t judge mine. Everyone laughed, and it was no big deal. In fact , they had bought me a gift card for the shop. What a blessing! I was the judgmental one there, thinking they would judge me. Guess who needed a perspective change? 😉

  • amy says:

    I am sitting here making my lists of deals for the week. Meijer $10/50? NIce! Stack that for the bleach deal and dog food with my coupons. Kroger $6/30? Yes, there’s my meats for the week. Giant Eagle double coupons.. those snack foods are taken care of. My Jeep needs gas, so my .80/gal fuel perks will help cover that. I’m in desperate need of some summer clothes. Yay! A garage sale got me three pair of capris, a top, and a black maxi dress for $22.

    I do all this as I sip from my $5.50 venti triple shot white mocha latte from Starbucks.

    Why would I “waste” so much money on one cup of coffee? Because I wanted it. I work hard to save money at every turn specifically so I can afford to indulge OCCASIONALLY. I can afford a nice coffee when I’m really feeling stressed. I CAN take hubby out for a nice dinner and a movie. I have that luxury, since I save on every aspect.

    I do not feel guilty. Nor should anyone.

    • Frances says:

      I totally agree with you. If we didn’t shop frugally we would be scraping to make ends meet all the time. Being frugal gives us margin to enjoy the sweet things in life.

  • valerie says:

    Uhmm I am sorry this lady so mad at you.
    Yes Starbucks is crazy on their prices but when I buy it I embrace the moment. I don’t stop everyday but when I do I don’t fell bad. You were enjoying the moment. Thanks for your great ideas.

  • Sandi Jensen says:

    Oh my…so sorry you had to explain yourself, that is ridiculous! I enjoy your blog and so happy that you take little splurges (even though this was more of a need being at the airport). Keep doing your thing, girl 🙂

  • says:

    If you budget for a treat–ENJOY it. That’s the point of a budget and of a “treat.” You’ve earned the coffee. Being frugal and being cheap are two different things. Buying a cup of coffee when you can’t feed your kids is stupid. Being a successful writer, traveling to a speaking engagement, coffee is just, well, coffee!

  • Liz says:

    I read an article recently (and it changed my perspective) on what makes people happy. On the list, was the little daily things… could be a bagel or a hot chocolate or whatever it is that is something small, but adds to our daily joy. I know those things add up in cost, but for me the simple pleasures in life outweigh the money spent. I’m pretty frugal and if I want to buy a soda or a hot chocolate and it makes me happy, isn’t immoral, etc then I do it. Life is too short not to have those little daily pleasures.

  • Liz says:

    Do not see the need to explain or justify any of your actions. Frugality works in the ways YOU choose, not in the areas other people feel it should work. No one else knows all of your circumstances, and it needs to stay that way.

  • Crystal says:

    this made me laugh out loud! I am a Worst case scenario Person too. I don’t wear s anymore but I have forgotten to take them out plenty of times. I don’t think I ever forgot only one though!! Hope you enjoy your day! Your post made my wait time for an oil change a little fun! Ps..I love Starbucks and will only buy their plain coffee too, but who’s to judge you if you did want to buy Starbucks every day? To each her own!

  • jeni Wilmot says:

    I’m not only a worst case scenario person, but a hypochondriac to boot, so my first thought would have been like tumor, MS, stroke or something. That’s a post on perspective waiting to be spun too I think 😉

    It’s so easy to yell hypocrite instead of actually getting to know someone isn’t it? That’s such an epic lesson to pass on. Thanks for the good post.

  • Lisa Schweitzer says:

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw this post was I bet she used a gift card she earned from surveys etc. I agree that you don’t have to explain yourself. The best thing about trying to be frugal and finding creative ways to save and earn extra money is knowing that you can have expensive things and sometimes it does not cost hardly anything! I love your blog and read it all the time.

  • says:

    I’ve done the one in one out myself! LOL! This is a great point aboit perspective. I don’t understand why so many people feel the need to criticize right away especially when they do not have all of the facts. Living a frugal life is commendable; however, that does not negate the fact that everyone….everyone is entitled to a spurge now and again. For all the you give back, you certainly deserve a Starbucks coffee now and again. Everyone is entitled to fill their soul, body, & mind so that they can give of themselves to others. So yes, get that coffee, enjoy every sip, and never let anyone make you feel bad for the choices you make in your life. Please, can’t we stop tearing other women down & just build each other up? Isn’t life difficult enough?

  • Julie says:

    Before she responded maybe she should have asked herself “Why was this cup of coffee so important to December212012.” For example: I just dropped my husband off at the Airport for another deployment. While I cried my eyes out I sat in the corner to have a small cup of coffee. The only thing that was going to give me some normalcy that day. Sometimes the simplest things in life don’t need to responded too.

    This was me two weeks ago in the Orlando Airport.

  • Ann says:

    I try to live fairly frugal for the most part. My one treat is Starbucks. I am not so frugal at Starbucks, and I have no problem with it because I earned the money used to buy it, and I can afford it because I am frugal in all the other areas of my life. We all have something we like to splurge on.

  • Kristina says:

    Buying Starbucks can be a part of a money saving budget. If we watch our expenses, we have the ability to prioritize our purchases and treat ourselves. As a single mom, I splurged on bath and body works hand soap. It was expensive but made me happy every time I washed my hands. My happiness rate of return far exceeded the cost. Keep up the good work. I love your blog.

    FYI -I once left a in too and ended up going to the eye doctor to get my vision checked due to blurriness. Luckily, I discovered I had been wearing two s and removed the evidence while waiting for the doctor to come in. So know you are not alone. ?

  • Shirley says:

    You know… I don’t think being frugal is about spending every waking moment worrying about whether or not we’re pinched every single penny we own until it bleeds. No more than a site on minimalism is about getting rid of absolutely everything you own. I follow a site about minimalism. I don’t expect to see the rooms bare on that site. I expect words of wisdom about areas where I can make life simpler and improve my quality of life. A site about saving money should help me explore areas where I can save money…not so that I can never enjoy that occasional splurge but that I can do that, knowing I’m not breaking the bank by doing so. I wouldn’t care if you had paid full cash…and bought the most expensive coffee in the house. The money saving aspect there is that we don’t do that every day…a change in the heart of our stewardship. I so wish we would all stop judging one another. Every single day you give advice on areas where we can save money. Why? So we can hoard it? It isn’t about she who saves the most money by the time she dies wins! It’s about being a good steward of all that God gives so that we have more to share…and even giving ourselves that occasional gift of a little luxury. Sad that this woman opted to throw away all your helpful advice over one cup of coffee. Speaks volumes about where her heart is. Keep tossing your helpful advice our way. We’ll apply them where it best suits us and our needs. And thank you for this reminder about judging others. Our pastor often says that we should never judge anyone because we have NO idea what they’ve gone through to just get where they are now. I know that’s true in my own life. God bless you as you bless us!!!

  • Jenifer says:

    We don’t do Starbucks often, but occasionally my hubby & I will go as a date. We get gift cards from our grocery store & save money on gas. Plus, we have received many as gifts. It goes with the old sayings, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” & “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Enjoy your coffee however you like it!

December212012® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Do not be silent