June 21, 2010

My $3.75 Cup of Coffee

The cup of coffee pictured cost me $3.75.  

I was on vacation with my wife and we had a meal in the cafe in The Venetian which is one of the nicer casino resorts in Las Vegas.   I didn't realize it was $3.75 until we got the receipt.   I didn't even think to look at what the beverage costs were.   The meal prices were actually not that bad considering how expensive the place was in general.  Most meals there were in the $10 to $25 range if I recall right.   Thats not cheap but its not highway robbery either.   I guess I made the assumption that given the entree prices on the menu that the beverages would be similarly moderately priced.  

The hotel is actually pretty smart to jack up prices on beverages this way.   I bet most do the same thing I did and not even really consider the cost of beverages.   You just look at the cost of a $12 sandwich and think thats not too outlandish then order a drink to go with it without even really thinking about it.  If you add tax and a 20% tip then that cup of coffee cost me closer to $5. So your $12 sandwich and drink turns into a $20 meal.

The frugal thing to do would be to keep an eye out on these extra costs.  Maybe I'll learn from my mistake and not order drinks without checking the price.   An even more frugal option is to just order water.  

To be honest if I had seen the price of the coffee and known it was $3.75 in advance I am very sure would have went ahead and still ordered it.   I have a slight caffeine addiction so it isn't something I do without too lightly.   Plus we were in a very expensive hotel so my price expectations are different.  If The Venetian wants to charge more for coffee then thats easier for me to swallow (sorry) than if Denny's started charging that much.   Lastly we were on vacation and my frugality is in a different mode when I'm on vacation.  Theres a little devil on my shoulder saying "live a little" and the little angel on the other shoulder isn't putting up much of a fight.

So I guess I'd sum up the experience to say that I should watch out for the beverage prices in the future.  At least that way I'll know if I'm spending too much.

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