Fellow Tea Addicts-How do you keep from going broke?

My name is Stephanie and I’m a tea addict! Don’t get me wrong, I have PLENTY of awesome tea at home, but there are still so many I want to try. I’ve never had sencha or dragonwell and I really want some delicious gyokuro. I also want everything from 52 teas and Butiki teas that I haven’t tried. I’ve already busted my tea budget for the month and maybe next and I’m sooooo impatient! How do YOU stop yourself from ordering all the tea in the universe? :)

78 Replies
rantHappy said

I don’t… I’m broke… I’ve justified my ordering of tea by bringing teas to events. My school has a “tea party” and when I have people over at my house, I encourage tea sampling.

Of course I always keep the best for myself, only sharing the teas that don’t suit my tastes.

Exactly, keep the best for you!

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I second rantHappy, I’m broke because of tea. I just held a tea tasting for my program at work which has 100 people in it as a means to self care and wellness and I bought the tea for it myself as an excuse to buy more tea.

I also don’t really spend my play money on anything else. I don’t drink, I cook most meals at home, and I live in a beautiful place so we don’t need much entertainment. Other than gas, food, and random necessities, I save my extras for tea!!

Good job setting a tea budget for yourself! I should try that…

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Lala said

I have the same problem. I am quite a planner, so I have tried to “impose” some tea buying rules. I can buy tea at my local stores as often as I want as long as the total is no more than $20 at a time, and I can only go once per week ( this actually works quite well as I work 10 hour shifts on the weekdays so I can only get there on weekends anyway). When buying online I am only allowed to make two online orders per month, totalling no more than roughly $100 combined. So those are my rules, however, they do get broken quite often.

I keep an ongoing list of teas I want and where I am ordering from on a word document on my computer. So I can plan which month I am going to order from where. This works good because if I haven’t ordered that month and a deal is announced for a certain company, I can bump that one up on the list.

My only other advice is to get a credit card that has a very small limit (ie. $200). So it stops you from purchasing more tea than your credit limit allows.

I like this!! Great advice!

Dr Jim said

I use a similar system to limit purchases, except I use a spreadsheet rather than a Word document and I try to limit myself to one order a month. I say "try, because I did my March purchase 2 weeks ago, sigh. The problem, of course, is sales.

I already have my April and May orders planned, but may reverse the order depending on how quickly I use up my current supplies of a couple of my favorite teas. I also have to admit that I’m considering how early in March I can place the April order!

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sandra said

like said, I only spend my money on tea. I don’t drink, smoke or indulge in anything else but tea.
my taste is quite ‘set’ (I am a purist – Japanese green, Chinese black and high mountain oolongs, hate herbals or flavoured teas) and i buy my teas in larger quantities (200gr plus)with each order, so i rarely invest in new teas.i admit, I do not experiment as much as other steepsters.
money rarely down the drain because of a new tea not worth the money. I do tend to buy the highest grades however of the ones i really fancy.

Yeah, I’m still in the experimental stage of tea fandom where I’m wanting to try EVERYTHING! Also I still spend money on my other hobbies. I just placed a huge seed order yesterday for my garden for example…sigh

Azzrian said

I would never ever allow yourself to feel any sense of guilt over a garden. You are cultivating something, expanding resources, knowledge, etc.
Same could be said for tea as well.


Ellyn select said

Azzrian: your words of wisdom always seem so fitting.

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Story of my life. I work way too hard to be this freakin broke.
Here’s the deal, I’m a single mom of 2, I work 9 hour shifts 5 days a week, my job exposes me to all kinds of diseases & I make minimum wage. Eff that. Don’t get me wrong I love my job, it’s my damn rent that kills me.

Alas, I have been doing relatively well with buying tea, but once I start. ie. made an order with DAVIDsTEA last week, then with Whispering Pines on Tuesday, now trying to decide who else to buy from.

I however very rarely drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t gamble. Tea makes me happy, it’s my vice, so I say let me buy tea. You only live once & as long as my kids are taken care of I will spend my hard earned money on whatever I please.

Azzrian said

AMEN! As long as the kids and your base needs are met a mother needs some form of relaxation and enjoyment and tea is by far better than many!

Dustin said

You are a piercer too, right? No jewelry sale/commission bonuses to help with tea splurging? :(

Yes I am. I’m on an hourly wage, which is beneficial in some aspects. I’m suppose to get a bonus for selling a certain amount, but winter is VERY much dead time for us, so it doesn’t happen often & takes my boss a long time to finally give it to me.
Most of my tips are by debit so I get them on my check & need it for essentials.

Dustin said

I have had slow periods at some places I have worked, but never a whole season! That’s rough! It always made me a little stir crazy when I’d be at work with nothing to do. Hope things pick up for you soon!

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I cut down by
1. check ratings on steepster to see how it does before you buy
2. Go for cheaper sample sizes to try out stuff
3. Participate in swaps – ask for stuff from the companies you want to try but aren’t ready to order form yet.
4. wait for sales, often on holidays. Sign up for promo emails from tea sellers to get the promo codes. Check “Share your orders thread” to see if there’s an influx of purchases due to a promo code – though be cautious, as seeing others buy so much tea will make you buy more too!
5. if the company only sells large sizes, see if anyone on steepster wants to split the order/swap.
6. Set budget. Or only buy once you’ve drank down X amount of tea.
7. Go for “first timers” promo teas. Like Den’s “novice set”, Design a Tea’s sample.
8. Enter weekly drawings: off the top of my head whispering pines, Physique Teas has weekly drawings. Probably more out there. Also check contests or see if tea sellers are giving out free samples
9. Stalk loyalty programs, ie Verdant point system style, for discounts.

when I don’t need to cut down, I just order whatever I want, lol! But yeah, I also only purchase teas/teaware off a pool of money, which is my earnings off my other hobbies. Kinda gets tight at times, but also keeps me in line.

add to that, Culinary Teas does frequent contests, a current one for a $25 gift certificate. great ideas!

Lala said

I agree, swaps are a great way to try new teas, and find out what you like before actually ordering it.

You guys are awesome :)

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Dustin said

Right now I’m trying to get through a bit of the tea I already have before letting myself buy more. So putting limits on how much I keep around is something I try, although I don’t have a reasonable limit set now.
I’m trying to not buy teas I haven’t tasted samples of before except for limited edition stuff like 52teas and that cuts down on what I’ll let myself buy. So if an online company doesn’t offer samples for me to get a feel for if and what I like then I either don’t buy, buy only one thing or I try to swap for samples. If it’s a store, I can at least sniff it and get a feel for if I like it if the have a minimum purchase amount.
Swapping is a great alternative to buying because you still get to try new tea without acquiring more.
There are things you can do to limit spending money on other expenses you may have like drinking/smoking or crafting/hobbies and stuff like that to clear up some space in your funds.
Making an Amazon wish list with the teas you want in case anyone is looking to get you a gift is another way to get more tea.
So all that AND having willpower of steel (which I don’t) can help keep the addiction under control.

Swapping is great but also part of my problem- when I get something I really love I want to buy more! :)

I hear ya Stephanie. I love swapping, but could swap for months on end & then want what I try.

Dustin said

True. Two of those Butiki teas you sent me Stephanie are on my must buy list now, but at least I now know to skip the third that I felt eh about. Speaking of… I need to try more varieties before I place an order!

Staying off this site helps curb the habit too. :P

hahaha, yeah, I need to stay the heck away from here ;)

Dustin said

The posts about the sales are the worst. I HAVE to check them out and talk myself down from there.

I’m currently crossing my fingers and waiting for a 52 teas sale or coupon, heh

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I buy way too much tea. I discovered this site in December, previous to that I was only really exposed to Teavana and Adagio and suddenly all of these tea companies were around me doing sales and stuff and I wanted to try all of these teas… I think I have at least 5 unopened boxes of orders that I’m not going to open until after I at least try all of the teas I have opened and all the swaps I’ve gotten. So that means I shouldn’t even bother buying any more because I wouldn’t get to try them until forever later anyway. That’s kept me from buying more tea in the last few weeks. Exceptions seem to be from when a swap is so delicious that I must immediately go out and purchase that tea. Or a sample for the same reason. I’m currently avoiding The Persimmon Tree because of their delicious vanilla bean tea that I want so badly.

I feel your pain! heh

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gmathis said

I think it’s wise to nurture a taste for some cheap basic pantry-staple teas (I pick several up by the ounce at a local import grocery), then save your discretionary $$ for splurges here and there.

My local international market carries some VERY CHEAP very nice teas…for example 100count bags of organic white peony tea for like $3. I just can’t imagine drinking the same tea 100 cups in a row. I think I’d get bored…maybe for my summer time iced tea supply though!

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If I buy tea, get a sample size. Swaps are my favourite way to try new teas.

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