I write about 'The Latte Effect' often; the concept that, by eliminating Starbucks lattes from your budget, you can save thousands a year. Depending on the application of this concept (are you substituting with another chain's coffee, brewing your own, or giving up caffeine altogether?), it's either a fantastic way to save money or simply an illumination of how spendthrift our economy has become.

Every time, though, that I write about giving up Starbucks, one of you (or a bunch) pipe up to suggest we drink Dunkin' Donuts coffee instead. It's better! you say, and not to mention, cheaper.

You're right. Surprised? I knew you weren't. In an independent, double-blind taste test, Dunkin' Donuts coffee was deemed better than Starbucks. 476 adults in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Seattle participated in the study, pitting Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend against Starbucks House Blend. According to the study administrator, the results "clearly indicate a preference for Dunkin' Donuts" Original Blend.

So the lower-cost choice is not just more imbued with working-class cred; it's tastier, as well. When your friends complain about how much their Starbucks habit is costing them, you can feel superior, in both good taste and wealth. Don't tell 'em, though. It's not kind to show someone how much smarter you are than they are ...

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