Savings Challenge – Coffee

Savings ChallengeI have never been the type to go to Starbucks everyday. I love their coffee, but it is usually out of the way (although there is a drive through two miles from my new place – ugh, the temptation). And really, who has $4 to throw away on coffee everyday?

But I do need my coffee, and as much as I love a good french press, there is nothing better than a nice, dry cappuccino to start my day. Especially when the kids are screaming their little butts off at 6:30 am. Mommy needs a pick-me-up to get through the day.

So in the interest of saving money, as well as the thought of having to drag two kids out of the house for a cappuccino, I asked my husband for a cappuccino machine for Christmas last year. I am the type that likes to ask for more practical gifts, I only have so many fingers and frankly I am not a huge jewelry wearer (a fact my husband found out after he spent a small fortune in fine jewelry the first few years of dating – sorry honey, but I love it all!).

So, as much as I would like a state of the art German built in espresso machine, I knew that it wasn’t practical and we aren’t the Rockefellers.

So I spent some time researching different machines at various price points. I found a great little unit for about $100 – a DeLonghi BAR32. This little sucker makes great foam and brews my Illy coffee without scorching it, so it was an awesome find. To make me feel like a true barrista, I also got myself a little foaming pitcher, a thermometer for the foam, and a little espresso carafe. So now, for a little over $125, I have my own little espresso bar.

I also purchase my favorite coffee as a whole bean. It lasts me about a month or so, I keep it in the fridge. I usually can find it at most grocery stores. I use a little grinder I purchased when I bought my french press, and I grind per cup. Luxurious, and so convenient.

The numbers for my home cappuccino bar are as follows:

Initial Investment:

$125 + 20.00 (grinder) = $145.00  = 37 cups of coffee

Monthly expense – beans – $15.00 = you need to buy 4 cups of coffee at $4/month to break even on the beans.

I say I have coffee at least 4 times a week, so it took me just over 9 weeks to recoup the cost of the coffee getup, and I save $45/month drinking my 4 cups a week at home. For someone with a mild Starbucks habit, but a severe coffee habit, that is pretty good. Especially since I only need to buy the machine and whatnot once (I hope :)).

For someone who has a major coffee need, this is a great way to save a little cash. And it takes me five minutes a day to make the coffee. If I am feeling ambitious, I even pre-grind my beans and prepare the machine for the next day, so all I have to do is warm it up and start brewing.

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More Servings of the Halfway Homemaker

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