There is absolutely nothing better than a chai tea latte with half nonfat milk and half eggnog. Except maybe a pumpkin spice latte. Or a caramel macchiato. Or a kahlua granita. Or really good drip coffee with a splash of whole milk and half a packet of Splenda.
Actually, I take all that back. There is one thing that is definitely better than all those drinks. And that one thing is….saving your money and making your coffee at home.
I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Obviously, I love coffee. I’ve been a loyal drinker for around 11 years. About nine of those years were spent purchasing drinks from one coffee shop or another. All those purchases definitely add up. Here’s some math for you.
Let’s say I purchase some variation of the drinks listed above five days a week. And let’s say, by some miracle, that each drink only costs $3.50.
$3.50 x 5 days per week = $17.50
$17.50 x 52 weeks a year = $910
Ouch. But it gets worse.
$910 x 9 years of coffee-shop drinking = over $8,000
As I’m writing this, I’m cringing at the thought of $8,000 just to keep me awake. I could have bought a car. I could have gone on four Mexican vacations. I could have donated 114 goats to people in Third World countries through Mercy Corps.
Two years ago, I decided to purchase an espresso machine for our house. I waited until the after-Christmas sales, and got an awesome machine for around $100. Now, I start each day with a vanilla latte made from the comfort of my own home.
How about some more math for you (my dad would be so proud).
Let’s say I make a latte seven days a week (I’ve increased my usage since it’s so much cheaper!). Let’s say that over the course of the month, I use three gallons of milk (about 12 ounces per day), one pound of coffee, and one 25-ounce bottle of syrup.
3 gallons of milk = $9
One pound of coffee = $9
One bottle of syrup = $5
That’s $23 per month on lattes now, which is less than a dollar per day. Wowsers trousers!
Now, over the course of nine years of at-home latte making, I’m still going to spend a good chunk of change. Over $2,400 to be exact. Plus, who knows if I’ll have to invest in another espresso machine along the way. But making my lattes at home, I save at least $2.50 per day, which is over $900 per year.
Sure, this example doesn’t factor in water usage (for steam), electricity (to make my espresso machine run), or the initial price of the machine (in the past two years, that factors out to just 13 cents per day). But I think you’ll agree that these numbers are pretty eye-opening.
I’m not going to tell you that I don’t look forward to those days when I convince myself I need to stop and purchase a latte. Occasionally, it’s worth it. But only occasionally.