You know how when you’re looking for tips on how to pay off debt and save money, people *always* put in something like: “Make your own coffee instead of spending on lattes as the cafe”?
Yeah, I hate that tip. Not because I spend tons of money at corner cafes. In the last 90 days I’ve spent maybe $45 on coffee when I’ve been out. (Fast food, on the other hand…ugh. That’s a hole in the budget.) When you consider I have to do non-dairy milk and I enjoy flavors in my coffee, buy the biggest size, and tip well, I think I’ve been out for coffee about 7 times in the last 90 days.
I hate the “make your own coffee” thing because, well–my coffee wasn’t coming out as well. Even using Gevalia and filtered water. Even adding a pinch of cinnamon and/or cloves. Even adding flavored syrups–at $6 a bottle, even though they last quite a while, it just wasn’t the same. Something was missing.
Since I’m the only coffee drinker in the half heathen household, I purchased an inexpensive Bella espresso machine from Target a few years back. That $40 has more than paid for itself since I can now make coffee at home easily for one person, but the coffee was still missing that “something” that I just couldn’t put my finger on. So I kept buying coffee out sometimes, up until recently.
On a whim, I purchased a flavored non-dairy liquid creamer at the grocery store. International Delight Hazelnut coffee creamer, in fact. It’s a frivolous expense when you consider our tight grocery budget. But if I put a full tablespoon into my coffee, I’m not tempted to go out for coffee. Literally the frivolous $2.50 I spent on creamer is saving us some money. (Okay…okay…I may have bought the pumpkin spice creamer the next week. But I’ve only gone out and purchased prepared coffee drinks once since then! Once!)
I know, I know–sweetened liquid fat isn’t all that healthy. But when compared to hundreds of calories consumed and hundreds of dollars spent, a 35 calorie tablespoon of non-dairy flavored creamer daily isn’t that bad.