When did coffee stop selling at a buck per cup? And for that matter, when did smoothies become a necessary post-workout ritual? Recently, I’ve become intensely aware of my love of almond-milk lattes (around $4 a cup) and delicious green smoothies. I wonder if there’s a conspiracy to keep me broke, but nicely hydrated.
Calculating the Cost of Coffee
Many avid coffee drinkers have no idea how much they’re paying for their daily caffeine fix. There are a number of ways to save on your morning cup. First, spend some time tracking the cost of coffee, as well as how frequently you stop at your favorite coffee shop. You may find that you’re going once a week, and that that’s perfectly reasonable. But if you discover that you’re going four times a week and spending $8 dollars a trip on coffee and a scone, that adds up to $128 a month and $1,536 a year. Ouch!
You can also do the same with your smoothie habit. You may be shocked by the amount that you’re spending.
How to Save Money on Coffee and Smoothies
Treating a trip to the coffee or smoothie shop as a special treat has helped some avid fans to save money.
By keeping it special, you’ll be able to enjoy your scone and coffee with a complete lack of guilt.
Ask a friend or family member to join you as you enjoy your special treat. Same thing with smoothies. The last time I bought a smoothie, it was almost $10. Yes, I enjoyed it, but I did find myself questioning the price.
Coffee fiends also have an option to find at-home substitutes to save money:
- Coffee grinders: Do you prefer purchasing whole-bean coffee? If yes, then you will also need to purchase a coffee grinder. Coffee grinders typically cost around $15 to $25 for a decent machine. Whole-bean coffee also tends to be a little harder to find and a little more expensive than pre-ground coffee.
- Keurig, anyone? Keurigs and similar machines are an efficient way to make not only coffee, but also specialty drinks and teas. There are a couple of downsides to owning one, though. For starters, it’s not great for the environment because the little cups add up in landfills. Plus, the machine is a lot more expensive than a French press, typically running around $99 for a decent machine. But they do win points for ease of use and for consistency in taste.
Smoothie fans, however, may find themselves totally confused trying to figure out which machine will create the best smoothie. Be warned: I’ve already gone down this road, and it’s ugly. There are so many choices, and making the right one is a bit overwhelming. I’ve settled on a Vitamix. I love that it’s made in the U.S. and makes the smoothest smoothies ever (in my opinion). But that Vitamix comes with serious sticker shock. They typically range in cost between $250 and $550 per machine. Yep, that’s a lot of money.
If you decide to invest in a costly machine or embrace making your drinks from home, consider working a one-time side hustle to cover the cost. Or ask around to see if a friend has a machine that they would like to sell for less than what you’re seeing online. If your friend’s trying to get rid of it, maybe she’ll even give it to you for free!
For regular coffee drinkers and smoothie lovers, making drinks from home can lead to huge savings. It takes a bit of discipline and time, but it certainly takes less than the time you wait in line at a busy Starbucks. And doing so would save you hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars.