I was shocked a few years ago when I added up how much it cost for my husband and I to venture out to Starbucks once, sometimes twice a day. Between the two of us, drinking the smallest size (“tall”) lattes, it was a whopping $2,971.10 a year. I started to wonder how much I’d save if I made my coffee at home.
Here’s how I broke my Starbucks habit
I bought a Starbucks brand espresso/cappuccino maker.
I got lucky – I found a brand new $500 Starbucks espresso/cappuccino machine at a yard sale for $65. The woman had bought it for her boyfriend but he was too lazy to use it. My gain! It was a gamble since I didn’t know the person I was buying it from and I could’ve gotten screwed. But it works like a dream. I have had it for about ten years now. You can probably find something similar on sale, on Craigslist or on eBay.
I buy Starbucks ground coffee at the grocery store.
It is often on sale at Target for $12.99 for a 20oz. bag of ground coffee and at Walmart for $11.98, same size. Bonus: When I finish a bag of coffee, I can bring the empty bag into Starbucks for a free coffee or money off a fancier drink. Technically, Starbucks ended this policy, but some baristas still honor it.
I buy flavored Syrup.
I love Torani flavored coffee syrup. I’ve seen it as low as $3.99 if you buy it in bulk. And a little goes a long way. They even offer some sugar-free flavors.
Other “perks” to making your lattes at home:
- As much as I love an eggnog latte during holiday time, I don’t love the calories. Making my own saves me money and calories when I add lowfat eggnog (Starbucks offers only the full-fat variety). And I think it tastes just as decadent.
- If you’re like me and you opt for soy, the price of your drink goes up. Buy your own soy milk and save.
- If you use a less expensive brand of coffee, you will save even more money.
Try our recipe for Starbucks drinks you can make at home.
Including a salted caramel mocha. Mmm…
How much am I saving making Starbucks at home?
- A tall soy vanilla latte costs $4.05 with tax at my local Starbucks.
- The one I make at home costs approximately $2.25 (using XXX oz. coffee grounds, 4 oz. soymilk, 2 ml. syrup.)
- Yearly cost for 2 people once a day at Starbucks: $2,971.10.
- Yearly cost making my Starbucks lattes at home: $1,642.50.
My yearly savings: $1,328.60.
Even if I include the cost of the espresso machine I picked up at a garage sale for $65, over 10 years I’ve saved: $13,221.00.
What else could I do with that $13,221?
- Pay for 14.5 years of car insurance (Average yearly car insurance payment in 2014, according to Value Penguin, is $907.38.)
- Take 4.4 family vacations (Average yearly vacation: approx. $3k for a family of four, according to Vacation Kids.)
- Make the maximum contribution to my IRA for 2.4 years, and earn interest on those contributions!
- Earn $18,599.38 if each year I put the $1,328.60 in my 401k with a 6% matching contribution from my employer and earned an average of 6% in mutual funds.