Not everyone needs that fresh cup o’ joe in the morning to get the engine revving, but for those of us that do suffer from a caffeine addiction, and you know who you are, the cost of those specialty coffees can really add up.
According to the coffee statistics found at Statistics Brain, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee everyday. Of that, 30 million, including myself, prefer to drink specialty coffees, such as lattes, cappuccinos, mochaccinos, and so on.
With the average espresso-based specialty coffee going for $2.45, a figure which I find extremely low, the average coffee budget for the daily latte drinker can be somewhere in the neighborhood of $637 a year. And that figure was calculated by just having one latte per weekday at the average price, something I know for a fact I am way over.
For $637 I could book a trip to Vegas or a week on a Cruise Ship!
Well if you are like me and are trying to cut down on some of those personal expenses, the following tips may help you to rein in your coffee budget:
#1 – Stop Drinking Coffee
Alright, this may be a little obvious, but the top way to save money on your coffee budget is to stop drinking coffee altogether. Anything in excess is bad for your health, so if you are a coffee addict, this tip may be a good choice, both for the health of your wallet and that of your body. However, if you are just a once a day coffee drinker, well than coffee may actually be good for you. Check out these 11 reasons why you should drink coffee every day from the Huffington Post. That being the case, maybe a less extreme approach to saving money on your coffee budget is needed.
#2 – Stop Drinking Specialty Coffee
Okay, this may be a little easy, but if you’ve acquired a taste for lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and so on, going cold turkey on specialty coffee may sound just as painful as tip #1 – stop drinking coffee altogether – at least for me it does. However, with the average cup of brewed coffee going for $1.38, you can save yourself up to $278.20 a year! What can you do with all that extra money? Well if you can’t live without your specialty coffee, and believe me I can’t, you might want to invest those savings into a home latte machine – and you better believe that is exactly what I did. This brings me to the next tip.
#3 – Make Your Own Specialty Coffee at Home
If you really want to cut down your costs and still treat yourself with a specialty coffee each morning, than making coffee from home is the best way to do it. You can invest in a quality espresso machine – and if you are a coffee drinker, a good espresso machine really is an investment – or you can simply use a French Press to make your espresso and frothy milk for your latte. Either way, by making your own specialty coffee at home you can cut your coffee costs in half, if not more.
#4 – Set A Coffee Budget
If you feel that you really need to have that specialty coffee every morning, whether you have decided to make it from home or are going to continue to buy it from your local barista – after all they make such pretty latte art – then you may want to consider setting yourself, and sticking to, a strict coffee budget. With many coffee shops offering tap-and-go, point-of-sale payment options that are linked to your credit cards and smart phones, setting and sticking to a coffee budget can be quite a challenge.
I recommend only using cash when it comes to getting your daily fix. Figure out how much you need for the week, slip some cash into an envelope marked “coffee”, and try not to go over your budget. The real challenge will be to not cheat by using your credit or debit card when you for. If you find yourself blowing through your budget before the week’s end you may want to consider one of the other tips from above.
Reining in that coffee budget may be challenging, but with a little self control and some creative budgeting, you will be able to do it.
Esther J. Salazar knows a thing or two when it comes to coffee. As a young girl she spent many summers with her Abuelo on the family coffee farm, so I guess you can say coffee flows through her veins. Today, Esther is a blogger, mother of three, and a fair trade coffee advocate from Santa Rosa, NM.