Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another way to save

I love coffee. Always have. As crazy as this may sound to some, I acquired a taste for coffee when I was in elementary school. Of course I preferred my coffee with cream and sugar back then but how else would a kid take their coffee? I remember so vividly my cousin and I walking to the Quick Stop around the corner from my aunt's apartment and getting a cup. We were only allowed to get decaf and remember actually abiding by that rule. What good kids we were.

My mom and dad were big coffee drinkers (mom drank hers black and dad took his with cream) and at our house, no matter the time of day, you would likely find the coffeemaker on. Now it's not that my parents were serving us kids coffee with our meals or anything but they would give us a sip now and then. And I know it was those occasional sips and the comforting aroma of fresh brewed coffee in the house that gave me the taste for java.

Fast forward almost 20 years and my love for coffee is still going strong. Providing a little (and necessary) pick up in the morning (and afternoon for that matter) is only part of why I drink it. A good cup of coffee is comforting and can truly turn my mood around. Coffee is very social for me too. Many of my friendships started with a cup of coffee - some of my best in fact.

As I've been addressing our budget, the reality of what I/we've been spending on coffee was definitely higher than I assumed it was. How much can once in a while during the week and on Saturday with the family be? Well add sometimes more than "once in a while" and Sunday as well as any stressful afternoon or evening any day of the week and the amount being spent can be $30 a week.  At first, I thought we'd just cut the cafe out entirely but I realized the pleasure of a good Americano or latte from a coffee shop is something the husband and I deserve, just can't have them everyday. So for the majority of the week, I've committed to home brew only.

To assist with that commitment, I've been dressing up my cups a bit. I have a decent "cute" coffee cup collection and always use my favorite ones. And although I usually just drink my coffee black, I do like lattes (hence the high cafe bill). I'm a 1% or soy milk gal. A couple of weeks back a friend of mine mentioned he was using one of those battery-operated wand frother things. I've seen them but had never given them a second thought - until then. I decided to give one a try. Upon looking for one, I found a variety of brands and prices. I was going to buy this one from Amazon but ended up finding one at Cost Plus for $2.99. I asked the cashier about it and he said they worked great and so much more affordable than the other one they sell (forgot the brand name) for $30. And he was right. It works really well and makes a nice mock latte. So for a bit less than the price of a latte, I have a nifty little gadget that makes it easy to keep out of the cafe. Gotta love that!

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