How to Save $1,500 on Coffee
By now, many of us are familiar with The Latte Factor, the idea that if you put aside a little bit each day (equivalent to the cost of your morning coffee and a pastry), you can save a lot. But have you ever actually added up how much you spend at your favorite coffee shop? It's probably a lot more than you thought — if you buy lattes, easily as much as $1,500 a year per household. (See also: DIY Coffee Roasting)
Think it couldn't possibly be that much? Here are the numbers:
Let's say two of us (my husband and I) stop for coffee 200 times a year (4 visits a week, 50 weeks a year). A latte is, let's say, $3.50 plus tax — so $3.75 a cup. That means we're spending $1,500 (3.75 x 200 visits x 2 people) a year for coffee!
What's the solution? Why, make your own, of course.
It might seem like you won't actually save that much over the coffee shop, considering that you have to buy an espresso machine and beans. The savings are, however, substantial. A good machine is about $600 (ours is a Saeco, $549 at Amazon, and it's lasted four years so far) and espresso beans are $10-20 a pound (we buy three pounds of French Roast at Costco for $13). We spend $40 a month for coffee and milk, or $480 a year. Thus, over a two-year period, we spent $550 for the machine and $960 for the drinks. That's $1,510 spent in the same period we'd have otherwise given $3,000 to the coffee shop.
There's a flip side to this argument, but we don't feel like we're missing out on anything; the machine makes great coffee two shots at a time, and the steamer creates creamy, smooth, steamed milk in nothing flat. And not only has this method saved us almost $1,500 over two years, it's also saved us from gaining extra pounds eating coffee shop pastries.