Many people begin their days by visiting their favorite coffee shops, such as StarbucksDunkin' Donuts, Peet's, and others. However, this can easily cost a small fortune over time. Let's do the math: $4 a day on one latte equals $20 per week, over $80 per month, and a total of $1,000 a year. Plus, if you have hungry kids who insist on getting their own pastry or drink, the number can easily triple.
Make Your Own Coffee Instead of Going to a Coffee Shop
Simply brew your own coffee. Small home espresso machines can often be found for $20 to $30 at chain drug stores if you're into the whole espresso thing. All those flavored syrups are just around $5 a bottle at the local grocery store, and high-quality beans are readily available. We realize that drinking homemade coffee isn't as glamorous as sipping from a Starbucks cup, but does it really taste that much different (be honest.)
Hack the Coffee Shop Condiment Station
Some people choose to drink their coffee black, but the rest choose to add milk, cream, and sugar to improve the taste. If you do go to a coffee shop, get a cheaper simple coffee and play with the condiment station's mix of cream, sugar, and additional powders/flavors. Without spending an additional $1 or $2, your own creation might end up tasting just as good as a specialty latte.
Add Fancy Flavors to Homemade Coffee
All those fancy flavors that Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts tempt us with are yummy, but they can be replicated at home in your coffee for less. In many European countries, people literally brew coffee in a basket with a cheap flavor.
How are you going to do it? Toss a few dried cloves, a cinnamon stick, or dried orange peels into the grinder with the beans. If you don't grind your own beans, you can get those "$1.50 a pump" syrups for around $5 a bottle at the grocery store. After that, you won't be able to use "wanting something different" as an excuse to visit Starbucks and you might even come up with some unique flavors you love more anyway.
Watch Out for Specials
Really need to hit the coffee shop but also want to save money? Watch out for specials, as all the major coffee chains offer them. For example, at various times of the day in the summer DD drop their price on their (admittedly refreshing and delicious) iced coffee to around $2, even for a larger size. Seasonal specials are common across the chains too, and you can often find good coupons online too.
Take Advantage of Loyalty Cards
Something else most of the national coffee chains - and lots of smaller regional coffee shops - offer is a loyalty club or loyalty card of some kind. If you are going to buy coffee every day - and we know it's a hard habit to break - you might as well be rewarded for doing so.
Once you get the card, remember to use it every time you indulge your coffee habit. If your preferred coffee shop offers an app use it, as they usually have the loyalty offering built in.