Saturday, October 18, 2008

Savings and your Morning Coffee

Many people need to have a cup of coffee before they can speak. Some need coffee in the morning in order to speak. I’m a kinda sorta coffee drinker. I enjoy an extra spark in the morning to get me going. Personally, I prefer my own version: half hot chocolate, half lite coffee (coffee with half the caffeine of regular, but more caffeine than decaf).

But back to the point of the story. On my way into work, I frequently see the loooong lines at Starbuck’s. I’ve been in Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning – it’s a well oiled machine with the cashiers handing coffee to their regulars without even waiting to hear their orders. By now, we have probably all heard of the “latte factor." Does making your own coffee really save you that much money?

As a person who builds her own customer “hot choco-lattes,” I wondered how much I would save. I mean after all, I never frequented Starbucks very often, I’d much rather put that $5.00 into my gas tank, but I did occasionally spend $1.35 or so at Wawa – whose concoctions were close to my own homemade brew.

Out comes my trusty calculator. Here’s what I discovered: to make my coffee creation at home – exactly the way I like it, cost me a whopping 20 cents for 2 cups.

The way I figured it out goes like this:

Coffee 6.99can /255 servings = .03 per Tablespoon
Creamer 1.39/35 servings = .04 per Tablespoon = .07 (I use 3T)
Cocoa .99/10 envelopes = .10 per envelope

This may sound like small change, but it actually adds up very quickly. Making coffee at home every day during the workweek costs me $1.00. Buying coffee from Wawa, Dunkin Donuts, or Starbucks, would set me back anywhere from $6.75 a week to, well, an arm and a leg. And it would be exactly the way I like it.

Breaking down costs by their unit price is a great way to get a handle on how much something costs – or how much you can actually save. While I’m not suggesting that you give up your morning Joe, maybe you may want to cut it back a bit. The point of the story is, rethink what you are spending. Sometimes the easiest way to save money, is to watch what we are spending it on in the first place.
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