There was a time when I would go through the coffee shop drive through every day on my way to work and get a mocha. Sometimes I would also go to the coffee shop on campus in the afternoon and get another mocha. I had a $200/month coffee habit and thought nothing of it. I didn’t have the equipment to make what I wanted, or any knowledge of how to make it, so I happily forked out a sizeable amount of money to have someone else do it for me.
My daily habit finally came to a halt when my finances dried up some and there wasn’t near as much money in my budget for frivolous things like fancy coffee. But I didn’t want to give it up entirely. I mean honestly, coffee is like the nectar of the gods, I was not about to cut that out of the picture entirely.
I started experimenting with what I had on hand which amounted to pretty standard ground coffee from the grocery store, a traditional drip-style coffee pot, and various coffee creamer type things. Since I prefer cold coffee I tried different ways of chilling it, sweetening it, how much dairy stuff to add… You get the picture. But all of this in the name of saving some money, a noble cause indeed.
And then I realized something. By not having fancy coffee shop coffee every day it became an actual treat when I did have it.
I’ve continued to experiment and my current coffee routine involves making a large batch of cold brewed coffee using a Rumble Jar. I almost always use a flavored ground coffee and sweeten the whole batch with Splenda. I add 4C of unsweetened coconut milk and mix it all in a 2 gallon container. When I prepare the coffee to drink I typically add a shot of half & half.
These days I limit myself to the fancy coffee only once a week. But I try to really make it count. I’ve been getting different drinks to try to branch out a bit, and I have a new way of counting this in my budget. Coffee is actually much more expensive than when I was getting it every day, but only one drink a week is easier to absorb. It also makes it easier to tip the baristas. I always plan to spend $10 on my drink, so any change I get goes right into the tip jar.