"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of you liking what you made are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one will ever know." (Jenni Ferrari-Adler)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Is Starbucks making a dent in your wallet?

Dear friends, fellow blogger and new readers,

I do confess to be guilty of having spent way over $1,000 USD of my annual income in the year 2009 consuming food and beverages at Starbucks.  I spent more money at Starbucks than I spent on a Round trip ticket, Beach front hotel and car rental for a week in MAUI.  This is not a joke, though I wish it were.

Well this year, after having suffered a HUUUUGGGGEEEE cut in my paycheck and in order to being able to live and save some dough, I decided to make a few changes on my life style... and the result?  I'm happier, healthier and wealthier than last year.

One of the things I did was ditching my daily Starbucks fix. I still go to Starbucks to hang out and do drink coffee there, I just don't spend the equivalent to a 1 months rent there.

And here is how you can do it too:

Rule# 1 Learn to brew your own coffee
Get a small coffee machine from a local CVS store for 10 bucks. 
Get a coffee grinder,  buy coffee beans and grind it at home
You can even get a bag of Starbucks Coffee beans at Target for under $7.00, this way you can't complain about it being store bought. You'll be using the same coffee and it will be freshly ground.

Rule# 2 Do not refuse a free coffee.
So if that guy from IT keeps on asking you out for coffee just say yes. He will have a chance to use his 20 Starbucks gift cards his aunt Sarah has been sending him for Christmas for the past 20 years, and you get the coffee.

Rule# 3 Drink your morning coffee at the office because "Shitty coffee is better than no coffee"
Well if you are still employed and you are lucky enough to work somewhere where with free coffee is provided, by no means refuse it.  Remember Rule#2.

Rule# 4 Drink more Green Tea
Green tea contains the same caffeine as a cup of coffee. Plus is filled with antioxidants, you'll look younger.  A box full (about 20-25 bags) should be under 4 bucks.  Also you can brew a couple cups with the same tea bag.  Bonus points if you get your tea from an Asian Market your 4 bucks will be able to afford you tons of tea.

However, if you absolutely still crave for that espresso or that "tall-non-fat-dry-soy-cap", then my friend, you are in luck...... because you can reproduce the same coffee at home for a fraction of the price. And here's how:

What you'll need:

A Nespesso Machine (got this one from Amazon.com for 149.00 USD, free shipping). The machine comes with a couple coffee samples. Additional capsules can be bought online (prices range from 40-60 cents a capsule)
A frother (got this from William Sonoma @ $20, and still got to try their apple cider, orange butter and pumpkin bread for free ehheheheeh)

Step 1: Prepare Coffee 

This is the most amazing coffee I've ever tasted in the US, and trust me i'm an avid coffee drinker, one of those who don't  need sugar or cream, my favorite being the Ristretto

Step 2: Prepare the froth

Pour some Milk (Regular, Soy, Almond, etc) in a cup.  Froth it to desired consistency. This frother does not heat up the milk, you can get one that will do it for $100, or use the microwave for 15sec and save the $80 dollars to get you more coffee)
Step 3 : With the help of a spoon add milk and foam to your coffee.  
Top it with some cinnamon or cocoa powder

The Nespresso machine is kind of pricey, is it worth the investment?
Well that depends on you.  For me it was worth every penny, just based on my annual consumption of coffee, and here is the math to prove it (I can't help it, accounting has taken over half of my brain):

Now the million dollar question.... what are you going to do with these savings?.... hmmmmmm
Well, you can pay your internet connection for 1 year, or get a couple massages, get your hair done, buy some nice shoes, donate the money to charity, or if you are really desperate and have nothing else to do pick up a book go seat at Starbucks and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

Note: I do not get paid to advertise on this blog and do not endorse any products, brands, or services I do not use or believe in.


  1. Ainda bem que não ha starbucks aqui! Mas ha nespresso ca em casa!

  2. Serious girl... i almost went broke eheh

  3. Muito me ri com este post...o Starbucks é mesmo muito caro e eu não vivo sem café!
    Não vou lá todos os dias(porque por aqui tambem não há um em cada esquina...) e tenho uma DeltaQ(em vez da Nespresso).O café fora de casa nunca mais foi igual...mas diga-se que prefiro café á americana(daquele mais fraco,de filtro,num copo gigante)do que o velho expresso/bica...
    Por isso,de vez em quando,o Starbucks é obrigatório!

  4. eheheheh Paula compra uma maquina de cafe ou um "french press" (vendem no Ikea p 10 euros), vai ao ST q comprar o cafe deles. Eu tb gosto do cafe americano :)

    Ja repararam como as medidas do cafe do starbucks sao Tall, grande & Venti? dont they all mean the same thing? LOL


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