Monday, December 1, 2008

Save a zillion dollars on coffee drinks!

OK, first off, I'm not a big coffee drinker. Actually, I'm probably not even a little coffee drinker, but if there's enough milk, sugar, hot cocoa, etc., I like a little coffee in it.

Not too long ago, I had a bit of sticker shock in the supermarket. A four-pack of milky-sugary drinks with coffee was up above $6. That's a lot of coin for a little coffee. Besides, I have coffee, coffee stuff and glass bottles at home. Thus begins the experiment, and the discovery that it's pretty easy to make tasty 'barely coffee' drinks at home.

I just gathered a few things: coffee maker (and coffee, and water, and a filter), some creamer that I got super cheap on sale with a coupon, milk, bottles, lids.

Once the coffee maker turns the water into coffee, I put about this much in each jar.

Then, add some creamer, until they are this full.

Then, milk. Don't fill them full - save some space to adjust sweetness, milky-ness, etc.

Take a little taste, and once the flavor is just how you like it, fill the bottles the rest of the way, cap them and you're set! Pop them in the fridge, and you just saved several dollars.

One thing I've noticed is that some of the flavors are a lot stronger than others, so you'll have to experiment a little with amounts. Even at that, you'd have a hard time getting $1.50 worth of ingredients in there. Give it a try, and see what you come up with!

Edited to add: I just wanted to say that you don't have to make the coffee drinks in the individual bottles. It's actually quite a lot easier to make one batch in a pitcher, then use a funnel to pour it into portable containers. In fact, if you're just drinking it at home, you may want to leave it in the pitcher. Just wanted to mention that! :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Son loves these type drinks but they are so expensive. He is diabetic so I could make these use artifical sweetners. Thanks again!

tenthingsfarm said...

You can definitely change the ingredients to suit the needs of the people drinking them - I was just thinking today that I might try sweeting some with stevia. Also, a little hot cocoa mix in with the coffee is yum - just shake before drinking! (it settles out).

mom_of2boys said...

Great idea! I'm going to give this a try. I love cold sugary coffee drinks (but not the price). I have some peppermint mocha creamer I am dying to try.

Tracy said...

Thanks so much for your tip! Where did you get those glass bottles? I am thinking that I may have to by a 4-pack of Starbucks to start out.

I found you through Money Saving Mom and I love your site.

Tim, Allyson, Emahry, and Jonathan said...

You can make the coffee stronger by brewing a pot and then pouring the cooled coffee into the maker where you normally put the water. Make sure you've added new ground coffee and your final coffee will be twice as strong.

tenthingsfarm said...

Momof2boys, we did some with the peppermint mocha - they were good, but a little on the weak side for my taste. I added a little spoonful of cocoa mix (while they were still hot) and a couple drops of peppermint extract - yummy! So, when we run out of the peppermint creamer, I'll just use the cocoa and extract, I think!

Tracy, those are some Starbuck's glass bottles I found a while back when I was cleaning out some storage. Then, when my neighbor was over for Thanksgiving, she had one of the peppermint mocha drinks I had made, and she gave me some she had saved too! You might try freecycle for some bottles so you don't have to buy them!

The 'make your coffee stronger' idea is great for anyone who isn't me - I'm a coffee wimp, so that's why ours looks more like tea! :)

The Neighborhood Team said...

Don't forget that the seasonal creamers are just that - seasonal. Stock up now (thanks Walgreens!) because before you know it, Eggnog and Peppermint Mocha, etc will be gone.

~Allie Z

tenthingsfarm said...

Oh, I'm stocking up, especially when I can use sales and coupons to get them for such a great price! Walgreens has them for 2/$2.49 this week...and with $1 off coupons, they are 'almost a quarter' each! It says on the side that you shouldn't freeze them, but everyone keeps telling me you can. I hope that's true! ;)


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