Fall Coffee Talk

Fall Coffee Talk

Fall is finally here, and I can only hope the temperatures will start dropping. A girl can dream right? Starbucks and several other coffeehouse chains released their much loved and highly acclaimed Pumpkin Spice Lattes nearly two weeks ago. Something about drinking a pumpkin/ Fall-flavored drink when the temperatures are still 90 plus degrees is an idea I just couldn’t wrap my head around.

But I caved.

I gave in to the peer pressure and tried not only one, but THREE. Yes, I tried three different Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  I figured if I’m going to try one, I might as well go all out and try them all, or at least as many I could find. I asked a few friends their favorite places to get a PSL and I came up with Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Quick Trip.

Each spot had a different vibe and equally different Pumpkin Spice Latte. They filled my car with the smell of fall, releasing aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I couldn’t wait to get home to taste them all. As a lover of all things Fall, and pumpkin I was a little let down by the lattes. Maybe I had hyped myself up too much and set my expectations too high. After all, it is just coffee. The smell was great, but I felt the flavored lacked, when the price definitely didn’t.

As the financially savvy woman I am, I cringed at the thought of those who indulge in a coffeehouse latte on a regular basis. I did a little math while sipping on my lattes and it’s a good thing I had three. Imagine a cartoon character spitting out a drink in shock and that was pretty close to my reaction on the cost of these drinks.

I ordered a small from each place. It was interesting to see what each considered small.

  • Example 1: Quick Trip- Small- 16 ounces, price with tax $2.48. Coming in as the least expensive this was definitely the best “deal” as you get the most amount of coffee for the lowest price. Now, while just under two and half dollars for a coffee may not seem like a substantial hit to your wallet, let’s go a little further.  $2.48 at three times a week is $7.44, ok still not bad, but that’s $386.88 a year. That could be new school clothes and supplies for your children.
  • Example 2: Dunkin Donuts- Small-10 ounces, price with tax $2.80. Now we have a slight increase in price but a vast decrease in size. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, I might steer away from this one. Drinking this coffee three times a week would cost you $8.40, and yearly would decrease your checking account balance by $436.80. A little over $400 could practically pay for your family’s holiday gifts, or season passes to Six Flags.
  • Example 3: Starbucks- Small-12ounces, price with tax $4.63. Three times a week with this latte and we are up to a whopping $13.89 and yearly would cost you $722.28. Now, I’ll pause while you pick your jaws up off the floor, and clean your computer monitors after spitting your coffee everywhere. An extra $700 a year could be a down payment on a family vacation or even cover the costs of a weekend get-a-way for you and your spouse.

I love my morning cup of Joe, as much as the next gal, but doing the math on those lattes, left a bad taste in my mouth. How can we still enjoy the seasonal flavors without leaving a hole in our pocket books? Easy.  Make our own. Head down to your local grocery store and see what flavored creamers they have for a fraction of the price. Currently Wal-Mart has a 16 ounce bottle Pumpkin Spice creamer for $1.98. Based on the suggested serving size of a tablespoon per cup of coffee an entire bottle would last you a month; and allow you enjoy a cup of coffee every morning. Over a year, your cost of creamer would be $23.76. Look at those savings!

If you’re craving more than just a coffee and flavored cream check out my blog on Starbucks copycat recipes here.

What are some of your favorite ways to save on your morning brew? After seeing those savings what you do with the extra bucks? Share your secrets with me and remember to head over to your closest Fort Worth Community Credit Union to put your coffee savings in one of our interest bearing accounts.

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