Is making lattes at home to save money worth it?
I'm a recovering latte-holic. Things got a little out of hand last month, to the point where I was buying a latte every day.
One latte at my local cafe adds up to a whopping $5.09 CAD.
It is delicious, foamy, rich, and it’s sooooo nice sipping on that hot drink in such a bright, airy space.
At the end of the month, I took a look at my bank account and felt guilty about the money I was spending. Going to the cafe each day became painful when I'd tap my card, knowing the money I was spending was hurting me -- future me.
By the end of the month, I had spent $152.7 on LATTES!
At that rate, I’d be spending almost $2000 per year. That is crazy. That is almost 3 months of rent money for me, and I was spending it on espresso with steamed milk.
You may be thinking “yeah, but what if you lovvvvvvvve those lattes… isn’t $5 a day worth it for that feeling?”
Not for me.
I don’t want to rely on lattes for a feeling of happiness and warmth and love. I want to be able to give myself that without having to buy something external.
I gave myself 3 options… either:
- Budget $5 per day to spend on lattes
- Find a less expensive way to enjoy lattes
- Cut lattes out of my life all together
(I guess I rely a little on these lattes for a boost of happiness)
This is how you do it:
(A) Buy the right materials
To make a good latte, you do need legit materials. To convert into an at-home-latte-maker, you need to make a convincing cup of espresso.
Now, this is not an invitation to buy the fanciest espresso machine in town. It’s an opportunity to be resourceful: find the best materials you can at the lowest possible price.
To make a great latte, you need:
- Something to grind the beans (*you could definitely skip this part and buy pre-ground espresso)
- Something to froth the milk
- Something to make the espresso
To grind the beans and froth the milk, I dug into the depths of the internet and found these dudes:
The Cuisinox frother is a manual one (ahem… no batteries) at $19.90 CAD.
The Krups coffee grinder is a little more expensive at $29.99. With it’s great reviews, I have hopes it lives a long life.
With zero shipping costs (thanks to my sister’s Amazon Prime account… hurray student discounts!), these materials totalled $50.
As for making the espresso, you have a few options beyond buying a pricey automatic machine like a Keurig….
Stovetop espresso makers are great (also known as Moka Pots). A decent aluminum one will cost you about $30-45. They are great once you get the hang of them, but they require learning a certain technique (so you may be drinking icky espresso at first).
If you’d prefer something more consistent, a great alternative is the Aeropress by Aerobie. It’s about $40, but does require buying filters on an ongoing basis.
(B) Make your latte!
Once all the materials have arrived, make that latte! Your first few may look (and taste) a lil’ weak…
But with some googling, youtube videos, and time, you’ll get the hang of it.
(C) Look at those numbers
|Upfront investment in materials||$50|
|New cost per latte*||$0.68|
|Old cost per latte||$5.09|
* milk ($2.47 for 1L carton / 10 lattes per carton = $0.25 per latte) espresso beans ($13 for 1lb bag / 30 lattes per bag = $0.43 per latte)
To cover the cost of my upfront investment in materials, I will need to skip out on 10 coffee-shop lattes. That’s a little more than a week’s worth of lattes.
From there out, the cost of each latte I make at home is just 68 cents (plus ~ 5 minutes of my time).
For $5.09, I now drink 7.5 lattes at home instead of 1 at a coffee shop.
I’ll be spending $20 per month instead of $153.
I’ll be saving $1600 per year.
To have the same impact income-wise, I'd have to be making an additional $3200 per year before tax which is $266 per month. That's actually not that much, so doubling down with some side income would help this strategy out.
So there you have it...
Making at-home lattes has been easy. Every time I make one, I feel satisfied that I chose to save $5 and spend it on something I care more about (paying down debt).
I’m aware of and accountable for where my money is being spent.
And they take hardly any time at all to make! So the cost-benefit is worth it for me.