Saving Money with a Simple Cup of Coffee

mochadad coffee-mate walmart hot spiced cafe

Simplify. That’s our family’s mantra for 2013.

At the end of last year, we decided to spend less money in 2013 and make some adjustments in our lifestyle. In practical terms, that meant eliminating some of the excesses in our lives. For example, instead of going to dinner and a movie, my wife will cook dinners at home and find low-cost date options. My children are learning that they will not get something every time we go to Wal-Mart or any other store. And I’ve had to cut back on a few of my vices such as wine, cheese, and coffee.

Cutting back on coffee is perhaps the hardest thing for me to do (yes, I know I’m addicted.). I love the delicious, dark elixir. It has been my constant companion for decades and has helped me to meet many deadlines. I’ve enjoyed coffee in 12 countries, and I love the different styles of preparation. Before I started working from home, I would purchase at least two drinks per day at coffee shops. One day I sat down and figured out how much I actually spent on coffee annually. After doing the math, I was shocked to learn that I was spending over $2,000 per year on coffee. YIKES!

That exercise was sobering. I knew that I couldn’t expect the rest of my family to make sacrifices unless I modeled the behavior. Therefore, I decided to stop going to expensive coffee houses and start making my own coffee at home.

The first thing I did was pull out my old coffee maker and place it on the counter. I hadn’t used it in years and it was dusty and out-dated. As I wiped down the coffee-maker and situated it on the countertop next to our stainless-steel appliances, my wife grew concerned.

“Why is that coffee-maker sitting there?” She asked with a hint of displeasure in her voice.

“This coffee maker is going to save us $2000 per year,” I said with a smile.

“But it doesn’t match anything in the kitchen,” she said as she tapped her foot and scowled at me.

“Um,” I said trying to search for an explanation. “You are pretty.”

She rolled her eyes and walked away. I had won this round, but I knew it would be a bittersweet victory.

Over the next few days, I experimented with some coffee recipes (1 bag of coffee $6 and coffee Mate Creamer $2. I figured that I could make drinks for around .75 to $1.00 each).

After several failed attempts to create the perfect coffee drink, I finally settled on the following creations (note: I never measure anything when I cook. Therefore, you will have to adjust the ingredients to your taste):

HOT SPICED HAZELNUT CAFE

Ingredients

  • Brewed coffee
  • Coffee-mate Hazelnut Creamer
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Dash Allspice
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar

Instructions

Brew coffee and pour into a small saucepan. Turn heat to low. Add creamer and spices. Stir slowly with a wooden spoon to allow the flavors to blend well. Pour into mugs. Enjoy the spicy goodness.

VANILLA ICE

Ingredients

  • Brewed coffee, chilled
  • Coffee-Mate French Vanilla Creamer
  • Sugar
  • Ice

Instructions

mochadad coffee mate vanilla ice

Pour coffee, creamer and sugar into blender. Blend at low speed for about 30 seconds. Fill a glass about halfway with ice. Pour coffee over ice. Drink. Revel in the cool refreshment. Word to your mother.

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: How do you like your coffee?

P.S. – My wife still hates the coffee maker.You can see a photo of it in my Google+ album.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Nestle Coffee Mate #CBias #SocialFabric
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About the author
Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad
  1. You should actually try a bit of this formula I have. Use the French Vanilla mix for this one. Get your blender and fill up the jar with a lot of crushed (or cube) ice, milk, double cream, a dash of nutmeg and a good quantity of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, your choice). Add in the coffee mix and sugar and blend till the thing is smooth. Pour into a tall glass and cool off on a hot summer dusk. If you are feeling like relaxing a little, you can add in a shot of dark rum.

  2. Your wife has good reason to hate that coffee maker (saw it in your Google+ story). You SO need a new one! Let HER pick it out! :)

    I’ve never added nutmeg to my coffee. I’ll have to try that!

  3. I use Fat Free Nestle Hazelnut creamer daily. Thank you for the coupon! In the summer I add ice to my coffee. Yum!

  4. I’ve had coffee in the following countries:
    1. USA
    2. Mexico
    3. Canada
    4. England
    5. Germany
    6. Poland
    7. United Arab Emirates
    8. Qatar
    9. Iraq
    10. Singapore
    11. Indonesia
    12. Australia

    I enjoyed the coffee in the Middle East and the Far East the most.

  5. I am glad you are joining the ranks of the smart people (ME) and making your own coffee at home. I have never been able to understand how anyone can afford even one cup of coffee from a coffee shop every day. I am a Coffee-mate fan and have been for years. Thanks for sharing the link to the coupon, I could use it right now! Enjoy all the savings! I am sure you will put it towards future costumes or props :-)

  6. love dialogue between you and your wife and the line, “you are so pretty.” I think i’ll borrow it the next time she speaks with a hint of displeasure.

  7. I need to follow your lead! I get a Sonic Diet Dr. Pepper every day. I tell myself it’s only $1.92 but if I add it up over the course of a year we could have done a home imporvement project, saved it or taken a mini vacation with it. And cool coffee recipes too!