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Monday, February 13, 2012

Starbucks killing your budget? Create a coffee bar!

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and were able to pick up a cup of hot java before heading into work this morning. There's nothing like a smooth cup of coffee to melt away the Monday blues. But just how much are you willing to keep spending on them?

If you're like me, or millions of other Starbucks lovers, you find yourself at Starbucks more often than you'd like to admit. Some days I find myself feining for a caramel frappuccino even though I know it's a fifteen minute drive to the nearest location. I know I'm not the only one. In fact, this past September I had the privilege of going to a women's conference in St. Louis, Missouri where it seemed like all the Starbucks feins had landed. Each morning all of eight surrounding Starbucks stores had lines that looped around in the store, out the door, and in some instances around the block.

What are they putting in their coffee that makes us so crazy about it?

It may not seem like a big deal as you hand over your debit card to the polite barista, but in the long run it truly is a fortune. Believe me, I didn't see it like that until my husband crunched the numbers for me one day. I would say I have about three caramel frappuccinos a week. That's roughly $12 a week, $48 a month, and hold the phone . . . $576 a year! Wait what? I spend $576 a year on a frozen coffee drink? Wow.

So this weekend I decided to take back my budget and create my own little Starbucks coffee shop in my kitchen. In order to satisfy my cravings, I would need only the best products and exactly what I would get from a routine coffee run. I loaded up on the smoothest blend of Starbucks ground coffee, their hazelnut and caramel syrup mixes (I splurged on the actually pumps), whipped cream, caramel, disposable straws, and reusable portable cups. All this cost me around $45 but hey it'll last me about two and a half months. Not to mention my coffee budget has probably doubled because my husband is a coffee lover as well.

You can create your own coffee bar too, here's how:

1. Purchase a timed coffee machine. (Set it every night before you go to bed, that way your coffee has already brewed and all you have to do is pour and go).

2. Google the recipe for your favorite coffee drink. (You'll be surprised at what you find).

3. Create a shopping list and head to your favorite coffee shop to purchase the ingredients. (I shop at the Starbucks inside local Target stores because you can receive an additional savings if you have a Target card).

4. Get the best stuff! (Don't skimp when it comes to the ingredients and price. Think of it as an investment. If you buy an ingredient that's not the same, chances are you're not going to like it and BAM you're right back in the coffee shop line).

What are you waiting for! Go make a scrumptious cup of coffee. Cheers to a great start to Monday!