Ben Frankin - Money Saving Expert


Benjamin Franklin wrote the first known American book on the subject of personal finance titled The Way To Wealth.

   

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Save Money Making Gourmet Coffee At Home

Are you one of the 30 million Americans that love gourmet coffee?

If so, you can save money making your own gourmet coffee at home rather than buying your coffee at a retail coffee shop. I've read the average gourmet coffee consumer makes 19 trips to a coffee house each month. At $4 per trip this adds up to $76 per month (an interesting article on the subject of gourmet coffee habits and related expenses can be found here). Up to 90% of this amount could be saved by making the coffee at home. This adds up to $800 per year. And since saving $800 is just like earning $1,200, here's an easy way to give yourself a $100 a month raise.

The graph below shows how much money you might save over five years by making your own gourmet coffee at home ($76 per month over 5 years in an interest bearing savings account earning 4.50%). What could you do with $5,000?

5 Year Savings

By the way, did you know that coffee may actually be good for you?

Many wonderful coffee drinks can be made at home with a blender in 10 minutes or less. Think of it this way...if it takes you 10 minutes to save $4 on coffee, you're effectively paying yourself $36 per hour to make coffee! ($4 for 10 minutes of effort X 6 drinks per hour X 1.5 to account for the relationship between money saved vs. money earned). And don't forget to add to this the gasoline you saved not having to drive anywhere. Still want that coffee house latte?

We grind and brew our own coffee at home, buying the gourmet coffee beans whole and storing them in the freezer to keep them fresh. We usually buy either the Folgers® Gourmet Selections Lively Columbian coffee, or the organic Bolivian coffee available at our nearby Sprouts market. We measure the beans out and grind them using a small coffee grinder (using 1 rounded tablespoon per 6 oz cup). Now, there's something to be said about grinding your own beans, and once you start I'd be surprised if you ever buy pre-ground coffee again! We brew the coffee using a programmable coffee maker that can be set to brew at a preset time, which is a great feature as it allows us to wake up each morning to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

The coffee maker and coffee grinder shown to the right are what we are using today (we haven't broken down yet and bought a full-up automatic coffee machine). After more than two years of use they're both still going strong so we're very happy with them. At first we bought a coffee grinder from a name brand coffee house, but in 3 months it wore out due to inferior design. The Cuisinart coffee grinder has worked great for years. It works great to grind beans for 4-6 cups of coffee, and you rarely have to clean it with more than a dry paper towel.

Rather than white sugar, we use a more natural type of raw sugar to sweeten our coffee(I discovered this sugar while living and working in Europe a few years ago). This Demerara sugar, as it is called, has much more flavor than white sugar because it contains a small amount of naturally occurring molasses, as well as vitamins and minerals. You can also sprinkle Demerara sugar on cookies and desserts, and it especially works well on top of homemade Crème Brulée because the molasses in the sugar adds a bit of caramel flavor. You can find it at local supermarkets and several Wal-Mart stores in the Phoenix, Arizona valley carry it, so I imagine it's available around the country.

Save money by making your own gourmet coffee at home today!

 


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