Save Money: Make Your Own Lattes At Home

My day doesn’t feel like it’s started until I’ve had my cup of coffee. Recently, I’ve been drinking lattes. They’re delicious, and I like when the baristas make a pretty flower in them. But one latte a day over the course of the week really starts to add up. When I realized how easy it is to make lattes at home—yes, even before you run off to work!—it became hard for me to justify the spend during my commute.

If a latte at my local cafe costs $2.50, that means I am spending $12.50 a week on lattes. That’s 50 bucks a month on coffee. So I did the math to figure out how much I’m saving by making my own coffee at home.

The Coffee

There are a few ways to make coffee, but I’m going to focus on making coffee with a french press which uses a comparable amount of coffee to a drip coffee maker. I have started to grind my own beans because the flavor difference is noticeable and it’ll make you feel like you’re drinking a latte from the hunky hipster barista at the corner cafe. I have a Cuisinart Electric Grinder:

make your own lattes

It’s inexpensive ($49.95) and works great. To make one cup of coffee I set it to the lowest setting and make about 3-4 tablespoons of coffee grounds.

You can also grind your own beans at the supermarket, which is how I got started. If you choose to do that, store the grinds in an airtight container as soon as you get home to keep them fresh.

I spend about $15 on coffee each month. The price of coffee ranges dramatically. I shop sales and tend to buy what’s cheapest at my local co-op. I’ve been on an espresso kick lately which has been varying between $8 and $10 per pound depending on the store.

Total Coffee Costs Per Month: $15

The Milk

To make lattes at home, you need a small initial investment in equipment. You probably already have a small pot (or at the very least, a microwave and a mug). You’ll need a latte frother. I have this one from Ikea because my friend sent me an awesome Christmas present this year:

latte milk foamer

You’ll also need a frothing pitcher to mix your hot milk and pour it beautifully into your latte:

latte foam pitcher

The foamer is $7.38 and the frothing pitcher is $7.18. For just shy of a $15 investment you are on your way to awesome homemade lattes.

I use whole milk to make lattes and a quart lasts me about two weeks. Milk can range anywhere from about $1.50 to $4.00 per quart depending on where you buy it. I tend to buy less expensive, pasteurized milk from local dairy cooperatives because it will last the longest in my fridge.

Total Milk Costs Per Month: $3.00

The Process

If you have a drip coffee maker, your coffee can be ready when you hit the kitchen in the morning. If you’re like me and you use a French press, my coffee is ready in about 10 minutes. I boil the measured amount of water in a medium saucepan. Because I’m only heating a little over one cup of water, it heats up in just a few minutes. I steep the grounds for four minutes plus the time needed to heat the milk.

To make your foamed milk, gently heat about 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan until it’s hot but not simmering. Pour it into your froth pitcher and froth it to your desired consistency. You’ll only need a few seconds of frothing—if you overdo it, your foam will be very tight. Pour it into your coffee, and enjoy!

Total Cost Of Homemade Lattes Each Month: $18

Yearly Savings Making Your Own Lattes: $384

Bottom line, darlings? Try making your own lattes at home and you’ll save a ton of money with just as delicious results!

Do you make your own coffee every morning? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @LitDarling. 

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