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How to Enjoy Your Coffee Addiction on a Tight Budget

Updated on May 28, 2009

Still trying to feed your coffee addiction while on an extremely tight budget? Is the economy's recession forcing you to become an uncaffeinated horror to your coworkers, children, or husband? Fear not; there is affordable, good quality coffee out there. It's not Starbucks, but you'll get used to it.

Step 1:Realize that you may have to give up Starbucks until your wallet is a little bit bulkier. But don't fret; cappuccino-like coffee does exist outside of Starbucks, for a fraction of the cost.

Step2: Go to your nearest gas station. Chances are, there is at least one "cappuccino" machine inside. These are powder-based coffee drinks combined with hot water to create a tasty coffee treat. The powder is loaded into the machine and contains the caffeine and the flavoring (mocha, french vanilla, etc...). When you put the cup under it and press the button, hot water is added to the powder, making a frothy flavored coffee drink.

Step3: Get over it! So it's not Starbucks, but it's still good. At a gas station, you can get a decent-tasting flavored 20-24 ounce cappuccino for $.99 to $1.40. You get some flavor, you get some caffeine, and you get to save some money! You can't beat a 24 ounce coffee for $1.40! Starbucks doesn't even carry a 24 ounce coffee! And the cups are usually insulated styrofoam, so the brew stays nice & hot!


  • Try the French Vanilla flavor first. You won't be disappointed.
  • Check for current sales & specials. A newly-opened convenience store had 24 ounce cappuccinos for only $.49! That's right: forty-nine cents. Can't beat that!
  • Take a sip on the way to the cash register, just to make sure the water was hot & the mixture is perfect. Sometimes the powder begins to run out and you get mostly hot water.


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    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from California

      I am so addicted to my daily coffee, and try not to add up the amount I spend, a car payment no doubt ;-)

      I love Peets, which is similar to Starbucks but better.

      Glad to hear there is another addict out there, thanks for the tips on saving $$$$ I need!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Good tips. We are beginning to make our home at home for a fraction of the cost.

    • profile image

      Starbucks lover 8 years ago

      I'm surprised you didn't mention buying a coffee maker or espresso machine. I buy Starbucks whole bean espresso roast and even paying for the name I am able to make a cup of coffee for about $0.15 or a latte with syrup for about $0.60. The espresso machine had an upfront cost to it between the machine and the syrups, but I save $2-$3 every time I have a latte. Drip coffee machines are inexpensive, but can produce a bitter flavor and use a lot of energy when left on the warm setting, so I have a french press which produces a very rich, oily flavor and only cost about $30 to buy.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

      They learn their frequent java people!! =))

    • relawshe profile image

      Rachel L 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Hey, thanks for your comment! As a new member, I really appreciate it! And you're right; there are LOTS of options out there for us java lovers!

      The workers at the UDF gas station by my house pretty much know me by name now....Is that weird? :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

      You are so right; you know, even McDonald's has up't their coffee quality!! the Local Gas Station near my house has a whole coffee gourmet counter, with all the trimmings...cost? $1.50 for a huge cuppa.

      who knew? =))