How to save money and enjoy coffee during quarantine

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I love coffee.  It is my favorite way to wake up in the morning, and most recently, it has also become my favorite post-lunch drink.  I feel so much more focused and productive when I have a cup of warm coffee in my hand.

I have always enjoyed a special coffee treat while out and about.  Over the past few years, I transitioned from buying a plain coffee to a latte or cappuccino.  I prefer to support local coffee shops, though I sure do enjoy a Starbucks cappuccino! Their app is especially tempting with the occasional free drinks.  But is it necessary?

Are there expenses that you could reevaluate during this time?  Are there certain actions you can take to save yourself money over time?  Forming a new habit now will help me analyze my other spending habits, which can translate to everyday life after quarantine.

A favorite mug and an espresso machine are helping me through.

While I am working remotely, I am not treating myself to coffee.  Instead, I used this time period to consider a new alternative: an espresso machine.  Yes, the upfront cost of the machine and materials is high. Yes, it’s so much easier when someone else makes it for you.  But I realized it would make for an excellent project while I’m stuck at home. I’ve discovered that my espresso machine skills are seriously lacking.  Turns out, frothing the milk is way harder than it looks! I either manage to barely make any froth, or I nearly overflow the milk in the process. I am going to need a lot more practice before my latte tastes anything like a barista’s handiwork.

What will this look like for me when we are able to stop at coffee shops again?  I will never stop supporting local places. There is nothing more relaxing than sipping a latte at my favorite coffee shop with a friend.  But this time at home has forced me to reevaluate my expenses. Will I continue to treat myself to espresso drinks from time to time? Yes.  Will it be several times a week? No. With the espresso machine, I can pretend to be a barista in my own kitchen, serving up a latte in my favorite mug, for a fraction of the cost and twice the fun!

Emily Goulet is Director of Students for Morgan Franklin Fellowship Foundation


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