I spent most of my life swearing off coffee drinks because I couldn't stand the taste. Then, I met my husband and he introduced me to cappuccinos, and I was hooked. Over the past six years I've slowly increased the number of cappuccinos I have each month, which increased the amount of money I was spending as well. After looking at the amount of money I was spending each month, I decided to look for a way to enjoy my favorite hot beverage and save money along the way. This is how much the average American spends on coffee drinks each year, how much I was spending, what I decided to change, and how much the changes are saving me.
What the average American spends each year on coffee drinks
Good Morning American released a report on ABCNews.com in August 2011 that said the average American spends about $14.40 a week on coffee drinks. That's around $1,100 a year on coffee alone.
How much I was spending on cappuccinos
When I began drinking cappuccinos I was spending $2 a cup once or twice a month. As time went on I began buying them more frequently and at a higher price. The local coffee shop I visit sells 12 ounces of my favorite cappuccino flavor for $3 a cup, and I was purchasing a drink three to four times a week. After doing the math, I learned I was spending $12 a week or around $48 a month. That means I was spending close to $576 a year on coffee drinks alone.
How I changed my ways, and what I save
I decided to shop around for an alternative way to get my favorite cappuccino drinks without spending so much money, and what I found surprised me. Many of my local grocery stores sell instant cappuccino mix that only require me to add hot water to make, and they are much cheaper. I can get a can of instant cappuccino for around $5, and it will last me a week or more. That means I save about $7 a week, $28 a month, or around $336 a year, and best of all I don't have to travel to the coffee shop.
I also bought a small hot cocoa machine for $20 that heats and mixes the drinks to perfection. Although it wasn't meant for cappuccinos, it works like a charm.
Admittedly, cappuccinos made from an instant mix lose a little something in the taste department; however, it's not enough difference to make we want to go back to spending an extra $336 a year.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: Personal Checks Are a Thing of the PastFirst Person: My New Year's Resolutions Are All Financial This YearFirst Person: Christmas Sales Saved Me $82 on Restocking My Kitchen
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