Friday, September 14, 2007

Frugal Friday

Now that Autumn is almost here, I'm enjoying my morning coffee even more than usual. These are my favorite coffee cups. The one that is beige with fall leaf imprints on it was bought at Walmart when their fall items were placed on clearance 2 years ago. The one with the rooster on it was bought at a church thrift shop. It is part of a stoneware dinnerware set, but 2 cups was all they had of the set. The last one was bought at Myrtle Beach, SC many years ago. It just seems that coffee is good only in a certain type of cup and these are the cups I like.

These are some frugal ways to enjoy your coffee:

1. I've bought all my coffee for the past couple of years at chain drug stores like CVS, Walgreens and Eckerds (now Rite Aid!). If you watch the Sunday sales papers, you will notice that one or the other of these stores has coffee on sale about every week. They seem to have the best prices and if you combine the sale prices with CVS's Extra Bucks program, or use your rebate money from Walgreens or Rite Aid, and/or coupons, you can save some money on this item. Of course you have to know what the best price is in your area. Recently CVS had a "buy $20 of these products and get $20 Extra Bucks" deal and Maxwell House coffee was one of the items. I bought 2 really large cans during that promotion. Also Chase and Sanborn small cans are on sale occasionally for 2 for $3.00.

2. I love the flavored creamers this time of year. If I do buy these I get the store brand at Walmart or Dollar General. The small one is about $1.00.
However, these creamers are not good for your cholesterol, so I try to limit them. A good substitute is to use a few drops of vanilla flavoring, a little sugar (if you must have it) and a little skim milk or nonfat dry milk powder.

In addition there are many recipes for homemade coffee mixes available. Most of them use instant coffee in the recipes and make great gifts when placed in a pretty container. I haven't personally made any of them, but here are two from the Tightwad Gazette:

Swiss Mocha

1/2 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk solids
2 Tbsp cocoa

Stir ingredients together. Process in a blender until powder. Use 2 tablespoons for each 4 oz cup of hot water. 40 calories each.

Cafe Vienna

1/2 cup instant coffee
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk solids
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir ingredients together. Process in a blender until powdered. Use 2 teaspons to one cup of hot water. 35 calories each.

There are also similar recipes on the Hillbilly Housewife website.

3. Use less coffee. If you are making more than one pot of coffee, place 1/2 the usual amount you use on top of the grounds already in the basket. This works for me, but I don't think the second pot is as strong. So you need to experiment to find the amount of coffee to use for the second pot that suits your taste. It is definitely a way to use less coffee and therefore, save money.

I don't like coffee that has been sitting on the element too long, so pouring the hot coffee into a thermos is a way to make the coffee last longer.

4. To summarize the Tightwad Gazette money saving strategies for coffee: 1. Switch brands, purchase with a coupon and on sale; 2. Make the coffee go further by reusing your grounds with half as much fresh grounds added to the old ones; and 3. drink less coffee.

5. And last but not least, spread your used coffee grounds around slug or snail infested areas. Another one I haven't tried, but this seems to be a universal remedy, worth a try, and won't cost you anything but your time!

6. UPDATE! THANKS STEPHANIE, I forgot how good used coffee grounds are for your garden and compost pile!!!! Another frugal thing to do!!!

Enjoy the upcoming Fall coffee drinking season!!!

Please visit for more frugal friday ideas!


Chinamama4 said...

Found you through Biblical Womanhood! Great ideas, especially since "drink less coffee" is simply NOT an option! And I'll have to try your homemade flavored creamer (does the store bought, fat free stuff have a lot of cholesterol too?)!

Monica said...

Just wanted to share in your exitement for coffee on these slightly cooler days...after trying many generic brands, I have settled on folgers as a favorite "less expensive brand". Columbian is my favorite. Since I usually only have a cup or two a day, it isn't an expensive habit! I will try your idea of adding to the grounds to stretch the coffee even further.

Stephanie said...

Love coffee year round but it is especially good on cool mornings!

Coffee grounds are good for the garden and compost pile too!

Alexandra said...

Great ideas! I like to use the grounds in my garden as well. I've even tossed them into house plants.

Lately, I've been using leftover coffee in my evening hot chocolate.

ancient one said...

One cup every morning is all I ever drink and it has to be Maxwell House Instant which we now buy from Walgreens on sale. And I agree it is better in cooler weather.

I came over to see the Raggedy???

Littlepenpen said...

I love coffee and I, too, have a certain type of cup I like to drink from. I especially love restaurant type cups like they have at Cracker Barrel... would love to have one of those cups! As far as the coffee brand goes, I switch back and forth from Folgers Lite to Maxwell House Lite... whichever is on sale! I've never tried reusing my coffee grounds to make more coffee, but I have a friend who would reuse tea bags.

Kara said...

I love my coffee too! Hubby and I were just commenting on the price of some coffee, now I will check out the places you mentioned, thanks!

Joy said...

Great ideas on coffee, I particularly like the idea of the use of coffee grounds. I only drink tea, but hubby drinks coffee and I hate throwing the grounds away...! What about tea leaves, I wonder? Are there any uses for them?



Daughter of the King said...

I drink coffee all year...tea. too...but really ENJOY it when Autumn and winter comes..we add in a bit of cinammon to our regular coffee..very good for you...

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