My baby has developed a new addiction, fueled by his newfound independence and his newfound ATM card!
He’s been running down to SuperAmerica and buying Pumpkin Spice Latte/Coffee something or others. $1.50 a shot, sometimes twice a day. Ya buy ‘em books, ya buy em books and all they do is eat the pages. Thank goodness we’re not too close to a Starbucks!
Let’s say he’s only buying one a day, at $1.50 each, he’s spending $547.50 a year! This from the one that wants a better X-Box and his own TV. I think we just found the money for him. Buying a $4.00 Starbucks version would cost you $1,460 a year. Wow…and you didn’t think you had enough money for that little vacation you wanted?
As for the SuperAmerica coffee – I did have a taste, and it wasn’t too bad – but I wanted another taste because there was that hint of a promise that the next taste would be better, then the next, then the next. You know that taste, right? The same taste you get when you try fast food or something processed.
So I culled a recipe from the archives of the Boston Sun, and did some tweaking to make it fit my budget:
Recipe: DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte, 2 servings, Cost for recipe = 58 cents, plus the cost of your whipping cream option – real whipping cream was about 15 cents for a small dollop, bringing the total to 73 cents for two. Cost per Latte: $.37, Cost for 4 – $1.16!
- 2 cups of milk (I used skim, part of my pledge to switch to nonfat options as recommended by the American Heart Association – I just don’t know what to say about the whipping cream!)
- 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Substituted one teaspoon of brandy for the tablespoon of vanilla
- Used 3/4 teaspoon of homemade pumpkin pie spice in place of the 1/2 teaspoon store-bought
- 1 cup strong coffee
- whipped cream
- cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg for dusting, optional
Combine milk, pumpkin, spices and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steaming.
Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Whisk the mixture until foamy.
Transfer into two large mugs, filling each only half way; top with coffee.
Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, or grate a little nutmeg over the cream
Money and Time Saving Strategies -
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
First of all, we tripled the recipe and poured the extra into a pitcher – what I found was it was actually much better the NEXT day; the spices had better infused their flavor and dropped to the bottom, where I carefully left them when I poured, the flavor was smoother, and they were ready after a quick heat in the microwave. (I did try to filter the spices out by adding them to the coffee and they just clogged up the filter.) What was surprising to me is that this was actually good ice cold! Talk about drinking pumpkin pie…it did need a stir as there are no stabilizers or artificial ingredients in this.
- Coffee: I bought Hill Brothers since it was on sale, and the brand I had planned on buying on sale with a coupon was completely sold out. Large can, 2 pounds, 1.9 ounces. I measured out at 1 tablespoon per cup and came up with 104 servings. I’ve never bought coffee before, and was under the assumption that this can was $7.99. I should have watched at the register, because my receipt showed $12.81! That works out $.12 per cup.
- Milk: Last bought at $2.79 for a gallon, cost for this recipe is $.34.
- Pumpkin Puree: I use the store brand – $1.79 for 29 ounces. Between now and Thanksgiving is a great time to stock up on pumpkin puree: 3 tablespoons is 1.22 ounces, there will be about 24 three tablespoon portions in this can, each costing $.07.
- Freeze the pumpkin in ice-cube trays, pop out and put in a zip bag in the freezer so as not to waste any. I think I’ll experiment on mixing a batch of pumpkin with the spices and sugar and then freezing – I’m not positive, yet, if it will work; the sugar may make the pumpkin too soft to freeze solidly – or I may at some point try to infuse my own pumpkin syrup.
- Vanilla: I tried McCormicks (on sale with a Catalina offer) and got 4 fluid ounce for $7.71. (Now, I have been using the vanilla I got last year for free, but I figured if we were going to start making these, we’d run through that pretty fast. Again, here’s an item that I’m normally pretty well stocked up on, but most recipes only use a teaspoon, not a tablespoon. I guess I bought like a “normal” consumer!) Cost for the tablespoon – a whopping $1.92!
- I decided to forgo the vanilla altogether and add a teaspoon of brandy, instead. I like the subtle hint of flavor, and the cost is about 5 cents. (Depending, of course, on what kind of brandy you use.) There is alcohol in vanilla, so a teaspoon of brandy is actually LESS alcohol.
- Sugar: negligible
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Negligible. To make pumpkin pie spice:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Whipped Cream: You have several options, and all will drastically change the cost and probably will change the quality as well as the nutritional values. The most frugal and healthiest: Omit the whipping cream.
- This is one time I might consider buying whipped cream in a can – you can have a squirt every day. If you do this, look for sales and coupons.
- We made our own whipping cream, with a bit of confectioner’s sugar and, again, I used just a teensy splash of brandy. After we had our lattes, I put dollops of whipping cream on a parchment covered cookie sheet and froze. The cold whipping cream was even better than the fresh, slowly melting and providing a wonderful contrast. I maximized my very expensive whipping cream by not wasting any and controlling the portions. It’s so good, everyone will think you’re clever, no one will know you’re cheap! Our cost today: 15 cents.
- Last option would be to use a Cool Whip type topping; my son really liked this, me, not so much, but it was quick and easy. We also get Cool Whip free from time to time, so I usually have some on hand in the freezer.
Nutrition: (I did like the fact that this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte has 1/2 serving of vegetable per latte! The DIY version of Pumpkin Spice Latte I’ll estimate as 12 ounces.)
This is with 3 tablespoons whipped cream:
Per Serving : 174 Calories; 2g Fat (13.1% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 135mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.
Without the whipping cream:
Per Serving: 155 Calories; 1g Fat (3.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4mg Cholesterol; 133mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.
From the Starbuck’s site: Starbuck’s Nutritional Values: There were 39 grams of sugar and an extra 86 calories in the 12 oz nonfat Starbuck’s version.
Put your own Spin on it: Maybe I’ve had too many Blizzards in my life, but I kept thinking how wonderful this would have been with finely crushed gingersnaps sprinkled over the whipping cream. You could certainly play with the spices and tweak it exactly to your taste.
Pumpkin Spice Latte made Fall 2011.
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with Cinnamon Honey Whipped Cream (angelfoodskitchen.wordpress.com)
- Vanilla Coconut Cream Latte (21nogluten.wordpress.com)