For years I’ve ignored the sentiment that cutting back on takeaway coffee can save you money.
I believed it was boomer propaganda à la the avocado on toast debate that only existed to make young people feel guilty for the only small joys we have.
For over five years I worked at one of Melbourne’s most well-known specialty coffee venues and so, I got a taste of the good stuff. You know, the type of cafe that charges $12 for a cup of Panama Geisha bean that’s been plucked from pristine mountains where the grass is cut by goats or whatever.
I got that calibre of coffee on tap. For free. Hence why I find myself in this situation today.
‘Plus’, I thought, ‘it’s only $6 a day.’ (I get a large with oat or almond milk).
Now, I’m finally teaching myself financial literacy and thinking about the fact that maybe I would like to own a home one day. Lofty, I know.
So, in the spirit of saving money in this cooked economy and cost of living crisis, I decided to start drinking my coffee at home for a month.
Let’s get real
I can’t believe I’m exposing myself like this in Australia’s largest youth publication, but, from the 15th of March to the 15th of April I spent $194 on takeaway coffee.
Granted, some of these takeaway coffees were for two when I’d shout my boyfriend a cup of joe but still, nearly $200 Australian dollars spent on hot bean juice. It was also one of my highest expenses of the month. Grim.
Thankfully, De’Longhi held me an intervention.
The home appliance brand sent me its new De’Longhi Eletta Explore to test out and begin making coffees at home.
Unlike pod machines, the Eletta uses fresh beans. I got a bag of Five Senses beans from my local cafe, meaning I’m already one step closer to my cherished cup of barista coffee and am supporting small businesses while I’m at it. The machine has a heap of coffee types that you can try at the literal push of a button, including Cold Brew which notoriously takes around 18 hours to make.
In a win for the girlies, the Eletta comes with two milk carafes. One creates silky micro-foam for hot coffee while the other delivers iced barista-quality coffee. It also can handle alternative milks, thank God.
To the experiment
I’m not one to go cold turkey on things I enjoy. And, according to science it takes 59 days to form a habit. This means that I was going to ease into the cozzie livs experiment.
My rule was this: Monday, Tuesday and Fridays (AKA my work from home days), I’d use my at-home coffee machine. Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’d treat myself to a takeaway coffee because it’s a social activity for me to do with my colleagues who I don’t see every day.
My plan for the weekends was to get my boyfriend to pay for my oat flat white. Mwahaha. But, in all seriousness, I would cut down to only one barista coffee on weekends.
For someone who was buying a takeaway coffee pretty much seven days a week, this was a big shift.
I was doing so well that my local cafe even commented on the fact I’d been in less. A (sad) win.
After realising I spent $194 on coffee, I decided to start with a very generous monthly budget of $150. Like I said, I hate going cold turkey.
In four weeks of trying to cut my coffee consumption down, I spent $137 on takeaways from the 15th of April to the 15th of May.
This means I saved $57! It’s not huge but it sure as hell isn’t nothing. According to my maths, this also means I didn’t stick to the whole only-drink-coffee-when-at-the-office thing but I definitely cut back, which is a win for me.
I want to keep this number on a downward trajectory and I think, while it’s an upfront investment, owning an at-home coffee machine like the Eletta is a great way to curb your caffeine cravings while not paying $6 per day.
Now I can’t wait to be a homeowner… next week, of course.