While on a trip to England we got into drinking strong hot coffee during those cold and rainy days.
We found a coffee shop called Costa coffee very similar to Starbucks but we thought was better. They served their coffee in china cups and saucers, although you could get coffee “to go” (“take out” in UK lingo) in paper cups. The saucer was slightly offset so that a small cookie could be placed next to the coffee. We mainly had Americanos which is basically a double espresso with hot water. That and real cream was wonderful.
When we returned home we would go for walks and stop off at our local coffee shop for our Americano fix but it was never the same, plus it was always in a paper cup. So instead of paying approx $5 for 2 coffee’s, which came to $30 a week for 6 days if we walked daily. This obviously was not following our frugal goal, so we decided to buy our own Espresso machine and make coffee at home so we could control the coffee quality and have it in our own china cup.
As a starter machine we bought a DeLonghi single serving machine. This machine was in the $60 range, so it was in the lower cost range of espresso machines. It turned out to be adequate for what we needed. The coffee we made was great and we obviously saved a significant amount over the years.
So instead of spending a large amount of cash in a coffee shops you can still have the pleasure of a cup of coffee at home.
Update 1/4/11 :- Inflation, today we went to restock our coffee supply and found the prices had gone up. It now is getting closer to $6 for a pound of Coffee, but still cheaper than drinking out.
After checking with Fresh and Easy supermarket they told me they are only on the West coast at present.