Brewing up some savings
Monday, November 24, 2008 | 08:41 AM ET
by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca
I spent about $33 on two cans of coffee this weekend. At first, with my legendary sluggish math skills, I was a little uneasy about spending so much. But now I’ve come to realize how much it’s actually saving me.
I used to be nonchalant about throwing down $4 or $5 on a “fancy” coffee from some café or a certain green-logoed chain.
Who needs to order fancy coffee when you can make it at home? (Andree Lau/CBC)
But then my fiancé and I found an Italian stovetop espresso maker for about $15, and discovered we could make great coffee at home for a fraction of the price. And I didn’t even have to change out of my pyjamas to boot.
After experimenting with different coffee brands, we found that the relatively higher-priced Italian Illy had the best flavour. But even by splurging on it, we’re still saving quite a bit by brewing at home, which is especially welcome in these scary economic times.
One can of Illy (about $16 in our local Italian market) will last our household about a month. That’s about 53 cents a day. (Yes, I took a moment to use the desktop calculator.)
I’m not alone in turning my back on coffee spending. Starbucks reported a fourth-quarter drop in profits of 97 per cent earlier this month, blaming fewer customers as well as a drop in spending by those who did drop in.
What foods or drinks have you cut spending on because you can do it better or cheaper at home?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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