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March 05, 2009

Goodbye Starbucks, hello pantry

Coffee mug Most of us are looking for ways to cut back, save or do without. While the political machine is churning out stimulus plans and printing money for the bailout as fast as the presses will spin, we at The Point are proud to offer our own solution to the crisis--at least, that part of the crisis that involves whether or not to jump in your gas-guzzling SUV and drive five miles to buy a $4 cup of coffee.

In a spirit of stewardship and camaraderie, we offer you the Recession Mocha.

This recipe was perfected in my very own test kitchen, which, although it lacks the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, has gained the less lucrative but more rewarding seal of approval of my friends and family. So here's the recipe. 

Take your favorite mug. Add a teaspoon of Folger's instant coffee, a teaspoon of Nestle Quik, and a spoonful of sugar. Fill 3/4 full with boiling water and stir. Add some half-and-half and top it all off with whipped cream from a spray can. (Oh, sure, you could go the decaf skinny no-whip route, but then what's the point? Just have a cup of tea, for crying out loud.) Voila. For about the price of one coffee-shop mocha, you can enjoy dozens of them at home.

Now it's your turn. What creative ways have you found to save money? 

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Dan Gill

Forget the instant. Just brew coffee, add the chocolate mix and stir.

Jason Taylor

Don't buy a car.


"Just have a cup of tea..."

Right on!

I can go to the local tea shop (sereneteaz.com) & get a 12oz cup for a dollar or two, or taste a variety of teas there for FREE!

Just thinking about it makes me thirsty for some Queen Mary black tea, and it's "free" here at work.

I say "free" because I buy the loose tea and bring it in for the folk to enjoy - and I don't even ask to be paid back for it. It's a lot tastier than the grocery store mass-marketed bagged stuff that the company buys.


Save money by making more money and putting it away.

Leveraging my skills to provide services to people outside my normal job enables me to make sufficient extra income for whatever comes along.


I cannot claim to have found any creative ways to save money. I am just continuing to live simply. I have never, ever purchased a four dollar cup of coffee, so a substitute isn't even necessary. I daresay no one who reads this blog ever put chocolate in coffee before Starbucks seduced them into it.


I bought a waffle maker yesterday and some dry waffle mix to replace those awful frozen waffles I've been eating for breakfast.

My mother also makes individual-sized hamburger patties and freezes them so that instead of buying a hamburger, I can grill one in the morning and take it to school with me sitting on a bun, waiting for the microwave. Since we already buy ground hamburger in bulk, the effort of storing some of it in frozen patties is resulting in me saving $5 that would have gone to a sub-par lunch anyway.

Buy used books if you can't get enough at your local library. Why pay $10 for a paperback novel when you can get it for $2? And if you're like me and like to buy big heavy reference/research books, going the used route can save you significant money for books in decent condition.

Speaking of buying used books, why not read a free book? The Gutenberg Project publishes online copies of books that have an expire copyright. This can be a great way to kill time in front of the computer or to sample classic, old, or famous books you've always wondered about. And you never have to worry about returning the book to the library on time...


It does, however, lack the live music. Please support local musicians, they work very hard and play a lot of coffee shops for little money & tips.

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