I am a coffee-aholic, in that I can NOT have just one cup everyday. My husband knows not to talk to me until I've have had my coffee or else he ends up talking to a very angry ZOMBIE! Hence, I have about 2-3 latte's or mocha's or several shots of espresso on a daily basis. We are not rich or even well off and could never think about affording a Starbucks habit.
When our coffee machine broke after 6 years of life it was time to spring for another one. We however are Mr. & Mrs. Cheap-o's. We refuse to spend full retail price, but we like to buy the best of the best. When we started researching coffee makers, we realized that we wanted an espresso machine so we could make those delicious Starbucks drinks we love but could not afford. We researched for 2 months, and found the top 3 espresso machine we wanted. They were very pricey and ranged from $500-1200. I know what you are thinking. I am nutts right? So lets break it down. If you buy 1 Starbucks a day for 1 year you will be spending an average of $1,514.75. Okay I will give you a second to stop hyperventilating. Even though springing for a expensive espresso machine, you still have to buy the beans, the favor's for the latte's plus the milk.
What we did to save even more money was start searching for used espresso machines on Craigslist. After a few weeks, we found one. It was on our top 3 list and was listed for $120. It was only 5 months old, and the only reason it was selling and for so cheap was because the couple broke up and the steam wand on the machine needed to be replaced (which is a $15 replacement part). When we met up with the seller (at a target! Never meet them at their home) we asked them to plug it in a target outlet to be sure it worked. We haggled them down to $100.
Because this machine was used, bought these decalsifing tablets that clean the machine and a new wand.
We started buying our espresso beans in bulk on amazon as well as our favors. Not that it matters, but we buy our milk (soy) at Winco because they are the cheapest in our area. Now our machine used about 4-5 beans per shot of espresso and we use a teaspoon of flavoring and a 1/2 a cup of milk to make our amazing lattes that taste JUST LIKE STARBUCKS! One latte at our home costs less than $0.50. Lets do some math again. Having one latte at home a day is less than $182.50 per year and if you add in the espresso machine we bought, the first year is $282.50 which is $1,232.25 less than buying one Starbucks a day.
Now I know that deals on craigslist are hit or miss, but if you do the research and find a machine you like and do find it, I encourage you to take the leap. Our machine is the best investment we have made this year. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our machine and our coffee.
If you have any questions during your espresso machine research, or any questions I will be more than happy to answer. We did a massive amount of research. I am practically an expert in the area of coffee.
(Here is a photo of my 4th Love! After of course my husband and kids)