We’re full swing into winter beverage time – those weeks of the year when lattés become gingerbread lattés, and when everything that can have peppermint added to it must have peppermint added to it. These beverages are not only high in calories (700 calories and 27 grams of fat in a Venti Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha!), but high in cost. Do you really want to drink away six dollars of beverage (despite deliciousness) this new year? Here are some tips for getting the best brew for your buck:
• Switch the Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha for a McDonald’s Peppermint Mocha or Tim Horton’s Peppermint Mocha Latté. Coffee snobs will say that McD’s and Tim’s can’t possibly make a decent cup, but once you lace your coffee with peppermint, whip cream and chocolate, does it really matter?
• Buy your coffee on sale and make your own. Discount retailers such as Winners and HomeSense have great bargains on hot chocolate, syrups and brand name coffee blends. Here’s a recipe for Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha.
• Tim Hortons $1 specialty coffee deal is over, but apparently you can still ask for one. Can’t hurt to try.
• Downsize it. You’ll save money, and avoid a 700 calorie injection, by opting for a tall over a grandé.
• If you literally want the most bang for your buck, look at this chart to see the cost per milligram of caffeine in coffees from Starbuck’s, Second Cup, Timothy’s and Tim Hortons.
• Don’t forget the little guys. Yes, the chains all offer a range of sugary specialty coffees, but often, so do the little guys. See if the independent coffee shop’s Red Velvet latté measures up in taste and price. Chances are, it does.