Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
If you took a look at your shopping budget and realized that it just won't do, you may want to look for ways to cut back and also get creative with your gift giving this year. And for some of us, the amount we spend on coffee is the best way to begin.
If you are buying your daily cup or two from Starbucks or other gourmet coffee shops you are about to find a goldmine! Let’s consider that at the very least, you are spending over three dollars per cup. Buy yourself an insulated travel mug and make your own at home, at least until the season is over. To get your favorite flavor, buy the beans or grind from your favorite coffee spot. You are sure to save here and may pick up a new trend. You might even find that you like your brew better than the one made by your local barista. Okay, if that’s too drastic for you, at least try a smaller size and shave off a few extra dollars for the week.
How about biting the bullet and buying your coffee from the local non-gourmet spot? You will appreciate your gourmet blend even more when you go back.
For those of us who always make our own, here are a few suggestions:
Supermarket--Look for supermarket sales-get two for one or other great markdowns. Scan your newspapers for coupons.
Warehouse Buys--Go to the warehouses like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s—you will always find great bargains and you won’t need to buy coffee again until after the holidays.
COFFEE LOVER GIFTS
If you really want to save figure out the coffee lovers on your list and create inexpensive coffee-themed gifts.
Coffee Basket—You can find baskets in the 99 cents stores or other liquidator stores. Fill the basket with a favorite grind or whole beans and a nice cup/mug. You can also find sample packs of gourmet coffees in the supermarket. Throw in some coffee candies like Ghirardelli’s Espresso Escapes and you’ve not only got a gift that will be used, it says you really thought about them.
Travel Mugs-Find a great travel mug at stores like Target or Linens-N-Things. I found a lovely one made by Trudeau. Not only is it well made and stylish, it promotes breast cancer awareness and Trudeau will donate 5% to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The average cost is $14.99. Another great find to keep coffee hot for hours is a Thermos Brand what else but thermos called the ThermoCafe Briefcase Bottle. The average cost is $16.99.
Starbucks and other coffee shop gift cards are also great by themselves or a nice addition to a basket. You can also make your gifts look great by skipping the baskets and wrapping your items with transparent cellophane and ribbon.
Adding baked goods to the basket really makes it personal as well as thoughtful. See link below for a great carrot muffin recipe.