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A Coffee Addict’s Grocery Budget

budget shopping quality food

We’ve all experienced a time when money is tight. However, if you’re like me you don’t want to sacrifice quality (or your specialty coffee addiction). And let’s face it, once you’ve experienced quality ingredients it’s so hard to go back, especially when it comes to feeding your family.

So I’m going to share with you how we’ve managed to keep freshness and quality at the top of our priority list (except when Daniel is craving McDonald’s… sorry) while sticking to a tight budget.

1) Do It Yourself

This is actually my only point. But it’s HUGE.

When money is tight it’s actually easier to stick to this concept because the box of frozen corndogs that calls my name from across the store is easier to resist when I only have $15 in my grocery budget.

“But Darby, we’re so delicious and you don’t have to cook.”

SHUT UP CORNDOG, YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

I have a serious junk food problem, obviously.

My favorite thing to do is just walk around the store with no plan. I know that drives some of you crazy, but it works for me. I start with produce and meat. Whatever is on sale, I grab.

Not having a specific list allows me to buy higher quality ingredients because I can choose what’s in-season and on sale.

Once I get close to the register I decide what probably won’t work based on the type of cooking I usually do. Then I ditch those ingredients and head for the checkout.

This method has made me crazy-creative in the kitchen and it’s been awesome!

Some of my favorite dinners were born out of a lack of normal ingredients in the house.

One night I only had sweet potatoes, an onion, and a couple bell peppers. I cooked them down in a skillet with some chili powder and a few other seasonings then I served it with a fried egg on top. Cheap. Easy. And probably one of the best dinners I’ve ever made. Ask Daniel if you don’t believe me. He requests this meal OFTEN.

Last week I was even able to snag a pork tenderloin for almost 50% off. Pears were also on sale and I made a killer herb-crusted tenderloin with pear chutney. I would pay a million dollars for that dinner. Dramatic? Maybe. But I love pork. And I’m so happy that we can feed our family delicious food without leaving our kitchen. Because have you ever taken babies to a restaurant? People hate you. And you have to sell their toys to pay the bill.

Now, when it comes to coffee (I know I’m not supposed to say this as a coffee shop owner, but..)

…a latte a day gets expensive FAST. Don’t get me wrong, I think treating yourself to a hand crafted beverage from your favorite coffee shop is awesome. And we love seeing your good-lookin’ face. But if money is tight, it might be time to hone your brewing skills at home. That’s where we can help! You don’t have to drink bad coffee. Please. Don’t drink it. Especially if it’s old.

Once you’ve tasted a fresh roasted, quality product it’s so easy to acknowledge the difference, and so difficult to go back to drinking stale coffee.

The good news is, even buying high quality coffee can save you money if you’re brewing it at home. Check out our home brewing post here for tips and recipes. And find a coffee to fall in love with here . We also have a cold brew recipe so you can make amazingly smooth iced coffee. Brewing at home will cost you around 60 cents per cup. Compare that to your $4 coffee shop drink of choice and you just freed up some serious grocery money. You should definitely reward yourself for saving so much money… probably with a trip to the coffee shop. Life is about balance, right?

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Cold Brewed Iced Coffee (at Home)

cold brew iced coffee recipe

Have you ever made iced coffee at home?

I used to a very long time ago. I’ll spare you the details because it’s shameful and involves returning to a sad little pot of coffee after it was neglected for several hours. Yuck.

However, I’ve discovered the magic of cold brewing and I want to share the recipe with you because I think you’re excellent so you should drink excellent coffee.

The great thing about cold brew is you can make a large batch and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks. This means having awesome iced coffee every single day if you want.

In addition to being ridiculously easy, cold brewed coffee is very low in acidity but highly caffeinated! The cold brew method subdues the natural acidity of some coffees. This makes for an incredibly smooth iced coffee. But I also recommend using a coffee that is not very acidic to start with, like our Single Origin Brazil.

First…

start with fresh roasted coffee that is ground course. Combine 5 ounces of ground coffee with 3 1/2 cups of cold water in a container. Use filtered water for a better end result.

Place the mixture in your refrigerator and let that sucker brew for 12 hours (It can go longer than 12 hours if you can’t drain it right away. It won’t affect the flavor to leave it a bit longer).

Next…

strain the coffee through a paper coffee filter or very fine mesh strainer.

Put it back in the fridge, it’s ready to use! This ratio makes concentrated coffee so when you’re ready to use, dilute by half with either water or milk.

 

Side note:

You CAN make Decaf cold brew. If you have to drink decaf, I respect you. Most of us only drink coffee BECAUSE it has caffeine. You drink it because it’s coffee. That’s awesome. We offer a Brazilian coffee that is decaffeinated using pure glacier water. It’s about as heavenly as Decaf gets, and you deserve good coffee just like the rest of us. Here’s a link, you beautiful soul.