Save money and calories – make your own pumpkin spice latte
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 20:10
Things began to change about two weeks ago – fall was coming. The leaves hadn’t begun to change yet, and the days were still considerably warm. No scarves were pulled and the sunglasses remained on. But there was one telltale sign that the nights were about to start drawing in earlier – the pumpkin spice latte came back to Starbucks.
While it packs a mighty flavor punch, the drink is also likely to punch you right in the stomach. This flavorful drink comes with a calorie count that’s pretty through the roof. A 16 ounce Grande cup with whipped cream is equivalent to 380 calories. And don’t think that by knocking off the whipped cream you’re making a hefty difference – that’s still going to be 310 calories you’re consuming – not to mention 40 percent of your saturated fat intake for the day and 51 grams of carbohydrates. Now that’s a mouthful that’ll make you think twice.
If the load of calories and fat doesn’t put you off, how about the money that you’re spending on your pumpkin addiction? $4.55 is what you’ll be forking out for your dose of the fall – flavored liquid. Say you have one three times a week – that’s $13.65 a week, $54.60 a month and approximately $218.40 over the course of the fall semester. That’s also 1,140 calories a week, 4,560 a month and 72,960 a semester. How does that taste?
But fall wouldn’t be fall without a sweet, hot, pumpkin-flavored drink, right? Don’t worry – all is not lost. Whipping up your own version is just as simple as ordering over the counter and there’s the added bonus of no lines, no hefty price tag and the fact that it can all be done in your pajamas.
Just brew yourself a regular cup of coffee, filter or instant – you’re the barista now, so the coffee bean is in your court; do with it what you will. While you’ve got free reign to pick whatever coffee you like, a smooth, mild cup is going to give you the best result. Anything too strong and your pumpkin’s going to get lost.
Next comes the pumpkin and it couldn’t be easier. Simply pour in a pumpkin pie-flavored creamer, such as International Delight’s “Pumpkin Pie Spice,” which is sweet, spicy and full of pumpkin flavor. If you want a sweeter, more intense pumpkin flavor, then add in two creamers. Finish it all off with two tablespoons of Reddi Whip and you’re done.
Sounds good, looks good, tastes good. So surely it packs just as much of a calorie punch as your beloved Starbucks version? Not even close. Your average cup of coffee is going to be fewer than five calories. Add in a portion of pumpkin pie spice creamer and you’ve knocked the total calorie count up by 15. Squirt on your Reddi Whip and you’ll be squirting on another 15 calories.
That’s it, all in all, 35 calories.
And the finances are going to swing your way as well. A jar of instant coffee is going to set you back about $8.58 for approximately 60 servings; International Delight’s Pumpkin Pie Spice creamers are a steal at $2.48 for 24; and the Reddi Whip comes in at $1.98 for about 10 servings. That’s 44 cents a cup.
Total savings – 345 calories and $4.11.
If all that isn’t enough to sway you, Starbucks now sells reusable, plastic cups, so you could fill that up with your homemade student pumpkin spice latte, pop on your fanciest riding boots and no one would ever know the difference.