Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thrifty Tuesdays with Ging! My Single – cup adventure @cvsextracare and @teavana

A lot of people have been asking me how I prepared for retirement and insured that I had enough money to stoll have fun on my teachers retirement check. Well, one thing I became more than a year ago, was thrifty. Frugal. A Couponer. Not cheap, per se, nor a hoarder, but i think about what I spend. True, I have no material wants right now. But I changed the way I do a few things around here, and it has made a really big difference. I decided to share my thrifty tips on Tuesday. Here's the first one! Today's thrifty tip involves those wonderful single-cup coffee makers that take those little tiny K cups. An article I read in October suggested that people who use these machines generate extra plastic and spend about $1.60 for every single cup of coffee. Now, that's cheaper than your local DubcamBucs, But it is still expensive. To me It is not cheaper to make a big pot of coffee and save the leftover coffee. And let's face it, these little brewers are perfect for people like me who just want one cup of coffee, or one cup of tea at any given time. I really wanted the ability to make one or two cups of coffee or tea every day. So I began my research on these little coffeemakers. I Still have an awesome electric coffee maker and press coffee maker for when I need more coffee. One was a wedding present, and i got the other one off the SALE LIST at Georgia College. Backstory: I've wanted one of these coffeemakers for years, and I even bought one and returned it about eight years ago. Research in hand, I began to look around the market. Yes, every store had one. But I was especially drawn to the new machine by Mr. Coffee, which has, or so it says, K-cup technology. In fact it says on the front it's made by Keurig. Regularly priced about $30 less than a Keurig model, it was a enticing deal around Thanksgiving at $70. But on cyber Monday, my CVS alerts had the Mr. Coffee brand single-cup brewer on sale for $50. Because I am a devoted CVS shopper, I had a Free shipping coupon, as well as a 25% off coupon that could be used for a product purchase. In the end, I think I paid About $35 for this little machine. And, it came with free samples. It holds travel containers, and it is also very easy to clean. My next purchase, also at CVS, and also this time with a 20% off coupon and extra bucks, was a package of four reusable, refillable K-style cups. These can be filled with your own tea or coffee, and brings the cost down to almost nothing. I Got this packet for about, well, Free, because it was seven dollars, and I used my extra bucks. One thing I love about CVS is it allows coupon stacking. It's easy to take off a store coupon, a manufacturer coupon and a discount in one transaction. I think everyone who has one of these machines should consider getting a set of the small cups and making custom blends of coffee, tea, tea, and cocoa. it's really easy to do. (In addition to receiving samples of K-cups for Christmas presents, I also found an impressive assortment on the markdown racks after the holidays.) I've also learned the trick to using custom teas – like those from Teavana, one of my favorite stores, in the refillable cup. Put your tea mix in the small cup, and run just a small amount of hot tap water through the filter to moisten the tea mix. Then close it and place it in your machine. I also put lemon slices in the Bottom of my tea cup or mug before I run the cycle. Then, after the tea brews through the machine, I float the small plastic cup in the cup for just an extra minute, and I put it back in the machine. Usually I can get two full-bodied cups of tea out of a 1-tablespoon portion. I then compost the leftover tea. When I use a Chai mixture in the cup, I can make a delicious chai latte with just a couple of splashes of almond milk or cream if I'm feeling a little crazy! Better then the little cups, since they have added sugar and other preservatives. Way cheaper than the five bucks it would cost me in town – yes even in Milledgeville, we have fancy expensive Chai. Total cost for my single cup adventure – maybe $40 in pure cash. And I've already made up the difference in just a few weeks of using it. Happy Tuesday! It's Rooibos chai time for me! Xoxo Ging

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