Cooking Tips

Debunked: 12 oz. Non-Fat Vanilla Latte

Another series that I’m excited to present to you this week is Debunked. Basically, I’m going to pick a few of my favorite items to buy (maybe food, clothes, house decor, etc) and see if I can try and create the same for a cheaper price.

Although I love buying the things that I do, such as a Non-Fat Vanilla Latte before my night class, it’s a bit of a reality check when I compare the price to a homemade version.

So first for the series, as told, is a 12-ounce Non-Fat Vanilla Latte.

Starbucks price: $4.07

My price: $0.79

YOU SAVE: $3.28

Here’s the math behind the recipe:

1 Cup of Fat Free Milk, $0.17. (One gallon is $2.74, 16 cups in a gallon)

2 Tbsp. Ground Coffee, $0.38 (My 12-ounce pack cost $8.99, 24 tbsp. in each pack)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract, $0.23 (A 2-ounce bottle cost $2.74, 12 tsp. in each)

1 tsp. Sugar, $0.01 (The 10-pound bag cost $7.89, 960 tsp. in each)

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Okay so I have to admit, totally mind blow. $4.07 is a lot of money to take for a 12-ounce latte compared to $0.79! Granted, I’m sure Starbucks uses different kinds of ingredients and machines compared to my simple Bilatti espresso maker and heated milk on the stove, but think about how much money you could save after 10 lattes? 20 lattes? I mean, for fun, let’s compare.

10 Starbucks lattes: $40.70

10 homemade lattes: $7.90

20 Starbucks lattes: $81.40

20 homemade lattes: $15.80

That’s a lot of money to save! Think about it – if I got a vanilla latte every time I went to night class, my money adds up quick. But if I made one before going to class at my apartment, I would actually have enough money to buy something WAY more fun!


Okay now that we have officially debunked the 12 oz. Non Fat Vanilla Latte, might as well show you the recipe behind it! Here’s how I made it:

  1. I made the espresso in my Bialetti espresso maker. It actually makes 8 ounces of espresso! What does that mean? That’s right, you could even add extra shots of espresso for a stronger latte! Or make a latte for a friend!
  2. Heat up the milk on the stovetop in a pot (1 cup of milk per coffee). Turn off right when it starts to bubble, do not let it boil.
  3. Froth the milk. Now here are three easy ways to froth milk if you need it. I used the french press method, which worked really well. I took out the sheer part of the pump, if that helps at all. 10 pumps should be just enough to froth the milk.
  4. Poor the milk mixture over your espresso. The Bialetti makes four shots of espresso, so I used two of them in my latte.
  5. Mix in vanilla and sugar. If you want a mocha, you could add a hot chocolate packet instead. (That would bump your price $0.10, just FYI).
  6. Optional: If you desire whipped cream, that would obviously cost more. But would be a fun add on to your latte, and wouldn’t be a problem with all the money you are about to save!

Make it healthy!

The price would be $1.25, but here’s the recipe difference:

1 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, $0.54. (One 32-ounce carton is $2.17, 4 cups)

2 Tbsp. Ground Coffee, $0.38 (My 12-ounce pack cost $8.99, 24 tbsp. in each pack)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract, $0.23 (A 2-ounce bottle cost $2.74, 12 tsp. in each)

1 tsp. Truvia Sweetener, $0.10 (9.8-ounce container cost $5.98, 58.8 teaspoons)

What else would you like me to debunk?

Share what you think would be great debunk in the comments below, would love some suggestions for other ways to save money and debunk the expensive items!

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