Column & Recipe: Make your pumpkin spice latte from home, save money

Dallas senior Caroline Yablon makes her own Pumpkin Spice Latte at home utilizing a Nespresso machine. Photo courtesy of Caroline Yablon.

By Caroline Yablon | Contributor

I spend too much money on coffee and found a solution to my coffee addiction – investing in a Nespresso machine.

In a survey conducted by Acorns, millennials admitted to spending more money on coffee in a year than they had invested in their retirement account. Although we fall into the Gen-Z category, I think our generation applies to this stat – at least I do.

I’m addicted to lattes. So much so, that this summer I knew I needed to implement a change in my coffee consumption for this semester to save money before I graduate in December.

I first thought a solution could be that I cut down on my coffee consumption from coffee shops – but I know myself too well to think that if I decrease the amount of lattes I buy each week it won’t work. I’m so far down the hole of my coffee addiction that I need to drink at least one cup per day – and don’t have over $150 in my budget to purchase a latte every day.

So, after much deliberation between myself and me, my proposition to saving money on coffee was: investing in a Nespresso machine. My thinking was, if I buy a machine that can make good coffee and the ability to make lattes, then I will make them at home. I have never been opposed to making coffee at home, I just can’t stand the taste of Keurig coffee.

The return on investment in a Nespresso machine

MONEY. It’s been a month and a half since school started and I’ve already seen a return on my investment. I used to spend close to $100 a month on coffee. Now I spend close to $40. Each capsule is around $1 so if you drink one cup a day, you can essentially spend just shy of $30 a month on coffee – it sounds too good to be true but it’s not!

Money isn’t the only thing you save…

TIME. I now have the luxury of waking up, going downstairs to my coffee cart, and making myself a latte in the span of five minutes. There is no waiting in a 30-minute line at the Starbucks at Moody Library or Common Ground (sometimes an hour) anymore – which saves me so much time in the morning, afternoon, and if I am being honest, the evening. I’ve learned time is valuable and you are rich if you can save it when you can.


When you make coffee at home, you control everything from the type of roast and milk to the type and amount of sweetener that goes in your coffee. Typically, Starbucks will put three pumps of syrup in a tall cup of coffee, four in a grande, and five in a venti. Unless you like your coffee sweet, that’s a lot for some people, so making coffee at home gives you the freedom to put one pump or ten – whatever you’re in the mood for.

Don’t pay full price

The great thing about the Nespresso machine is that there is always a deal. I got mine at Williams Sonoma for almost 50% off. Whether it’s on Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond or the Nespresso website, you most likely will never have to pay full-price. With that said, don’t be intimidated by the price of the machines.

I still go to coffee shops…

I still have a heart for Waco coffee shops and still remain a customer. But what has changed is that now, I will try to only go if I am meeting up with a friend. It is worth spending $5 on a latte if it means I get to study or catch up with someone who I enjoy spending time with.

It’s fall, y’all

Being that fall is one of my favorite seasons, I am a sucker for Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, so I found a way to make it at home.

I am not a barista, but here is my iced pumpkin spice latte recipe.


  • 1 espresso shot pod
  • 6-ounces of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of Starbucks pumpkin spice creamer
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • A dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • A half teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • A couple tablespoons of sugar


  • Once the milk, creamer and pumpkin spice are frothed, pour it over your espresso and add a few iced cubes if you are in the mood for an iced latte.
  • If you like whip cream on top of your coffee, whip a cup of heavy cream with a half teaspoon of vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of sugar.
  • Your coffee is now infused with pumpkin spice deliciousness, but if you want to give your drink the full Starbucks effect, then top your cup off with another dash of pumpkin pie spice.