Every weekend, I put on a pot of milk to reduce to make sweetened condensed milk. It takes hours, but is super easy to do.
It all started when Mr. Wanderlust and I began to drink a lot more coffee. We bought a Keurig a year or so ago, when we started our internships. He was the main reason we got it. I spent most of that last year drinking hot cocoa for breakfast. He would make a cup to go every morning; with a heavy dose of sugar and a smdige of milk.
For some reason, when we moved to Texas, I started to partake in a daily cup of Joe with my breakfast. That then turned into taking one on the road as well. So I’m up to two cups of coffee a day. I hate black coffee, and honestly, sugar and some milk don’t cut it for me. I need some flavor to get my morning brew down! (Hi, my name is Mrs. Wanderlust, and I am a recovered Starbucks addict. Their sweet coffees are so delicious to me. I don’t discriminate. Caribou Coffee is delicious too!)
Mr. Wanderlust and I would go through two to two and half 32 oz coffee creamers a week. Okay, first, that is disgusting. A serving size is a tablespoon. We were, totally, not partaking in just a tablespoon.
Anyways, after the milk has condensed and become all sweet like, I take 3/4 of a cup and put that into a container along with equal parts of regular milk. I then add flavoring. Currently, we are enjoying cinnamon, vanilla and mint with chocolate.
I also make my own chocolate sauce.
I’m normal I swear! I know you can buy these things at the store, but we eat a very minimally processed diet. Which is, actually, part of the reason we switched to making our own creamers. There is all kind of stabilizers and preservatives and what we consider junk in store bought creamers.
So, let us get to the breakdown!
Currently at our local grocery store a 32 oz bottle of creamer is on sale for 2/$7 so $3.50 a bottle or .10 cents an ounce.
To make my homemade creamer (enough for two big bottles and one smaller one) I use 4.5 cups of milk and 1.5 cups of sugar.
A gallon of milk costs $3.08. There are 16 cups in a gallon. One cup of milk costs .1925 cents. So for the milk it costs, roughly, .87 cents.
A 4 pound bag of sugar costs $2.59. There are, approximately, 15 cups of sugar in a 4 lb bag, so one cup is .17 cents. So, I used, about, .25 cents worth of sugar.
I then add in 3/4 a cup of milk to each bottle, which is about .14 cents.
Then I add flavoring.
For simplicity I am going to do the one we use the most of the mint and chocolate.
For the chocolate syrup;
I take 1 and 1/2 cups of water and put that in a pan. We don’t pay for water so I have no idea how much that is. I add 1 1/2 cups of sugar (about .26 cents) to the water along with 1 cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder.
That cost $3.18 for 8 oz or 226 grams. I, literally, just went and measure this out in grams. I came up with 100 grams for a cup of the cocoa powder. Per gram the cocoa powder costs .014. So, 100 grams of the cocoa is equal to $1.40 cents.
Next up cook for a while, whisking to combine, let reduce and cool. Then add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Which for 11 oz costs $17.14 or $1.56 per ounce. 1 teaspoon is equal to .16 ounces. So, I think that comes out to .10 cents, for how much I used. I’m not 100% positive on this one.
I add around 1/4 of a cup of the chocolate sauce if I am honest. Which is about a quarter of what this makes. The total price is $1.76, so I’m just going to use a quarter of that, so .44 cents.
Then lastly we add the peppermint! I use about a teaspoon. A 2 ounce bottle runs $8.85 or $4.42 cents per ounce. Again there are .16 ounces per teaspoon. I used around .04 cents worth of extract.
Okay, that was a lot!!
Condensed Milk Cost: $1..12
3/4 of Regular Milk: .14 cents
Chocolate Syrup: .44 cents
Peppermint: .04 cents.
Total: $1.74 cents for around 13 oz worth of creamer. Or .13 cents an ounce.
So, it does cost more for me to make my own creamer, but it tastes better and it last longer. We use less because it actually tastes like something.
***I have gone over the math on this at least two times. My eyes are strained, I am tired of maths. I struggle with math. I know, kind of ironic for someone that blogs about personal finance. I’ve always struggled with math. It takes me longer to do it than most people. I’m okay with that. If you notice an error (I did estimate the final oz of creamer) please let me know!
Honestly, it took me longer to type this than it does to make the creamer (minus the sweetened condensed milk). These are going to be a rare post, gracious me.