10 Cheap Ways to Drink Cappuccino

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CHEAP CAPPUCCINO CHOICES

Nov. 8 is Cappuccino Day, so sip up to celebrate this now-familiar coffee drink made of espresso and frothed milk. Cappuccino originated in Italy and was made more readily available by the invention of espresso machines in the 1900s. However, cappuccino didn't become popular worldwide until the 1950s. Today, a cappuccino can be flavored and fancy (Frappuccino, anyone?) or as simple as one chooses. Either way, it has a higher price tag than a basic cup of coffee, but there are some budget-friendly ways to indulge in this classic drink.

FAUX STARBUCKS

Mimic Starbucks' flavored cappuccino drinks at home for less money -- even without an espresso machine. A food blogger suggests a secret to Starbucks-like taste: Pour sugar in with instant coffee and whip together with a teaspoon of water, then add boiling milk. For folks who like their coffee drinks on the sweet side, this is a budget-friendly way to do it.

INEXPENSIVE ESPRESSO MAKER

A basic espresso maker doesn't have to cost a fortune. A Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Cappuccino Maker starts at $30 and performs necessities such as frothing milk for a range of cappuccino, mocha, and latte drinks. In reviews posted on the Walmart website, consumers say they were skeptical it could work as well as more expensive machines but were pleasantly surprised.

FOLGERS CAPPUCCINO

Budget-friendly Folgers is also a cheap go-to for cappuccino. The brand's mixes require no special machinery to whip up. Four 16-ounce containers cost $16, making this cappuccino one of the cheapest choices by cup.

SINGLE-CUP CAPPUCCINO MIX

Keurig machine owners can try Grove Square caramel single-cup cappuccino mix, which costs about $6 for 18 capsules. Consumers can brew more than a dozen cups for the price of one caramel cappuccino at a popular coffee chain. Buyers reviewing the product on the Walmart website say the sweet, creamy taste is more than comparable to coffee shop drinks.

DIY CAPPUCCINO MIX

Although most cappuccino mixes are reasonably priced, it might be even cheaper to make a recipe posted on Instructables: Combine instant coffee, dry milk, sugar, and any additional flavors such as vanilla or cinnamon, then mix in a food processor. Store for a ready-to-go cappuccino-inspired drink, or just add hot water to make it on the spot.

STOVETOP ESPRESSO MAKER

Making stovetop espresso is relatively easy and cost effective. Simply add some frothy milk to make a traditional cappuccino (the required tool is coming up next). The Allegra stovetop espresso maker is colorful, made of sturdy aluminum, and costs only as much as two or three store-bought coffee drinks ($10). According to reviews on the Bed Bath Beyond website, it takes only a few minutes to make a great cup.

MILK FROTHER

Arguably one of the most important components of any cappuccino is the foamy milk topping. The Bedrocker handheld milk frother is about $10 on Amazon, where reviewers say it froths the milk to the perfect consistency for both lattes and cappuccinos.

CAPPUCCINO IN YOUR CUP

An easy and inexpensive option, the Aerobie AeroPress makes coffee and espresso right in a cup. Use it every morning in place of a store-bought-cappuccino run, and the $30 price tag will pay for itself in less than two weeks.

CHEAPER COFFEE SHOP CAPPUCCINO

Dunkin' Donuts beats Starbucks on price when it comes to a basic cappuccino, and the savings add up day by day. A 16-ounce cappuccino costs about $3.20 at Dunkin', while Starbucks charges around $3.75.

THE SHORT CAPPUCCINO

If you can't fathom giving up Starbucks for a cheaper standby, try this hack: Order a "short" cappuccino, an 8-ounce drink, over a more expensive 12-ounce "tall." The coffee-to-milk ratio is higher, promising a stronger (many would say better) taste at a lower cost.