Friday, July 30, 2010

A slick deal: our new espresso machine!

Dave rushed through the door before we left for vacation and said, "I'm going to Broomfield, there's a slick deal on an espresso machine!"  There is a "slick deals" webpage where people with a lot of time on their hands post slick deals that they find in order to help out their fellow cheapskates.  A slick deal has to be an extreme savings in order to be a true slick deal.  We check this webpage every now and again, particularly around xmas time, and have gotten maybe two or three good deals in the past from it.  This particular deal was for a $1299 espresso machine marked down to $299.  I convinced him to let me call William Sonoma before he drove a half an hour out of his way for something that could be sold out.  The first rule of slick dealing is never to call because as soon as the employee realizes the deal, he or she may take it for themselves.  I called.  The helpful woman on the phone informed me that a man just called and put their last one on hold.  Okay, that was enough for Dave, we were too late.  I, on the other hand, was not about to give up.  I've been wanting a good machine for years and have been checking Craigslist for a good one since Christmas.  I called the William Sonoma at Mayfair in Milwaukee and they had one left!  I had them hold it for me.  My generous dad agreed to pick it up for me on his way home from work, then ship it to me here.  I felt pretty silly for having my dad do this for me all for an espresso machine, but here was my reasoning:

I like lattes.  Grande soy white mochas, to be precise.

One of these runs me about $4.55 at Starbucks, my coffee house of choice due to its proximity to my work(s) and, well, everywhere.  This past spring semester I drank two of these a week when I walked by Starbucks on the way to my early morning class after my bus ride.  Now, this is a very conservative estimate of my coffee drinking.  Sometimes I wanted a drink in the afternoon to get me through my night class, this only adds onto my Starbucks fund from there.  This fall I will have four early morning classes, meaning I might be tempted to spend $4.55 four times a week!  Let's use the twice a week estimate.

2 X $4.55 = $9.10 per week X 52 weeks per year = $473.20 on coffee at Starbucks per year. 

This is a lot of money!  A few years ago I drank one a day!  That's $1660.75 per year.  (I think that translated to about 7% of my graduate student salary at the time.  Smart.)

When I don't drink lattes I make drip coffee at home or bialetti coffee or plunger coffee (don't ask) or even french press coffee.  While these are all great ways to save money, they just don't taste as good as properly made espresso, meaning I am tempted to get my Starbucks fix too often.  (I sound ridiculous in my reasoning here, sorry.)

Of course by having my own machine I'm not making coffee for free.  There's the initial cost of the machine ($299+shipping), the cost of coffee beans, and the cost of silk vanilla soy milk (Costco!).  Still, in the end, I think this machine will pay for itself off in the first year if I avoid Starbucks 100%.  Plus, I'll get to enjoy tasty coffee every day of the week!

I will miss going to Starbucks though.  I actually enjoyed the interaction of getting my morning coffee, and if I had time, sitting down on the Starbucks couch to grade any last-minute papers before rushing off to class on a cold morning.  It made me feel classy, which is what they want, I'm sure.

Well, the espresso machine just arrived and in the last 24 hours I've tried it three times.  Yum, yum, and yum!!!  All I have to do is turn it on, put my cup under the spout, push a button, and my perfect espresso comes out.  I can then froth my milk if I so desire.  It's a Delonghi Perfecta.

Thus far I am very hyper happy about the purchase!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Darn, and I missed out on this slick deal!