Okay, we admit it: despite our DIY convictions, we still stop at Starbucks and other overpriced coffee shops. But we stop there a lot less than we might, because we can make delicious espresso drinks at home for a fraction of the cost.
We've been doing this for many years, having started with a humble two-cup Braun espresso maker that cost us about $20 and is still going strong a quarter-century later. (We pack it when we travel.) About ten years ago we moved up to Starbucks' Barista model, which served us well for a long time and is still running. But for our anniversary a few years ago we splurged on a DeLonghi machine that requires very little fussing—it grinds the beans and neatly spits the used grounds into a special container. It wasn't cheap, but it's saved us a fortune.
If you find yourself dropping $4 or $5 a day at coffee shops, consider buying your own machine. It will quickly pay for itself and reward you with years of cheap, guilt-free espresso drinks. Even a $750 machine will pay for itself in a few months, depending on how much coffee you drink.
* The machine in the photo is