Now at around $2 per bottle, coffee creamer doesn't exactly break the bank. But consider this: a gallon of milk (128 fl. oz.) costs about $4 while a container of creamer (16 fl. oz.) disproportionally costs half that price ($2). So, ounce-for-ounce, I don't feel like I get very much when I buy coffee creamer full price.
Luckily, I've discovered some homemade options for creamer that allow me to get the taste I want at a much cheaper cost than store-ready creamer. Here's how you can make your own coffee creamer at home:
- Collect containers. Reusing (i.e. washing and drying) plastic coffee creamer containers with a pour spout is recommended, though any glass or plastic stand-up container with a tight-fitting lid will work.
- Decide on a base. Making a base creamer allows you to then customize flavoring to taste, which is especially helpful if there are multiple coffee drinkers in your household who all prefer something a little different. You'll have your choice of base: liquid or powder.
Mix Your Base
- Liquid creamer: mix equal parts whole milk and sweetened condensed milk. Expect this to last in your refrigerator about two weeks.
- Powdered creamer: mix equal parts non-fat dry milk and granulated sugar. This can be kept on a shelf indefinitely.
Add Your Flavors
If you want to create flavored coffee creamers, consider various extracts, sweeteners and spices you already have in your pantry in order to do so.
To the liquid creamer base, consider adding:
- Imitation vanilla flavoring liquid
- Almond extract
- Mint leaves (keep these in the container for flavor rather than adding the leaf directly to the coffee)
- Torani syrup (similar to the syrups used by Starbucks)
To the powdered creamer base, consider adding:
- Cocoa powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Peppermint oil
- Flavored instant coffee crystals (for a hint of flavor and an additional caffeine boost)
Store-bought creamer costs about $2 per 16 oz. container of liquid (about 13 cents per ounce) and about $3 per 16 oz. container of powder (about 19 cents per ounce). Mixing your own results in cost savings:
For the liquid base:
- Whole milk: 3 cents per ounce
- Sweetened condensed milk: 14 cents per ounce
- Total for 16 oz. container of liquid mixture: $1.38 (versus $2 bought)
For the powder base:
- Non-fat dry milk: 21 cents per ounce
- Granulated sugar: 3 cents per ounce
- Total for 16 oz. container of powder mixture: $1.92 (versus $3 bought)
Consider, too, that sweetened condensed milk and non-fat dry milk may be bought for lower prices during store sales and promotions.