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Simple Ways to Enjoy Your Pumpkin Spice on a Budget

pumpkin spice.jpgIt’s almost that time of year. The time where warm hoodies, extra blankets, apple cider, and yes – pumpkin spice, are inescapable. If you’re like me, you might find it a bit pricy to get your daily pumpkin spice fix at a local coffee shop, so I’ve researched a few ways to enjoy it without blowing your budget.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Sites like Raise and Cardpool (and other discounted gift card sites) offer gift cards to be purchased for less than their face value. I recently purchased a $25 Starbucks gift card for just $20. But the best deals don’t come around as often as I’d like – so keep a look out for them!

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DIY Pumpkin Spice Creamer

This easy recipe from Delish requires just five ingredients and produces over 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin spice creamer that you can add to your coffee.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together heavy cream, pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice Add a cinnamon stick or two and turn up the heat a bit until it boils, whisking occasionally.

After a minute, take it off the heat and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before you add it to your coffee.

According to Delish, the leftover creamer will keep well in your refrigerator for up to 1 week, but make sure that you give it a good shake before adding to your coffee.

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Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

This great DIY recipe from Farm Girl Gourmet allows you to indulge in pumpkin spice for less. The recipe makes two 10-ounce lattes, if you want to share (or you can just do what I do, and keep it all for yourself.)

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup of strong coffee or espresso
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

Add the milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring almost to a boil.  Remove from heat and add to a blender.  Blend on high until the milk begins to froth, about 2 minutes.  Divide milk mixture between two mugs.  Add the coffee slowly down the side so you don’t disturb the milk froth, add a squirt of whipped cream and a pinch more of the pumpkin pie spice and enjoy.

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Celebrate your Fall Birthday

Did you know that Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and other coffee shops will honor your birthday with a free coffee?

Become a member of My Starbucks Rewards, DD Perks Rewards program, or if you find yourself at a local coffee shop – simply mention that it’s your birthday and you might find yourself sipping a free Pumpkin Spice latte.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider

One of my all-time favorite drink recipes, and a great way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice without breaking the bank.

Prep Time: 5 Mins
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Makes: 8 Cups

Ingredients

8 cups (64 ounces) water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
10 apples cut into quarters
1 nutmeg seed (or 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
3 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
1 tablespoon whole cloves (or 2 teaspoons ground cloves)
1 teaspoon all spice

Instructions:

In large slow cooker (at least 6 quarts) add the water, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.

Add in the cut apples and spices.

Cook on high heat for at least 2-3 hours until the apples are softened, then mash with a potato masher. Continue cooking on high heat for another hour.

Turn the slow cooker off and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Carefully spoon the cider out with a ladle and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large jug, to catch all the mashed apple and large spices.

Store the cider in a closed container in the refrigerator. Serve cider hot or cold.

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