How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte on a Budget

Indulge your craving, save your cash.


Happy International Coffee Day! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to enjoy a free cup this afternoon (without dipping into my “eating out” category). Double-win!

As if that weren’t enough, the leaves have begun to turn electric shades of yellow, orange and red, and Starbucks everywhere have rolled out the fall drinks menu. That’s right, Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) season has arrived, in all of its aromatic glory.

If you’re one of the many YNABers who craves a bottomless mug of warm, pumpkin-spice-flavored coffee goodness, without breaking your food budget, today’s post is for you. I present, the DIY PSL:

Our Top 3 Picks for DIY PSLs

That’s right, we’re circumventing The Barista and making our own. Don’t let the pressure get to you—you, too, can make a steaming, perfectly-spiced beverage to warm your day, and at a fraction of the cost. The following recipes have been selected for accessibility and rave reviews.

Stupid Easy Paleo

Steph Gaudreau, over at Stupid Easy Paleo, is known for making healthy food easy (clearly). And she read my mind—just as I was wondering if I’d need to own an espresso machine to make a PSL, I see this: “If you don’t have an espresso machine, it’s okay! Make some dark french roast coffee. I do this with a French press now since I gave my espresso machine away.”

Her Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte is dairy-free, made with all-natural flavorings, and looks stupid-easy to make.

Oh She Glows

Angela Liddon, at Oh She Glows, offers a similarly easy recipe—again, no need for an espresso machine. And her vegan Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup also comes with a tip: “I discovered that you can create super creamy and frothy almond milk by adding the heated [almond] milk into a small French press and pumping the plunger vigorously for 30 to 60 seconds.”

Inspired Taste

How could I not include The Best Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe? This one, by Joanne Gallagher at Inspired Taste, wins five stars from reviewers. If you read the comments, you’ll see that Joanne isn’t the only one claiming that this recipe is “Better than Starbucks!” If you prefer to watch before you try, check out her short video.

Which One Will You Try?

Better yet, how much will you save? Let me know your favorite fall beverage (recipe, please!) by emailing [email protected]