MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) -  (Family Features) A cup of specialty coffee can run an average of $3 per drink -- and that's without additional flavors, extra espresso shots and milk substitutions. For daily coffee drinkers, that adds up to more than $1,000 a year. But what if you could enjoy coffee-house creations without sacrificing taste and budget?

According to a recent study by the National Coffee Association, 86 percent of past-day coffee drinkers prepared their coffee at home. With the wide selection of gourmet blends, roasts and flavored syrups and creamers available, becoming a self-made barista is easier than ever. Plus, it's a great way to balance your cravings while saving money.

Here are a few tips to making your own coffee-house creations.

  • Prep your kitchen with the essentials. A quality blender is key to creating delicious coffee-house recipes. Pick a favorite color for a punch of style that can be proudly displayed on the kitchen counter. And be sure to have a stash of Nescafé® Taster's Choice® 100% Pure Instant Coffee on hand along with lowfat milk or unsweetened vanilla soy milk. Pair with a cup of ice and you have the building blocks to make a one-of-a-kind latte or mochaccino.
  • Add your flavor. For a no-fuss coffee transformation, flavored coffee creamers are a must-have when it comes to enjoying the perfect brew. From French Vanilla and Hazelnut to Irish Crème and Toffee Nut, Coffee-Mate® has dozens of different ways to stir it up. Looking for great taste with fewer calories? Swap out original creamers with reduced fat and sugar free versions -- a "feel good" way to perk up your cup.
  • Ice it up. To make quality iced coffee, start with a fresh pot of strongly brewed coffee. Once brewed, let the coffee cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. You can also enhance your iced coffee with coffee ice cubes. Start by pouring leftover coffee into ice cube trays, and freeze. Once frozen, put the cubes in a freezer bag until ready to use. Top off your iced coffee with your favorite liquid creamer or flavored syrup, and enjoy!
  • Indulge in a frosty cool down. It's the season for fun, sun and icy drinks. But remember, fancy blended beverages don't need to be expensive. With a few simple ingredients, this Blended Coffee Frost is a great replacement for your local coffee-house selections. Plus, it's ready in minutes, allowing you to quietly indulge, or spend more time with family and friends.

For more budget-friendly tips and recipe ideas, visit Meals.com.

Blended Coffee Frost  
Makes 2 servings, 1 1/2 cups each  
1   cup 1 percent milk
2   tablespoons Fat Free Sweet Italian Crème or Fat Free French Vanilla Flavor Nestlé Coffee-Mate Liquid Coffee Creamer
2   tablespoons brown sugar
5   teaspoons Nescafé Taster's Choice 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules
2   cups ice cubes
    Fat free whipped topping (optional)
    Ground cinnamon (optional)

PLACE milk, creamer, sugar and coffee granules in blender; cover. Blend until coffee is dissolved. Add ice; blend until smooth. Pour into glasses; top with whipped topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cook's Tip: Replace sugar with Nestlé® Nesquik® Chocolate Flavor Syrup for a Chocolate Blended Coffee Frost.