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Trying To Save Money Making My Own Zebra Drink.

Trying To Save Money Making My Own Zebra Drink.

I had been buying Starbucks drinks for each of my two children, myself and occasionally for my wife for quite a few years.  I had experimented buying different Starbucks drinks that I liked.  I finally found that the grande size zebra really worked for me.  It has coffee, 5 pumps of dark chocolate, 5 pumps of white chocolate, steamed milk, and a dollop of whipped cream.   I also ask the Starbucks barista to heat the drink up to a very high temperature.  I like to drink my coffee slowly.

If you have a zebra drink often, you should consider going to a gym to work off the calories.

One day I decided to see how much I was spending on buying Starbucks drinks and food items.  I viewed my billing for one month and took that amount and multiplied it by 12 to get an approximate value for the year.  I came up with almost $6,000.  Ouch.  I shared this with my daughter, that I was spending way too much money for these coffee drinks.  In a few days she went out and purchased a Keurig machine.  I had never considered this option.  She then went out and purchased a variety of pods that you need to feed into this coffee machine.  The Keurig is a very clever device.  I recommend it.

My next problem was to find a way for the Keurig to make me a zebra coffee drink.   Here is my solution for getting close to a zebra using a Keurig:

  • I buy a box of Swiss Miss Hot Coco Mix that hold the mix in Keurig pods.  This supplies the chocolate flavor.  I like to save money so I go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy their large box.  Most grocery stores will sell the smaller boxes of these pods, but at a higher cost.
  • I started buying Starbucks Via Instant powder coffee sleeves at COSTCO, Columbia flavor.  COSTCO, after a few years, failed to sell this so I searched around for the best price and Walmart is now my source.  This is a fine powder and you need to stir it into the hot chocolate.  You only need these two ingredients to get close to the zebra flavor. 
  • Next, my wife found a product that moved away from the zebra flavor quite a lot.  Her ingredient, shown next, has made a very good different drink. 


Main ingredients for the coffee drink
The Swiss Miss pod is the chocolate flavor source. The Starbucks instant Colombia coffee is needed to supply the coffee flavor.



  • About a year after I discovered how to  make a Keurig zebra, my wife started buying a coffee creamer made by Planet Oat.  It is a French Vanilla, Oatmilk Creamer.   This creamer moved the drink flavor away from the Starbucks zebra but it really added to  making the drink even better.  I put only a small amount of this creamer into my cup.



Planet Oat Creamer
Planet Oat French Vanilla Creamer


  • I then add milk into the coffee mug to raise the whole drink closer to the top of the mug.  I then put the mug into our microwave to raise the temperature up so it is hot as I like.

I ran an analysis of how much I spend at Starbucks in 2021 and the total now comes out to be roughly $2,100.  I have not calculated my costs for the Swiss Miss pods, Starbucks Via Instant coffee.  



Posted:   April 17, 2021