How To Satisfy Your Pumpkin Spice Cravings for Less


Fall has officially begun, meaning pumpkin spice season is in full swing. You may not be able to get enough of this delicious fall flavor, but your wallet feels differently.

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Due to the overwhelming popularity of pumpkin spice everything, many retailers charge a premium for this delicacy. However, there are plenty of clever ways to indulge — a lot — this season without breaking your budget.

For example, Starbucks charges between $5.45 to as much as $5.95 for a grande pumpkin spice latte. While you might spring for at least one this season, making it a regular habit can add up fast. Instead, you can buy an entire 11-ounce bag of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Light Roast Ground Coffee at Target for $9.99 and a 28-ounce Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee Creamer for $5.89 — just slightly less than the cost of three PSL lattes.

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If Dunkin’ is more your style, plan to spend around $2.89 for a medium cup of Nutty Pumpkin Coffee when visiting one of the brand’s retail locations. Alternatively, you can stop into Target for an 11-ounce bag of Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Medium Roast Ground Coffee, priced at just $9.39.

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No doubt, you’ll be craving a pumpkin muffin from Panera this season, but at $3.69 each, you’ll need to control yourself. However, Whole Foods sells a Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffin & Bread Almond Flour Mix for $7.99 that yields a dozen servings, allowing you to indulge guilt-free.

Of course, the Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat is also on your radar, and a small will likely cost you around $4.09 for a medium. If you want to spend less, you can get a 16-ounce container of Favorite Day Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream for $2.79 at Target.

Continuing on with fall desserts — pumpkin spice cake donuts from Krispy Kreme are a highlight of the season, but at $2.29 each, they can add up fast. However, the King Arthur Baking Company sells a Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Mix that yields 12 full-sized delicacies for $7.95 — and since they’re baked, not deep-fried, they’re also healthier.

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If you’re craving pumpkin cupcakes, you could buy six premade at Albertson’s for $4.99. While that’s not a bad price, Target sells Pillsbury Moist Supreme Perfectly Pumpkin Premium Cake Mix for $1.59, which yields 24 cupcakes, allowing you to really stretch your dollar.

It’s never too early in the day for fall’s favorite flavor, which is why IHOP’s four-stack of pumpkin spice pancakes — priced at $10.29 — always hits the spot. However, you can get an entire box of Great Value Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix for $1.87 at Walmart, making it possible to enjoy them every morning, if you so desire.

Retailers might charge a premium for all things pumpkin spice, but thankfully there’s no shortage of affordable substitutions. This makes it possible to enjoy the taste of fall from dawn ’til dusk without overspending.

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About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite topic, as she’s passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.
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