Not-so-instant hot chocolate

With the high rental costs in Sydney, I've been looking into ways that I can save some money. One way I've thought of is using powdered milk. Because we are use fairly little milk, it tends to go off before we use it all. By using powdered milk, we get around that issue.

We also enjoy hot chocolate occasionally, but nesquick comes to about $9.00 a kilo. Assuming you use equal amounts of hot chocolate and milk powder, that comes to $7.35 a kilo. I decided to try to save a bit of money by making our own;

  • 4 teaspoons powdered milk ($5.70 a kilo)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar ($2.80 a kilo)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder ($10 a kilo)
  • Sprinkle of Chinese 5 spice powder. ($4.75 per container, not required but I like the taste)
  1. Mix the ingredients together in a mug.
  2. Add a small amount of cold water and mix well. Not really nessecary, but I find it makes it smoother. 
  3. Top with boiling water, mix well
When you take into the cost of all the ingredients that went into this, it comes to about $6. There's some savings but nothing too drastic. Even when it's in the $6 range, I still consider it a poor mans hot chocolate. Why? For two reasons. 
  1. All of the ingredients excluding the cocoa powder have alternate uses that Nesquick or substitutes couldn't offer. 
  2. In my opinion, this tastes better than simple Nesquick and milk. It's basic optimization; if you can get better quality for essentially the same price, there's no reason not to do so. 
The take home point of this exercise for me was this; Being cost effective isn't just about looking at the bottom line. It's about making the best use of what you have available.