I’m a fan of iced coffees and cappuccinos, despite Denis Leary’s admonitions against such beverages. However, as a recent addition to the ranks of the unemployed, I can’t justify spending $5.00 or more for a trip to Starbucks. On a recent shopping trip, I stumbled upon a breakthrough in brokeassology that allows me to enjoy a frosty cup of joe that doesn’t break the bank. Further, my discovery minimizes the lactose issues I sometimes have with iced coffee, and clocks in at under 200 calories per serving. Win!

Aldi has an instant cappuccino mix that retails for $2.29 in my area. It’s available in French Vanilla and Mocha flavors (I used la fran├žaise variety, but I imagine the chocolate flavor works the same). I also came across a box of shelf-stable soy milk at Dollar Tree. Of course, your local dollar store may not have soy milk available, but Aldi routinely does. You can, of course, use regular or skim milk: whatever suits you. You’ll also need a pot of regular coffee that’s cooled to room temperature.

To make some delicious iced goodness, follow the hot cappuccino directions on the instant mix package, substituting coffee and soy milk for the boiling water. I made a pitcher full of cheapaccino, so I alternated between soy milk and coffee when mixing the ingredients. That is, one cup of soy milk, then three tablespoons of mix, then one cup of coffee, then three more tablespoons of mix, etc. I whisked the drink after each addition of powdered mix to ensure a consistent blend of ingredients (large amounts of the powder can clump together). Once you’ve filled the pitcher, let your iced coffee drink cool in the fridge for at least thirty minutes before serving.

After a half hour, check for any clumping or settling that may have occurred. Whisk away any clumps you find. If your coffee comes out nice and smooth, you’re ready for a glass of iced cappuccino with few dairy ingredients, less than 200 calories, and a price tag under $0.50. Enjoy!