6 Ways to Save Money on Coffee
Coffee is the most popular caffeinated beverage in the world, with almost 80% of Americans drinking an average of 2 cups per day, according to the National Coffee Association. But, coffee is not cheap and this habit can really add up, especially if you like gourmet coffee or if you like to buy coffee at a coffee shop.
The average American spends approximately $1,100 a year– or $3 each day– on coffee, according to a survey from Acorns Money Matters, 41-percent of nearly 2,000 millennials– individuals born in the early 1980s through the early 2000s– surveyed admitted to spending more on their morning brew than contributing toward their retirement plan. This is just crazy to me so here are some tips for saving on coffee.
First let’s look at the cost of drinking coffee at a coffee shop versus drinking coffee at home
- For black drip coffee – Starbucks charges $2.05 per 12 oz cup, which is $14.35/week and $746/year
- If you brew it at home a 6 oz cup costs $.16 or for the Starbucks 12 oz equivalent, $.32, which is just $117 a year, so you overpay by $629 when you get a tall Starbucks coffee every day.
Think about that – $629 a year out of pocket for a daily cup of joe. No thank you! I can think of many ways I’d rather spend the money.
Let’s compare a “fancy” coffee drink, i.e a latte and how much that costs at a coffee shop versus making on your own at home:
- A tall vanilla latte will set you back $4.10 a day, if you have one a day its $29/week or $1,492 per year
- To make it at home, it costs around $.30/cup (6-9 oz), which is around $2.10 per week or $110 per year, so you overpay by over $1,300 a year for a daily Starbucks latte. YIKES!
6 Ways to Save on Coffee Each Year
So how can you save on those coffees and fancy flavored coffee and milk drinks by making your own at home?
(1) Brew coffee at home
For just $.16/cup you can drink as much as you want and you won’t break the bank.
(2) Make fancy lattes and flavored coffees at home
Making a latte at home is incredibly easy. All you need is milk, espresso, and some syrup if you like it to be flavored. Milk is cheap and espresso beans are on sale all the time, so by making a small investment in the right tools to make your own lattes at home, you can save a bundle. I think the most economical way to go is to invest in an espresso brewer like a Bialetti and a milk frother. Then you brew your espresso on the stove top, froth the milk and heat it in the microwave. Combine in a coffee mug and you are good to go. This takes 4 minutes or less and at a cost of $.30 each latte, you’ll save $3.80 each time you make your own at home rather than buy at a coffee shop. It adds up quickly!
(3) Stock up when coffee is on sale
Never pay full price for coffee. Coffee prices are one of the most volatile of all products at the grocery store. Make room in your pantry for coffee and buy it on sale. I suggest stocking up when coffee is $.42 per oz or less. This isn’t always possible, but when the 12 oz bags of coffee are on sale for $4.99 or less – don’t just buy one, buy enough to last you through the sales cycle until they go on sale again. If you buy the whole beans and grind it yourself, it will stay fresh longer and you’ll get the fresh brewed taste every time.
If you drink 2 cups of coffee per day, you will purchase 12 bags (12 oz) of coffee per year. If you do the math – buying those bags at $9.99 each would be $119.88. If you buy those same bags on sale for $5.99, then you are looking at $71.88 out of pocket, a savings of $48. You can save even more when you use coupons and switch brands.
(4) Don’t be a brand loyal when it comes to coffee
Many coffee drinkers are loyal to a particular brand of coffee, and unless you really stock up on your favorite brand and only buy it when it’s on sale, it’s hard to save money as a brand loyalist. If you play the game and buy the coffee on sale and stock up when possible, you will save the most. I will admit that I love the Italian Lavazza coffee, and it is not cheap, but it does go on sale under $5 a bag like one or two times a year. I buy as many bags as I can during those times. Although there are often limits on the quantities you can buy, I try to get at least 6 bags when it’s a great price, but the rest of the year, I’ll make concessions and drink cheaper coffee because I never pay full price for anything.
(5) Drink Yesterday’s Coffee First
I know I may get some heat for this one – but I do it everyday. My brother in law was visiting at Christmas and he was in awe and complete disbelief when I took the cold coffee from the coffee pot, poured it into a mug, heated it in the microwave and drank it. Oh my goodness, what have I done? He said I reminded him of his days in the fraternity when there was only cold coffee around and that’s just what you did. But I can’t bring myself to pour coffee that I just brewed yesterday down the drain. I always drain the pot in my cup before brewing a new pot.
You know the phrase – “waste not, want not”. If you’ve never done this, you must wonder – does it taste the same – and YES it does! It might get a little bitter, but with coffee creamer always on hand, I have a hot cup of coffee every morning at 6 am as I’m preparing breakfast for my kiddos and brewing a new pot.
Imagine now how many cups of coffee you’ve thrown away. Many years ago – I used to dump out anywhere from 1/2 to a full cup of coffee each day. This can add up quickly to 8 cups of coffee or more each month!
(6) Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Coffee
If reheating yesterday’s coffee doesn’t sound appealing, consider putting it in the refrigerator instead. Then when you’re craving a cup of iced coffee in the afternoon, it’s already cold and ready for you, and it’s much cheaper than the coffee shop. You can even freeze your coffee to make coffee ice cubes to use with your iced coffee. Pour the leftover coffee into ice cube trays, freeze and voila! You’ll have delicious iced coffee that won’t water down as the afternoon passes by.
What other ways do you save on coffee? Let us know in the comments below
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* Please note – Savings information is based on Colorado pricing and the Safeway Coupon Policy for the Denver Division which includes Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota. Your market may vary. Prices may vary per location*