Recently, I embarked on a quest. Instead of getting ideas from other personal finance bloggers, I wanted to get the opinions of average people on the topic of frugality. I started asking friends and coworkers one simple question: what is your favorite way of saving money? When I posed the question to my boss, Amy, her response was that she likes to save money by brewing her own coffee.
Amy is a bit of a coffee snob. No gas station coffee for her! Heck, she doesn’t even like Starbucks. So, she could stop at one of those premium cafes where a small coffee is $6, or she can buy premium roasted beans, grind them at home and brew her own coffee.
Saving Money Brewing Your Own Coffee
Depending on the grind and your preferred strength of your coffee, one pound of coffee beans will brew about 2 gallons of coffee, or 16 venti’s. If you buy the ridiculously expensive $30/lb coffee beans, filling her mug costs $2.
Now, I’m not that picky about my coffee. I do like the fare at the local gas station. Getting a refill of my mug costs $0.99 plus tax. But the same savings apply for cheap coffee as they do to the more expensive stuff. My personal favorite is Kroger (store-brand) Breakfast Blend. None of the dark roasts for me. The small can costs $4 and will fill my mug 45 times. That’s just 9 cents a day for coffee. Sure, I now have to buy my own sugar and creamer, but that only adds a few more cents per cup. Let’s call it $.20 per day. By brewing my coffee at home, I get a week’s worth for what I would pay in just one day for the cheapest swill I can find elsewhere.
A note on K-cups: K-cups are those little single-serving cups of grounds that are used by a specialty coffee maker such as the Keurig, who invented the style. They are fantastic for convenience and speed. Pop one in, and you’ve got fresh brewed coffee in under a minute. But the price isn’t so fantastic.
Searching on Amazon, the best price I could find was a box of 50 for $30. That price works out to better than Starbucks pricing, but still more expensive than your corner convenience store. Plus, a “single serving” means, at best, 10 ounces. And that’s if you like your coffee on the weak side. Plus, those Keurig machines are expensive! Who wants to spend $100+ on a coffee maker than only brews one cup at a time?