Save $1,000 per year on coffee

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Take-out coffee is expensive, especially from specialty coffee stores like Starbucks, Peet's and Seattle's Best. When you consider that the average U.S. coffee drinker consumes as much as 3-4 cups a day, it really adds up!

Ok, so let's assume you have one or two cups of coffee a day, five days a week. And, that you're buying it at a coffee shop for $1.50-$2 per cup. You're spending up to $1,040 per year on coffee! If you're buying lattes and other fancy drinks at $4-$5 apiece, it could be much more than that. Let's use $1,040 per year as our starting point, and explore some other options to see how much lower we can get:
  • Stop drinking coffee: Um, what?! Not a chance, no way, no how. Still, you'd be saving some serious dough ($1,040 to be precise). Water is healthy and free. We're just saying... Seriously though, the LOZO team enjoys our coffee and we're not really trying to talk you out of it, so on to a more practical suggestion...
  • Drink free coffee at the office: If you work in an office that provides coffee, take advantage of it! If the office brew just ain't up to snuff, see your boss is open to buying a better brand. Or, chip in with your colleagues to pick a brand you all like better. If you don't get free coffee at work, talk to your boss about getting a coffee machine. It's a morale booster and a time saver (because the staff won't be going on as many out-of-office coffee runs). Yearly savings: up to $1,040.
  • Brew it at home: Making coffee at home requires some small investments to start (coffee maker, coffee, thermos), but it is simple to do. Even the most basic coffee makers allow you to set it up the night before so it will be ready & waiting for you when you get up in the morning. You'll pay anywhere from $20-40 for a basic coffee maker, up to $200-400 for a decent espresso machine and grinder. Let's say conservatively that you'll get at least 3-5 years of life out of your machine, so your investment is about $10-$100 per year.

    A pound of ground coffee should yield approximately 30-50 eight-ounce cups of coffee, depending on the strength of your brew.  Price of coffee beans will depend on the brand you buy, but let's say you'll pay anywhere from $5-$12 per pound for it. To replace the 250-500 cups you were buying you'll end up purchasing 7-16 pounds of coffee each year. Your yearly cost therefore is $30-$200/year.  Single brew coffee makers cost around 20-40 cents per cup so you'll be on the high side of the range.  Either way you still pay a lot less than buying from a coffee shop. Yearly savings: $740- $1,000.
  • Buy it at the coffee shop, but buy it cheap(er): If you just can't break the habit of buying your coffee out, at least buy it "on the cheap" to cut costs by 20-40%. Use coupons, frequent usage cards and discount clubs to help you save on what you already buy. With loyalty cards you can get every 5th or 10th cup free. Stick with basic coffee and free extras like milk, powdered flavors (e.g., vanilla, cinnamon) and sweeteners to create the perfect cup. Buy a larger size once instead of two separate cups, or take advantage of cheap or free refills. Yearly savings: $200- $400.
Ok, coffee drinkers, did we miss anything? Have you got any other great tips for us?

A LOZO expert posted this tip.

User Comments

posted by will_v (Contributor | 1010 Points) on 03-04-2010 02:29 PM
Smart thinking
It's amazing how quickly the cost of takeout coffee adds up. You figure a couple of dollars here and there isn't a big deal, but in the long run it's A LOT of money. Especially if you drink one every day.
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