Omg, coffee. Why are you so wonderful? For many of us, drinking coffee is a (more than) daily habit. Here are 7 simple ways to save money on coffee.
Saving money on coffee – don’t start drinking coffee young
I remember vividly the first time I tried coffee. I was six.
My parents didn’t exactly give a six year old a cup of coffee – joke would have been on them.
But they put a few thimble-fuls in a small cup one Sunday morning.
We were having brunch at the kitchen table, and on the menu was fruit and coffee and donuts. Although my donut tastes have progressed (?) to very decadent cheesecake-filled/drizzled/topped with cake chunks and whipped cream, that day we were having plain donuts.
I tried dunking the plain donut into the black coffee and I remember thinking where has this been all the six years of my life?
I tried the coffee by itself and nope. Not as tasty as with the donut.
My daily coffee habit didn’t start up until I was in university. We would go through cup after cup of caramel macchiatos, cappuccinos, and mochas, while studying organic chem or foundations of computer programming.
This (more than) daily habit can really add up.
If you want to read more about how these small seemingly insignificant purchases can add up over the years, check out my post on The Latte Factor.
So how do I stop wasting money on coffee?
I want to encourage you to never give up on true love.
If the relationship is not good for your wallet, there are ways to fix this without abandoning something great in your life.
Don’t dump coffee. Let’s figure out how we can make drinking coffee cheaper for you.
Is drinking Starbucks every day bad for you?
God I hope not.
I mean, not that this would affect me personally…(um…)
I think it depends on what you’re ordering. If it’s the super sugar-laden drinks plus treats on the side every day, that’s probably not great.
But if you’re watching what you order and sometimes choosing the egg bites or a tea with milk, then knock yourself out.
Now, is drinking Starbucks every day bad for you financially, then that’s a whole other question.
Is Starbucks expensive?
The average price of Starbucks coffee is currently $2.10 in the U.S.
There are many cheaper ways of drinking coffee.
Cheapest way to drink coffee
Absolutely the cheapest way to drink coffee is to brew it at home and drink it black. If you buy cheap beans and a cheap coffee maker, this will save money on coffee, and will add up to big savings over the years if you’re a regular coffee drinker.
If this is too dramatic a change and too all-or-nothing (I can tell you I won’t be following this cheapest way), there are more moderate changes you can make that will still save money on coffee.
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7 Ways to save money on coffee
You don’t need to commit to doing all 7 of these things that will save money on coffee. Pick the ones you like, and ignore the others J Even if you just do one of these ideas, you will save money on your daily coffee habit. And over a lifetime, the little things really add up.
1.Buy cheap coffee.
This coffee hack might make some coffee connoisseurs cry caffeinated tears. If this is you, please skip to the second tip instead.
But, if you are open to buying cheaper coffee, you can save lots of money on coffee over time.
2. Skip the morning coffee drive-through.
A major way to save money on coffee is to make your morning coffee at home. Take a few minutes in the morning, or set things out the night before, and make your own coffee.
If you usually buy coffee on your way to work, this will be a much cheaper way to drink coffee – it will cost you only about 1/4th the price that you would spend in the drive through.
3.Get an insulated travel coffee mug.
Bring coffee with you if you like another cup when you’re out or at work. Bringing your own coffee or latte from home will save you several dollars a day, which really adds up.
I did a ton of research and thought about what the perfect coffee travel mug would be (and spoiler: I found the best insulated coffee mug).
There were three main requirements:
The best coffee mug would keep the drink hot for hours.
If you are a parent to a young one, I’m sure you’re familiar with having to settle for drinking lukewarm coffee because you just didn’t have time to drink it hot, or having to reheat it in the microwave seventeen times. A really good travel thermos would keep your drink hot even if you were saving it to drink several hours later.
The seal on the mug should be absolutely spill-proof.
I have had travel cups that claimed to be spill-proof but that was only if you held them upright and didn’t tip them. For real life, you should be able to throw the travel mug in a diaper bag or purse and have it not leak one drop onto any of those diapers. This leak-proof point was super important to me because I also wanted to use the mug in the cup holder on my daughter’s stroller when out for walks. I don’t know what it’s like where you live but the sidewalks around here are not even near smooth and I didn’t want to have a hot cup of coffee hanging right over her fuzzy little head as we strolled along.
You could open and drink from the thermos using only one hand.
I looked for a design that was simple and functional and didn’t over-complicate things. This feature would be useful for sips while pushing a stroller with the other hand, or picking up toys for the fifteenth time in one day.
After searching and reading many (so many!) reviews, I chose the Stanley one hand vacuum mug and I’m so happy I did. I have had this mug for four years now and I’m still in love with it. I actually want to buy a second one in that green color (I have the navy). It doesn’t spill even when it gets thrown around. I can easily use it with one hand, like the name claims. And my coffee or tea that gets made at 8am is still piping hot in the afternoon. It fits in the cup holders of cars and strollers.
Out of all the travel coffee mugs I have tried over the years, this one is by far the best. It’s everything a great travel mug should be and will save money on coffee when you remember to take it out with you!
4. Use a cheap coffee maker.
Some people have room in their budget for a gorgeous piece of coffee machinery like this (otherwise known as an expensive coffee maker). I am not one of them.
There are lots of moderately priced coffee makers.
But if you’re looking for a cheap coffee maker, there are plenty of inexpensive coffee makers that make great coffee.
A third budget coffee maker option is a simple pour over glass coffeemaker.
5. Take advantage of coffee shop freebies.
At most big chain coffeeshops and also many local independent coffee shops you can get loyalty cards. Get a loyalty card. It’s worth carrying around another card or little piece of paper to get free drinks. Free is good.
Starbucks has one of the best coffee loyalty programs. If you sign up and get their messages, they’ll let you know about half priced days, 2 for 1 days, etc. There won’t be any signs up on those days and the baristas will not tell you (unless you ask), so sign up to get the freebies and discounts.
6. Use reusable coffee pods.
Although this is one of the more expensive ways to make coffee from home, if you use a single-serve coffee maker like a Keurig, use reusable coffee pods. Not only will this save money, but it’s better for the environment too.
7. Order cheaper alternatives of your favorite drinks.
There are ways to order your favorite coffee shop drinks for up to half the price you’re paying now.
A couple of examples:
- If you order a tea, ask for one teabag. You really don’t need that second teabag in a medium or large tea. Ask for a small sized tea in a medium or large cup and you will get more tea for the lower price.
- If you like lattes, order an Americano misto. They are both half steamed milk; the latte is made with espresso while the misto uses regular coffee. They have a similar taste but the misto is much cheaper than the latte.
Do you have any other tips to add on how to save money on coffee?