The Cost of Coffee

A large iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts costs $2.79, at Starbucks it’s $2.95.  If I were stop at Dunkin Donuts to buy coffee on my way to work every morning it would cost with sales tax  $14.85.  I need coffee on the weekends too since I’m addicted…so that bumps it up to $20.79.  You might say to me “Oh what’s $20?  That’s not much of a cost for you to enjoy something that you love.”  But add this up over time and that $20.79 becomes $1081.08 in a year.  If I got coffee every morning of my working adult life, let’s say that I work 40 years, that becomes $43,243.20  I don’t know about you, but I can think of better ways to spend that kind of money than on a tasty morning beverage.

But what can we do?  How else will we get our caffeine fix?  These are some very good questions.  What we are neglecting is a more frugal option that will give us the same amount of joy (or close to it) in making at home coffee.

Get a coffee Maker – You will need to make an initial investment in a drip or single serving coffee maker.  If you are a coffee novice and only making a cup or two for yourself you can purchase a small 4 cup machine like this one for around $20.  Or better yet, check your local second hand store and get it for less!  If you are more of a coffee snob, like me, you can invest in an espresso machine.  I bought mine on a Black Friday deal for $30.

Coffee Central Control – Yes this is necessary
Get Coffee Grounds – Now this is where my inner coffee snob will start to show.  As a reformed Starbucks addict I have a taste for the stronger (better) coffee.  So I watch for sales on starbucks ground coffee and stock up when it is a good price.  For the sake of this comparison we will use the regular price of $13.49 for 12 oz.

Brew coffee, save money – There are about 5 Tbsp in 1 oz of coffee.  I brew my coffee at a ratio of 2 Tbsp to 10 oz of water.  So this means that for my $13.49 I will get 30 cups of coffee at around $0.45 a cup.  If I am diligent with my home brewed coffee this gives me a savings of $917.28 for the year!

Coffee preferences are specific to your tastes.  I created this coffee calculator that you can use to calculate your own savings by brewing at home!  Save a copy and update the blue cells.