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.
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. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/173SGs_nKvKVw2Fx8WGxvRE-688UU5EvWYdwVMqnHPBM/edit?usp=sharing