This guest post is from Raza of TheCoffeeMakerStore.com.
It’s hard to argue against these two facts: 1) people love coffee and 2) people love money (sometimes it’s hard to tell which one they love more). So if the first thing you look for in the morning is coffee, then listen up, because the following tidbits could save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars per year.
Sound outlandish? Well think about this; coffee is the second most highly traded commodity in the world, after oil. According to some research, Americans consume about 10 pounds of coffee beans per year. Coffee is big, big business. And you’re a big part of it.
Let’s assume you buy two large specialty coffee drinks per day. Assuming it’s $4 per cup, you’re spending over $150 per month on coffee. Not to mention lunch, muffins, or other snacks. Living it up like this might not be much of a strain on your pocket book, but most people could definitely afford to pinch some of those pennies. So how can you get some of that money back in your pocket? Check out these 9 simple tricks to help you save over $1000 per year on coffee:
Expensive Isn’t Always Best
In a blind taste test by NYMag food critic Adam Platt, he ranked 7 cups of coffee, of which Starbucks ranked last! Their coffee is $2.11 vs. $1.79 for Dunkin Donuts. Choosing DD could save you almost $230 per year, that’s if you just have to have coffee when you’re out. The savings are even more dramatic if you’re willing to brew at home. Buying Starbucks beans and brewing them at home can save you upwards of $1200 per year, and over $1000 if you buy beans from Dunkin Donuts. That’s enough for a cruise to the Bahamas. Let that sink in for a while…
Alternate Your Energy Fix
Many people just drink coffee for the caffeine boost. If you just drink coffee for the caffeine induced energy fix, consider this; exercising or eating fresh fruit may give you more energy than a cup of coffee. Some studies say that eating an apple produces much more energy than a cup of coffee. Most people don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables anyway,s o you can’t go wrong with this. Exercise has many known health benefits, including adding more pep in your step.
4 Ways To Re-Use Your Grounds
Used coffee grounds can save you a lot of money around the house. You can use coffee grounds as a natural deodorizer in your fridge or freezer. You can use coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer in your garden or compost heap. The high nitrogen content is very good for the soil. Coffee grounds are also great for keeping neighborhood cats and ants out of your garden. Cats just don’t like the smell, and chemicals in coffee burn ants’ legs. As if that weren’t enough, you can stretch the coffee you drink by simply adding 50% new coffee grinds to your already used coffee grounds. It’s just enough to make it taste fresh, and also stretch the beans. You may want to do this especially if you’re buying expensive coffee. Just try it out and see if you can taste a real difference. You can always tweak the ratio to match your tastes.
Buy From Walmart?
Some large retailers (even ones known for not treating their employees very well) are starting to offer Fair Trade coffee. This is good for coffee farmers because it helps them earn a more decent living wage for their work. But it also helps consumers because this coffee, which is typically more expensive, is more affordable now that it’s on the shelves of major retailers. It’s too early to tell if this will have a lasting and meaningful impact on coffee famers, but it’s a good start. If you can buy fair trade coffee at a slightly cheaper price, why not?
Mix It Yourself
If you love Starbucks Frappucino’s for example, opt for an iced latte instead, it’s pretty much the same thing. The trick is to ask for extra syrup. If you’re still feeling creative, buy black coffee and add your own combination of milk, cream, sugar, etc. Or you could ask for a double shot of espresso in a large cup, and then create your own latte by adding your own milk. You may not get the taste right the first time, but it will help you save some money in the long run. Plus, it could be fun to make your own creative combinations at the condiment station.
Look for Gift Cards
Gift cards won’t necessarily save you money, but here’s a creative twist. Look for gift cards on Craigslist and Ebay. If you work for a big company, see if they sell discounted gift cards. In most cases, you can probably find unwanted gift cards and discounts. This probably isn’t worth your time if you’re an occasional coffee drinker. But if your coffee habit is burning a hole in your pocket, this tip could save you quite a bit.
Do you like flavored coffee? Why not make your own? Here are some cool things you can add to your coffee grounds: whole cloves, dried blueberries, grated orange peels, lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, toasted walnuts, toasted almonds, cocoa, nutmeg, etc. You can even add the liquid extracts to ground coffee like vanilla.
Membership Has It Benefits
If you buy your own coffee beans, consider membership to a coffee club. There are plenty of coffee clubs online. Typically you’ll save money by buying from them rather than buying beans here and there. Just Google “coffee club” and you’ll find tons of coffee-of-the-month clubs to cater to your taste and budget.
Buy a Coffee Maker
So here are 9 little tricks that will help you save lots of money on your coffee habit. Following this simple advice could you tons of money without having to completely give up your favorite indulgence.
Kelly says: as a complete slave to my morning (and mid-morning and afternoon and snack time) cup o’ joe, I’m always looking for ways to save money yet still drink delicious coffee.
How do you save money on your hot drinks?