Save Money on Coffee
Is your latte habit draining your bank account? With the cost of a specialty coffee at your favorite coffee shop rising, your coffee habit can hit your pocketbook hard. From making your own at home to stacking discounts at the coffee shop, there are ways to enjoy your coffee for less. Check out these five tips to save money on your daily coffee fix.
Brew Coffee at Home
With all the coffee machines and coffee makers available today, there’s bound to be one that will work for your daily java habit. Among the most popular are coffee makers for travel mugs and programmable coffee makers that you can set up the night before. Brewing your own at home can save you $20 and more every week.
Roast Your Own
Love specialty coffee but hate specialty prices? Roasting your own coffee at home saves you money in more ways than one. First, green coffee beans are always less expensive than the same coffee beans, roasted for you. Secondly, since green coffee beans don’t go stale as quickly as roasted coffee, you can take advantage of bulk discounts and save even more. You don’t need a lot of expensive gear to roast coffee at home – a good frying pan, a popcorn popper or an inexpensive fluid bed coffee roaster will do the trick for you.
Cut Down on Waste
Do you know that the biggest consumer of brewed coffee is the kitchen sink? Every morning, in houses all over the country – whichever country it is – people brew a full pot of coffee and pour half of it down the sink later in the day. Why pay for good coffee that your sink is going to drink? That’s what single serve coffee machines are for. While Keurig is the biggest name in single cup coffee makers, there are dozens of other single serve coffee systems on the market. And you don’t have to buy into the throw-away plastic cup with K-cups, either. Choose a single serve coffee maker with a permanent filter or buy coffee in the new biodegradable green cups that are either compostable or biodegradable. Your coffee habit doesn’t have to bloat the waste stream.
Saving at the Coffee Shop
Of course, some of us will still want to buy our coffee at the corner coffee shop or cafe. There are lots of ways to save money on your coffee shop habit, too.
- Ask for no ice or light ice. If you drink your coffee iced, cut down on the amount of ice in your cup. Do you know that there’s almost the exact same amount of coffee in a medium iced coffee as in a large one? The difference is all in the ice. Why pay more for plain water that just dilutes your coffee?
- Get a discount or loyalty card. Whether you buy your coffee at Starbucks or the 7-Eleven, they probably have some sort of loyalty program or discount card. Most of them are the “buy X coffees, get one free” variety. It may not seem like a lot, but it can add up to quite a lot over the course of a year, especially if you’re the one who does the office coffee runs.
- Carry your own flavorings. Why pay for a shot of chocolate or hazelnut flavoring in your coffee when you can spice your own to your own taste? Flavour Creations
come in a range of flavors – and they’re so cheap that you can grab a few flavors and mix them to come up with your own custom flavors. Check the condiments counter at the coffee shop for cinnamon and chocolate shakers, too – it’s cheaper than ordering a flavored shot.
- Bring your own mug. Reusable coffee mugs aren’t just ecologically responsible – they can save you money. Lots of coffee shops will do coffee mug refills for considerably less than coffee in a takeaway cup – and you won’t be adding more garbage to the waste stream.
- Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Social media can keep you in touch with your favorite coffee shop and coffee roasters – and pay off in special discounts and coupon codes to save you money on your daily coffee habit.
- Download the app. Along the same lines, if your favorite coffee shop offers an app, download it. In addition to offering sweet conveniences like being able to place your order before you leave the office, coffee shop apps also may track your spending and serve up discounts and freebies like a free sandwich or coffee with your next order when you reach certain levels or do specific actions.
- Be nice to the barista. It’s just human decency to treat your barista like a human. A friendly good morning brightens their day – and may sweeten yours with the occasional free coffee. More to the point, though, when your barista knows you, she’s more likely to remember you when there are special promotions – and make sure that you get yours.
Whether you choose to opt out of the coffee shop experience or dive in with both feet, there are ways to save money on coffee. Take advantage of these tips to help you stretch your coffee shop dollar.