6 Simple Tricks to Save $1000 On Coffee Per Year

Face it, your coffee habit is expensive. The daily trips to the coffee shop really add up when you actually run the numbers. Not convinced? If you go to Starbucks everyday, you probably spend between $50-$80 per month on coffee, and doesn’t include the coffee you make at home. Since most of us can’t go a day without our dark master, here’s a list of cool tricks to bring your coffee bill substantially down.

Make Your Own Concoction: Here’s a fun tip. If you can’t go without your daily trip to the coffee shop, try bringing a friend. Then simply order a regular coffee and go wild at the condiment station. Experiment with different types of milk, cream, and sugar until you create a drink that you really like. For example, you can get a regular espresso and add milk to create your own latte. Or you could order an iced coffee and add your own flavored syrup. You probably will have to do this a few times to get the flavors right, but if you’re with a friend it could be fun to compare drinks.

Consider Gift Cards: Buying gift cards directly from the retailers won’t save you money, but what if you look for second-hand gift cards? This creative solution could save you quite a bit of money. I mean, you already scour sites like Craigslist for deals on furniture, electronics, and books anyways, don’t you? Why not look for used and unwanted gift cards? Often times there will be enough of a balance for a few cups of coffee. You might even find gift cards for other large retailers. It’s kind of hit or miss, but that’s ok. You’ll probably find something good every once in a while.

Pricey Isn’t Better
: Lots of taste tests have proven that expensive coffee shops rank below less expensive ones. For example, New York Magazine did a taste test of various coffee companies, and Dunkin Donuts actually fared higher than Starbucks. Does this mean you should give up Starbucks in favor of DD? Not necessarily. But it does show that you can save lots of money by buying Starbucks whole beans and grinding them yourself at home. If you decide to buy DD beans and brew your coffee at home, you could save over $1,100 per year when compared to buying coffee at the cafe. That’s quite a bit of savings, don’t you think?

Recycle Coffee Grounds: There are tons of great ways to recycle your coffee grounds. These tips will save you money around the house. You can use coffee grounds in your garden. The heavy nitrogen content will keep away feral cats that may use your garden as a litter box. The nitrogen also burns ants legs, so it’s a good natural insecticide. You can also use the coffee grounds as a deodorizer in your freezer.

Make It Spicy: If you like flavored coffee, you can add liquid extracts like vanilla to your coffee. You can also try grinding spices like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, nuts, etc. into your whole coffee beans.

Natural Energy: If you just drink coffee for the caffeine, there are much better ways to get energy. For one, regular exercise, especially in the morning will help you feel more energetic throughout the day. Eating fresh fruits is another great way to get energy. Apples produce as much (if not more) energy than a cup of coffee. Drinking plenty of water is yet another way to feel more peppy throughout the day. So if you just drink coffee for the caffeine fix, you have plenty of great options.

So here are 6 cool ways to save more money on coffee. If you follow them, you could well save up to $1000 per year on coffee. What other things do you do to save money on your coffee habit? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.


By , on Apr 5, 2010
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. It’s very common around here for people to visit the local coffee shop every day. When my husband lost his job over a year ago, coffee was an early change. We’ve made changes in stages. First, we had one of those “pod” type machines. Certainly cheaper than the coffee shop, but still somewhat pricey, as home made coffee goes. Then we switched back to our old coffee machine, still going strong after 19 years! We used to buy more expensive coffee, but not anymore. Brewed correctly, we have been successful with the more inexpensive brands. I shop for coffee carefully — about every 3 months the prices are the best, then up again until the cycle continues.

    The next step in saving money on our coffee habit was the creamer. Hubby *loved* the flavored creamers, which at over $3 a pop are fairly pricey, especially if you use a lot if it in each cup. I did see one recipe for making your own flavored creamer, but it used sweetened condensed milk, and cost about the same as the premixed flavored creamers! We’ve switched to regular half-and-half, and our own flavorings. I haven’t figured out how to get that hazelnut flavor yet, though!

    Personally, I drink tea!

  2. Lisa in Chicago:

    Are you kidding me? Here is an idea. Buy excellent quality beans from a roaster with good reputation in your area. Brew your coffee at home in a simple brewer like a Chemex. Invest in the best quality grinder that you can (it really matters)! You won’t have to waste your money on syrup and spices to cover up an inferior product. I buy my freshly roasted beans from Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com and learned how to brew my coffee from them. You can even tweek your technique by looking for tips on You Tube. You really do get what you pay for!

  3. Jersey Mom:

    I use to live in the northwest so understand how important coffee is for most people. While there, I began drinking Tully’s and still continue to enjoy it by making it at home. I do save a lot by not buying coffee in coffee shops.

  4. Brock:

    Really? This is how you really save money on coffee:
    In order of progression from cheapskate to snob:
    1. Order regular instead of a half-caf triple grande no-fat extra whip mocha every morning from SBUX, etc –– $1.25/cup
    2. Brew it at home –– 25¢/cup
    3. Roast it at home –– 10¢/cup
    4. Move to the tropics and grow your own –– Practically free.

    I advocate (and practice) steps 2 and 3.

    • Lynnae:

      I haven’t tried roasting my beans at home yet. Is it difficult? Home brewed coffee is what I drink most of the time. Every once in a while I’ll treat myself to Dutch Brothers, but it’s less than once a month.

      It’s hard to fathom spending $50 a month on coffee, but I know there are people here in Oregon that do it.

      • Brock:

        It’s dead simple to start: Buy an old popcorn popper, buy some green beans, and roast!
        If you get sucked in, though, your equipment costs could run into the thousands! :)
        Here’s a great place to start (And they sell good [though expensive] green beans:

  5. Annie:

    Thanks for this post! There are a few ideas I hadn’t considered before, like ordering just an espresso and doctoring it up at the “condiments” stations :-P
    I’ve just started brewing at home to save money & try different brands of coffee depending on what’s on sale & what I have coupons for. Then to make my black coffee more like a latte or capp I add dark brown sugar (adds a richer flavor vs. white sugar) and regular milk (2% in my house) not cream because I use to be on a kick-the-calories lifestyle. I’m not much anymore but I still like the lighter flavor milk adds to my coffee.

  6. A friend opened my glovebox to retrieve a pen or something, instead she pulled out my tiny tupperware container of ground cinnamon. She looked at me like I’d grown a second head until I explained it was for travel-coffee-emergencies. It can make all the difference in the world.

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