Lately I have become increasingly reliant on coffee. I didn't used to be a coffee drinker, I used to always opt for tea when given the choice. Although my developing coffee habit has not resulted in the severity of a daily $4 latte coffee habit at Starbucks, I am all too aware of the possibility of this occurring.
If you haven't heard, the Latte Factor was a term coined by personal finance author David Bach who posited that the small things (like a daily cup of coffee) that we don't really think about really add up financially, leaving us less money for the things we do think about and the things that we actually want. For example, that $3.50 cup of coffee (plus tax and tip) can add up to over $900 of coffees over the year. That $900 isn't anything to sneeze about, considering that it is at least 2% of a gross annual income of $45,000... or considering it is approximately an all inclusive vacation to somewhere warm and tropical, like Mexico.
Therefore, to avoid this mindless spending from occurring, it might be a good idea to look at the different ways that you can save money on your coffee habit:
Get a French Press
The Bodum French Presses are a great way to make coffee without having to wait for the coffee to brew. According to Life Hacker, even with opting for luxury coffee beans, the French Press still comes ahead in terms of budget when compared to the coffee shop.
Go for Keurig or Tassimo
Love the taste of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, but don't love the $2 to $5 price tag? The individual packaging of Keurig or Tassimo coffees allows for a less expensive cup of brew, price per cup of coffee is substantially lowered to less than $1 a cup, averaging about $0.50 per cup. Although these machines are pricey, the convenience of popping a pod into the machine and having coffee come out the other end is undeniable. No mess to clean up and no coffee going bad.
Re-Use your Keurig Coffee Cups
Even at $0.50 per cup, that can really add up, not to mention the waste that it creates with plastic containers being used on a daily basis. Here is a great Youtube video illustrating the simple way for you to re-use the Keurig K-cups a few times in order to reduce the cost from $0.50 per cup to merely pennies per cup of coffee. Unfortunately, you will have to eventually throw away the K-cups despite their re-use, but at least you are re-using it a few times.
Alternately, there are specific re-usable covers that you can get for your K-cup online.
Nevertheless, some people agree that coffee is an important aspect of their daily life and would rather spend $900 on feeling alert and sharp with their cup of joe at Starbucks than on an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico. To each their own, of course!
Opt of Cheap Coffee
MSN Finance shares a great list of the five best cheap coffee brands. Considering that the average American drinks 1200 cups of coffee per year, it might be a good idea to look into ways to reduce the cost of this daily necessity.
And if you are one of people who like the daily visit to the coffee shop...
Here are some ways to save money at the coffee shop:
- BYOM: Bring Your Own Mug - Not only is this a good idea for the environment, you can save a few cents, which of course adds up over time.
- KISS: Keep it Simple, Silly - The caramel macchiato no whip non-fat soy milk latte will definitely set you back more than a few bucks per day. The more simple the brew, the less it will cost (and the less time you will have to wait for your barrista to make it for you).
- Make Friends with the Barrista: One reason why many people like going to the coffee shop regularly is the socializing (and perhaps the eye candy, too?). When people know that you are nice, they will do nice things for you, including giving you free coffee tickets or coupons!
Bargainmoosers, do you have any other tips on how to save money on that daily cup of coffee?
(Image Credit: Waferboard)