Luxury on Less Tip: Cut down your coffee consumption

by Karen on September 20, 2008

(Photo by gwpriester.)
I love to start my morning with a hot cup of fresh ground coffee. Any more than one cup gives me the jitters for the rest of the morning, but one cup is just enough to wake me up.

Brewing coffee at home instead of stopping at Starbucks every morning is half the battle when it comes to saving money. But what about the high price of coffee beans?

For months, Tony and I were throwing our money down the drain with expensive coffee … literally. Not only were we paying $10 a pound for gourmet beans, but we were brewing a whole pot every morning and pouring half of it down the sink.

You don’t have to brew 12 cups just because your pot will hold it. We cut the beans and water in half, making only 6 cups. It’s the perfect amount for each of us to have a cup. Most importantly, nothing gets wasted.

We also buy our coffee beans at Costco where we pay $10 for two pounds. They’re high-quality organic beans at half the price we paid at the grocery store. Since we only brew half pots every day, we usually only have to buy coffee once a month.

Of course, the easiest way to save money on coffee is not to be so picky. Pre-ground beans are usually less expensive than whole beans, and brands like Folgers and Maxwell House are often on sale.

If you can’t get by on one cup a day, your best bet is to buy the cheaper, pre-ground coffees. Don’t like the flavor of Folgers? Try some different brands until you find the flavor and price that works best for you.

You can also try experimenting with the amount of grounds you use. You may be brewing your coffee stronger than it needs to be. Cut back a little every day until you notice a difference in flavor quality.

Bonus tip: Always make sure your coffee pot is clean! Running a vinegar solution through the pot once a month will make a world of difference in the flavor of your coffee, even if you’re brewing cheaper brands.

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The Wallet : Loose Change: 9/23/08
September 23, 2008 at 9:37 am

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1 Mary September 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I can’t honestly condone any cutting back when it comes to coffee, Seattle-ites don’t really believe in that sort of thing – we won’t even talk about preground coffee. ; )

Seriously though, another tip about home brewing coffee, you mentioned the vinegar trick – use this for your pot too. I know it sounds crazy, but you should never wash a coffee pot with soap. Rinse it immediately after use, and then once a week rinse it with vinegar.

There’s a sort of seasoning that happens with the oil from the coffee beans, and I know it seems gross, but your coffee will taste much better and it stays perfectly clean as long as you make sure to rinse it right away.

2 tiffanie September 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

i used to love drinking coffee, but somewhere over the past year caffeine has started giving me problems and i can’t drink it anymore! even one cup makes me nauseous and jittery and gives me a headache. *sigh* and i just haven’t decided to switch to decaf. guess it saves me money in the simple fact that i can’t drink caffeine hehe

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