Explore these 10 Ways to Save Money on Coffee at home with these great tips to help you enjoy a great morning brew without busting the budget! Enjoy a cup of coffee with our rich and delicious Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer.
Coffee. It’s love – love relationship.
There’s no hate when it comes down to this deliciously dark beverage, infused with a teaspoon of milk. Only love.
While we’re a pretty frugal household (most of the time), there is no frugality, no compromising when it comes to coffee!
In fact, my husband and I once got into an argument when I suggested we drink up a small container of instant coffee when we ran out of fresh beans a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, you can still pinch pennies and drink quality brew.
10 Ways to Save Money on Coffee
1. Buy coffee beans in bulk
For the freshest and most cost effective cup of coffee, buy 2-5 pounds of coffee from Costco (we like the rainforest blend from Costco) or Sams, instead of buying one pound from the local grocery store, or 50 lbs in bulk.
2. Grind your own beans
This may sound redundant. “Everyone” knows that freshly ground coffee tastes better, right?
The reasoning is that whole beans stay fresher, longer than ground coffee. Here’s what likely happens with ground coffee:
- You buy ground coffee and it’s great for a few days.
- And then your coffee isn’t so great.
- You blame the coffee grounds, thinking they’ve gone bad and toss them out.
What have we done? We’ve literally thrown away money! Which, in the long run adds up to a lot of money.
Preserve the freshness of your coffee and buy whole beans (in bulk). Grind them yourself with a simple grinder – you don’t have to get all fancy and expensive. (This was our very first grinder, but I bet you could find one similar to this grinder at Walmart or Target for $10 or so, without spending the extra money.)
3. Grind the coffee grounds…again
Whether you buy whole beans (which I hope you’ve decided to do) or pre-ground, grind the coffee yourself (again). The best cup of coffee will come from super fine coffee granules.
I owe this tip to a friend of ours. My husband went to visit him a while back and was offered a cup of coffee. My husband found it smooth and clean… so much so that he had to ask what kind it was! Do you want to know what the answer was?
Yep! Nothing fancy, regular pre-ground Folger’s coffee. My husband was so sure it was a higher-end, “fancy” coffee, but not so! His friend had merely taken those grinds and ground them again himself, resulting in a superfine granule that brewed a great cup of coffee.
4. Measure the coffee grounds yourself
Some coffee grinders have a setting that allows you to choose how many cups of coffee you’re making and in turn, the grinder will grind enough beans for those cups. Be sure your grinder is accurately measuring. My grinder gives me 5 extra tablespoons when I set it for 10.
Think 5 tablespoons doesn’t really matter? Think again!
5. Don’t grind coffee every day
Save time and grind enough beans to cover about three days. For me, that would be two rounds of my coffee grinder at 10 cups (15 tbsp + 15 tbsp = 3 days of 10 scoops).
When the grinder is done, I measure the grounds into an old sour cream container and then scoop them out from there.
6. Clean out the grinder often
Keeping your grinder clean of clogs means a more efficient machine that will last you longer, and give you a better cup of coffee.
7. Make just enough coffee in the coffee maker
For some reason, we seem to be drawn to making a full pot of coffee… just in case. But how often do we actually drink it all?
Figure out how much coffee you actually consume and then make just that amount. If by some strange chance you want a third cup, you can always make more!
8. Drink yesterday’s coffee
The idea that today’s freshly brewed cup of coffee tastes better than yesterday’s is not always true. The only difference is today’s coffee is hot! So what’s the solution? Keep yesterday’s coffee and reheat it. It’s as simple as that!
9. Refrigerate leftover coffee
If reheating yesterday’s coffee doesn’t sound appealing, consider putting it in the refrigerator instead. Then you’ll have an iced coffee ready and waiting for later (which is MUCH cheaper than the coffee shop iced latte).
10. Freeze leftover brew
There’s cold coffee in the fridge, but there’s a way to keep it colder LONGER without watering down our homemade iced coffee – coffee ice cubes!
Pour the leftover coffee into ice cube trays, freeze and voila! You’ll have delicious iced coffee that won’t water down as the hours pass by!
Does Grinding Your Own Coffee Save Money?
Yes! Hands down, by following the 10 tips above, you’ll find that grinding and brewing your coffee at home is just as satisfying and much more affordable than buying a cup of coffee out. (Save your special trip out to the coffee house for a double shot of espresso!)
Remember that you can also customize your grind texture to save money. A finer grind will go further than a coarse grind.
Alex at Our Endangered World
I learned that and lost a bet with a friend!) and some kinds of pour over and cold brew are filter-less.
I’m surprised no mention of filters with the cost of making coffee, as certainly this should be included in the cost. Filter costs can be avoided, and it also avoids more waste, for those of you who care about the environment and climate. You can get a reusable gold filters for pour over and drip machines (I had one once), they even make reusable Keurig filters (though most Keurig lovers like the non-coffee flavors and sweetness of some of the brews… no judgement, honestly… it’s all good if you like it), and there are several excellent methods of brewing coffee that require no filter at all, such as French press, percolated (and yes you can get an excellent cup of coffee this way – it is all in the technique – I learned that and lost a bet with a friend!) and some kinds of pour over and cold brew are filter-less.
I have been purchasing Organic, Fair Trade coffee at Aldi for $4 a bag, and I use less than a bag a month, with three cups of coffee a day. I notice a large taste difference with organic, and will never go back to non-organic. I use several of the techniques you mention above to save on my coffee cost… I grind it myself very fine, try to brew only what I need, and I drink day old coffee if I don’t estimate correctly, I measure the coffee and brew it just right, usually with a timer, and have experimented to give myself the best cup.
I haven’t purchased in bulk yet but I will look into it again. When I considered it before, it was actually going to cost considerably more money that way, not less… always do the math! Include shipping costs, too. I’m lucky I can get an inexpensive organic at an Aldi. I do recommend people selectively try some discount store coffee… some of it is AWFUL… but some of it will surprise you for the excellence. Price doesn’t always indicate quality, but avoid rustica beans. Only get Arabica beans. Check the label. Also figure out for yourself if you prefer high acid coffee (sun grown) or low acid coffee (shade grown) or prefer coffee from certain countries, size of bean, amount of roast, or elevation. Seriously… they taste differently.
Someone commented on their grinder going out regularly and needing to get replacements. I have had the same grinder for about 25 years and it was not expensive. It is a Braun. It’s small. No shute. It’s a simple design. Sometimes simple designs have fewer parts to break. Also, I’m doing French Press now. Once I started, I never wanted a drip machine again and I no longer own one. I have picked up three French Presses at rummage sales in different sizes, all costing $3 or less. The middle size I have used for ten years brewing about 4-5 times a week and only now am needing to order a replacement screen for a few dollars. I also have a French press by Thermos, that is a thermos! It was a gift. And I make a cozy for my glass ones to keep the coffee warm.
Anyway, I am buying about ten 12oz bags of whole organic beans a year, for 3 excellent cups a day, That isn’t a lot of coffee and I really don’t know why I get so much out of it. I’ve been looking online to try to find out how many cups per ounce is average for different kinds of brews, but there is no definitive answer between ways of brewing. I hear the average is to use twice as much coffee grounds per cup than I use. I honestly can’t put more coffee in my coffee press or the filter won’t go all the way down, and I’d say my brewed coffee is about average strength, so? I have no idea why. Anyway, that is about $40 a year… I think the price is now going up to $5 a bag now so that is still only $50 a year. Freaky… isn’t it?
Thanks Tiffany for some great tips! Especially “re-grinding” idea.
Did you know you can use a regular BLENDER to grind coffee beans? You can fit more in and it’s less messy. One less appliance on the countertop.
I have tried most types of coffee makers and have come to the conclusion that French presses use the least amount of coffee for the strongest taste. Purchasing a stainless steel one a few years ago solved the problem of periodic cracking of glass carafes.
I live in coffee country in Peru and I guess I’m biased. The carmely-chocolate flavor that coffee naturally has here surpasses Costa Rican and Colombian tones for me. Found coffee from Chanchamayo at Costco in TX once, and on Amazon too. Highly recommend! ❤️
Love all your recipes and tips, especially in a place where we make a lot from scratch.
In the last 10 years or so I have gone thru 3 coffee grinders. Eventually they don’t grind as well and then I use them for spices. I finally broke down and bought a coffee grinder that has a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder. Makes all the difference in the world. Although it is a litle bit more expensive initaially it is not as expensive as the 3 blade grinders I purchased.
Please don’t judge me on this one but one other tricks I use is that I make a pot of coffee for four cups. The next day I add encough fresh grinds to the still damp grounds to make an additional 2 cups but then only use enough water for 4 cups. I can only do this when my husband isn’t watching. LOL BUT, when he drinks it he cannot tell the differnce.
No judging here – great tip!!
Tiffany, thanks for the tips! I’ve just started diving into your website and came across this post. One of the things I do to save money on coffee and keep coffee for long-term storage – I buy green coffee beans in bulk and roast them myself in a popcorn air popper. Once every couple of weeks, I roast enough beans for the next couple weeks and then grind as needed. However, after reading your article, I realized I could save more and waste even less with your ideas. I’ve really enjoyed starting to educate myself on the “Crumbs” way of life! Thank you!
You’re most welcome Lisa!! ♥
I guess we’re already saving as much money as we can on coffee. Before I started drinking coffee, my husband would drink a whole pot by himself in a day. Now that I drink a cup or two a day, he doesn’t get as much 😉 And I’ve enjoyed putting a small amount in the fridge and then mixing it with a small amount of chocolate syrup and then fill the rest up with milk (yum!). We have always bought whole beans and measured it all out, even using a little less than recommended just to make it stretch a bit further.
Good recommendations for the average coffee drinker, though!
Great tips! I am a coffee snob since I worked at Starbucks and became a Coffee Master. (I’m claiming that title for life!) I hadn’t thought to regrind coffee to freshen it up. I don’t like too fine though because it tends to make it bitter. I’ll implement some of these tips to help us save. I’m trying to let go of some of my snobbish ways! lol
We have a coffee maker with a metal carafe. I drop things, so this saves us from buying a new carafe if I happen to drop it. Also, it comes with a wire filter, though I’m not happy with the amount of grounds it lets through. It uses cone shaped filters as an option but those are expensive so I buy the basket style and fold the into a cone shape. Works well for up to 8 cups or so.
And I thought the metal carafe was to only keep the coffee hotter, longer 🙂 Do you find that folding the basket into a cone shape affects the strength of the coffee? Great tips!
#9 is so fun and saved us from buying NesCafe last summer for frappes! Although now I am in the habit of asking guests, “Would you like some cold coffee?” instead of “Would you like an iced coffee?” which sounds much better!
Lol! Love your comment Nikola, made me laugh !
Thanks for the tips! I use most of these suggestions however I am guilty of using K-cups for the convenience (which creates a lot of non-recyclable waste). I use an Aeropress on the weekends when I have more time which I highly recommend. And try to use my Java-Jig when I can remember to plan ahead on the weekdays (this is a great little K-cup rig that you can use your own bulk-purchased beans).
The K-Cups are handy, but expensive. I think the last time we looked, it worked out to about $.50 per cup (ish), which would make a 10 cup pot of coffee around $5. Costco had the best deal though, if you purchased in bulk.
Suz (above) mentioned the cafe filter cups, which are a great idea. A small investment upfront, but could save you hundreds per year in the long run!
Have read about the chemicals in those Kcups so have no desire to buy one!
We buy in bulk but don’t have a grinder so I grind at the store then bring it home and store the ground coffee in the freezer in mason jars. Then we bring out ground coffee for the week. After reading this, I am going to try smaller containers so the coffee only lasts 3 days to keep it fresher. Great tips. I am going to try the coffee ice cubes.
Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers
Yes Yes Yes! I love this post so much. I can drink a 8 cup french french press by myself by the time the day is over…..I think its time I start grinding my own beans!
Whoa! 8 cups of french press is like 16 cups of drip coffee! (you must have kids:) )
I confess, I am a starbucks caramel macchiato fein. However, I did buy a espresso machine and was making my own for awhile. I need to buy more syrups.
For my regular coffee, I am hooked on gevalia house blend. I buy it at the grocery store, and I use cafe filter cups and use my krueig. I do not buy the gevalia pods, as they did not come out with them until I’d been drinking the coffee for several years. So it’s much cheaper this way. I love making one cup at a time, this way I can have a cup whenever I’d like instead of making a whole pot.
I love the convenience of Keurig 🙂 My dad has one and it’s pretty awesome how quickly you can have a great cup of joe!
Use the cafe filter cups is a great way to save money on coffee and enjoy the benefits of the Keurig – way to go! Save a few bucks buying whole bean, grind them yourself, and wallah!
Thanks from commenting Suz!
Is it better to “brew” coffee in a drip machine or a percolator??
We prefer drip to percolated coffee.. However, for a really amazing cup of coffee – french press 🙂 It definitely boils down to personal preference 🙂
Lol! Apparently the double grind makes Folgers taste like great – according to my husband, and his friend who tricked him into thinking the coffee was imported from Hawaii (something like that) 🙂 Once my husband’s “coffee-snob” confidence was ruined, he became “ok” experimenting with different brands of coffee. Our only rule now, is that we have to grind it fresh – which does make a difference.
We buy most of our coffee now from Costco… whole bean.
I’m not a brand-loyal coffee consumer, and usually buy in when it’s on sale and/or use a coupon. Since the flavored kinds sometimes cost more, you can add your own flavorings – like sprinkling cinnamon in with the coffee grounds. I intentionally make more coffee so I can refrigerate/freeze it, both for iced coffee and for using in smoothies. It can also add nice flavor to baked goods.
Great ideas Karla! The cinnamon idea is tasty, adding a little bit of coconut oil works as well!
We’ve been drinking our coffee black lately, and it’s actually nice for a change – plus (by default), it saves a few pennies!
Great tips! I’m so sick of Coffee Saving articles only saying “brew at home instead of buying at a coffee shop.” This article provides great tips for us home brewers.