Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How We Cut Our Coffee Costs By 80%

For someone who doesn't like coffee, our (mostly my) daily cost for coffee products was outrageous.  Over the past month we have reduced this outrageous amount from $150+ per month to around $20.  Whew!

  • First, me:  I have never drank a cup of actual coffee.  The taste is too bitter and I can't get past the first sip or two of black coffee.  But, I love coffee drinks like frappuccinos at Starbucks and the Baskin Robbins Cappuccino Blast.   So apparently I can stand coffee if it is swimming in cream and fat.  Don't even get me started on the caffeine kick which is immediate and overwhelming (a frappuccino at noon will keep me awake until 3am). This habit started about four or five years ago when the girls from work and I would hit up Starbucks every single morning before meetings and on occasional afternoons on the way back from meetings.  At the time I could afford it (I couldn't afford the calories but that is another story) and it got to be such an ingrained habit that even after I was no longer working I would seek out Starbucks or Baskin Robbins nearly everyday no matter where I was.  The caffeine was not good for me and when I was no longer working, the expense went from a blip on my financial radar to a big deal but, alas, I was addicted.  After we got settled in Las Vegas I cut my daily Baskin Robbins addiction down to every other day, mostly to save money and also because having caffeine every day was literally making me ill.  At $5 a pop, my coffee habit was still expensive.  About a month ago the hubby and I were talking about our bills in general and he said "you know going to Baskin Robbins every other day costs more than going to a show and dinner every month".  Wow.  He was right.  So I changed my habit (I don't drive by Baskin Robbins every day) but I kind of kept my addiction.  Now every week or so I buy a half gallon of coffee ice cream at the store, add it to milk at home, and 'ta da' instant coffee milkshake at a fraction of the cost.
  • And for hubby:  Hubby plays poker with his old poker buddies every day.  He has separate funds for this (his entertainment allowance) and is really good about not spending more than is allotted for playing poker.  Fortunately he is also pretty good about winning (yeah hubby!).  But, his habit was to order coffee from the waitress about four times a day.  Even though the coffee is free, he still tipped the waitress $1 for each drink delivered so the cost was about $4 a day.  On top of that he would use instant coffee at home because it was "easy" but then again, it was also expensive (those little tins of International Coffee really add up and he would go through about one tin every four or five days!).  After having the cousins over a couple of times for dinner, and seeing that one cousin would literally carry her coffee pot and coffee over to our house because she really has a caffeine addiction, we decided to buy a coffee pot and some "real" coffee ground.  We realized it really wasn't so hard to make coffee and about a month ago, I started making hubby coffee each morning in the coffee pot.  Then we picked up one of those big insulated portable coffee mugs with a cover at the Goodwill so now he brings his own coffee to the casino.
Overall I figure we have changed our coffee habits and went from spending about $150 on coffee each month to spending about $20 which is a huge savings.  It also cuts waste (we aren't throwing away disposable cups a half dozen times a day) and it actually seems to be a bit healthier (kind of.  At least we know what we are drinking and it isn't full of chemicals).


  1. That was some serious coffee spending! Excellent makeover!

  2. Thanks! I'm sure most people who make a daily coffee run dont really realize how $5 a day can add up!