With more than 50% of the population in America drinking a cup every day, the coffee business is booming. And at $3-5 (or more) per cup, that can add up to a lot of money for our morning cup of joe. I’ve always been a big coffee drinker, and it’s one of the few things I didn’t give up when I became debt free. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be smart about our spending habits. Below are some simple ways to save money on daily cup of coffee.
Invest in a quality coffee maker
Brewing your own personalized cup of coffee at home is clearly a cheaper option, but you don’t have to sacrifice taste or quality if you invest in a really good coffee maker. From the basic, less expensive ones like a French Press, to the more costly ones from Keurig, it’s completely your choice. If you’re really dedicated to getting a good cup of joe, you can go all out with an espresso machine. Which makes a great gift for mother’s or father’s day too.
Find daily coffee deals online
Daily deal sites like Groupon and Google Offers, occasionally offer fantastic deals for local bakeries and coffee shops. I recently bought a $10 credit to a local coffee shop for only $5, which means I got 2 cups of regular coffee for free! You can follow your favorite coffee shop on Twitter or Facebook to stay updated on happy hour discounts and other specials like free coffee Mondays.
Sign up for a coffee loyalty or rewards card
Many local coffee shops and bakeries nationwide, like Starbucks, Panera and Dunkin Donuts, offer loyalty programs for their customers. You can sign up as a member and earn rewards for free or discounted drinks each time you purchase. If you sign up via email, they will also send you coupons and alerts for upcoming specials. Starbucks for instance, offers a free coffee on your birthday, just for signing up.
Don’t buy specialty coffee drinks
The more customization and changing you do to your coffee order, the more expensive it can get. You can save money by avoiding speciality drinks and ordering regular brewed or iced coffee instead. If you absolutely want to get your speciality drink, consider ordering the smallest (and often cheapest) size available. That way you can still indulge but at a lower price.
Spice up your coffee (for free)
Since you’re ordering regular brewed coffee to save money, you might get a little bored unless you find some low-cost ways to spice it up. Consider adding ingredients like cocoa, nutmeg, toasted hazelnuts, and cinnamon sticks, many of which can be found (for free) at the condiment station inside the coffee shop. Sometimes you can also add liquid extracts like vanilla for little or no cost.
Try a natural energy fix
If you’re more interested in drinking coffee for the caffeine fix, save money by trying natural energy boosters instead. Green superfoods like spinach and kale contain high nutrients for a healthy energy fix that can easily be added to smoothies or meals. Dark cocoa (chocolate), ginseng and some fresh fruits will also give your body a “high” and last much longer without the crash later.
Cut the coffee shop visits in half
If I had it my way, I’d not only drink coffee everyday, I’d probably drink it several times a day. But that’s an expensive habit to keep up. So I save money by brewing my own coffee in the morning, then 2-3 times per week I’ll buy a cup from a local bakery. Cutting the coffee shop runs in half also cuts the cost in half without sacrificing too much. Once you get comfortable with that, you might try saving even more money by only buying coffee once a week, like on Fridays.
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Join a coffee club
There are plenty of coffee clubs and memberships available. If you search online for “coffee clubs” you will find many online sites that have a variety of premium coffee-of-the-month memberships available. For around $20 per month you get fresh roasted gourmet coffee at a fraction of the price paid, and you don’t have to sacrifice taste or quality.
Most of us wouldn’t dream of giving up our cup of coffee completely, but we still want to save money whenever we can. By applying a few of these tips, we can keep from blowing our budgets while still indulging in our daily cup of coffee.
This article is part of our Budgeting Tips Resource Center. If you’re looking for additional information about budgeting tips, be sure to pay a visit!