If you normally buy your coffee, you might want to:
Simplify your order.
That Mocha Macchiato with soy is costing you, big time. At most shops, a plain cup of coffee (‘drip’ in Starbucks-speak) is going to be maybe a third or a half of the cost of a latte or cappuccino, which will be less than a specialty drink. Keep it simple = keep the money.
Buy whole beans.
Ground coffee loses its flavor faster, and it’s more expensive. Get a grinder; keep it clean (so old oils won’t make your new grinds bitter) and enjoy. Keep the beans in an airtight, opaque container away from moisture, light, heat and cold (no fridge!) and they can last a few weeks.
Reconsider your provider.
Yes, the barista at Cash-ola Coffee is a sweetheart and now knows your name by heart. Still, in a blind taste test in New York Magazine, the $1.79 Dunkin Donuts came out way ahead of the $2.11 Starbucks. Compute the savings and you might be willing to look around.
Yes, you’ve heard it a hundred times, but it’s still true—if you’re a regular coffee drinker, especially a fussy one, brewing at home rather than buying out can save you in the four figures a year. That’s a vacation!
Go online for deals.
The internet is awash in unwanted gift cards, many of them available for less than their stated value. Searching Ebay, Craigslist and sites like Gift Card Granny (giftcardgranny.com) could save you 10 percent or so.
If you normally brew at home:
Don’t make more than you drink.
If you commonly end up throwing away a little bit of java left in the pot, you’re making too much.
Cut out—or, let’s be reasonable, cut back—your daily consumption.
If you drink coffee for the jolt, consider this: Studies have shown that exercise and eating fruit can give you more energy that a cup of joe. Eating an apple, in fact, may make you equally alert.
Top your used grounds.
This is controversial, but: If you make a pot of coffee but run out, you can stretch your beans by adding 50% new coffee grinds to your already used ones. The National Coffee Association and every barista in the world frowns on this; frugalistas swear by it.
Reconsider your brand.
Don’t take for granted that you’d be miserable without your gourmet beans. Test other brands; you might be surprised at the result. And knowing you could save hundreds a year just by switching might make your new coffee taste better, too.
Reuse your grounds.
Coffee grounds are great as a deodorizer in your fridge or freezer, as a fertilizer in your garden, and as a way to keep cats and ants away (they can’t stand the stuff).
Whether you brew at home or hit the coffee shop daily, there are a dozen ways you can save cash on your java.