Money Saving Monday: Coffee
If our financial situation ever worsened to the point where had to cut every single unnecessary expense, coffee would be the last thing to go. There is something about that black, bitter brew that just keeps me coming back for more. And I am not picky about my java, if I listed all of the places and formats and temperatures at which I had consumed the beverage, this post would start to sound like a Dr. Seuss poem. I drink gas station coffee, truck stop coffee, bank lobby coffee . . . I would drink it in a box, I would drink it with a fox, I would drink it in a house, I would drink it with a mouse . . . As a result, I am always on the lookout for a cheaper way to get coffee for less.
Here are just a few ways that I keep my coffee expenses low:
- Never waste a drop. If we brew a pot of coffee and we do not happen to drink it all, I never pour out the excess. I have learned that coffee will keep for several days in the refridgerator and will drink it cold or rewarmed. Mrs. Stew makes iced coffee for a refreshing drink later in the day. I know, I know, most of you like your coffee fresh. Me too, but sometimes beggars cannot be choosy.
- Mix higher-priced, gourmet grinds with cheaper brands. You will have to experiment to find the right combination, but blended coffee will stretch your java dollar. Our favorite low-priced coffee is the 8 ‘O Clock brand. Our favorite gourmet coffee is from a roasting company in a small town in Wisconsin. Email me glblstew (at) gmail.com if you want to know specifics.
- Add cinnamon. Sounded crazy to me too, but if you want to make cheaper, bitter coffee taste more like a smooth, expensive brew, throw a little cinnamon into the grounds before brewing. It really works!
- Look for deals. Mrs. Stew and I find free coffee all the time on the internet or in newspaper ads. Even big chains like Starbucks give away free coffee from time to time – you just have to pay attention and make an effort.
- Find alternatives to coffee filters. One coffee money drain is the materials used to filter coffee. There are reusable coffee filters on the market and sometimes we just use part of a clean paper towel . . .
- Collect coffee in hotel rooms. This will not work if you do not travel much, but I often travel with larger groups who stay in hotel rooms for several days. Call me a skinflint if you like, but I collect any unused coffee packets every morning and take them home. If you take the two or four packets that are in every room, the maid service always replenishes the stock for the next day. I think I brought home close to forty packets a couple of months ago. The nice thing is that we occasionally like to share a decaf pot of coffee in the evenings – hotel coffee works great for this. We never have to buy decaf.
- Don’t be a snob. For some of you, this will be hard. Mrs. Stew suffers from this affliction, she will often look a gift cup of coffee in the mouth. Me? I just pour it down the hatch. I’ve learned that almost all coffee can be enjoyed once you get past the first couple of sips. Cream and sugar can do wonders as well. If you are picky about coffee, you will find it difficult to go cheap.
Hopefully some of you have some more tips to add to the list!
Article by Stew.
Photo by [ jRa7]