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Changes are brewing in the coffee landscape these days, and we don’t just mean the return of pumpkin spice.
Since the pandemic hit, you likely said goodbye to your coffee pit stop before your morning commute, or even the midday coffee break with your coworkers. While we probably need a caffeine fix now more than ever, it’s safe to say our coffee habits have changed drastically in the past few months.
Cutting back on your Starbucks habit won’t suddenly help you afford a house, despite what some “experts” say. But it could save you between $1,000 and $2,000 a year, according to our math.
Even the former CEO of Starbucks concedes that our cheaper new habits might stick.
“Consumer behavior has changed significantly. Regardless if there’s a vaccine today, my view of the world is that these kinds of pattern changes will be somewhat permanent as people are finding new ways to live, new ways to work,” Howard Schultz recently told NextAdvisor during a live-streamed conversation with Ric Elias, CEO of our parent company Red Ventures. “The rules of engagement have changed, possibly forever,” he added.
If the former head of the world’s largest coffee chain says our addiction to coffee shops might be breaking, it definitely raises the question: How much money are you saving by brewing your own coffee at home every day?
We did the math to find out.
Knowing the number won’t just give you bragging rights. It might also help you be more intentional about where you’re redirecting those savings. Now is a great time to build an emergency fund, for example.
We used a few rules to crunch these numbers. For each type of coffee maker, we factored in the cost of the lowest-priced model available. Additionally, for each type of coffee, we chose a standard, non-flavored version. On average, Americans drink about two cups of coffee per day, according to Statista, so that’s how we calculated the total cost of each coffee-brewing method over the course of a year.
Figure out how much you’re saving on coffee and funnel that money into an emergency fund.
Cost per cup: $1.10
Total cost per year: $962
Nespresso — a unit of Swiss-based Nestle, the biggest food company in the world — is one of the most popular coffee makers on the market. Consumer Reports listed it as one of the best in its 2020 survey.
The single-serve capsules come in a variety of flavors, and the cost varies depending on what type of capsule you get. For example, you can buy 1.35 oz espresso pods or 7.8 oz pods for larger coffees preferred by Americans. Most come in a sleeve of 10 pods, ranging from $8.50 to $20.
A 10-pod sleeve of 7.8 oz coffee capsules will cost you $11 on Nespresso’s website. That means each cup of Nespresso coffee costs you $1.10.
Of course, you still have to factor in the cost of the machine itself. There are a handful of different types at various price points. The cheapest one available as of this writing is the Verturo Next for $159.
That means over the course of a year, factoring in the cost of the machine plus $1.10 per cup twice a day every single day, you’ll spend a grand total of $962.
Cost per cup: $0.48
Total cost per year: $533.50
Similarly to the Nespresso, Keurigs — made by the U.S. company Keurig Dr. Pepper — are marketed to people who want their daily caffeine fix but aren’t necessarily coffee aficionados. Keurig pioneered the single-capsule coffee trend.
In addition to coffee “K-cups,” you can also purchase tea and hot cocoa capsules. Of course, prices vary as well depending on the flavor and brand. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, for example, sell pods for Keurigs as well as for Nespressos.
A 24-count of Folgers Classic Roast K-cups will cost you $15.49 — bringing the price of each cup of coffee down to only $0.65, about half the price of a Nespresso coffee. It’s also worth noting you can save 25% by opting for auto-delivery with a subscription to Keurig. That brings the cost of the 24-cup sleeve down to $11.62, and each cup to only about $0.48.
There’s a wide variety of Keurig machines available, depending on your needs and preferences. For simplicity’s sake, the least expensive version is the Keurig K-Compact Coffee Maker, which will cost you $59.
That means the total cost of a Keurig machine and standard-delivery K-cups will run you about $533.50 per year, drinking two cups a day.
Cost per cup: $0.22
Total cost per year: $160.60
French press coffee machines are a classic, thanks to the excellent quality and relative ease of use.
Prices, though, can vary quite a bit. In a round-up of the best French press machines, prices ranged from around $20 to $130. Keeping our methodology in mind, we’ll start with the lowest-priced French press machine, the Bodum Brazil. The 34-oz machine is currently priced at $18.35 on Amazon, and the 12-oz version goes for only $14.99.
Since you can use any coffee that you prefer in your French press, there’s a lot of variety to account for. You’ll still want to use quality beans and a coarse, even ground, according to The Kitchn.
For example, a 12-oz bag of medium roast coffee from Coffee Bros. is $13.99 on Amazon right now, and has been rated one of the top flavors on the market. With 62 cups in a 12-oz bag, that brings the cost per cup to about $0.22. If you had two cups a day for a year, you’d pay $160.60.
Regular Coffee Pot
Cost per cup: $0.03
Total cost per year: $45.90
If you don’t want any fuss and just want your coffee freshly brewed every morning, a standard coffee maker is likely your best bet.
Of course, there are many different models out there at a wide range of price points. In this case, we’ll calculate for a basic Mr. Coffee machine, which you can get for only $17.98 on Amazon right now.
You’ll need ground coffee, which comes in a variety of different flavors and prices depending on your preferences. A 30.5 oz canister of Folgers Medium Roast Ground Coffee is $8, based on an average of prices for delivery to different locations in New York City — and it will make you up to a whopping 240 cups of coffee, according to Folgers. That comes out to only about $0.03 per cup.
To last the year, you would likely need to buy at least three canisters to have two cups of coffee per day. That brings the grand total, if you own a regular coffee pot and use it to brew two cups a day, to only $45.90 for the year. This is hands down the biggest bargain.
Cost per cup: $2.75
Total cost per year: $2,007.50
We’d be remiss not to include Starbucks on this list. Love it or hate it, you’re bound to encounter it as you go about your daily life. They have more than 30,000 locations worldwide, and about half of them are in the United States.
There are hundreds of different types of coffee combinations you can get at Starbucks, too. But here’s where things get interesting — the price of your Starbucks coffee (no matter what type) varies depending on your location.
For example, the average price of a Starbucks drink across the United States is $2.75, but in New York City, a tall cappuccino will cost you $3.25, according to research by The Spruce Eats. (And in Russia, a tall latte will cost you a whopping $12.30.)
Let’s take the U.S. average of $2.75 as a baseline. That means over the course of a year, you’d end up spending $2,007.50 for two of those drinks per day.
While you can’t exactly put a price on the value of a good coffeeshop break, knowing that you’re keeping your expenses relatively low on your daily habit could be a good consolation.