If you quit Starbucks for a year, you’ll have enough savings to buy an iPad. Let’s do some simple math.
As I’ve talked to people about my upcoming book, the line I often start with is “did you know you can actually save money by drinking better coffee?” If this doesn’t catch their attention, my next line always does. “All you have to do is stop drinking Starbucks or K-Cups, and start brewing your own.” Insulting popular brands is a sure-fire way to turn heads, at least from their devout.
But it’s true, and the math behind it isn’t hard at all. In this post I want to focus in on Starbucks coffee. Keep in mind that this same thought process applies to all chain coffee places (I’m looking at you Dunkin Donuts, with your $1.50 small brewed coffee). The price isn’t the issue here, the value is. If you want cheap bad coffee, look no further than your coffee aisle at the supermarket; I’m sure Folgers or Maxwell House will gladly take your money. If you want expensive bad coffee, chain coffee will run your wallet dry. Here’s what I mean.
First, we’ll assume that you drink 5 cups of coffee per week (you’ll need sleep at some point). Given that there are about 52 weeks in a year, that means you’ll consume about 260 cups of coffee per year. At Starbucks, a brewed coffee is about $2, depending on size. Remember, this isn’t one of the fru-fru fancy drinks – it’s just your run-of-the-mill black brewed coffee. At this price point, you’ll be spending $520 per year on coffee.
Now let’s look at specialty coffee. We’ll start with a 12oz bag of coffee for $14 (this and this are two good examples). A 12oz bag of coffee converts to about 340 grams. Using an AeroPress brewer, you’ll need about 15 grams of coffee per cup, depending on brew method, which translates to about 22 cups per bag of coffee. If we take the 260 cups per year that we used earlier and divide it by 22 cups per bag, it comes out to 12, 12oz bags of specialty coffee per year. At $14 per bag, this means you’ll spend $168 per year on some of the best coffee money can buy.
Without considering any other factors, that’s a savings of $352 per year. If you need to purchase an AeroPress, decent grinder, and hot water heater, ($26, $25.43, $14.73 respectively), you’ll still save $285.84 that year. Did you know that an iPad mini costs $299? Quit Starbucks, and you’ll be able to buy an iPad with the money you saved. Or go have a shopping spree at your local Dollar Store. Whatever you want.
But what about all those Starbucks gift cards you have laying around from Christmas or your birthday? Turns out, Tonx will let you exchange them for credit towards buying beans. Now you truly have no excuse.
My upcoming book, The Beginner’s Guide to Excellent Coffee, is all about this kind of thinking. How can you save money by drinking better coffee? Turns out, it’s not as hard as a lot of people think. Please sign up for my email list below, and I’ll send you deals, news about my book, and interesting tid-bits about coffee about once a week. Also, please share my book’s landing page with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!
P.S. Here’s my AeroPress brew method if you’re just getting started.