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MoneyFail #2 – Dumb With Coffee

by Charles on January 10, 2012 · 9 comments

I am a big time coffee drinker. Well, depending on how you define “big”, I think I drink more coffee than any of my close friends and family. If you define 8 ounces as a single serving cup, I probably drink an average of 4 cups a day. Maybe 3 cups on a good day and up to even 5 cups on a looooong day, if you know what I mean. I drink one cup in the morning, another cup before lunch, one more cup after lunch and maybe one last cup a few hours after lunch. Am I addicted to coffee? I don’t think I am because I don’t drink that much when I’m at home during the weekends. I only drink at work. So that leads me to believe that I’m not quite as addicted as some people I know. You can be the judge if you like and set me straight.

cup of expresso

However, one thing I did cut down is buying coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. I used to buy coffee from these coffee shops every time I went out, but I’ve intentionally been trying to make it a habit of not purchasing coffee as often. You see, at almost $2 for a 16 oz coffee, it becomes expensive. It gets worse as you opt for the more expensive lattes and other exotic coffee/espresso varieties. If you brew your own coffee, the price comes down significantly.

How Much Can You Save?
At Starbucksstore.com, a regular House Blend costs $12 for 1 lb (453 grams) bag of coffee. The instructions on the bag says to add 10 g of coffee for every 6 oz of water to achieve the perfect taste. That equates to about 272 total ounces of coffee you can brew from the entire bag of coffee, or roughly around 4.4 cents per ounce. If you buy a cup at Starbucks at $2 for 16 ounces, that equates to 12.5 cents per ounce, a difference of 8.1 cents! So basically, you can drink 3 times as much coffee that’s brewed at home than buying at Starbucks for the same price. Did my math make sense?

How much coffee do you drink? If you’re like me and drink 32 ounces of coffee everyday, but buy all your coffee at Starbucks, you’re spending $4 every day on coffee. Carry the math to over a year, and you’re looking at $1460 spent on coffee! Now, if all of a sudden, you changed your ways and became smart by reading this post and brewed your own coffee, you would only spend $514 a year on coffee, a savings of almost $1,000! That’s more than enough to buy a nice brewing system!

So, how about it? Have you been dumb with coffee lately?

This is the latest edition of our new series called MoneyFail.

Photo: Charles, Cup of Espresso

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

BeatingTheIndex January 10, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Your math makes a lot of sense. However, in my case neither me nor my wife drink coffee. We must be saving a nice bundle every year :)
BeatingTheIndex recently posted..DeeThree Exploration: Are Investors Missing the Forest for a Tree?

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Charles January 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Must be nice not to be coffee drinkers. But I think I need my dose as I get tired too easily. Perhaps I should consider kicking this habit and save myself over $1500 a year?

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Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Great job on the math. We make ourselves tea every morning in a travel mug. Saves a ton and is greener.

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Charles January 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I’m trying to drink more tea these days. So instead of one of my normal dose of coffee at work, i try to substitute it with green tea. I heard that’s the good stuff people should be drinking.

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SB @ One Cent At A Time January 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

For me it’s free office coffee. You are good at math, agree with miss T
SB @ One Cent At A Time recently posted..25 Everyday Techniques to Save Environment

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Charles January 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

It’s funny that you all mentioned my math was good. It actually took me a lot longer to figure out. The instructions say 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water. Then in parenthesis, it said 2 tablespoons is 10 grams. The math just didn’t add up since 2 tablespoons equal to 1 ounce and there are 28 grams in 1 ounce. Then I realized that I’m trying to combine a unit of volume with unit of weight and the density of coffee grind is much different than of water. I have a headache now again.

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Andy Hough January 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I do drink a lot of soda. I’ve given it up this year and have been drinking water or tea instead. My purpose for giving up soda is to lose weight but it should save me some money too.
Andy Hough recently posted..My Picks for the Money Pros Index Fund Challenge

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Charles January 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

yep! Soda is also very bad for your teeth. The acidity eats and wears down on your gumline. Good choice on cutting down soda. Why is everything we love so much so bad for us?

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Jeremy @ Personal Finance Whiz January 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I’m a heavy coffee drinker, but make all of my coffee at home. The only time I get Starbucks is if someone gives me a gift card. It always amazes me how much some people spend at coffee shops!
Jeremy @ Personal Finance Whiz recently posted..Ever Had a $16 Burger…From Wendy’s?

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