You Won't Believe How Much Your Morning Coffee Adds Up To

My morning walk to the ValuePenguin office consists of some pump-up music and a Starbucks Grande Iced Coffee (if it's a long day ahead, a Grande Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte). There's nothing quite like a cup of joe to get my brain working. I've been addicted to caffeine for nearly three years now... and neither my body, nor my bank account has quite forgiven me. 

I've been thinking about getting a Keurig, a Nespresso, or a drip coffeemaker. At first, I thought buying coffee everyday would be cheaper than a Nespresso, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  Here are some interesting facts I learned about coffee expenses:

  • If you skipped Starbucks everyday for five months, you'd have enough money to buy a Nespresso VertuoLine ($299)
  • Single-serve coffee machines keep gaining popularity, and there's definitely some good reasoning behind that
  • No matter what you do, it is always cheaper to take your coffee from home. The $1 difference between a Nespresso VertuoLine and a Starbucks coffee might not seem substantial, but over time, you'll notice buying coffee outside the home drains your bank account

This is an infographic on how much money the average person is spending on coffee.

I started my calculations with some simple math. I calculated only the cost of brewing an average 10 oz cup of drip coffee, a 10 oz Keurig coffee, and a 9 oz VertuoLine coffee and compared that to the cost of buying a 10 oz small Dunkin Donuts Coffee and a 12 oz tall Starbucks coffee.

Because like many others, I dislike taking my coffee to-go in a travel mug (I tend to lose travel mugs), I also calculated the price of taking your brewed-at-home coffee to-go in a Dixie PerfecTouch Grab 'N Go Paper Cup & Lid. I did the math for how much it would cost to take a drip coffee to-go, a Keurig coffee to-go, and Nespresso VertuoLine coffee to-go. I then calculated the cost of taking coffee to-go in a disposable cup for intervals from a week to 40 years. It's amazing how much you save just by taking your coffee from home to-go in a disposable cup.

This data also shows that the coffee you buy in stores is grossly overpriced. The Dixie PerfecTough Grab 'N Go Paper Cup & Lid costs 16 cents per cup, and it is also much sturdier than most cups you would buy at a café. If you look at the graphs, you'll see that the price of brewing coffee is so cheap. Even brewing gourmet coffee like Starbucks ground beans is over $1 cheaper than buying it at Starbucks. If most cups cost approximately 20 cents, and brewing Starbucks French Roast Coffee costs 24 cents, the most you should be charged for a 10 oz cup of coffee is $1. As if this is any groundbreaking news, cafés are way overcharging you.

Honestly, I think most people buy coffee in stores because it's easier to drink and then toss it away. While it's not entirely environmentally friendly to always take your coffee from home to-go in a disposable cup, you're still saving a ton of money. You're always better off making coffee at home. Be sure to recycle!

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