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I drink a lot of coffee, sometimes more than I should, but I mix it up between regular and decaf so my nervous system hasn't gone completely haywire. But my bank account has. My choice of coffee machine was causing me to spend nearly $900 a year more than I had to, and I decided it wasn't worth it.
According to a recent commentary published by Harvard School of Public Health, the average American coffee drinker consumes 27.9 ounces of coffee a day. That is 3.1 nine ounce cups per day, 365 days per year. That is a lot of coffee, but on a per person basis Americans aren't even in the top 10. That honor belongs to Finland.
Until very recently I was using a Keurig brewer and the ubiquitous K-cups. Each K-cup makes a decent six ounce cup of coffee. And while the brewer does have a setting for a 7+ ounce cup, I felt that at that setting the result was a weaker brew. Each K-cup was costing me about fifty cents. I made shopping for the coffee a game, comparing the per unit price at both Costco and Amazon. Amazon has the subscription service and if your coffee is among those offered, you can save 15% off the listed price. The coffee is packaged 50 cups per box or 53 cents per cup. Costco sells certain varieties in boxes of 80 for $38 or 48 cents per cup. The main source of savings, I discovered, is not where you buy the K-cups but in choosing not to use them.
You can easily find bags of coffee for less than eight dollars a pound. I recently bought a 2-1/2 pound bag of Dunkin Donuts Coffee, which will make 135 cups, for $19.99. That means each cup costs less than 15 cents. That is a savings of nearly 75 percent. It sounds trivial until you look at the consumption. Assuming that I drink eight six ounce cups, or 48 ounces, per day, I will spend $941 more on the K-cups than if I used regularly ground coffee. If you drink the amount that the average American coffee drinker does, your savings will still be $470, rounding down to four six-ounce cups.
One of the reasons which led me to use the single cup brewer was that there was less waste making a single cup at a time, and more convenience. However, I recently discovered a new toy, a single cup coffee maker which uses ordinary coffee and doesn't require special adapters, such as Keurig brewers do. You simply scoop the amount of coffee needed into the basket, add the proper amount of water for your cup and bingo -you get a hot cup of coffee. What excites me about this product is that if I am using a larger cup, such as the 12 ounce travel mug, I simply add two scoops of coffee and 12 ounces of water.
I did buy the new brewer which cost $55, but I will easily recoup that savings after 160 regular cups of coffee or within a month.