How to fit coffee into your budget

How to fit coffee into your budget


Ahead of the launch of Prodigal, Mark and I cupped for a minimum of one hour each morning. Having such a routine allowed us to calibrate well after cupping more than 2000 samples together. Those sessions also taught us a lot, some of which I’d like to share here....

How to fit coffee into your budget

Is Making Coffee at Home Cheaper? 

Let’s just get it out there: Most office coffee is weak and terrible. How are you supposed to actually survive a day with your coworkers when your coffee is watered down, burnt—or even worse—decaf? You can’t. So what do you do instead? Wake up, get dressed, drive-thru, repeat. 

Throwing a few bucks at your drive-thru barista might not seem like a big deal at the time, but that habit is a costly one. With a cup of coffee averaging anywhere from $2 to $5, you could be spending at least $20 on coffee alone per week—and that’s not even including specialty drinks. In fact, more than one in three Americans spent more on coffee last year than they invested. Think about it: If you’re spending $20 a week on coffee, that’s more than $1,000 a year. 

So how can you supplement your caffeine addiction without dipping into your savings? Make it at home. You might be thinking “But I can never make good coffee at home!” WRONG. 

All you have to do is wake up a few minutes earlier to prep your coffee. Trust me, that extra five minutes in the morning makes a huge difference to your bank account. Here’s how you’ll save money by making coffee at home and why you should do it. 

1.  Investing in a coffee maker will save you in the long run

Okay, so my first step is telling you to spend money — but bear with me. If you invest in a coffee maker now, it’ll likely last you for years. You can find a basic coffee pot for as low as $20 — AKA, skip the drive-thru line for a WEEK and you’ll have enough for your basic coffee maker. 

There are tons of different brewing methods you could choose from — including Keurig brewers, french press, aero press, and the pour-over method. Each come with their own tastes and price points, but are sill cheaper than buying coffee every day. And remember — clean equipment is crucial to delicious coffee.

2. A pound of coffee goes a long way 

A pound of your average coffee can give you anywhere from 34 to 48 8-ounce cups of coffee. If you use K-Cups, you’re spending, on average, about 66 cents per cup. That’s hella cheap.

At Death Wish, one pound of coffee goes even further. According to our brewing recommendations using a high coffee to water ratio, one pound of Death Wish Coffee gives you about 72 servings of coffee per pound — meaning, our $19.99 bag of coffee yielding 72 servings means you’ll spend about 25 cents a cup. And, depending on how much coffee you drink, that bag can last you up to two weeks. 

3. Your brewing ratio is everything

Messing up your brewing ratio will essentially mean you’re dumping gross coffee — and money — down the drain. Most at-home brewing mistakes are made here because we don’t use enough coffee relative to the amount of water (this is why your office coffee sucks). Mike Brown, our owner, uses almost twice the “recommended” amount that is printed on most bags. For Death Wish Coffee, use 2.5 TBL for ever 6 ounces of water you use

4. Filtered water makes your coffee taste better

Filtered or bottled water should honestly be a requirement for brewing coffee at home. It makes your coffee tastes better and leaves out the chlorine and other minerals found in tap water, which affects the taste of your coffee and could cause build-up on your coffee maker, too — add it to the list of reasons why you should make sure you clean your coffee maker. It’ll keep you from having to replace it. 

5. Save those specialty drinks for special occasions

Your large caramel macchiato with an additional shot of espresso and extra whipped cream could cost you over $5 — save that for an occasional treat. It’ll save you money and calories — one of these bad boys has more than 300 calories. Black coffee has two.

So instead of putting your money toward coffee every single day, put it toward investments or a savings account instead. 

Related: 5 Tips for Strong Coffee

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