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Challenge: Super Saver Challenge

7 Proven Strategies to Save on Your Coffee

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Let’s face it, much of the world’s work would never get done if not for the energizing effects of caffeine. At the same time, we put a significant chunk of the money we earn toward buying more coffee. If you’ve ever done the math, you know that the money you spend on coffee can quickly add up. One report estimates that the average American worker spends, at least, $1,100 a year on the stuff. The tips below can help you hold onto more of your cash whether you’re a home brewer or a coffee shop devotee.

1. Remember that pricier doesn’t mean better

Consumer Reports put coffees to the test, and the results were surprising. In a blind taste test, their panel of coffee experts ranked the taste of Wal-Mart’s Great Value 100 percent Columbia coffee as tasting just the same as Starbucks. Now, that's not to say that you must convert to Wal-Mart brand coffee, but take that finding as encouragement to experiment outside of your brand comfort zone. A lower price doesn’t always mean a lower quality cup of Joe.

2. Make your own blends

If you just aren’t ready to make the switch to a cheaper brand of coffee, one way to stretch your coffee budget is to mix your favorite premium brand together with a less expensive brand when you make coffee at home. Start out by mixing half of each and see how you like it. You’ll still get to experience the coffee magic imparted by your favorite grounds but with a cheaper cost per cup.

3. Give the grounds new life

Believe it or not, used coffee grounds still have plenty of caffeine and flavor left to give. Many super savers who are also die-hard coffee drinkers trim their costs by reusing old coffee grounds once before discarding them. Leave the old grounds in place and add 50 percent fresh. And before you toss those old grounds for good, there are plenty of ways to use them around the house and garden. For instance, they make an excellent fertilizer and addition to any compost heap.

4. Save with gift card deals

Did you know you can buy discounted gift cards on eBay and other sites? You can get $20 Starbucks gift cards for less than the dollar amount that’s on the card. The same goes for Peet’s Coffee and even Dunkin’ Donuts. While the savings may not be huge, it adds up over time. The world of discount gift cards is worth checking out when it comes to savings on coffee.

5. Explore savings online

If you run a search for deals on coffee, you’ll find a bevy of savings on your favorite rocket fuel from sites like Google offers and Groupon. You can also find coupon codes and special deals. Follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss out on special giveaways and sales. You’ll experience the most savings if you aren’t brand loyal, but even if you are devoted to one brand of coffee, you'll still find deals.

6. Simplify, simplify

Despite the hysterical warnings of financial advice gurus, you’re going to Starbucks anyway. Instead of ordering pricy Frappuccinos, you can save by ordering a simple cup of black coffee. Get creative at the condiment bar and whip up a custom drink that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth. Some people order espresso shots over ice and then add milk from the condiment station to make a frugal version of an iced latte.

7. Solve the K-Cup conundrum

If you’re using a Keurig, you’re saving money by brewing at home, but it can still cost quite a bit more than classic drip coffee. Tip number one for paying less for K-cup coffee is buying in bulk. Additionally, try out different brands. There are more than 200 kinds of K-Cups out there. If you aren’t brand loyal, you can take advantage of sales battles between competitors.

Coffee drinkers who are willing to change up their coffee routines will see the most savings. However, even if you’re firmly devoted to one premium brand of coffee, you’ll still save money with some of these tips.

Taken from my blog Coffeeholic, where we discuss everything related to our love of coffee.

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