Monday, November 7, 2011

You don't have to give up coffee, or bring it from home, to save money.

It seems like every financial advisor in the last 10 years has been promoting the idea that if you would just "stop buying expensive lattes" and invest the $50 a month you're spending on them, your financial woes will be over.

I'm here to tell you that no, it's not really a good idea to buy expensive lattes everyday. I can, however, tell you that you don't have to go without your good coffee.  One of my favorite blogs, The Simple Dollar, has finally done the math on just how much you can save by bringing your own GOURMET coffee from home. No Folgers for us, folks! The bottom line is that even with really nice coffee and expensive creamers, a 16 oz. coffee brought from home costs under $0.70.  So, keep that in mind.

But there is another option.

I brought my coffee from home for months. The coffee was delicious, but it created problems for me. Most notably:

  • having too many things to carry across campus (not enough hands!)
  • in the winter my coffee being cold by the time I got to my office
  • and last but not least- spilling the coffee on myself repeatedly during my trek to the office. 
I have found a good compromise- it's still cheaper than the $4 latte, and only $0.27 more than bringing coffee from home. The refill! I am lucky enough to have a snackbar/coffeeshop in my building. I found out a few months ago that they charge only $1.00 plus tax for a coffee "refill", which means that you bring your own cup and get coffee from the pump pot. Then I found out that there is a free Coffee Club Card offered by Pulse (the company that runs the coffeeshops on the KU campus) that gives you a 10% discount on all purchases. So I've got my card, and a cup that I keep at my desk, and I get my coffee every morning for $0.97.  Besides, using a re-usable cup is good for the environment, too. I've had my trusty blue cup for years!

Now while you may not have a Pulse where you work, check out the "refill" prices at your regular stop, you may be surprised how cheap they can be. I know, for example, that Aimee's Coffeehouse has a cheap refill. Any other local Lawrence shops with a good refill price?

I hope you enjoy the cell phone photo of my cubicle with my coffee. :) And no, I did not pay full price for the No Coffee No Workee sticker!


  1. I know that La Prima Tazza gives a discount if you bring your own cup. I'm not sure what that discount is, but it's better than full price. -Kmha

  2. Thanks for the tip. And LPT has such tasty coffee!

  3. Z's gives you a .25 discount, & Milton's .50! Not just for drip coffee, but for any drink. Until recently Milton's had the dollar refill, but with the cost of Broadway beans, we had to change it so that the offer only applies to our Milton's "brand" cups.


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