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Great ways to save on coffee

By Carrie Rocha · Bankrate.com
Monday, April 22, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Whether you like to brew your own coffee by the pot or in single-serve cups, or pick up your java at a coffee shop or gas station, there are ways to save money. Following are ways to cut your java bill without giving up the habit.

Save at the coffee shop

Bring your own mug. Most coffee shops will give you a discount for bringing in a reusable mug. If you're a regular, a nickel or dime in savings each time adds up.

Earn free gift cards. Trade in points from your credit card or favorite loyalty program for gift cards to your favorite coffee chain.

Get a drip coffee. Wean yourself off the fancy expensive drinks. Instead, opt for a simple drip coffee and save yourself a couple of bucks.

Join the club. If your favorite coffee shop has a loyalty program, join it. If they sell a bottomless mug and you're there daily, buy it.

Talk your office into an upgrade. If your office had better coffee, maybe you'd be stop buying one on the way in each morning. Ask if they can improve the quality of the coffee beans or the coffee maker so that their joe is palatable.

Save on K-Cups

Reuse disposable K-Cups. There is a way to get two tasty cups of coffee from a single disposable K-Cup. The trick is to shake the K-Cup between uses. It loosens the grounds, and the second cup will be as good as the first.

Make your own K-Cups. Two nifty devices let you make your own reusable K-Cups that cost a fraction of the kind you buy in the store. Invest in a reusable filter for $20, or get a set of My-Caps that reseal an already-used disposable K-Cup after you refill it with your favorite grounds.

Save on coffee at home

Roast your own beans. Buy green, unroasted coffee beans in bulk online and then roast them at home in a popcorn air popper or in the oven. You can have fresh roasted coffee for $6 per pound or less.

Stock up at Easter and Christmas. Grocery stores typically run great sales on coffee the week before a major holiday.

Try a different brand. Try some lower-cost store-brand alternatives. Taste tests have shown that more expensive coffee doesn't always taste better.

Reuse your grounds. If you drink multiple pots of coffee in the morning, make a second pot with a 50-50 mix of new grounds and those used in the first pot.

How else have you cut the cost of coffee without giving up the habit?

Carrie Rocha blogs at PocketYourDollars.com and is author of "Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make" (Bethany House, 2013). She helps middle Americans live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. Follow her on Twitter at @CarrieRocha.

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