If you’re trying to live frugally, money-saving experts are quick to suggest cutting out your expensive daily latte. And yes, you’ll stop a great chunk of your hard-earned cash from lining the pockets of the shareholders of your local coffee chain. But here’s the thing…
Life’s too short to live without coffee!
I know there are many fellow coffee-lovers out there who will agree with me. (If you don’t drink coffee, I’m sorry this post isn’t going to be of any interest to you so you’ll probably be better off reading this instead)
So fear not! You can save money by making coffee at home. And if you follow my tips it’ll be streets ahead of the undrinkable stuff you buy in that place with the green logo that I can’t even bring myself to mention.
For us single mums, it’s also a whole lot easier to have your decent caffeine supply readily available in your own kitchen. No more having to get dressed and drag the kids out to the shops just to get your fix.
But first, are you read for a hard truth?
OK, you might not like what I’m going to say next. Most people don’t. But in the UK we generally have NO IDEA what a good cup of coffee tastes like.
I know people who think the free stuff you can get in Waitrose is ‘good coffee’! And yes, we flock to the unmentionable place I’ve already alluded to above.
Despite that, recent research found that on average we Brits spend £2,110 a year on coffee!
And mostly on stuff that tastes like it’s been scraped off the bottom of a burnt saucepan. I spend WAY less than that on my coffee addiction, and I’m willing to bet that the stuff I drink tastes a lot better than what you’re buying for 2000 smackers a year!
(One of my proudest moments is when my plumber told me the coffee I made him was better than Costa!)
What’s so important about coffee?
It’s just an everyday hot drink, right? WRONG.
I’m a coffee snob. And I don’t care who knows it.
I rarely admit that the Aussies do anything better than we do. But having lived there for eight years of my adult life, I KNOW their coffee game is way ahead of ours.
Their independent coffee shop culture is so strong that when I moved out there in 2008 Starbucks had just shut down most of their shops.
Aussies do NOT tolerate sub-standard coffee. It’s practically impossible to get BAD coffee out there. Even in Woop-Woop, as the Aussies call the middle of nowhere.
I’ll never forget my friend telling me that when her father visited her every time they had a coffee he’d say: “That’s the best coffee I’ve ever tasted!” In the end she said: ‘Dad, that’s just how coffee is here!”
So you can blame them the Aussies for my snobby ways. When you drink truly great coffee every day it becomes more than just a caffeine-fuelled hot drink. It’s an essential part of my self-care routine. It’s time each morning to treat myself like queen.
My money-saving coffee ritual
I might save money on coffee but making it at home but I certainly don’t skimp on how I make it. However, I’m the first to admit that my coffee routine is probably far too much of a faff for most people.
Every morning when I get home from the school run I crank up my espresso machine. I use freshly roasted beans, grind them myself, froth the milk and pour myself the perfect latte.
Here’s a video a made a year or two ago:
I look forward to my coffee every morning. And it costs me about £9 a month. I go through about a bag and a half of Pact Coffee beans per month at £5.95 a month.
Yes, £5.95 for a bag of coffee is on the pricey side but compare that to buying a latte at Costa every day at £2.45 per DAY for ONE cup.
That’s £74 a month and £894 a year – without the almond croissant or blueberry muffin I’d be tempted to buy as well!
You don’t need to grind your beans or have an espresso machine like mine. You can buy your coffee ready ground and use a cafetiere or one of these. All the savings with none of the fuss and bother.
Here’s a little known fact.
So concerned was I about the bad coffee in my home country that I did a barista course with one of Australia’s biggest coffee producers before I moved back to England. I had a master plan to save the UK from bad coffee by opening my own cafe. Instead, I’ve only saved myself from bad coffee – but hopefully I can save you too.
Here are my tips for making a money-saving top-notch cup of your favourite caffeine-fuelled beverage:
1 | Buy freshly roasted beans
Most coffee in supermarkets has been sitting on the shelf for weeks already and was probably roasted months, or maybe as much as a year ago. So it’s stale before you even begin.
Ideally coffee should be brewed within a month of when it’s roasted. That’s why I buy my coffee from Pact. They’re based in London and their coffee is roasted just days before delivered to my door. The roasting date is printed on each packet.
This is the single thing you can do that will make the biggest difference to the taste of your coffee. You can see and smell the difference as soon as you open the packet.
2 | Don’t store your coffee in the fridge or freezer!
Put your beans or coffee grounds in an airtight container like a masons jar, which is how I store mine, and keep it in a cool, dry place. NOT the fridge or freezer (unless you bought so much you won’t be able to drink it within 2-3 weeks, then it might make sense to freeze some to keep it fresh).
Coffee is very porous and moving it in and out of the cold will cause condensation to form, which wrecks the coffee.
3 | Grind your coffee just before brewing
I sometimes buy Pact’s ground coffee, for instance to take on holiday. If you’re not as much of a fuss-pot about coffee as me then you could do this all the time.
However, buying whole beans is best because ideally you should grind your coffee just before you brew it. But I well aware that the ideal world is often far too much of a faff.
Incase you don’t mind a bit of faff in the name of coffee nirvana, my brother bought me this little hand ceramic grinder as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and it’s ideal. It takes a bit of time, especially if you’re making coffee for more than one person, but it’s one of my favourite parts of the ritual.
So tell me, are you a fellow coffee snob? If you’d like to carry on drinking a decent latte/capuccino/flat-white but also save yourself some pennies I hope I’ve inspired you to get your home coffee-making act together!
Have you got any other way to save money on coffee?
Got questions? Leave a comment, let’s chat!