I worked in coffee for 4 years and feel like I know a great deal on how to save money. I know a lot of people say forego your cup of morning joe and make coffee at home but do people really tell you how to save even at the cafe?
1: Large Lattes – Less Caffeine, More Milk
If you like milky lattes, by all means get your coffee, but if you hate the milkiness of a large latte, stop ordering a 16-20oz. Most coffee shops use a double shot of espresso, about 1 ½ to 2 ounces, and the rest is milk. Since my ice cream addiction is hella strong, I usually opt for an 8oz or just the espresso.
2: Cafe Au Lait!
Opt for a large coffee with steamed milk. This gives you more coffee, less milk but the creamy texture of a latte. The price comparisons below are from the closest locations to my home.
Starbucks: Medium Latte – $3.95 / Medium Cafe au Lait – $3.15
Dunkin: Medium Latte – $3.59 / Medium Coffee* – $2.99
La Colombe: Medium Latte $4.50 / Medium Cafe au Lait – $3.50
I know the difference isn’t much but maybe you want to cut calories, want more caffeine, or get your money’s worth. Whatever the case is, give it a chance and see if it works for you.
3: Capital One Cafe
A bank having a cafe sounds weird but the perk behind this any Capital One card will get you half off your drinks from Peet’s Coffee. Get the large latte with 4 shots and pay half the price. It’s a steal honestly. Most drinks don’t cost more than $5 bucks but if you’re spending that 5-6 times a week this will cut down your coffee budget in half. They also give out free drink cards once in awhile. (Disclaimer: I used to work for Peet’s in a CO Cafe. It was one of my favorite jobs.)
4: Cold Coffee All Year Long
You’re the person who is sipping on iced coffee in -15 degree weather and 5 feet of snow on the ground because you need your daily fix. But did you know your daily trek to the coffee shop could be cut in half by buying a purchase from a growler and getting it refilled? You save a few bucks here by keeping some stock in your fridge in the morning and saving some bucks on that pastry you can’t put down.
Since everyone talks about making coffee at home but no one talks about making coffee at work here is a tip to not go to the coffee shop but bring the coffee shop to you. At my job, we have a Keurig machine and I dabble in mixing K-Cups all the time. I understand if you don’t like black coffee and cream, it’s an acquired taste.
5: Mix and Match
There are so many flavors of K-Cups that range tea to coffee to hot chocolate to espresso to apple cider. This can be used to your advantage. The Keurig machine at my house and job both have a selection of water levels from 4oz to 12oz for your cup of choice. Here a few ways I get around not having a cafe in a 2 block radius at work.
Mocha: 6oz Hot Chocolate + 4oz Coffee
Dirty Chai: 6oz Chai + 4oz Coffee
Tea Latte: 8oz Black Tea + Creamer
There are so many different flavors and brands that will help you save your coins. I know it’s not much but at the end of the day, if you are spending 10-15$ a day on coffee and want to save. This is how you start.
I hope you liked suggestions. What are your tips and tricks to save on coffee or anything you indulge in?
*Dunkin Donuts doesn’t have a Cafe Au Lait until next year.