Summer Savings Tip — Cut your caffeine budget!

What’s your coffee count? How many cups do you drink in a day?  In a week, a month, a year?

CBS News says that more than 50 percent of Americans drink coffee every day. And not just one cup, but three to four cups.

That’s a lot of caffeine — and a lot of cash out of your pocket. That caffeine jolt could easily be costing you $1,000 a year or more depending on your coffee destination and what you order once you’re there.

There are ways to trim down your coffee expenses without quitting cold turkey or cutting your consumption dramatically. Here are a few:

  • Brew at home – Buy coffee beans from popular chains like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks (compare cost and taste — you might be surprised) and brew your own. Invest in a travel mug and your first cup of the day is “on the house” at a significant annual saving. 
  • Keep it simple – Do you really need a double shot, skinny, half-caf, venti, caramel mochachino, expresso, cappuccino or flavored latte? The more you add, the more expensive it gets. Scale back from fancy to regular coffee and put the money in your pocket instead of your cup. If you simply must spice it up, try adding your own gourmet   “extras”  at little or no cost.
  • Join the club – Check out coffee clubs and distributors on the Internet, for deals that match your taste and budget.
  • Get a membership – Use a registered Starbucks Card for your  purchases and earn rewards like free refills and free drinks. (Even a free cup on your birthday!) Ask if your favorite coffee shop has a loyalty program. At many chains, seniors can get a discount with their AARP membership card. Check it out!
  • Stay connected – Follow you favorite local coffee shop on Facebook or Twitter, or scour the web for daily deal sites like Groupon or Brad’s Deals. Take advantage of special pricing offers.
  • Go to the source – The makers of single-cup coffee brewers (Keurig, for example ) may offer lower-than-retail prices at their online store. Even with shipping costs added, you could still save big buying this way if you’re a K-Cup® user.

How do you keep your caffeine habit in sync with your budget?

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