Friday, July 16, 2010

Financial Friday: Iced Coffee Can Make You Bankrupt

Good morning! Sorry for the lack of blogging this week - I was away in Florida, exhibiting at a conference for my day job. However, now I am back and ready to share the second Financial Friday post with you. This week,  it's for the iced coffee drinkers.

Think about it: The average iced coffee at a cafe or Dunkin' Donuts costs about $2-3 (at least). If you go every weekday, that's about $10-15/week or $40-60/month or $480-720/year. You're spending almost $750 a year on iced coffee. That is ludicrous.

The solution: Make iced coffee at home that's just as delicious, if not more so, and much, much cheaper.

The average container or bag of coffee from the grocery store costs about $4-6. I buy for myself, so I probably go through one container a month - about $48-72/year. That's about $648 savings per year, just by making my iced coffee at home.

Here's how I do it: For me, I like semi strong coffee with a hint of flavor, so I usually buy hazelnut or vanilla flavored coffee, and add two cups extra water for the amount of coffee I add to my coffee machine. For instance, since I usually make enough for two generous cups of iced coffee, I add 4 scoops of coffee and 6 cups of cold water. I brew it before I go to bed, pour it into a pitcher, and place it into the fridge. In the morning, I have chilled iced coffee waiting for me.

Tip: Make a little extra iced coffee and pour it into ice cube trays. Using iced-coffee-ice-cubes in your iced coffee helps to prevent it from getting watered down in this humidity. When the iced-coffee-ice-cubes melt, all you have is more iced coffee - not water.

Are you spending too much money on coffee? Or tea? Or some other vice?

Quick side note: I wrote a guest blog for PerkStreet Financial about drinking and buying wine on a budget. You can read it here


  1. OH I LOVE your idea of freezing coffee into ice cube trays! I never buy coffee any more, actually considered it today as a Friday treat but decided against it! However- sometimes I do get the craving for iced coffee, but am always annoyed by the end "watered" down part. GREAT idea :-)

  2. Michelle, this is a great blog post! I'm not a coffee drinker (and my office provides it for free for us) but a few years ago, I definitely used to grab a bagel or muffin when I was running late and didn't have time for breakfast. Instead, I know keep a box of cereal at work for those days when I'm running late. Its not only more economical but better for the waistline!

  3. Fiona - Thanks! I actually first saw iced-coffee-ice cubes at Dutch Epicure Bakery in Amherst, N.H. Genius!

    Michelle - I love the idea of keeping a healthy, "back-up" breakfast at work! I try to keep packets of instant oatmeal in my drawer - keeps me full until lunch, and also is better than buying (and even eating) a bagel or muffin.

  4. I'm glad you wrote this! I agree it does usually taste better when you make it on your own! Just to see it in writing how much you spend, etc. is enough to make a mental note NOT to keep giving my money away to DD...I've been good this week, let's see if I can keep it up!

  5. and if you HAVE to get iced coffee out and about- look for deals like Cumberland Farms who offers FREE iced coffee of any size on Fridays :) yum!