The Case for Keurig
I tend to think of myself as a frugal person. It’s not that I am not willing to spend money as much as it is that I demand value worthy of the funds surrendered.
Last week, I purchased a Keurig single serve coffee maker. It wasn’t really an impulse buy, I had been considering a single serve brewer, was familiar with the various models, and had done the math on the per cup costs. I had even sampled a number of K-cups to ensure I would not be disappointed with the quality of the product.
How expensive is single serve coffee? Let’s do the math…
The Keurig OfficePRO Single-Cup Commercial Coffee Brewer was $92.99 at Staples – 25% for one time office supplies coupon ($69.74) – 25% rewards ($52.31) – $10 in ShopDiscover discounts ($42.31) – $25 Staples gift card or $17.31. $17 won’t buy you a decent drip coffee maker never mind a commercial single serve brewer. Initial investment is a good value.
I use Dunkin Donuts coffee in my drip coffee maker. We routinely get 12 oz bags for $5.99. A 12 oz bag makes 40 6 oz cups of coffee. The Keurig K-cup makes a 10 oz cup of coffee. 40×6/10=24 k-kups for $5.99 or $0.25/K-cup.
To date, my best price for K-cups is 7×24 packs for $51.73 – $15 coupon ($36.73) – $5 shopdiscover discount – $1.83 Staples rewards or $29.90 ($0.18/cup). Looking at prices at Kohls, Staples, Best Buy, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I calculate $0.42 per K-cup as a reasonable, repeatable price.
42/25= 1.68, so a K-cup costs about 70% more than a drip cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Since I tend to have three cups of coffee per day, you could say that I’m paying $0.51 per day for this extravagance or $186.15 per year.
So, what value do I get for $186.15 per year? For starters, I am not pouring ‘old’ coffee down the drain (or my throat). I also have the luxury of brewing one cup of coffee after dinner. Most importantly, I am sampling all sorts of amazing beverages. This is surprisingly satisfying to me. The 48 oz water reservoir is available for hot water as well. I’m pretty happy with the value I get out of the single serve experience. It’s less expensive to own and use than I expected. I love the variety of beverages. What I value most, though, is having a cup of coffee when I want it.
For this frugal person, the Keurig single server coffee maker is a good value. I am sampling a lot of cups. Here are the ones I recommend…
- Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend
- Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea (just like at a restaurant in the South)
- Coffee People Original Donut Shop Coffee
- Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut (great iced coffee)
- Emeril’s Big Easy Bold Blend (set to 10 oz.)
- Starbucks House Blend Coffee (good black)
- Tully’s Italian Roast Coffee
Best deal on K-cups…
- Staples has 24 packs of K-cups for as little as $9.99 ($0.42/cup) which can be discounted by recurring 20% off coffee ($0.34), 25% back in rewards ($0.32), 25% off office supplies ($0.32), $25 off $75 ($0.29). You can also use Discover Cash Back gift cards ($20 for a $25 gift card) to reduce that cost by 20% and get 5% in Shop Discover Cash Back plus 5% in Staples rewards.