Nov 07

The true cost of your coffee habit

Are you a Frappuccino addict or a slave to your Nespresso machine? Even if you only treat yourself to a Grande cappuccino once a week, chances are your caffeine habits are costing you far more than you realise.

Each year, Brits drink approximately 2.3 billion cups of coffee from coffee shops. That works out at around 45 cups per adult (never mind the blueberry muffin or panini that goes with it), across the whole UK. If you think you might be guilty of spending much more than you need to on a daily coffee fix, read on.


The Cost of a Daily Grind

Below is an estimate of what your regular coffee consumption is costing you, depending on the kind of coffee you drink, and how often you indulge. These range from the most expensive drink on the high street menu, through cheaper coffee shop options, and a few of the choices available to make at home.

That’s right, those who can’t function without an extravagant blended coffee every day of the year are spending over £1,400 on those drinks alone. Even if you give your wallets the weekends off, that’s more than £1,000 a year – wouldn’t it be nice to spend that on something more worthwhile?

Admittedly, the majority of coffee-shop frequenting Brits tend to order a medium cappuccino. This puts their daily cost at a more modest £2.60, totalling £676 if they keep this habit Monday to Friday. At the time of writing, that could buy you a return flight to the British Virgin Islands and leave you with change!

spilt coffeeRemote workers, freelancers and anyone else that routinely works from a coffee shop will already know the value of the filter coffee. At around £1.55 it’s one of the cheapest beverages in any chain cafe, and most places will give you free refills throughout the day. It might not be the most delicious cup of joe on the menu, but if you’re not in a position to buy in bulk, a simple house roast is the most affordable.

Those that already keep a strict eye on their cash will no doubt be choosing a more cost-effective way to consume their coffee, but would you have guessed that coffee pods can actually work out cheaper than filter coffee and sachets? While this is offset by the cost of a machine (typically between £100 – £200), if you already have access to one then you might consider switching for a brew that’s just as smooth.

Of course, some of these can only be bought in bulk, and we have assumed that you already own the equipment needed to make your beverage of choice, whether that’s a capsule coffee machine, a French Press or simply a kettle, mug and spoon. If you finish reading this and decide to change your habits, don’t forget to factor in these costs.


Fancy some change?

If you’ve become accustomed to your regular coffee – whether that’s a stir-in sachet or a freshly made mocha – you don’t need to make a huge adjustment to keep a little bit more cash in your pocket. With some help from the coffee experts at The Bag Broker, we’ve put together three suggestions about how you can save.

Scenario 1: A complete reversal.

Right now, you truly indulge, and like to have your coffee freshly made each day by an expert. You’re desperate to save some cash though, and decide to go for the cheapest option you can to save those pounds. Swapping that weekday Frappuccino for instant granules is going to save you a whopping £1002.30 each year, or £3006.90 if you can keep the habit up for 3 years.

Alternatively, if you can’t quite face lowering yourself all the way down to granules, even swapping to ground coffee and filtering it yourself will save you £931.49 over 12 months.

Scenario 2: The weekly treat.

Coffee shopIf you’re not ready to give up your friendships with your local barista or are just too attached to the coffee shop experience, swapping a daily Frappuccino habit for a weekly one is only going to cost you £202.80 for the year. You could add in a daily coffee made at home (or work) in a cafetiere and still be saving over £720 overall.

Don’t indulge in iced blends, but swear by your regular cappuccino? Making the same change to a weekly treat and making yourself a filtered coffee Monday to Friday will still save you £790.31 in a year.

Scenario 3: The imperceptible downgrade.

Think you could handle swapping a daily cappuccino for a cafe-bought filter coffee? You’re still going to save over £270 over the course of a year. If you currently enjoy sachet pouches, could you swap to grounds, given that you’ll save almost £50? Depending on the size of the jump that you’re willing to make, in 12 months you could save enough money to splash out on a pod machine next Christmas, and make some serious savings in 2019 – or spend it on a weekend away!


Is it worth it?

At the end of the day, only you can decide if your coffee habit is worth the cost. If you’ve already cut back on cigarettes, always buy in bulk and are dedicated to preparing your lunch the night before, we’re not going to force you to give up your luxury coffee habits. Just consider whether making a few small changes to the type of coffee you drink, or how often you splash out, could save you hundreds of pounds each year.


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