The New Year is right around the corner and with the holidays coming to a close, many people are reflecting on their year and reevaluating some of their life choices. The problem is, resolutions can be kind of difficult to maintain. In fact, more than half of Americans will make a resolution on New Year’s Day, but by February, most people are backsliding, and by the next December nearly everyone is right back where they started. Part of the reason this happens is people tend to create lofty or vague resolutions with no real plan of action.
Whether you’ve resolved to save money, lose weight, or make more time for yourself this year, we have a simple change in your daily routine that will help you stick to your goal: brew your coffee at home.
If you’re anything like most Americans, your morning starts with a cup of coffee. A large percentage of those people go to some sort of restaurant or coffee chain to get their morning fix. Depending on where you go, you’re probably spending anywhere between 2 and 3 dollars for a 12oz cup of black, brewed coffee after tax. That doesn’t account for the money you may spend on added creams or milk, specialty flavors, or tips for baristas. You could be spending anywhere from $730 to over $1800 a year on your coffee assuming you buy one per day, every day. Triple that for the millions of Americans drinking 3 or more cups of coffee per day. Yikes.
It’s easy to see why coffee is an $18 billion per year industry.
Now, you don’t have to cut coffee out of your life completely just to save money; all you have to do is brew at home. Even if you cut back on going out for coffee half of them time, you’ll still see a good savings by the end of the year.
Consider a 12oz bag of whole bean coffee. Whole bean, single-origin, specialty coffees can range from anywhere between $13-17 per 12oz bag. That can seem like a lot, but when you break it down by cost per cup, you are averaging between $0.61 and $0.78 per cup. Following SCAA recommended ratios, you’ll get about 16 servings of 12oz brewed coffee per bag. Assuming you drink a lot of coffee and are able to finish a 12 oz bag in only 1 week, that is still a cost savings of around $10 to $20 per week.
That’s a yearly savings of $500 – $1000 just by brewing your coffee at home, enough for a small vacation. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be drinking better tasting coffee.
For a more in-depth look at these numbers, check out this breakdown from Financial Freedom Now.
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and nutrients that can improve your overall health. Drinking a daily cup of coffee can reduce your risk of contracting diabetes, Parkinson’s, dementia, and heart and liver diseases. Studies have also shown that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%, helping you burn more calories. On top of that, black coffee has next to no calories (only 2-5 per cup!)
Realistically speaking, though, most coffee drinkers add some sort of cream and/or sweetener to their coffee. Therein lies the problem.
Even if you don’t want to give up added cream and sugar to your coffee, you can still save a lot of calories by preparing your coffee at home. Places like Starbucks have no true metric for knowing the amount of cream and sugar to add to a cup of coffee. Depending on your barista, you may be getting close to a third cup of cream and at LEAST 2 tablespoons of sugar. That’s about 150 extra calories in every cup of coffee. If you drink two cups a day, that is 300 calories. That’s like eating a cheeseburger from McDonald’s every day.
If you make coffee at home, you have more control over how much to add (if any at all) and you can choose which creamers and sweeteners to purchase. For example, unsweetened cashew milk is only 20 calories PER CUP.
You don’t have to give up your cream and sugar completely to help with your weight loss goals, but preparing your coffee at home can be a great way to help cut back.
At this point you may be thinking, “That all sounds great, but I am simply too busy to brew my own coffee.”
While I can’t argue that you will save time, I can say that it takes about the same amount of time (depending on brew method) and it will save you a lot of stress and hassle.
A recent study done by graduate students at Rutgers University found that the probability of waiting over 5 minutes for a cup of coffee from Starbucks is at least 1 in 4. This does not include time you may be spending driving out of the way to get there in the first place.
If you brew your coffee with a Chemex every morning, chances are (yes) you’ll be spending the same amount of time waiting on your coffee. However, you will be in the comfort of your own home, without the stress of standing in line.
If you brew your coffee using a regular drip machine, there is no reason you should have to wait at all! Most modern coffee makers have a timer so you can fill it with coffee and water the night before and have it brew automatically when you wake up in the morning. When you brew at home, you can spend a few minutes more in bed, a little more time with your family, or just a little extra alone time easing in to your day.
While it won’t solve all your problems, brewing coffee at home can be a great small change to make in your daily routine. It won’t seem like a big difference at first, but by the end of the year we guarantee that you will have saved money, lost a little weight, and had a little more time for self-care. Consider making it your resolution this year. It won’t be difficult to keep.