How much more would K Cup coffee cost than my drip machine?

When the New York Times tries its hand at doing the math, it concludes that K-Cup coffee winds up costing roughly $50 per pound. That’s easily more than double what a typical high-end bag of beans or freshly ground coffee costs, and four or five times than Eight O’Clock Coffee drunk by the likes of cheapskates such as yours truly.

via K-Cup Coffee, Even Though More Convenient, Costs More Than Traditional Fresh-Brewed at Home | Moneyland |

Pardon my extreme frugality combined with having a few minutes of free time to answer something that’s been running through my head.  How much would a K cup coffee maker cost or save me over the life of the machine?

First, realize the coffee is expensive.  $50/pound per the above.  Let’s say, though that I can find them at a huge bargain price of 50 cents each at a warehouse club.  Two cups per morning times 50 weeks per year is $350, not including the warehouse club fee. That’s still less than the $500+ per year for a daily venti coffee at Starbucks, so that’s something.  And it’s fast.  But the coffee  maker is going to set me back $100-200, so actually if the machine lasted 5 years, which is iffy, it’s about the same as Starbucks.

Whereas a regular coffee maker is going to not be a significant 5 year cost at all, and it’s going to be roughly 17 to 30 cents at current prices.  Going for super expensive coffee it’s still only $140 or so per year.  So over five years for the machine plus the coffee it’s a savings of close to $1,000 over the course of five years.

The only way to generate a savings with single serve is to assume you’re pouring a complete 10 cup pot of coffee, minus your two cups consumed, down the drain every day.

So … correct me if I’m wrong but a K cup machine is never going to end up being a net savings.



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