Recently I figured out how to have Keurig pod coffee maker coffee for less. I thought I'd take a coffee break from a month of new product announcements to share some tips about how to cut the cost of pod coffee and how to make good pod coffee. . Pod coffee makers to be exact.
I love good coffee but I am bad at making coffee. The idea of a Keurig pod coffee maker was especially appealing to me because the pods are pre-measured. Just drop a pod in for a perfect cup of coffee. But packages of pod coffee are expensive. It wasn't long before the price of the pods started adding up and I wondered if a Keurig was worth the extra (recurring) expense until I learned a better way.
The Price of Pods
While the price of a cup of coffee made with a pod is cheaper than stopping at Starbucks, it is significantly more expensive than using a drip coffee maker. On Amazon.com or on sale at the grocery store, I was able to find pods for as little as .40 a-piece (in boxes of 12 or 18 pods). But it is typical to spend .60 to over $1 for each pod.
When I compared the price of brewing drip coffee to the single-serving coffee pods, the pods cost nearly twice as much as buying good coffee beans. In a week, our household could go through a $10 bag of coffee. In a week of using pods, it cost us about $17 or more as we made two cups of coffee for two people every day.
Then, too there is the cost to the environment because each individual pod is made of non-recyclable plastic and foil. I picture landfills piled high in the billions of coffee pods used each year from the 5 million pod coffee makers sold.
How to cut costs (and save the environment)
There are a number of K-cup options that allow you to grind your own coffee and save money. In fact, because you only brew the cups of coffee you want to drink, you may save money over making a whole pot of coffee. All of these options are available to buy online.
Disposable pods ($10 for 50)- These are packages of paper lids and cups that can be filled with your coffee. They still cost around .20 each plus the price of coffee, but they are less expensive than pre-packaged pods.
Perfect Pod EZ-Cup ($16 for reusable pod + .15 per filter)- The "perfect pod" system includes a plastic pod insert into which a paper pod filter is placed. The paper filter is more environmentally-friendly than the plastic and foil pre-packaged pods, and it's less expensive. The paper filters can be thrown away so they aren't a hassle like reusable filters that must be emptied and washed after each use.
Keurig My K-Cup reusable coffee filter ($13-$17) - This is a plastic pod with metal coffee filter insert that can be filled with your ground coffee and washed out for reuse. There is no per-cup cost but it's a bit messier to get the grinds out of the metal filter.
Ekobrew reusable filter ($9.99) - This is a plastic and metal filter that fits into the pod holder. This is a one-piece pod and filter solution. Unlike the Keurig reusable filter, you can place the Ekobrew filter in the machine without having to pull out the pod holder. The Ekobrew can be filled with your favorite coffee. Ekobrew also sells loose Stash brand tea leaves that can be used in their pods.
Brioni's Green Cup coffee pod adapter and coffee- The Brioni system is better for the environment than regular coffee pods but not less expensive. The Brioni pod adapter runs $4.99 and is used with paper coffee pods that are filled with Green Cup coffee. While the paper pods reduce waste, they are individually wrapped in foil for freshness. Plus, the Green Cup single-serving coffee pods run the typical .60 each.
How to make the best coffee with your own coffee
There are a few tips for using drip coffee in a single serving pod machine. You may want to adjust the coarseness of the grind for better flavor and coffee maker performance.
- Using more coffee creates a bolder taste. Fill the reusable filter to the max line for bold coffee and less if it is too strong.
- A fine grind will allow water to pass through slower giving you a stronger cup of coffee
- If coffee grind is too fine, it can cause a back flow that will turn off the machine
- A course grind will yield a mild cup of coffee
- Use whole beans freshly ground using a burr grinder for best taste.
A few more money saving tips
There is no need to buy teas or cocoas when using a coffee maker like the Keurig B70 or other model with a water reservoir. When you hit the brew button without a pod inserted, hot water is dispensed and can easily fill your mug to steep a tea bag or mix with powdered hot chocolate.
I love how fast and easy it is to use my Keurig and I'm happy that I could make peace by lowering the cost to my pocket book and to the environment.