In this post we’re going to look at the k cup coffee vs the ground coffee cost side by side…and see which comes out ahead! Saving money, squeezing more out of your coffee experience drip for drip….don’t those two go together hand in hand like two peas in a pod?
Yep, no doubt about it. I don’t have any need to get more coffee for less price…said no one ever. Well, let’s take a look at k-cups vs grounds as a math and numbers issue, if you will, to see where this factors in.
Trouble is quantifying this is tricky because it is dependent on: How many cups of coffee you drink per day, the cost of your favorite coffee brand(s), and the size on average you drink, whether 8, 10 oz, or more.
So I thought I would give you the benefit of MY experience…I finally decided to track my coffee habits and in this post I will be sharing my findings, so you can see firsthand what is possible! Which coffee type is the least expensive without compromising on quality? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
What’s the Average Cost of K-Cups?
As for me, I buy all my pods and coffee grounds usually at the store locally. Irrespective of location,, a box of 12 K-cup coffee pods is priced in the neighborhood of $6.95-$9.95.
Some brands are higher than others. I keep my eyes peeled for a sale, which usually means about $6.95, sometimes I’ve landed one for $5.95. If it’s a brand and strength I like, I grab that sucker. Via that rate, that makes it pretty much about $0.50 – $0.75 per pod.
Which is pretty good. Considering I might pick up a hot 10 oz cup of joe from a place like QuikTrip for about 98 cents:)
Average Cost of Grounds
By the same token, I also buy loose coffee grounds by the bag, and an 11 oz bag of grounds costs about the same as a 12-pack of K-cups. If you also shop for coffee by the bag you probably have a similar experience; price sometimes varies by brand.
So it’s a split between my 12/box habit and loose grounds I use with my refillable Brewooze cups – I love the foil bags; it really locks that freshness in well.
I use about a tablespoon and a half on average of grounds in my refillable cups. I like my coffee kind of strong, but not over the top strong so a tablespoon and a half for a resulting 8-10 oz cup of joe is just right. By comparison, a self-contained K-cup holds about 10-12 grams of coffee grounds in it.
I’m not 100% on the exchange rate between tablespoons and grams, but since there is a small amount of space in each k-cup at the bottom, it’s safe to say I put a little bit more in my refillables.
OK, so if you too buy grounds by the bag (and assuming they are also 11-12 oz) and you also use those handy refillable cups, can you get more “bang for your buck” – or more good coffee that way, vs getting a pack of pods?
Well, you’re going to LOVE what I found out!
How Much Do I Save By Buying Ground Coffee?
I decided to find out for myself one day, so I started keeping track. I began with an 11-oz bag of my favorite grounds, brand new, also equivalent (as per what the bag said – 311 grams) and made a note every time I made a cup using one of my refillable cups (I mean, literally, wrote it down in a log book) and kept track diligently.
When I got to the bottom of the bag I knew I would have to allow for a margin of error…not enough to fill up the last cup fully.
As it turned out, my 11 oz bag would go on to make exactly 31.5 cups of joe. So, yep, for the same price, I get twice as much joe, plus 6 cups more. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
So if you follow in my footsteps, and choose to go with the bag of grounds and fill up your own individual kcups, and you use close to the same amount and drink about the same number of cups (for me, that was about 2 per day) chances are you will have a similar experience. And you might just do the “Happy Dance”!
How Much Will You Save?
I can’t answer that for certain because of the different things to quantify. So you have to look at your typical consumption habits. One cup a day, two, three? How big a cup, too? (If any of those involve travel tumblers, which are bigger, factor that in , too)
This resource guide here at Blue Moose Coffee shows some grounds/cups metrics that can give you a pretty good idea of how much you can expect from different size quantities of coffee. It doesn’t discuss K-cups per-se but you’ll get a good understanding of “coffee metrics” lol.
Generally speaking, a bag of coffee (I wish I could say a pound, but a pound is 16 oz if I’m not mistaken) with which you use to fill your own reusable pod cups, will save you some money over the long run.
And it’ll help you win some eco-friendly points…so you’ll have some “green” either way!
What are your thoughts….How do you get your k-cup coffee as cheaply (but good-ly) as possible? Comment below 🙂
Creative Commons Photo Attribution – Photo of bunch of K-Cups courtesy of Mike Prosser
Bag of Novo coffee courtesy of Alex Juel