Last Christmas we received our very first pod coffee maker as a gift from my parents. It looked beautiful all shiny and black, and when we took it out of the box, several cute little round coffee pods spilled out with it.
Back then I was a newbie in the world of frugality, and I was thrilled with the prospect of making a cup of coffee for far less than my daily cup from Starbucks. For we had just started our journey to financial independence, and we believed that any amount of money we could save was progress.
The Moment of Truth (or not)
The first morning I used my new coffee pod machine, I was brimming with excitement as I carefully poured the water into the reservoir. Coffee pod ready in hand, I lifted up the handle and dropped my very first coffee pod into the designated area. With a quick close of the handle and the press of a button, it took less than a minute before I could smell the amazing aroma as I watched the coffee stream into my favorite coffee mug.
Then came the special moment I was waiting for. I picked up my mug, tilted it towards my mouth, and let the warm, comforting taste of delightful bitterness enter in.Then I ran over to the sink and spit it out!
The coffee pod tasted like dirty dishwater! Not that I’ve ever tasted dirty dishwater, but if I were to imagine what dirty dishwater would taste like, this was it. Then I tried the other pods with the same result. Some were a little better, but overall, they all tasted horrible. I missed my Starbucks!
As time progressed, my coffee pod dilemma got a lot worse. I started to receive Costco sized cases of coffee pods for every birthday and holiday. Not wanting to waste the free coffee pods, and being the only coffee drinker (Mr. FE doesn’t like coffee, downright sacrilegious!), it was up to me to keep drinking this dishwater and suffer alone. The agony!
Finally, I got up the nerve to tell my parents a little white lie. I told them that I didn’t have the pod coffee machine anymore because it broke. Then the following birthday I got another pod coffee machine with more coffee pods.
The Invasion of the Coffee Pods
As time went on, I began to feel as though these coffee pods were hunting me down. Everywhere I turned there were coffee pods. I found them at the office, local retailers, the salon, and in the homes we visited. I was even having nightmares about coffee pods. I was literally being stalked by coffee pods! This was war, I tell you!
Eventually I got up the nerve to end this epic battle, so as the final blow, I decided to donate my pod coffee maker and leftover coffee pods to the office. Then I called up my mother to have a daughter to mother chat about not buying me anymore coffee pods. No more white lies!
These Dang Things Drain Your Wallet!
Coffee pods cost up to three times as much as traditional brewed coffee, and the price keeps going up. In fact, Time Magazine released an article on this called “Here’s How Much You’d Save by Dumping K-Cups for Traditional Coffee”, and according to the article, the inventor wishes he never created the k-cup in the first place. He doesn’t even own a pod coffee maker!
The article in Time Magazine also made reference to a coffee maker calculator, created by economist Dan Basoli, which shows just how expensive these coffee pods really are. Kudos Mr. Basoli! We won’t even get into the damage these coffee pods are doing to our environment!
Now that I had survived the invasion of the coffee pods, I needed to find another solution. After looking at several coffee makers, french presses, and various weird artifacts, I decided to try the Pour-Over method.
Not only did my research prove that this made a delicious cup of brew, but it was also in line with my time constraints and budget. So I forked over a whopping $2.99 for the Melitta Brewing Cone and thought I would give it a try.
Next, I invested my money in some good quality coffee beans from Costco. I decided to try the Starbucks Pike Place Roast whole bean coffee at $15.49 for 2.5 lbs. I figured that there are about 75 tablespoons in a single pound of whole bean coffee. Where I use 3 tablespoons per cup (I like my coffee strong!), this gives me approximately 63 cups of coffee per bag at 25 cents per cup. I also purchased 100, #2 coffee filters at Market Basket for $1.39, which breaks down to a little over a penny each or .013 to be exact.
Then I needed a tool to grind the coffee beans, so I went to Kohl’s to pick up a Cuisinart grinder I saw on sale. The price started at $30.00, but after the sale price and my negotiations with the cashier (I really do this!), I got the Cuisinart grinder for an additional 30% off the sale price.
Both Mr. FE and I have discovered in our pursuit to be frugal over the years, that all you need to do is ask for extra discounts. The majority of the time, we get them!
Next Came What I Was Waiting For
To make the coffee, I heated up 8 oz. of water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 2 minutes, 45 seconds. This is time it took for the water to arrive at a perfect 195-205 degree temperature, which is often recommended for the best coffee extraction. Then I set the cone on top of my mug and inserted the filter. After adding 3 tablespoons of freshly ground coffee, I poured the hot water into the cone and waited less than a minute for it to finish dripping. Soon came the moment I was waiting for. I took my first sip, and then I smiled. At about 26 cents per cup, it was the perfect frugal brew!
Do you use coffee pods? If not, what is your favorite brewing method?
Disclaimer: This post is based on personal opinion only. Our Frugal Escapades is not affiliated with any of the products mentioned in this post.