Slowly Sipping Coffee

That’s right! I don’t own a Keurig!

This past Christmas, I got called out by my brother for not having a Keurig.  Apparently “everyone in the world” has one these days, and so he was mildly upset because he had bought me some lovely K-cups as a holiday present for my non-existent Keurig coffee maker.  Oops.

Mrs SSC's  coffee setup

Mrs SSC’s coffee setup

Personally, I have never gotten the appeal of Keurig machines. From what I can figure, it costs about a dollar a cup just for the coffee (unless you use a reusable K-cup, but I don’t know many people who actually do that since they like the no-mess features of the Keurig).  I mean — $1 per cup, for coffee AT home! That is crazy!  Pricing out the insanity, it would be almost $400 a year for me, and for Mr SSC and his ‘just give me an IV of caffeine’… he would be spending at least $2000 a year, and likely quite a bit more.*  Spending close to $3000 a year on coffee is insane, no matter who you are.  For us, that is about six months of groceries.  Or thinking about it another way, using the 4% rule – that is another $75,000 we would have to save for retirement – just to support a coffee habit!  Oh my!  And yet, so many people have a Keurig (and I won’t even digress into the cost of the machines, and how often they seem to get replaced by my friends and family because they break easily.)

Anyways, this led into a discussion about how do we make coffee in the SSC household.  Well, Mr. SSC has a french press, tea kettle, and coffee grinder system. Lately, he has even been talking about roasting his own coffee beans, but some rapid research showed that unroasted coffee beans only retail for ~$1/lb less than roasted coffee beans, so it’s not really worth it at this point. Although it is likely something we will try in the future, as we do enjoy making 90% of our food from scratch.

I, on the other hand, have an even simpler method. Technically, to people-in-the-know, it is called the cold brew method.  I prefer to call it the “2 Nalgene bottle method”, and my darling brother prefers to call it “the hobo method”.   This ‘hobo coffee’ method is simple… I take coffee grinds and water, put it in a Nalgene bottle and leave it in the fridge for a few days (technically 12 hours is all that is needed).  Then, I filter the grinds out and pour it into my other Nalgene bottle.  I then refill the original bottle with more grinds and water and start another batch a brewing for the next few days, and meanwhile I drink the filtered coffee that is in the second bottle.  Nice and easy.  I only drink a cup a day, so I only have to make coffee once every three or four days.  I love efficiency!

Needless to say, darling brother would not even try my delicious cold-brew.  Instead he just keeps threatening to buy me a Keurig coffeemaker for next Christmas.  Luckily, he is (somewhat) cheap, so I don’t have to worry about that threat coming to fruition!

Does your family ever harass you about not having something ‘essential’? And, I’m curious – how do you like your coffee?

* – Mr. SSC side note: Mrs. SSC’s parents switched solely to Keurig, and when I visit, they break out the old school coffeepot. Even limiting my normal coffee intake, I was running through 4-5 cups a day, and I would still get coffee out, because I didn’t want to burn through their stash.

21 thoughts on “That’s right! I don’t own a Keurig!

  1. Mrs. Maroon

    I don’t understand the obsession with Keurig either. We go the simple, basic coffee route every morning… Coffee grounds plus water in the most simple coffee pot imaginable. You’re never going to believe this – it’s not even programmable!! I have to physically flip the switch – the horror! I’m astonished by the prices of the K-cups when I walk past them in the store. I even know of offices that choose to use them. I don’t even want to see the annual bill there. Thank you very much, I’ll just take a raise…

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      yeah, we have a simple $10 non-programmable coffee pot for when my parents come into town. My dad makes this nasty bitter sludge, its gross… so we all need our separate methods! I would totally choose the raise also!!!

  2. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    We had a Tassimo for a while, it was nice to have a quick latte, but they weren’t that great, and it wasn’t saving us much money overall.

    We use a burr grinder (traded in a duplicate Christmas gift to get it, makes us feel pretty fancy), and coffee maker with a timer so that coffee is ready when Simple Cheap Dad gets up. (the coffee maker was also a gift. it comes with a grinder to get truly fresh ground coffee automatically in the morning, but it’s a pain to clean!)

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Awesome! Mr SSC has a burr grinder too! Although, honestly, I can tell the difference between freshly ground and pre-ground coffee. Maybe having a poor palate helps me be slightly more frugal?

  3. Tawcan

    I don’t understand the obsession with Keurig either. Having said that we do have an Nespresso machine that we make our own latte at home. With Nespresso each latte is about $0.80 give or take, which is a lot cheaper than going out.

  4. Mrs SSC Post author

    Oh! Fancy! I’m guessing the difference is that your lattes are more of an occasional drink, rather then a couple times a day habit of the Keurig drinker :)

  5. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    Keurigs seem like a waste of money to me too. I don’t get why they’re so popular! We do the melitta cone pour-over method whereby we grind our beans, place them in a filter in the little cone, and then pour hot water over the grounds. Super cheap, super easy. Plus, we can make just one cup at a time if needed, thus cutting down on waste. I like the sound of your method too–I’m a huge fan of efficiency! We’d love to roast our own beans someday too, but, are waiting to find a good used roaster on Craigslist… someday :).

  6. Mrs SSC Post author

    Ah! The cone method! That was my Grandmother’s favorite way – and the method I go with for camping. It is nice and simple, and tasty!

    I should admit that part of the reason I like my cold-brew method, is because I like cold coffee – its hot in Texas, so cold coffee is just more refreshing!

  7. Michelle

    I don’t like coffee, so thankfully I can save a lot of money in this area as I tend to prefer water or anything else. Caffeine gives me headaches, which is a blessing in that it saves me money haha.

  8. Vivianne

    We used to grow coffee. I learnt the coffee business from the seed to plant to roasting to brewing. But I don’t drink coffee. Caffeine is a drug. I would like to reserve it when I need it such as migraine and as diuretic. But Starbucks and other high end coffee and tea shop making the ART out of drinking coffee making it so popular. Simply drinking water will save me $100 – $1000 in coffee consumption. 😛

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Well – I can’t argue with that! Let’s see we spend ~$6 a week on coffee beans – so that would be well over $300 a year! But, I just love the taste!

  9. Mrs. 1500

    I love coffee. I have to limit myself to one pot per day or I shake uncontrollably. I was fortunate enough to find a coffee cup that holds half a pot, so I limit my trips to the coffeemaker. Those Keurig dealies don’t come close to filling up my cup even half way, so those are out just on principal.
    My sister has one, and loves it. She has the reusable k-cup, but of course she only uses the prefilled guys. Sigh.

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      I keep looking for bigger and bigger mugs for Mr SSC- I am impressed you found one that holds half a pot! It makes me think of this wine glass my friend has that holds a bottle of wine :)

  10. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Ditto!!!!!! I don’t drink coffee, but Rick does. He has a small, $15 grinder that we got from Walmart, and we buy the Sam’s Club Colombian Roast for $15 for a huge bag of the stuff that lasts him a month. The Keurig is a nice little machine, but not worth the huge waste of cash, at least not for us. :-)

  11. Anna

    I have a Keurig. I love my Keurig. If it dies today, I will buy another tomorrow. I have a reusable K-Cup which I fill with Dunkin Donuts coffee each morning. I have one cup and it is the best cup of coffee and arguably the best part of my morning. One small bag of coffee lasts me about a month and this is indeed a small price to pay to start the morning off right.

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      I can see your point, if its just one person drinking one cup and using the reusable K-cup. I LOVE DUNKIN!!! I grew up in the Northeast – and Dunkin finally got down here to Houston. One of the first stores even opened up on my side of town. Now when my parents visit – they also relocated to TX – we go to Dunking almost every morning so they can get their Dunkin fix. I know – totally unfrugal!

  12. Anna

    I forgot in my earlier diatribe… my main motto is… “life is to short for bad coffee”. Since I am the only one that drinks coffee in my house, it makes no sense to get a small coffee pot. I can have a fresh cup each and every time. Also, I can make hot tea (i have the loose tea leaves) so I can have a fresh cup of tea as well.

  13. Maureen

    Not a Keurig fant either. In fact, they kind of creep me out. I haven’t done a ton of research on them, but people have told me that they are prone to mold or something because it’s hard to clean them out properly?

    My method… I’m a cone method gal. My husband isn’t a huge fan, but I think it’s the process not the product that bothers him. People tease me when they learn my method because it’s so “dark ages” so I think he’s wrapped up in the stigma of it all.

    Whatever, on a winter morning when we’re stuck in the house because of snow, I’m enjoying my coffee. That’s his problem not mine, lol.

    1. Mr SSC

      I get the appeal of the convenience with Keurig, but man, so much cost and waste is involved. At my in-laws, who use Keurig exclusively, they kept their drip coffee pot for when we visit. Not that I’m above using the keurig, but I feel bad if I have 5-6 cups a day, because those things are pretty spendy. :)

      I use a French press, which is still kind of laborious but I like it. Now I think I like the ritual of it as much as the coffee, hahaha. I’ve thought about trying the cone method, but then I’d have to buy something else, and until my French press breaks, well, I’m stuck with it.

  14. Isaac

    I’m reading this as I drink my Keurig coffee, lol. We got the machine for our wedding, but neither my wife or me are big coffee drinkers. We’ll buy our K-cups off of Amazon and get them down to about .60 cents a cup. With that being said, I usually make 1 cup a weekend, same with her – so it takes us a few months to get through even 1 12-pack box. So for us it works, but we’re probably outliers due to the low consumption.

    I will say the wife is a HUGE tea drinker, and that she’ll just boil water and use teabags (though does have some fancier Chai Latte stuff for the Keurig when she is feeling fancy).

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