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Addicted to Caffeine? 3 Coffee Hacks that are Financially and Environmentally Friendly

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages among adults. But, are you spending too much on your Starbucks visits? Here are 3 money tips that can help you save money on coffee while also saving the environment.

Coffee (or just caffeine) is one of the biggest sources of modern day addictions. In fact, some studies have found that 64% of adults drink at least 1 cup of coffee every single day. Afterall, a cup of coffee can become more of a necessity if you want to stay awake at work between 2PM and 4PM. But, coffee is also a very expensive addiction: with a cup of Starbucks latte costing around S$3.5 in Singapore, daily coffee consumption can cost around S$1,300 for a year! While buying a coffee machine at home could help reduce this cost, we found some more hacks that can be even more effective financially while also being environmentally friendly.

No Need for a Branded Coffee Maker

If you are in the market for a nice coffee machine to use at home, you might be surprised to find out that you don't have to opt for a branded version from a well-known coffee brand. For example, Nespresso's cheapest machine costs S$168, with more expensive versions costing upwards of S$700. But, you can actually get even cheaper ones from Xiaomi or other brands that cost even less at around S$150. Best of all, a lot of these machines are all Nespresso compatible, meaning you can still enjoy all of your favorite Nespresso flavors even without a Nespresso machine.

There are many alternatives to branded espresso machines that are more affordable while also being compatible with the branded capsules

Free Your Taste Buds and Your Wallet with Reusable Capsules

While a lot of companies have created flexibility for coffee lovers by creating "Nespresso compatible" coffee machines, some others have furthered this trend by creating Nespresso compatible reusable capsules. Costing as little as S$1 each, these capsules can allow coffee drinkers to fill up their own capsules with whatever coffee bean they want. Therefore, consumers can free their taste buds and their wallet from the hold of the "Gillette business model" of charging a huge markup for "refill" products. Not only that, they can also be extremely cost efficient and environmentally friendly because they are reusable.

Reusable Nespresso capsules are available for about S$1 per capsule

For instance, a capsule requires about 2-3 grams of coffee for each brew. Given that most coffee beans cost about S$0.075 per gram, you can brew a cup of coffee for only about S$0.15 to S$0.23. In contrast, a pre-made capsule from Nespresso costs around S$0.7 to S$0.9! If you drink 1 cup of coffee per day, that results in a cost reduction of roughly 70%.

Using reusable capsules instead of a pre-made from a brand can reduce your coffee cost by 70%

Other Money Tips for Coffee

Ultimately, it'll be difficult to replace 100% of your coffee consumption with a brewing machine at home. Even if you still plan to purchase and drink coffee outside, it will still makes financial sense to get a coffee machine at home if you drink coffee at least once a day: given that a cup of coffee can cost about S$3.00 to S$5.00, it only takes about 40-50 cups of coffees that you make at home to break even on your coffee machine. Even better, earning credit card rewards on your coffee machine, capsule and ground coffee bean purchases can help improve this calculation even more. Even for those who still need to buy coffee outside when meeting friends and colleagues, there are many cashback credit cards in Singapore that often come with special discount deals with coffee chains. Of note, Citi SMRT Card provides a 5% rebate at various chains like Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Toastbox and Coffee Club.

Duckju Kang

Duckju (DJ) is the founder and CEO of ValueChampion. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting and investing. He previously worked at hedge funds such as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital. He graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with honors, Magna Cum Laude. His work has been featured on major international media such as CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, the Straits Times, Today and more.

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