How to Save Money at the Coffee Shop: 25 Great Ideas

Want to know how to how to save money at the coffee shop? Here you will find easy ways to save money without giving up coffee.

pile of coins and a new plant sprout - how to save money at the coffee shop
Buying coffee every day costs much money

I have an admission to make – “I am in love with coffee.” Though my partner has no issues, my wallet is not liking me going out now and then to have my cup. 

Also, one discreet confession – “Buying coffee every day can be costly.” Believe me, as no one else can say it better.

But, I am not such a careless person after-all. I have found my ways to save money while maintaining my indulgence, which I will be listing here for benefit of my readers.

While buying one cup of coffee may not look like a big deal, but if you are one who is tracking expenses closely, adding these small amounts over months can trouble you.

Simple maths – A $5 cup of coffee every day is $1825 in a year.

Oh My God! ……..  I could hear it!!

Do not worry, there is a saving grace; and by no means, I am going to tell you to leave your indulgence entirely; after all, I am also a coffee enthusiast.

But, you can still do a lot to save some money and still enjoy your cup of coffee without pushing you back by a handsome amount of $2000 per year.

Let us understand the tricks of the game, learned through my love for coffee:

1. Avoid Using A Credit Card To Pay For Coffee

I am sure, you already know about this new way to save money on coffee habits. As per a few studies in the US, coffee lovers tend to spend less on coffee if they are paying in cash as compared to the ones who are using their credit cards.

Guess it’s in fundamental human nature, what we start losing from our hands, we become alert and then try to save it from depleting. That’s why nowadays many people are finding swiping a credit card to pay for coffee unnecessary.

2. Skip Take Out Coffee

Female hand holding a black coffee cup
Start making your favorite coffee at home!

My grandmother always used to say, whenever she came to know that I went out for a coffee, “You are wasting your money for coffee outside.” She also used to say God knows what kind of coffee they use; did you check how clean the coffee mug was and you easily pay them for it.

But a coffee lover who loves his coffee from a café, don’t understand all this but when money and hygiene matter one needs to start brewing it at home.

So, it’s time to start making your favorite coffee at home only.

3. Time To Be Creative

If you have started feeling that your favorite coffee is making a hole in your pocket, time to become creative and smart. It’s like if Starbucks Frappuccino is the one you relish the most, try ordering an Iced latte with an extra dash of syrup.

There’s one more option which I have personally tried, and that buys a simple black coffee and to it add your own sugar, milk, etc. If you feel shy is carrying so many things with you then you can order a large cup of double-shot espresso and to it add milk yourself.

4. Watch Your Expenses

For some people, drinking coffee is a daily ritual without which they feel incomplete. For this, they even forget how much this daily ritual is costing them. Then some people don’t care how much a cup of coffee cost them yesterday and how much it costs them today or how much it cost when bought from a café or made at home.

This is just a simple example showing that nowadays people hardly realize how much they spent on coffee on a daily basis. At the same time, I agree that drinking a cup of coffee daily isn’t such a significant expense, but then you will also accept it adds up in the end and can show up as a substantial amount.

5. Try Alternative For Your Coffee!

Coffee is indeed one of the common ways to get your dose of caffeine to pump up your energy levels. But there are other ways also to get your pip like exercising, getting sun exposure, eating special foods, etc are some natural methods to get your dose of energy without burning a hole in your pocket.

6. Try Freezing Extra Coffee As Ice Cubes

Whenever I make coffee, I usually end up making extra. So now I have started making ice cubes out of that extra cup of coffee and this way I don’t end up drinking more or wasting it. It comes in handy when I’m in a hurry and even saves money and time; giving me extra strong home-brewed coffee, which isn’t watery too.

7. Try To Make Your Own Creamer

How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last
Pouring cream in a cup of coffee

If you are one who likes to brew your cup of coffee, then instead of purchasing the compliments from outside, alternatively you can use the do-it-yourself creamers. Without the effect of harmful additives, you can enjoy them with your coffee as they are healthier and cheaper than the other alternatives.

8. Start Using Coffee Apps

If for some reason, you don’t like homemade coffee, but still interested in saving some money in the coffee shop, then download their coffee shop apps for their various discounts and offers. 

They offer prepaid coffee pay plans on some of the city’s favorite coffee shops, and you end up saving some bucks. You can also use these apps to clear the payment through your phone and get rewarded for buying your favorite cup of coffee.

9. Choose Whole Beans Instead Of Ground Beans!

If I have to choose between the whole beans or the ground beans, I will prefer the whole ones. They are cheap and fresh, though will require some running around to bake and ground them, it is worth the effort if you want to have the real flavor. If you buy ground coffee, for some days it will be fine, but after that, it will go stale and as good as a waste of money.

Instead, I always prefer to buy the whole beans in bulk, though it needs some effort to store them properly.


10. Try Ordering Black Coffee

Next time you are at your coffee corner, try ordering black coffee. It will not only give a better dose of caffeine, but it will also save some bucks. One cup of black coffee can provide as high as 415 mg of caffeine, which is almost double that of Espresso. In other words, black coffee gives the same quantity of caffeine at half the rate.

11. Use The Grounds In Many Ways

Once you have used the coffee grounds, the used beans can be used for many purposes. I use them as a deodorizer in the fridge.

They are also an excellent fertilizer for the garden as they are rich in nitrogen. The coffee grounds also help to keep off cats and ants as they do not like the smell.

Another good way to use the ground beans is to mix half of the fresh ground beans with used ones. This method will maintain the fresh taste of your coffee while prolonging the use of beans.

If you are buying an expensive coffee variety, this method will save some good money for you. The actual mix of fresh and used coffee beans can be decided by you to get the right taste you may like.

12. Use Other Ways To Have Fun!

 You can try to limit buying coffee to once or twice a week. For other days seek alternative ways to have fun like meeting your friends, taking a walk, going to the nearby lake or merely spending time with your family playing poker.

13. Try To Keep Your Orders Simple

You can try many ways to save money on your coffee. Like ordering a full press, to serve many people instead of buying separate cups. You may try only the simple drip coffee, or request a double shot of espresso and add milk to make a latte, or put cream to enjoy Americano. You can also take advantage of free refills if your coffee shop is running such offers.

14. Add Your Own Zing!

I love to use my unique flavorings to make the coffee more appealing. You can also try the milk frothing device to convert the simple coffee to a great latte. If some coffee is left, freeze it into coffee ice cubes. They can be used next time when you want to make a cold iced latte.

15. Why Not Use Your Own Mug

woman sipping coffee under the bright light of the sun
You can save money by using your own coffee mug and at the same time protecting our environment

You can use your own mug at the coffee shops instead of using the takeout cup given by them. It will not only add to your effort to reduce waste but will also save a few cents every time. We also recommend getting a good coffee mug warmer.

16. Use The Rewards Points

Most of the coffee shops run loyalty reward points that keep on adding up with every visit or purchase. You can use these loyalty points to enjoy free coffee cups or to get special discounts on other things. Usually, these reward schemes are free to join and need you only to share your mobile no to keep track.

These schemes also entitle you to benefit from special festival schemes as and when your coffee vendor runs them.

17. Try Ordering A Small Size

If you cannot stop drinking coffee, while in my opinion also you may not do, it helps to order smaller size instead of going for the medium or large mug every time. This will not only save money for you, but your waistline will also thank you.

18. Try Reducing Your Visit To The Café

The chances are that your office has the coffee vending machine, so instead of visiting the coffee shop many times a day, try to take advantage of the free coffee available in your office and cut your visits to the coffee shop.

Alternatively, you can also keep a coffee maker in your office and use it to get your dose of caffeine, instead of burning money every time by going to the coffee shop.

If it is not possible, you can make coffee at home and take it to office in a thermos flask that will keep it warm.

19. Make Sure To Share Your Email ID

If your coffee shop has an email list, make sure to include yours to it. It will entitle you to exclusive discount offerings.

I suggest that you should include your email id to all the coffee shops in the close vicinity of your office or home, to increase your chances of getting more discount offerings from different places.

20. Try Creating Your Own Drink

While going through the menu, choose the drink that is less costly. Like ordering Misto at Starbucks is a better bet than going for a latte. It gives you to enjoy variety and saving some money.

21. Search For Online Discount Deals And Coupons

person using a laptop with a coffee and bread beside
Take advantage of special discounts whenever an opportunity comes

Regularly search the deal sites like Groupon to get the coupon codes or the discount cards that periodically come. There are many such sites online.

It is also a good idea to follow your coffee shop on Twitter or Facebook, to take advantage of special discount schemes as and when they come.

22. Try Alternative Ways

If you are fixed to your caffeine dose through coffee, you can try using a caffeine patch. You can also try using other methods to get your boost as eating fresh foods, exercising in the gym, jogging or morning walk, etc. There are also good ways to keep you fresh and kicking.

Besides saving money, these methods will result in any goods effects for your body, mind, and soul.

23. Never Miss The Happy Hour

Many coffee chains or restaurants, run happy hours when they give free or discounted coffee or other compliments to their customers. Try to keep track of the same and enjoy your cup free of cost.

But, to get these schemes, you need to follow your favorite coffee shop on social media to be up to date on all that is happening on this front.

24. Share With A Friend

Aren’t we always told that sharing is good? It can be useful for your pocket too. If your co-worker or your friend loves the same beverage, and he or she likes your company too, then it is a good idea to buy a large drink and share it among you two.

Usually, one large drink will be cheaper than two separate drinks.

25. May Like To Stop Drinking Coffee

I strongly feel that you can enjoy anything only when it is in control. The same is true for your love for coffee. If you think that it is going out of control and hurting your health, it is a good idea to control it or stop it altogether.

It will definitely save time as well as money. But I feel that we should know how to enjoy life, and all that it offers responsibly and the same holds good for my love for coffee.

How To Save Money At The Coffee Shop: The Final Word

The 25 tips mentioned above may look small and straightforward, but from my experience, I can say that over a long run they all have helped me to enjoy my love for coffee and added to a handsome amount in the long run.

So, do not be afraid and start your journey to save money with your favorite coffee cup in hand!


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.