The cheapest way to make coffee when you’re a college student is to make it at home or in your dorm.
Instead of dropping between $3 and $5 per day on coffee, you’ll spend about $.50 per cup. That’s a savings of between $12.50 and $22.50 per week!
How Much Does Starbucks Cost Per Semester?
At an average price of $3.25 per coffee, a weekday Starbucks habit will cost you just under $800 per year, according to CBS News.
This does not include drinking coffee on weekends, buying food at Starbucks, or if you buy more than one cup of coffee per day.
At the same average price, college students working their way through a traditional 15-week semester will spend about $244 per semester on their morning caffeine if they go to Starbucks.
Seeing as lattes and other specialty coffee drinks can easily cost $5.00 or more, that brings your semester total to $375, or about $750 per school year.
How Can I Make Cheap Coffee In College?
Ditch Starbucks and make coffee in your dorm room.
Whether you want to get a head start on paying back student loans or just have extra money (for beer?) you can easily save a ton of money by ditching chain coffee stores in favor of at-home preparation.
“But I don’t have enough time before class!”
Starbucks does make it easy to get your morning fix with their order-on-the-app capabilities. But you can still make coffee at home just as quickly, if not faster.
Even the cheapest drip coffee makers come with auto-brew settings. Set the clock to the right time, then program the machine the night before to start brewing ten minutes before you wake up. Or prep it the night before then turn it on before you shower.
Like healthy meal prepping, coffee prep is easiest when it’s automated. Make it so easy you don’t have to think about it.
“But I don’t know how to make my favorite drink!”
Here are some resources to help you eliminate this issue:
- This Starbucks Drink and Foods Cookbook teaches you how to make your favorite drinks at home.
- Starbucks offers some of the recipes to their drinks on their website.
- This blog article gives recipes for Starbucks most popular drinks, like Caramel Frappuccinos and Vanilla Lattes.
These free or inexpensive resources make it easy to replicate whatever you like ordering at your favorite chain. Actually, some of the recipes are modified to be healthier versions of the in-house drink.
The Cheapest Way To Make Coffee In College
As a long time coffee drinker, I’ve played with every type of at-home coffee preparation there is. My favorite, by far, is the Aeropress. Here’s why:
- It’s easier and requires less coffee to make a bolder cup (my preference) than drip makers do.
- It tastes better than coffee from a French press (in my opinion).
- It takes up almost no space on the counter (making it a perfect college dorm room appliance)
- It only costs about $.50 per cup of coffee.
How Much Money Will You Save Making Coffee In Your Dorm Per Semester?
Depending on your drink price, it costs between $500 and $750 per school year to buy coffee at a chain each day.
To make Aeropress coffee, you’ll need an Aeropress, your favorite coffee beans, and an electric kettle. This initial investment will cost you less than $50. Cheap electric kettles tend to break easily, so get a decent one that lasts.
If you make a cup of coffee every morning for 150 school days (two fifteen-week semesters with five days per week), you’ll spend about $75 on coffee. This includes buying the right coffee and shipping. Two or three bags will last all semester.
So instead of spending $625, you’ll spend $135. That’s $490 back in your pocket!