Have Your Keurig and Save Money, Too

If you don’t need a big pot of coffee in the morning, the Keurig Brewer is a great idea. You make just one cup at a time, and you can make a variety of flavored coffees, tea, and even hot cocoa. Unfortunately, those “Keurig K-cups” (usually) cost more than a 12 oz. bag of ground coffee.* In this article, I’m going to show you how you can have your Keurig and save money, too!

My husband and I are not big coffee drinkers. I started drinking coffee when I was in college to stay alert in class and stay awake while studying for exams. I’m addicted to caffeine; if I don’t have any caffeine before noon, I have that nasty caffeine-withdrawal headache by 2pm. And if I drink caffeine after noon, I have a problem getting to sleep that night. Now and then I’ll wean myself off of caffeine, but all it takes is some iced tea at lunch to get me addicted again (and get that nasty headache the next day). So I try to maintain with just one cup a day to keep the headache at bay. (Coffee is also an antioxidant, slightly increases metabolism, and has other benefits: http://www.energyfiend.com/top-10-caffeine-health-benefits.)

I was a member of Gevalia for a while, so I have several 8 oz. bags of coffee that we haven’t used, simply because we don’t use the 12-cup brewer any more. The Keurig brewer comes with a disposable filter so that you can use up your ground coffee, and that works great. However, I like to compost the coffee grounds and they make a mess in my little compost bucket in the kitchen. (Also not a good idea to wash them down the drain. Just ask my husband who has had to snake out our drain several times.)

Instead, I like to use EZ-Cup Filter Papers by Perfect Pod. I get 50 of them on amazon.com for $8.49. Every couple of weeks, I fill around 20 of the EZ-Cup filters with ground coffee and put them in a resealable plastic container. Each filter has a paper “lid” on it, so you don’t have to worry about getting coffee grounds on the bottom of the filter when you set it on top of another filter full of coffee grounds. I usually take the paper lid off when I brew it so that the water hits the grounds, but you can leave it on.

Preparing the EZ cups

Preparing the EZ cup filters

Then we can quickly and easily make a cup of coffee using one of the filters full of ground coffee and the reusable filter that came with the brewer. After the coffee is brewed, we toss the used filter into the compost bucket (to be taken outside to the compost bin later).

After brewing

After brewing, just toss the used paper filter full of wet coffee grounds into the compost bucket (or trash if you don’t compost).
The little brown container on the left is the filter holder that comes with the EZ-Cup filters.

It does take a little effort–you have to open the bag of coffee, scoop coffee into the filter, and put the filter into the filter holder. (Whew, I’m tired just reading that!–she said sarcastically.)  There are many other “systems” available for making your own K-cups. I’ve used the filter holder that came with the EZ-cup filters, but I like the Keurig reusable filter better. We still buy K-cups from amazon.com or at the store, usually when they’re on sale.

Do you use a Keurig Brewer? Do you use K-cups or or do you make your own? What methods do you use? Let me know in the comments!

OH, by the way, we purchased our brewer at Costco. The pump in the first one died after a few months. We took it back to Costco and they gave us our money back, no questions asked! (And we’d already used up all of the K-cups that came with it.) We used a small 4-cup pot for a while, and then decided to go back to the Keurig–which we bought at Costco. This one hasn’t given us any problems. We only turn it on when we’re about to use it; it only takes a few minutes to heat up. We run vinegar through it once a month or so, even though we use filtered water when we make coffee. I think our hard water is what killed the first one.

*From amazon.com: Folgers Caramel Drizzle $28 for 24 K-cups ($1.17/cup); Folgers Caramel Drizzle ground coffee, $9.98 for 12 oz. (~$0.30/cup). I made 22 EZ-Cups with an 8 oz. bag of coffee, so you can make about 33 cups with a 12 oz. bag. The EZ-Cup filters work out to about $0.17 each. A bag of coffee for $9.98/33 = $0.30 per cup, plus the 17 cents for the filter comes out to $0.47 per cup (plus the cost of the plastic container and scoop, of course). If you use more or less coffee per cup, your mileage may vary. And even the K-cups are cheaper than Star Bucks!