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By Carrie Smith / Wise Bread
August 8, 2015
Halfdark—Getty Images

I love a good cup of coffee. In fact, I drink a cup on a daily basis — and I’m not alone. More than half of the U.S. population drinks coffee every day. We fuel our cars with gas from the pump, and we fuel ourselves with caffeine.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, here’s how to indulge in your daily cup of coffee while saving money.

1. Make Brewing Coffee an Experience

My mid-morning brew is my favorite time of the day. I look forward to the smell of grinding coffee beans, and sound of a fresh cup brewing in the coffee pot. Then I get excited about mixing up my perfect cup of joe just the way I like it.

This ritual is my mid-morning pick-me-up and something I miss when I’m not at home, or don’t get the chance to brew my own cup. Turn brewing your own coffee into a sensory experience by investing in a quality coffee maker, and experimenting with your own coffee style.

From a basic French press to a more expensive Keurig, it’s completely up to you how much you spend on a coffee maker. The point is to take your time and brew your own cup. It will save you loads of money, and make getting caffeinated one of your favorite times of the day.

2. Find Deals Online

Doing a quick online search for coffee deals will yield some great results from sites like Groupon or Google offers. You can often find discounted gift cards, coupon codes, and other two-for-one deals for local coffee shops or major chains.

Another way to find exclusive savings is to follow your favorite coffee chain on Twitter or Facebook. They usually offer giveaways, coupons, and gift cards for free coffee — especially around the holiday season. Plus, you’ll be able to stay updated on their latest offerings and flavors.

3. Opt for Alternative Creations

If you’re a Starbucks drinker, you know how quickly a Grande speciality drink can add up to a pretty penny. Instead, opt for a Misto, which is coffee with steamed milk. Otherwise known as cafe au lait, a Misto won’t taste as strong as a regular latte, since it’s not made with espresso, but it’s still pretty similar, and will allow you to indulge in a daily cup without breaking the bank.

If a Misto isn’t your thing, try an Americano for more flavor. It’s the opposite of a Misto in that it’s made with espresso and hot water, which makes it much stronger in taste. It’s more expensive than a regular cup of coffee, but still cheaper than a speciality latte.

4. Order Smaller Sizes

If you’re not keen on giving up your favorite speciality drink, consider ordering a smaller size. This will give you the chance to indulge in the same quality caffeine while still being able to save a few bucks. If you order coffee from a local shop on a daily basis, this small savings can really add up in just one month’s time. And you won’t be missing out on your favorite cup of coffee.

During the summer season especially, places like Starbucks offer limited-time smaller alternatives for their best-sellers. Be sure to take advantage of this! If the price difference isn’t significant enough, consider splitting a cup with a friend.

5. Become a Loyalty or Rewards Member

This may be a basic tip, but it’s an important one that deserves repeating. Places like Dunkin Donuts, Panera, and Caribou Coffee offer rewards programs for loyal coffee drinkers. I’m a Starbucks Gold member, so every 12 cups of coffee I drink means I receive one free cup. I also get a free cup on my birthday once a year. For a frequent coffee drinker, this adds up to a handful of free drinks (and loads of savings).

These rewards programs also yield member-only savings, discounts, and chances to win free coffee throughout the year. And the best part is; they’re free! So there’s seriously no risk to joining and earning rewards with every purchase.

6. Bring Your Own Mug

Many local coffee shops, and even chains like Starbucks, reward drinkers with a small discount when they bring in their own mug. Usually the savings are only $0.10–$0.20 but over a period of a month, this adds up to a few dollars, which essentially means a free cup of coffee.

Plus, you’re helping the environment by avoiding additional waste. Nothing beats being green — and saving green — while enjoying a cup of coffee.

7. Up the Flavor for Free

As a culture we’re obsessed with coffee flavors, additives, and spices. There are literally hundreds of different types of coffee beans, syrups, creamers, and sugars to improve your drink’s flavor. (Most of which are free at the barista counter at your local coffee shop.)

Infuse your cup of coffee with cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, vanilla, and experiment with other tastings and flavors. You may find a new way to take your coffee that you like even more than your current craving. And as a bonus, it could be a more cost-effective alternative.

8. Try Natural Energy Fixers

If you’re just looking for a midday energy boost, consider other energy alternatives to just drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee. Green superfoods, like spinach and kale, provide a healthy energy fix and will give your body some much-needed nutrients.

Try tossing some greens into a smoothie, or munching on dark chocolate, fresh fruit, or ginseng tea. These alternatives will give your body that natural “high” you get from caffeine, that lasts much longer, without the crash in energy later.

9. Join a Coffee Club

Monthly subscription boxes are all the rage right now, and that includes coffee clubs. For around $20 a month you get access to fresh coffee grounds and flavorings from around the world. This allows you to save a lot of money on your daily cup of coffee without sacrificing taste or quality. Plus, you’ll be able to test out lots of different styles of coffee, from light to dark.

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