How to Buy K-Cups Cheaply

by Rogue Parrish

With rabid interest in K-Cups -- in 2014, sales approached 10 billion pods -- fiends for K-Cup “coffee with convenience” want to find ways to get the price down to a 50-to-60-cents-per-pod benchmark, at the time of publication, for a coffee that is not only appealing, but a value as well. If you’re a strong shopper, you can find deals even a bit lower than the 2-for-$1 level.

Strategies

You can follow several strategies to bring your per-pod price down to around 45 cents:

  • Move up to the bigger boxes, such as 72 or 96 count, to see better discounts than for small quantities of 12 or 18 cups.
  • Be flexible on flavors. You won’t see elite pods like Marley's Talkin' Blues Coffee -- $220 for 96 pods, or $3 per -- at the lower price ranges. But you can find humbler brands such as Eight O’Clock and Donut House, and offbeat flavors such as gingerbread and blueberry, at the below-50 cents range.
  • Look into subscriber packages via online retailers. They offer discounts of about 15 percent to regular repeat buyers.

Discounters

Online and brick-and-mortar retailers, big-box stores and janitorial services and office supply stores are all looking for your patronage, and the competition means you can happily comparison shop for the best deal. If you are handy with spreadsheets, set up columns for Vendor, Flavor, Number of Cups, Gross Price and Price per Cup -- dividing Gross Price by Number of Cups -- with the final column telling you the magic figure of individual pod price, which retailers attempt to hide. With this in hand, you can compare everyone from Amazon.com to T.J. Maxx, Wal-Mart, Target, Sam's Club, Costco, your local supermarket when it has sales and even Office Depot.

Coupons

When a supermarket chain sends you a coupon for $10 off $50 worth of groceries, or Bed, Bath and Beyond mails its oft-seen 20-percent-off flier along, make a mental note to leverage this kind of storewide coupon into a steal on your K-Cups. Even if you don’t see specific K-Cup coupons often, or ever, you can use these kinds of coupons to turn a 50-cent K-Cup into a 40-cent bargain.

DIY Cups

Keurig’s My K-Cup adapter, as well as well-made reusable K-Cup filters made by Simple Cups, EZ Cups, Ekobrew and Solofill, give you options to save spectacularly on your single-serve coffees, which can run $200 a year, notes Consumer Reports. While the coffee in single-serve pods runs around $50 a pound, you can prepare freshly ground beans yourself from coffees in the grocery aisle at around $12 to $14 a pound.

Photo Credits

  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.