Sunday, August 7, 2011

Keurig: A Bargain or Not? (And recent prices of K-Cups)

I love my Keurig.  Over a year ago, I swore I wouldn't "Keurig" it up - but I did.  Mostly because my mother bought me a machine.  So I used it.  For the first three days, it was great and I was already addicted.  Around the 6 day mark, I realized that my machine was defective.  It was possessed.  If I pressed the button, it wouldn't brew my coffee although it said it was.  Then I'd try again and it would brew two cups in one.  Something was not right.  So I brought it back to Bed Bath & Beyond - they took it back, but they were out of stock.  I had to wait about a month for their next shipment.  So I went back to my traditional cheapo Mr. Coffee the next morning.  I was not amused.  It was that day, I realized that I turned into a "coffee snob" in about a week's time.  I, the lady who once prided myself on being able to drink Folgers & Maxwell House and having it taste "great" now had the attitude of "What is this crap?  Give me back my Green Mountain Coffee!"

That day I went to BJ's and bought their verson (which was great because it was about $5 cheaper than Bed Bath & Beyond's - but came with 80 K-cups or something astronomically high like that).  It is now my best friend.  Back then (last Spring) - I, of course did a price break down of K-Cups. Back then, the average K-Cup was about .42 cents.  A great deal was about .37 cents each and the "oh crap, I ran out of coffee, I just need to go buy some, NOW!" ran me about .48 cents each. 

Well coffee prices have risen.  The average K-cup is about .50 cents or a little higher.  At BJ's, you can score them for just under .50 cents each. The best way to know if you are getting a good price is to figure out the cost per K-Cup (Psst...there really isn't a significant difference in many stores).

BJ' - BJ' has 160 boxes of K-Cups for $84.99.  There is free shipping.  This equates to .531 per K-Cup.

BJ's the Store - My BJ's has boxes of 80 K-Cups.  Sometimes they are $34.99 for the box, sometimes they are $37.99 depending on variety.  At the $34.99 price, you are paying .437 per K-Cup.  At the $37.99 price, you are paying .474 per K-Cup.  With recent coffee prices going up, these 80 count boxes may be up to $39.99 a box now - making it .499 a K-Cup. - First, go through Ebates to get 2.5% back on your purchases here.  There is free shipping for orders $50+ here.  Grab a case of 96.  These are mostly $56.  Use code deb to score 10% off.  This brings it down to $50.60 (still qualifies for free shipping).  Cost per K-Cup is .527.

Bed Bath & Beyond - A lot of the 18 packs are sold at $11.99.  Use your 20% off coupon to nab it for $9.59.  Cost per K-Cup is .532.

Green Mountain Coffee - Coffee Express Members:  Set up a recurring order that gets automatically shipped.  Pretty much, 4 boxes of 24 (96 K-cups) will cost about $55.96.  Price per K-cup:  .58

Of course there are other outlets out there to purchase K-Cups.  But these are just the ones I have used.  So back to my question - is it a bargain or not?  I personally am going to go with "yes".  Why?  Well if you saw my picture up on top of this post - I love Iced Coffee.  So I have a few of these reusuable cups.  I just fill the cup with ice, brew my K-Cup in it, add my Splenda and cream - and voila - an Iced Coffee that costs less than .60 cents - and I personally believe it tastes better than Dunkin' Donuts (but there are new Dunkin' Donuts K-cups out there!) - which, if I stopped for a medium iced coffee, would cost me about $2.32 with tax.  And usually before my Keurig, I would stop through Dunkin' Donuts about once a day for an afternoon iced coffee.  So now, I'm saving about $1.72 by just doing it myself - and, for you tree hugging readers, saving the cup from going into the trash or recycling bin.  Could I do this with a traditional coffee maker?  Yeah, but it's more work.  And in case you don't know, I can be pretty lazy at times.  Also - it's just completely great to just roll downstairs and get that first cup of coffee in about 14 seconds after putting that K-cup in. 

So what's your take?  Is the Keurig worth the price, or is it just an overpriced fad? 

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