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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Keurig K-Cups Cheap

How to get Keurig K-cups Cheap

While checking out the latest Keurig brewers that use expensive Vue packs instead of K-cups, I noticed something interesting about K-cups:  You can now get K-cups cheap.  There are three ways to get Keurig K-cups cheap:

1. Generic or less expensive brands of cheap K-cups are now available

The premium brands K-cups are fairly expensive.  These brands include Coffee People, Donut House, Green Mountain, Gloria Jean's, Timothy's, Celestial Seasonings, Emeril's.  Green Mountain is also the maker of Keurig Brewing Machines.  These brands typically cost about $10.99 for an 18 pack of K-cups, or 60 cents per K-cup.

Starbucks brand K-cups are sometimes even more expensive than the premium brands above.  Starbucks K-cups typically cost $11.99 for 16 K-cups or 75 cents per K-cup.

The good news is that lower cost brands are becoming easy to find on store shelves and on the internet.  Examples of these brands include Eight O’Clock and Folgers and San Francisco Bay coffee from Rogers.  These companies  are offering lower cost K-cups cheaper that premium brands.  I would expect more lower cost brands to emerge soon at 50 cents or less per K-cup.  You'll want to try a small quantity when first trying a new, inexpensive brand of K-cups- the coffee quality could vary from your favorite brands.

Close-up of Keurig K-cup
Keurig K-cup- Emeril's is a premium K-cup brand
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

2.  Refillable K-cups are now common- make your own K-cups cheap!

If you look at what is inside a K-cup, you can easily see how you could make a refillable K-cup.  At the local store, there were 3 different options for refillable K-cups available.  These are washable plastic cups that you fill with your own coffee grounds and use in a Keurig K-cup brewer.  It costs about 30 cents for coffee grounds to fill a refillable K-cup.  Some use disposable paper filters, and some use reusable filters.  The paper filters cost a few cents each.

Plastic cup- fill it with coffee grounds and use it in a Keurig K-cup brewer
Get a refillable K-cup and make your own cheap K-cups!
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

You can refill a K-cup for about 30 cents using high quality ground coffee such as Starbucks.  The main drawback is loss on convenience- you will need to do some work to refill and clean the reusable K-cups.  A benefit of refillable K-cups in addition to lower cost is that you can reduce the amount of disposable material that you throw away.

3.  Big discounts: Get K-cups cheap on-line

You can get big discounts on K-cups on internet sites such as and eBay.  If you drink a lot of coffee or order coffee for a group of people, getting a good price on K-cups can make a big difference.  For me, 50 cents is a psychological barrier.  If I can make coffee with cheap K-cups for 50 cents or less per cup, I’ll drink a lot more!

Typical cost for K-cups in stores is about 60 cents per cup for 18 packs.  It pays to seek better deals on –line.  Check out bargain on large packs of 54 or even 80 K-cups.  Divide the price by the number of K-cups to check the cost per K-cup to see how much of a bargain you are getting.  You can find 80 packs of K-cups cheap!  I found a pack of 80 K-cups for under $30 which works out to less than 38 cents per K-cup.

The Future of Keurig K-cup Cheap Prices

I wonder if increasing competition in the form of lower cost K-cups was a factor in the introduction of the new Keurig Vue brewers.  The Keurig Vue single serve brewers use a new type of coffee pack that is about twice the size of a K-cup.  Keurig Vue brewers offer the ability to brew stronger since more coffee grounds are available and have more control over the brew strength and temperature.

I did not see any low cost alternatives to Vue Packs, and only noticed one type of refillable Vue Pack for sale.  I would expect competition to emerge quickly, probably from the same companies that are producing low cost K-cups and refillable K-cups.  It would not be difficult for these companies to expand their product line to include Vue Packs if the market develops.  The Vue is a new product, so we’ll have to wait and see how popular this will become compared to K-cups.

The established market for K-cups is large, and this ensures that K-cups and refillable cups compatible with K-cup brewers will be available on the market for many years even if the market for Vue Packs grows.  I would expect more generic brewers as well as K-cups to appear over time, bringing down the cost of both K-cups and K-cup brewers over the next few years.

Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal

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