Created by Kelly Cavanaugh
If you’ve been searching for cheap k cups, you’ve probably noticed the same things we did. The big grocery stores near you have them, but they are pretty expensive. And, if you searched the web, there’s a ton of places selling them, but they all seem to be at the same price.
We’ve found an approach to finding the best online price that seems to work, and it’s actually pretty simple:
The thing to start with is the unit price. Calculating a “Unit Price” is really simple. You just take the price of the entire box and divide it by the the number of K cups in the box. As an example, say you find a pack of 18 for $12.60, you just do a little division: $12.60 / 18 = $0.70, or 70 cents for each cup. Make sure you include any sales tax or shipping charges in the price. Many online stores will show what looks like a great price up front, and then they tack on the sales tax and shipping AFTER you put it in your cart.
We surveyed over 100 sellers, some online, and some online. The unit prices varied from about 50 cents to a little under a dollar per K Cup. The variables that would swing the price included:
- The Seller
- The number of K Cups per package
- Brand (As usual, the big brands, like Starbucks, were more)
- Shipping Costs and Sales Tax
We were extremely surprised to see how different prices were for the same item across different sellers. Below, we included a screenshot from Amazon.com that shows the EXACT SAME ITEM at prices ranging from $13 to almost $35! That means that you could pay almost twice as much you need to if you don’t do your homework before making a purchase. Crazy!
You would expect bulk packages, with a high number of servings per box, to be cheaper, right? Well, most of the time they do, but watch out! Some sellers seem to have intentionally padded the pricing on bulk boxes, in the hopes that nobody calculates the unit price and figures out what they’ve done. Always do the math.
You’ll find a wide variety of quantities packed together across the different brands. While the most popular sizes are 12 count, 18 count, and 24 count, you can also find them in larger boxes or 48 and 50, or even huge page of 96 or more . The popular 12-count box sells for about $10-12, or almost a dollar a cup. This is where quantity helps. We found a 50-count box of a great brand, ” Tully’s House Blend” for $25, right at 50 cents per cup.
When shopping for K Cups, you probably noticed that the brands are a bit different than they are for regular coffee. While there are some recognizable brands, like Folgers and Starbucks, many of the brands might be new and unfamiliar.
K-Cup Brands, Listed A-Z:
- B: Barista Prima Coffeehouse, Bigelow Tea Company
- C: Cafe Escapes, Caribou Coffee, Celestial Seasonings, Coffee People
- D: Diedrich,Donut House, Dunkin’ Donuts
- E: Emeril
- F: Folgers
- G: Gloria Jeans, Green Mountain Coffee, Grove Square Coffee
- K: Keurig coffee
- M: Millstone Coffee
- N: Newman’s Own
- S: Starbucks
- T: Timothy’s World Coffee, Tully’s, Twinings
- V: Van Houtte
- W: Wolfgang Puck
One of the advantages of this different brand landscape is that you can save a little money if you try something that’s less familiar. Sure, “Starbucks” sounds like a safe, familiar choice, but you’re going to pay more for it.
If you try something a little different, you’ll be pleasantly surprised not only with cost, but also with taste. Brands like Gloria Jeans, Coffee People, Timothy’s World Coffee, and Van Houtte, offer gourmet taste, but at a price that’s lower than the “big guys”.
If you just can’t be that adventurous, have a look at Folger’s K Cups. While they are well known as coffee experts, they’ve also traditionally sold their coffee at a value price. Folger’ sells in both 18 and 40-count boxes, and tend to be around 60 cents per cup.
Buy these on the internet, and you’ll get a few other benefits….no sales tax if you buy from the right place, and no trips to the grocery store, because they’ll be delivered right to your home.
Doing the math
Say you brew 2 cups of coffee per day. How much could you save?
2 CUPS/DAY X 365 DAYS = 730 Cups of Coffee A typical grocery store price might be 92 cents per cup. A good online price is 51 cents per cup.
730 cups x 92 cents = $671.60 ( Grocery Store Prices )
730 cups x 51 cents = $372.30 ( Online Prices )
Savings: $299.30 per year.
And, that doesn't include savings on gas and sales tax!
Not familiar with K Cups?
Not sure what a K Cups are? Here’s and original video from Keurig, the inventors of the K Cup. This shows exactly what’s inside the product, and how it works: