1. K-Cups: Best Prices Are Where?

    NOTE: For more recent K-Cup pricing data, please refer to my October, 2011 K-Cup comparison post.

    As I noted in my Keurig single-cup coffee maker post in early 2009, I have grown to really love my Keurig. I get my daily coffee quickly, steaming hot, and it makes just enough to please all the coffee lovers in my household — namingly, me.

    Perhaps the largest ongoing drawback to the Keurig single-cup coffee makers is the fairly steep price of the “K-Cup” coffee pods they utilize. At anywhere from forty to sixty cents per cup, firing up your morning dose of ground-bean caffeine ain’t exactly cheap. Not compared to the cost-per-cup of regular drip coffee makers, anyway. (Though it’s still a far cry better than the $1.89 the donut store down the street asks for its large coffee.)

    Those of you looking to be more cost-conscious when it comes to your coffee habit can always opt for Keurig’s K-Cup adapter, which allows you to use your own grounds/beans in the machine. While this might make economic sense, I will state here that the adapter itself is a pain to clean. And since I want to clean it after each use … well, you get the drift.

    For day-in and day-out use, K-Cups it is.

    K-Cups: Shopping Around

    When we first bought the Keurig, my inclination was to use our local Bed Bath & Beyond (a store I otherwise regard with much ambivalence) as my K-Cup supplier of choice. Their selection has always been quite good — much better than Target’s — but their prices leave a significant coffee stain on your wallet, for sure. Thankfully, since we ended up on Bed Bath & Beyond’s mailing list at some point, we can mitigate this pain somewhat by using the “20% Off” coupons we regularly receive. (See below for more on that.)

    Since that time, I’ve come across a few other (better!) options for K-Cup purchasing. Those of you out there who are also K-Cup aficionados might want to chime in here, as well.

    Ranking Common K-Cup Retailers

    As things stand currently, here are my price rankings for the most common K-Cup providers available to me:

    1. Amazon.com w/”Subscribe & Save” (40.7 cents/cup)
    2. Bed Bath & Beyond w/”$5 Off $15 Or More Purchase” Coupon (41.6 cents/cup)
    3. Bed Bath & Beyond w/20% Off Coupon (44 cents/cup)
    4. Green Mountain Coffee “Cafe Express” w/Free Shipping (47.8 cents/cup)
    5. Amazon.com w/Amazon Prime (47.9 cents/cup)
    6. Target (55.2 cents/cup)
    7. Bed Bath & Beyond w/Normal Pricing (55.5 cents cup)
    8. Green Mountain Coffee (+Shipping) (at least 58 cents/cup)
    9. Amazon.com (No Subscribe, +Shipping) (60.4 cents/cup)

    Now, to be fair, not all these retailers should be graded equally. If you need your coffee yesterday, Amazon and Green Mountain won’t work for you. Plus, none of these places carries ALL the varieties of K-Cups that are available. If you want Green Mountain coffees, for instance, you can’t get those direct from Amazon — you’ll have to go through Green Mountain themselves, or Bed Bath & Beyond, or an Amazon third-party vendor.

    K-Cup Pricing Winner: Amazon.com

    For us, Amazon (utilizing its “Subscribe and Save” service) is now the lowest-cost provider of K-Cups — provided they carry the flavor(s) we’re wanting. This isn’t always the case, sadly. I’m a big fan of Timothy’s Colombian Decaf (best decaf I’ve ever had), as well as Timothy’s German Chocolate Cake flavor. Amazon carries both.

    I buy these flavors regularly, so signing up for Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” service (free shipping, plus an additional 15 percent off the usual price) makes sense. The free shipping offered by “Subscribe and Save” is nice for most folks, certainly, though the fact that I’m already an Amazon Prime member makes this irrelevant to me.

    At current prices, Amazon’s delivery of K-Cups to my door nets out at just over forty cents per cup. (A bit cheaper, actually, since our Amazon Visa rewards 3 percent cash back on Amazon-bought items.)

    Second Place: BBBY (w/Coupon for $5 Off $15 or More Purchase)

    Every so often, Bed Bath & Beyond sends us a coupon for $5 off of any purchase of $15 or more. Buying two boxes (18 cups each) of K-Cups costs $19.98. Five bucks off of that gives us a cost of $14.98 for 36 cups, or 41.6 cents per cup.

    Third Place: BBBY (w/20%-Off Coupon)

    As long as I have a 20% Off coupon handy, a box of K-Cups at Bed Bath & Beyond costs me forty-four cents per cup (the image below is wrong!), which is the second-cheapest I’ve found. Without the coupon, the price jumps to almost fifty-six cents per cup.

    If my experience is any indication, most of BBBY’s coupons will be of the “X percent off one item” variety. So even with this coupon, if you’re buying more than one box of K-Cups, you might want to shop elsewhere.

    Green Mountain and “Cafe Express”

    Green Mountain Coffee (owner of the Keurig brand, also) makes several flavors that I really like — and which Amazon doesn’t sell. Green Mountain’s Vermont Blend is my favorite “standard” coffee these days; their Mountain Blueberry and French Toast flavors are, in my opinion, nothing short of heavenly.

    (Oh yeah: I love diner-style coffee mugs, and Green Mountain has a very nice diner-style mug of its own.)

    Since I’m an every-day coffee drinker, signing up for Green Mountain’s Cafe Express membership was the way to go. I have no problem buying four boxes of K-Cups at a time, so I can always get free shipping from GMCR and Cafe Express. Utilizing Cafe Express in this manner, Green Mountain K-Cups currently cost us not quite fifty cents per cup.


    Our local Target carries perhaps 5 to 10 varieties of K-Cups. It’s a convenient place to pick up K-Cups if you’re desperate. Pricing, however, isn’t competitive. Right now, K-Cups from Target cost us a little over fifty-five cents per cup.


    Though I read that Wal-Mart was going to begin selling Green Mountain coffees and assorted K-Cups in 2009, I have yet to see them appear at my local store. We’ll see how they’re priced when/if it ever happens. Sam’s Club does carry industrial-sized boxes of K-Cups, and I’m sure their prices beat out most competition. However, the few flavors they’ve carried to this point haven’t been varieties that I’d want to buy in quantity.

    If you Money Musings readers know of any reputable K-Cup retailers that I’ve missed, and who ought to be on the list above, please let me know!

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  2. 20 Responses to "K-Cups: Best Prices Are Where?" ...

    1. On May 10, 2010 @ 9:23 am,
      Kimberly wrote:

      BBB also often issues coupons for $5 off a purchase of $15 or more. That’s the cheapest way to purchase them, and you can get two at a time.



    2. On May 10, 2010 @ 9:50 am,
      Michael wrote:


      According to my quick math, the $5 coupon from BBB would give us a per-cup cost of 41.6 cents ($14.98 / 36 K-Cups). That’d be good for second place on my list.

      Thanks for pointing this out — I’d fogotten about the “$5 Off $15 Purchase or More” coupons from them.



    3. On May 30, 2010 @ 7:21 am,
      Sheila wrote:

      If you have a Kohls nearby, they frequently go on sale for $9.99 for a box of 18 and if you get a 30% off everything coupon in the mail, it brings the box down to $6.99 or $0.39 per pod. I usually stock up, they carry a lot of different varieties.



    4. On June 9, 2010 @ 9:16 am,
      Barbara wrote:

      thanks for all this good info — appreciated.
      Chink cups!



    5. On June 20, 2010 @ 9:01 am,
      Kathleen wrote:

      My Costco carries an 80 pack of Coffee People Donut Shop k-cups for $29.99. And Newman’s Own (I can’t remember which but I think it’s the Special Blend Extra Bold) in an 80 pack for $32.99. Those are the only two kinds I found but you can’t beat the price! Costco.com has a larger selection in bigger packs (108 cups) for a slightly higher price but I think shipping is included. Love Costco!



    6. On July 3, 2010 @ 3:27 pm,
      Christine wrote:

      I looking at your BBB w/20% coupon the math doesn’t seem to be working out. 20% off of 9.99 is 7.99, bringing the cost per cup to 0.444.



    7. On July 3, 2010 @ 10:54 pm,
      Michael wrote:


      You would be correct. My XL skills let me down on that one, for sure. Maybe I hadn’t made it through my coffee yet that morning. Anyway, the $.44/cup cost keeps “BBY w/20% Off” in third place.



    8. On July 30, 2010 @ 9:42 am,
      Jennifer wrote:

      For you die hard fans of K Cups, I have done a lot of searching and found ECRATER.COM . The website sells huge cases (288 count) for $110 and FREE SHIPPING. Buying it in such bulk, especially if you know you love the coffee and will drink it, it brings it down to $.38/cup. Of course, $.38/cup pales in comparison to a drip coffee maker at $.20/cup from a $10/pound bag of coffee. However, the convenience of my Keurig makes it worth it!



    9. On October 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm,
      Jen wrote:

      Coffee People Donut shop coffee from Amazon…..with subscription works out to be around 35 cents a cup….box of 50 for 17 and change.



    10. On December 31, 2010 @ 7:59 am,
      Steve wrote:

      This is Great information! Thanks for taking the time to put all this together!



    11. On February 23, 2011 @ 5:23 am,
      ILoveCoffee wrote:

      Nice article. I agree Amazon is the best place online especially if you buy the packs of 50.



    12. On May 12, 2011 @ 11:57 am,
      FKB wrote:

      Ok, I must be missing something because when i priced with amazon it was almost 15.00 a box. even with the free shipping it came out to like .70 a cup



    13. On May 12, 2011 @ 12:09 pm,
      Michael wrote:


      I think Amazon recently changed or discontinued some of their K-Cup offers, and I haven’t yet had the chance to update this post. That may be the difference that you’re seeing.



    14. On June 5, 2011 @ 5:36 pm,
      Eva wrote:

      This is great info! Thanks for posting. Please keep us updated on new findings! I also like hearing about favorite k-cups, because I’m a new Keurig owner.



    15. On June 15, 2011 @ 2:16 pm,
      Tim wrote:

      Very few K-Cups are available for the “Subscribe and Save”. None that i would purchase.



    16. On June 15, 2011 @ 2:41 pm,
      Michael wrote:


      You’re correct. At my search just a moment ago, I saw that Amazon currently has only 11 coffee varieties available for Subscribe & Save. And of those, none are products I’d buy. This is disheartening, but I’m sure I can get my Timothy’s coffees elsewhere. I’m sure it’ll cost more …



    17. On July 21, 2011 @ 7:41 pm,
      Eileen G. wrote:

      Thanks for the info. New to Keurig and trying to find the best price. Just checked Costco and for 160 Green Mountain Nantucket, cost is $84.99 or .54 cents a cup. Thought it would be cheaper. Bjs is the same price.



    18. On August 23, 2011 @ 2:18 pm,
      John wrote:

      I’ve looked all over. Sam’s Club has a couple good flavors at around $0.42 each. The Best site for price and varity is bigcatcoffees.com. Must use $75 or more for free shipping also promo “fancat” gets 10% off first order. I paid $0.52 each and they have every brand and flavor on the market. If you can find better Please let me know!



    19. On September 7, 2011 @ 12:08 pm,
      Pattie wrote:

      Thanks for all the great info. I am checking out ecrater and bigcatcoffees asap!



    20. On October 12, 2011 @ 8:50 pm,
      shirley horan wrote:

      I have used coffeecow for the last 2 years. They ship within 2 days (free) 24 cups for $13.99 but the more you buy the cheaper and you get cow bucks everytime you shop towards your next order. Lots of flavors and brands. Good sales.amazing how fast they ship



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