Some people will tell you that one of the easiest things you can do to boost your savings account balance is to stop buying coffee out and make it at home instead. And they’re definitely right.
I spend about $3 a day on a large Dunkin’ coffee. If I were to make my own at home in my Keurig, I’d probably spend about $0.50 a day instead.
So all told, if I buy my coffee 25 out of 30 days of the month (I sometimes skip my Dunkin’ run on weekends), I’m spending an extra $62.50 in the process. Multiply that by 12 months, and that’s a $750 credit card tab, which even I can admit is pretty steep.
Now, one thing I will say is that because I’m able to still save a nice amount of money — in my emergency fund as well as retirement account — I don’t feel particularly guilty about spending all that money on coffee. If anything, I consider it an investment in my productivity, because having a nice, strong cup of coffee definitely helps me power through the workday as a perpetually tired mom.
But still, I try my best to eke out savings on my Dunkin’ habit. Here are the tactics I employ.
When you sign up for the Dunkin’ app (a smart thing to do if you buy coffee there often), you get a list of promotions that pop up automatically at the start of each month. You do need to activate those promotions. But that only takes about five seconds, and from there, you can save big.
Sometimes, for example, you’ll see a promotion where you get a free coffee with any purchase. So what I’ll do is purchase two coffees on the same trip, get one for free, drink one, and save the other for the next day.
Another thing you can do is buy a less expensive item to get a free coffee. Let’s say that like me, you typically buy a large and that it costs about $3. A donut might only cost $1 and change. So if the offer is free coffee with any purchase, just buy something cheap from the menu and get your more expensive coffee for free.
I don’t happen to really like Dunkin’ donuts. But when this promotion is available, I’ll sometimes buy a donut to get my free coffee and just save it for my kids to share.
2. I order ahead when bonus points are available on the Dunkin’ app
When you use the Dunkin’ app to order your coffee (or any other item sold there), you earn 10 points per $1 spent. But there are certain days of the month where Dunkin’ will throw 100 bonus points your way just for ordering ahead (as opposed to walking in and ordering your drink on the spot).
That’s an offer I always try to take advantage of, since I often order ahead anyway and it doesn’t cost me a thing. And those extra points really add up. Plus, if your local Dunkin’ tends to be crowded, ordering ahead could save you a lot of time.
Also, when you visit Dunkin’ 12 times or more in the same month, you get boosted status for three months afterward. And that gives you 12 points per $1 spent instead of 10 points. Since I go to Dunkin’ so often, it’s easy for me to get those extra points, which translate into more free coffees for me during the year.
3. I’m nice to the people who work at my local store
I try to be nice to people in general. But I especially make a point to be nice to the Dunkin’ employees at my local store because I see them almost every day and they tend to offer me great service.
Sometimes, for example, if I happen to show up when there’s a long line, one of the employees will make my coffee and motion for me to just pay through the app so I don’t have to wait. And on occasion, they’ll throw a free coffee my way — such as if I come in with my kids to order a box of Munchkins.
I’ll be the first person to acknowledge that buying coffee at Dunkin’ almost every day is the not most cost-effective way to stay adequately caffeinated. But it’s basically my one indulgence, so to me, it’s worth the money. And thankfully, there are different steps I’m able to take to make my coffee habit less expensive. You might want to lean on these tips, too, as they can help you save on your daily caffeine fix.
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