Serious Coffee Drinkers, Here’s How to Save Money Without Kicking Your Caffeine Habit

Save money on your coffee

This post was written in collaboration with Nestlé Professional. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best recommendations and advice in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.

Coffee — it’s the beverage most of us cannot function without, the drink that unites us in the office pantry, the liquid that exudes those distinctive toasty, roasty notes…

And it’s something many of us spend money on, every day.

According to Statista, around 95,000 bags of coffee weighing 60kg each were consumed in 2018 in Singapore. The results of a survey conducted that same year showed that about 62% of Singaporeans drink coffee regularly.

It’s not surprising that one of the essentials for your own kitchen pantry or the office is a coffee machine. If you prefer to buy your coffee instead of brew it, it can be quite costly on a day-to-day basis: Say you spend about $5 on your daily coffee (1 atas cup and 1 homemade/coffeeshop glass), this translates to $150 a month, or $1,825 a year.

Here are some tips to save money without jeopardising your java fix:


1. Bring your own mug

Have your own tumbler or KeepCup? Not only are you helping to save the earth by opting for reusables, but there are a number of coffee places that will shave off a few cents when you BYO (bring your own). One of them is Starbucks, which gives you 50 cents discount when you BYO. If you like your cuppa more local, Toast Box gives 10 cents off when you BYO. There are a couple of cafes that offer BYO discounts, so keep your eyes peeled and your tumbler in your bag. It’s no laughing matter okay? 50 cents x 365 days = save $182.50 a year!


2. Look out for 1-for-1 deals and other promotions

While you’re scouring the coffee counter for standees or signs announcing BYO offers, keep an eye out for promotions too. For example, I’ve seen The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf tie-up with Mastercard for 1-for-1 offers. There might also be breakfast promotions where a morning sandwich could come with a free caffeine pick-me-up.

There’s a similar package for BreadTalk Rewards members too, where you can get cheaper coffee at ToastBox (might not be stackable with BYO discount though).

It’s also good to install a few food apps on your phone, like Fave or Burpple, as these sometimes run promotions with the cafes. And of course, keep track of credit card offers/rebate so you’ll be clued in to as many available deals as possible.

I even found a coffee-hopping membership called KopiPass, so you can enjoy hipster/artisanal brews for less. 


3. Go ahead, ask for a refill

Got thick skin? Go ahead and ask for a refill. Your second cup of coffee might be up to 50% off its usual price, just make sure you dine in and don’t leave the store. Disclaimer: At Starbucks, this refill discount cannot be stacked with their BYO offer; and it can only be used for Brewed Coffee that’s served in a mug. 

I also came across a Facebook post about 50% off coffee refills at Hoshino Coffee, so I reached out to enquire and this policy still stands — yay! In any case, it never hurts to ask for a discounted refill even if it is not officially stated… who knows, it might even be on the house if the manager is in a good mood!


4. Change your coffee style

Do you always order the fancy stuff? Yes like cold brew, V60 Pour Over, frappuccino, single-origin please, double-shot for the win, yup drizzle in some Italian flavoured syrup and change to nut milk while you’re at it. Serve it in an ice cream cone too, for the ‘Gram!

Maybe you’re better off just having a plain old long black, or the most #basic latte. Or you can order an espresso and tambah in your own milk or hot water later. Even at the kopitiam, what you order can add up in the long run, even if it is just 10 or 20 cents each time.

For example, Kopi-O is cheaper than Kopi-C (you’re paying more for the evaporated milk). An iced coffee (or kopi peng) is also usually more expensive than a hot one. So, order your coffee black. Your wallet and waistline will thank you.


5. Brew your own

Although the initial cost outlay can be higher (depending on the fancy pants level of your coffee equipment at home), brewing your own coffee might be cheaper in the long run than say, buying it from a coffeeshop or from a cafe. Plus you can enjoy it in the comfort of your home and save on cafe-hopping transport fees.

This brings us to the next point…


6. Go the instant route

Head to the supermarket to buy a big bottle of instant coffee. All you need is hot water and a mug — no machine needed, maybe just a spoon. You can even bring it with you to the office or along to lunch. Going on holiday? This is highly portable as well, so you can save as much money as possible yet get your caffeine fix in a foreign country (but please, don’t do this if you’re visiting a coffee capital like Melbourne).

Bulk buy your jars of instant coffee when they’re on offer for even better results.


7. Have it for free in your office pantry

Okay, guilty as charged.

Don’t you have those moments when you go out for lunch and when the drinks auntie comes over, you almost automatically order a drink but you stop yourself because “later go back office drink lah”? YES.

Many offices these days are equipped with a coffee machine, or at best have the bare minimum of hot water and 3-in-1 instant coffee sachets in the pantry. It’s quite common for us to have our first cup of Joe at home to stave away the morning bleariness, then stumble to work in a crowded train and sit down at our work desk with our breakfast and a second cup to get our engines going.

Rinse and repeat for the food coma that happens after a heavy lunch, or when energy levels take a massive dip around 3-4pm and you need to rush out an urgent report for your boss.

If your office pantry doesn’t have any semblance of coffee, perhaps it’s time to do something about it. Did you know that there are other benefits of drinking coffee? There’s research that found coffee to boost an individual’s task-related performance and also improved the overall engagement within a team. Similar consumption habits of teammates may further foster trust and cooperation among them. Another study found that taking breaks during the work day is not wasted time; instead, it can improve focus, enhance creativity and allow the brain to consolidate information. Pair this with coffee’s invigorating effect, and you have a win-win situation.

Here is the newest coffee machine from NESCAFÉ that you can suggest to your boss or office manager:


NESCAFÉ Attimo Bean To Cup Total Coffee Solution (FTS60E) 

Nescafe Milano Attimo coffee machine

  • Offers up to 12 beverages (includes café-style beverages, from freshly-brewed espresso to Japanese green tea)
  • Easy-to-use intuitive machine, select your drink from a touchscreen menu
  • Can grind and brew coffee from whole roasted coffee beans (Choose from  NESCAFÉ Superiore 100% Arabica Whole Roasted Coffee Beans or NESCAFÉ Espresso Whole Roasted Coffee Beans)
  • Energy-saving 
  • Can brew drinks of varying temperatures


NESCAFÉ Attimo Bean To Cup Total Coffee Solution is free on loan* and comes with free maintenance.

And if you get in touch with NESCAFÉ by 31 March 2020, there’s a free 1-week complimentary trial* of the coffee machine at your office, serving freshly brewed coffee and other hot beverages.

*Terms and conditions apply. 


So tell your boss or office manager about this deal — click here to find out more and to claim your 1-week free trial. They’ll thank you later.


How often do you drink coffee in a day and what’s the most economical way to get your java fix? Let us know in the comments below!