I’m a caffeine junkie. I generally wake up at 4:30 in the morning so that I can get some writing done before heading off to my day job. And when I come home, I work some more until it’s time go to bed. It’s tiring, to say the least, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without a little help from caffeine. But I’m also on a budget.
I used to have two energy drinks per day. I thought I was being frugal by stocking up on them when they went on sale for $1.00 each until I realized that this still meant spending $730 per year on energy drinks alone. That set me on a quest for a source of caffeine that will save money and still keep me bright-eyed.
How Much Does Your Caffeine Fix Cost?
I decided to test out a range of different drinkable caffeine sources to see how much they cost per serving and how much caffeine you get with that amount.
I calculated the cost-per-serving by dividing the number of servings you get in each package by the total price, based on how much Amazon currently sells each item for. Then I collected data on how much caffeine each source typically has per serving size. Here are the results:
To put this in perspective, to get my 200 grams of caffeine shot I can either spend three dollars on a Full Throttle energy drink or just over three cents on a cup of Folgers.
Further Reading: “The Cost of Coffee: Your Morning Ritual Adds Up!”
How to Get the Most Out of Your Brewed Caffeine
Of course, counting caffeine can be a confusing chore.
Caffeine content can vary based on the growing conditions of the plant, harvesting methods, and processing techniques — even on how you prepare it.
Still, there are some things that you can do to extract the maximum amount of caffeine from your coffee and tea. For coffee connoisseurs, finding a good, quality roast at a good price is important. One of the best sources we've found includes Coffee Wholesale USA.
According to one study, you can boost the caffeine content in your coffee by grinding the beans finer and boiling them rather than filtering them through a coffeemaker. Lighter coffee roasts also will give you more caffeine in your brew than darker roasts.
If you’re a tea drinker, letting your tea steep for longer will extract more caffeine from the leaves. Tea produced from the youngest shoots during the peak of the growing season will also contain more caffeine, although this may be more expensive than your garden-variety Lipton tea.
Further Reading: “Coffeenomics! What's the Real Cost of a Latte Fix?”
The Best Source of Caffeine: My Pick
If I was truly a budget-conscious shopper, I’d choose the Folgers Classic. You can’t beat three cents per serving at a minimum dose of 96 mg of caffeine to boot!
Alas, I am not a coffee drinker. In fact, I can’t stand the stuff. Instead, I’m going with the Yerba Maté. I think it’s got a great flavor, and it has even more caffeine than black or green tea. It’s also way cheaper than my previous energy drinks, even though I need to drink more of it to get the same amount of caffeine.
If I drink four eight-ounce servings of yerba maté per day (28 cents) instead of two 16-oz energy drinks ($2.00), I’ll still come out ahead by $1.72 per day. Over the course of a year, I’ll save $627.80! I further maximize my savings by taking advantage of reusable tea filters and brewers so that I won’t need to waste any money on fancy tea bags or coffee filters.
After researching the best caffeine options, I am now able to be more productive for far less money. In fact, even this very post was brought to you thanks to my budget-conscious caffeine investment. Enjoy!
Further Reading: “5 Ways to Save Money and Spend Less This Year”