Coffee prices recently hit a 13-year high and coffee manufacturers will soon be raising their prices for your favorite brew, if they haven’t already, according to the Associated Press. The high cost of coffee beans may give consumers a caffeine headache as soon as their next shopping trip. If you are hooked on your morning cup of joe, here are some strategies for spending less for your favorite coffee at the grocery store.
Beware of short sizing of coffee packages
One thing that food companies are famous for is not increasing the cost for a package of their product, but instead shrinking the size offered at an established price. This practice, called short sizing, could happen with coffee at some point in the future. Stores may clearance out the larger packages or even stack the two side-by-side on the shelf, while transitioning to the newer size.
Pay close attention to the weight in the package and not the packaging itself since one way that a peanut butter company made its packages smaller was to increase the curve on the bottom of their plastic packaging, which meant less product would fit inside, but also that the packaging would look the same from the outside. Compare the weights of new packages versus old to avoid this pitfall. Careful selection and attention to price per ounce/pound means you’ll be spending less on coffee by choosing the package that in fact has more.
Use coupons to spend less on coffee at the grocery store
When the increased cost for coffee finally trickles down to the grocery store shelf tag, seek out companies that offer coupons on a frequent basis. Get on the email list now to receive offers from your preferred coffee because some companies offer special savings that aren’t available in other media such as newspapers or magazines. Consider connecting with them via social media such as Facebook and Twitter so you won’t miss out on a coupon or special offer.
Blinkie coupons put on retailer shelves by companies such as Smartsource are good to keep in your coupon wallet. Even if you do not need coffee during a particular shopping trip, if you see a coupon for your preferred brand, take a coupon anyway and save it for the future and hope for a sale. Grocery stores run sales in cycles and taking a coupon now while it is available can save money on coffee down the road.
Price matching to spend less on coffee
If your coffee brand goes on sale at a store that you don’t shop at, but your preferred grocery store matches prices, be sure to take the ad in to ask for a price adjustment. Wal-mart typically price matches, except in a buy one, get one free situation. Employing this savvy shopper strategy could net a lower price on coffee, while saving the gas money you would have spent going to the other store just to buy it a little cheaper.
If all else fails, switch brands
Generic coffee will cost less, but it likely won’t taste as good as your favorite cup of joe. Buying generic might save a few dollars, but there’s also another option. Buy both generic and your preferred coffee brand and mix the two together, experimenting until you reach a blend that tastes palatable. You may just create a new blend that you love, while spending less for the coffee you crave.
Coffee hits 13-year high; retail prices also up, Associated Press via Yahoo! News, retrieved 9/15/2010
Shrink Ray Hits Consumers’ Wallets, MSNBC, retrieved 9/15/2010