Coffee — necessary addiction or expensive commodity?

Angela Radesic

Many people love the aroma of rich and savory coffee brewing to fill their home in the morning.

So why do students buy their coffee so frequently? Other than the occasional horrible late wake-up call that every college student experiences at least once a week, buying coffee can be detrimental to a bank account.

In an interview with USA Today, certified financial planner and author Cary Carbonaro gave a breakdown on just how much college students can spend on a cup of coffee if they make it at home.

“Each pound yields 48 cups less if you like it stronger so let’s say that’s 70-96 cups,” Carbonaro said. “That is 10 cents a cup, but then you have to add milk, almond milk, sugar, whatever, so let’s round up to 25 cents.”

There is a substantial difference between the 25 cents a college student could be spending on a cup of coffee if they purchase their own coffee maker.

Medium Size

Regular Hot Coffee

Iced Coffee

Cold Brew

Chai Tea











Dunkin’ Donuts





Tree City Coffee





Einstein Bros.





Students that live in dorms are allowed an automatic, turn-off coffee maker, which can be found at Walmart for around $12 to $15. 

With an upfront cost of $15 for the coffee maker itself and the additional costs of around $15 for coffee grounds, cream and sugar every few weeks, the price to make your own coffee in comparison to an average $4 coffee in a coffee shop is a comparison to think about.

Marcella Largent, a sophomore integrated language arts major, is no newbie to coffee consumption. Largent said that on average she purchases coffee with her meal plan five to six times a week at various coffee shops on campus. While she is a frequent coffee buyer, Largent is in favor of making coffee in her dorm.

Largent said it’s better to make your own coffee for multiple reasons. “(For) financial reasons, like if you don’t have a meal plan, it definitely saves you a lot of money because you can just make it on your own,” she said. “Usually if you have a Keurig, buying the pods or buying the grounds will last you a lot longer than going and buying your coffee.”

Largent said making your coffee will not only save you money, but will also be more environmentally safe.

“Every single time you buy coffee, it’s coming in a paper cup,” Largent said. “And if you don’t recycle it properly, are you really helping our environment?”

Angela Radeisc is the jobs and finance reporter. Contact her at [email protected].