I had wanted a Keurig Coffee Maker for years but was put off by the price of the K-cups. In fact, I usually shudder when I see deal posts excitedly promoting a net price of “only” 35 cents per cup.
Well, I got a Keurig K55 coffee maker for Christmas 2016 with a box of 40 sample cups as a gift. The coffee lover in me wanted to keep it, but the frugal couponer in me wanted to take it back. Then, while browsing k-cups on Amazon to check pricing, I found reusable filters. Voila! I chose a brand with a lot of positive reviews and ordered a set of six cups to try out. I was not disappointed in them after a month of use, but they only came in one color (purple), so I ordered a set of six in another brand for the different color (black) to use with decaf coffee. The second set fell apart almost immediately and leaked, so I threw them out and ordered another set of the purple ones. I marked the lids of the second set with a small “X” using a permanent-ink Sharpie and use those for decaf. Problem solved.
I can say with confidence that the purple ones (6-Pack Reusable Gold Plated Mesh Coffee Filters For Keurig 2.0 and 1.0 Brewers Fits K200/K250, K300/K350, K400/K450/K460, K500/K550/K560) are the only ones I would consider buying if I ever wanted more for myself or to give as a gift. I purchased the first set of six on December 27, 2016 and have used at least four of them every day. They show no signs of wear and tear. The lids snap tightly, and they never leak. These reusable filters cost around $2 each, but they paid for themselves very quickly.
Is it worth giving up the convenience of a ready-to-use K-cup? It is if you want to save a lot of money and still enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee on demand. This is especially true of decaf K-cups because there are so few choices on the shelves for decaf to begin with, and decaf k-cups rarely go on sale. And if you really love coffee, you can buy whole bean coffee and grind your own for an especially fresh cup of Joe.
Let’s do the math.
A typical ready-to-use k-cup contains two tablespoons of ground coffee, which weighs about 10 grams. I use a 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) coffee scoop to fill my reusable filters. It fills the k-cup filter with just enough room left to snap the hinged lid on. Makes a good, strong cup of coffee. I zeroed out the weight of the coffee scoop in this picture to show you that the two-tablespoon coffee scoop holds 10 grams of ground coffee.
A 12-ounce bag of ground coffee contains 340 grams, which is enough to fill 34 reusable filters. By holding out for the best promotions (sales, coupons, cashback), I never pay more than $2.50 per bag and often pay much less.
I recently paid the following for 11- or 12-oz bags of ground coffee:
$2.39 for Eight O’Clock 11 oz decaf (reg. $6.78) – Works out to 8 cents per reusable k-cup filter
$1.50 for LavAzza 12 oz classic roast (reg. $8.99) – Works out to 4 cents per reusable k-cup filter
$2.00 for Community Coffee 12 oz decaf (reg. $7.49) – Works out to 6 cents per reusable k-cup filter
$0.75 for Community Coffee 12-oz regular (reg. $7.49) – Works out to 2 cents per reusable k-cup filter**
**This was a Walgreens deal (2/$8 sale, $3.50/2 MQ, and $3/2 cashback from Checkout51 = $0.75 per 12-ounce bag that will fill 34 reusable filters). My Walgreens doesn’t carry the decaf, so I bought the Breakfast Blend. For price comparison, a 36-count box of Community Coffee Breakfast Blend pods at Walmart was selling for $19.98 when I wrote this post. $0.75 versus $19.98? That is an easy choice.
Are they easy to clean? Yes. After using a few, I just open them up, hold them upside down over the kitchen trash can, and tap on the bottom a few times with the back of a spoon. The used grounds fall out easily. A quick swish in soapy water, a rinse, and a shake, and they are ready to use again.
As for the black reusable filters I tried and DO NOT recommend, here is the picture:
See that depression on the lid? You can’t tell from the picture, but there is a small, separate piece of plastic in that depression, and all those pieces fell out within two weeks of use. That piece would not go back in easily or completely, and once it fell out, the cups leaked in the Keurig machine. The purple ones I love are one-piece construction with no parts that can fall off. Also, in the black ones, a section of the lid extends pretty far into the cup when closed, which cuts down on the amount of coffee you can put in the filter. And the final straw was that the lids would not stay shut. They kept opening up, so after filling them, I had to secure them with a rubber band until I used them. You have been warned! Do not buy these. I am not even going to risk a link.
Be sure to watch Couponaholic for all the coffee deals we can find!
And…if you’re interested in Keurig Coffee makers, you can see the current Amazon deals on them here. To buy my favorite reusable coffee filters to make your own “k-cups”, go here to grab a set on Amazon.