Leaves vs bags
Buying loose tea instead of tea bags will save you between 30 cents and $3.00 per pack. This is even better if you like your tea weak – you can then use less tea per cup so it will last longer than using portion-controlled tea bags. If you don’t want to bother with a pot, use a tea infuser.
Buy store brands instead of premium brands
For example, a pack of 200 black tea bags can cost you about $5.00 less if you opt for a store brand.
Buy in bulk
A pack of 50 tea bags will cost much less – up to $3.00 less in some cases – than buying two packs of 25.
Instead of buying flavoured herb teas, choose plain green tea and add lemon, lime or ginger slices. You can also make your own chai by adding cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves to black tea.
Ready-made hot chocolate mixes can be expensive. You can always make your own hot chocolate by blending sugar and cocoa with a little milk or water in a cup, then topping up with hot milk or water.
You will generally save money by opting for granulated rather than freeze-dried coffee. The price difference can be as much as $2.00 for 120g. Coffee bags may seem convenient but can be up to twice as expensive as brewing your own.
Coffee purists will tell you to only buy beans in small amounts but large vacuum-packed bags can be more economical. Just be sure to store them carefully in airtight containers in a clean, dark corner of the pantry.
Rather than splurge on these, try adding a cinnamon stick or a few cloves to your coffee brew. Stock up on flavoured syrups (vanilla, hazelnut) – you only need a small amount and they keep well. Give packaged instant cappuccinos a miss and, instead, invest in a glass frother (from homewares stores). Then make your own and top with cinnamon or powdered chocolate.
Decaffeinated versions of popular brands are usually more expensive, so keep an eye out for specials. Cereal-based coffee substitutes (ecco, Caro) cost less from the supermarket than from health food stores, and the larger tins are more economical.
Transfer leaves and bags to an airtight container so you can enjoy the fresh flavour for longer.
Always seal the container properly – whether it’s a tin or a glass jar, the coffee will stay fresher if you keep it properly sealed. If you grind your own beans, don’t fall for the trap of storing them in the freezer. The ice that accumulates around the beans or granules diminishes the quality and flavour. It’s better to store coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry.