Are Ground Coffee or Beans Cheaper than Pods?

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Anyone that has bought and used a Keurig likely has found that they dread buying their next box of coffee pods, mainly due to the price! They feel like they aren’t getting nearly the value that they had back when they bought ground coffee, or even whole beans at the store. So we are here to set the records straight, and make sure you don’t have to wonder one way or the other.

So is it cheaper to buy ground coffee or whole means than to buy pods? Ground coffee and coffee beans is much cheaper than buying pods by a large margin. In the example of Dunkin Donuts coffee, pods are 413.95% more money than the exact same coffee as ground coffee.

So I drink Dunkin Donuts coffee as my normal coffee! It is some of the best, relatively inexpensive coffee I have found at my local store, and with my Aeropress is makes a really good cup of coffee in the morning. This is why I am using it as an example to show how much the price difference between these two coffees

How are coffee pods 413.95% more than ground coffee?

So you may be wondering, how in the world did he get that number? Over 306% is quite a lot.

As mentioned earlier, I drink Dunkin Donuts ground coffee! It turns out their original blend comes in both ground coffee cans, and also pods.

Their Original Blend 30 ounce can was $12.94 at the time of this writing. Making this ground coffee $0.43 per ounce.

On the other hand, the 44 count pod of the same brand and blend for Dunkin Donuts was $36.10 at the time of this writing. Those 44 pods had only 16.28 ounces spread out between the 44 pods. This makes this coffee $2.21 per ounce. Yes, you read that right.

That makes the pods 413.95% more than the exact same coffee in ground form.

I have also found, that you can find even better tasting whole beans at stores like Safeway for even cheaper than pre-ground coffee. So that percentage will only climb if you are willing to put more effort in.

Are pods still cheaper than buying from a coffee shop?

Alright, so we now know that ground coffee is considerably cheaper than buying pods. However let’s be honest, that isn’t really why someone buys a pod coffee maker.

Most people are going to buy a pod coffee maker because they want to make coffee at home, with the about the same amount of work as buying a coffee at their local shop, hoping to save some money.

So at only $0.82 per cup of coffee, as apposed to $3-$5 per cup of coffee at a local shop, the Keurig or pod coffee maker is still a huge savings.

You definitely need to keep this in mind!

If you are looking to save money, but won’t make coffee at home unless you have a Keurig, it is still an awesome option.

More Reading

Why are coffee pods so much?

There are actually a few reasons why coffee pods cost so much. Lets take a look at those!


The name of coffee pods really are self evident here. You are adding a ton of extra packaging for every ounce (or less) of coffee you buy. In the example above, you have 44 separate plastic pods that have to be added.


While ground coffee can just be dumped into a large container, coffee pods take more time, and more energy to be added into each individual pod, and then sealed.

Of course robots I am sure do this now, but then you have to buy and build those robots.


Finally, convenience is worth something, and people pay for it. Have you ever taken a look at soda, and realized that a 2 liter bottle is the same, if not less than a 20oz soda? Yep, thats right, you are paying for convenience.

Coffee pods are no different!

Why you may want to get a pod based coffee maker

As we just talked about, you can still get a huge savings with a pod coffee maker if you are looking at it with an alternative to a coffee shop. However what other reasons are there to buy a Keurig?

For most people it simply comes down to ease of use. You put in some water every once in a while, add the flavor pod you want, and bam, you have coffee.

Another great reason is for visitors! If you entertain a lot, then a Keurig is pretty much fool proof. As we’ll talk about in a moment, I like the Aeropress coffee maker, however I know if I had someone over and they wanted to make their own cup, they would look at me like I was crazy.

That doesn’t happen with a Keurig.

What coffee maker should I get instead of a Keurig?

If you are looking at a Keurig coffee maker, but want to be a little more involved with making your coffee, and want to make it even cheaper as well, I really recommend an Aeropress.

It’s an awesome, inexpensive coffee maker that I have been using for quite a while now.

I even wrote up a whole article about how an Aeropress coffee maker compares to a Keurig, and you can read it here!


There really are a lot of reasons why you would want a pod coffee maker over a ground coffee maker, however there is no way around the fact that coffee pods will always be so much more expensive than ground coffee or even whole bean coffee.

In the end though, its up to you to decide if that is worth it for you!

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