It can be difficult to build a money-saving habit as a millennial. The bills are always there, especially if you’re living independently in an expensive city. Luckily for you, whether you’re trying to save money for something special, your education, or the future, there are several ways to cut your spending down or earn extra cash nowadays. [Read more…] about 5 Best Money Making And Money Saving Apps For Millennials
Money Saving Gadgets
Like a lot of extreme savers, I am incredibly frugal. I find myself constantly looking for the best deals and ways to cut costs to keep more money in my pocket. And I am guessing since you are here on Savingadvice, you like to save money too. Well, I have the newest gold mine for you. The company is called Gen Mobile and they’re offering super good quality phone service for as low as $9 per month. If you are curious, check out the Gen Mobile review below.
I personally haven’t had the best experience with small cell phone operators so I was definitely prepared for the worst yet pleasantly surprised with Gen Mobile.
That said, this post is a full-on scorecard for the service, from delivery all the way to usage capabilities. With that, here is a little bit of background on America’s phone plan costs.
America as a whole spends far too much on its monthly phone plans. For example, if we look at this data from CNBC, we see that American’s pay about $125 a month for their phone bill. Which is a lot!
I know people who won’t even spend $125 on a pair of sneakers they will wear for 12 months, let alone a monthly phone plan.
What is Gen Mobile?
Somewhat new to the market and making its debut in the summer of 2018, Gen Mobile was founded by Robert Yap – a veteran in the wireless phone industry. The business is smaller, but family run. Gen Mobile is part of a class of telecommunications businesses called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
MVNOs do not own their own wireless networks, but instead rent space from one of the major US carriers. There are about 139 MVNOs in the United States. The numbers of these kinds of businesses have grown since 2009 due to changes in FCC regulations. By and large MVNOs have better customer service and since they do not have infrastructure costs, they can offer lower prices to consumers. Gen Mobile is no exception. Their service piggybacks on Sprint’s network and their minimum plans cost $9 per month.
Here is Gen Mobile’s coverage map. They have a presence in most of the United States.
Gen Mobile offers several different kinds of plans. Its pricing starts as low as $9 and spans up to $25 a month. Any plan over $15 includes unlimited calling to 100 countries (a big plus for my global friends and any expats!). See the listing of all 100 countries below:
Gen Mobile prides itself not only on its affordability but also on its high-quality customer service. It offers live chat, phone calls or email customer care from 8 AM to 6 PM PST.
- You can keep your number the same when switching from another provider to Gen Mobile
- You can buy a preowned phone from Gen Mobile, which is another great cost savings feature
- Each plan comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee, 4G LTE data, no annual contract, nationwide coverage, and unlimited global texting
- Gen Mobile has a user-friendly app that helps you manage your account (track usage, make payments, etc.)
- If you miss your monthly bill payment, Gen Mobile grants you a 15-day grace period where you are still allowed to text before shutting off your service.
Current Phone Selection:
They’re offering most of the standard phones:
As part of my Gen Mobile review, we look at the actual phone plans Gen Mobile offers. There are two versions you can sign up for. A one-month phone plan – think about this as a month-to-month plan. This may be good for those who don’t know what their future plans will look like.
There is also a three-month phone plan option. As you can see in the pictures below, these plans are a bit cheaper than just the one month plan. They are generally less expensive than signing up for one month of service.
One Month Phone Plans:
Three Month Phone Plans:
Positives and Negatives:
Gen Mobile’s positives greatly outweigh it’s negatives. Let’s lay out all the facts:
- Versatile: Different plans for different kinds of people. As you saw above, you have a one-month or three-month plan with no contracts to get you stuck in. All of the plans offer different calling minutes, data, and texting abilities.
- Affordability: Far cheaper than the average phone plan. As discussed above, the average person spends about $125 on a phone plan per month. So even if you purchase the most expensive Gen Mobile plan at $25 a month, you are saving $100 a month, which is $1,200 a year!! Talk about cost savings.
- Hotspot: Gen Mobile offers free tethering. This means you can enable your phone to be a hotspot. This is great for all my fellow travelers out there, trying to get your work done with inconsistent wifi.
- Pre Owned phones: Say you no longer like the phone you have or you need a phone. Gen Mobile offers you the option of buying preowned phones, which are a fraction of the price of regular phones that most service providers offer.
- Pair with phone number: No more “new phone, who dis?”. By allowing you to pair with your pre-existing number, your contacts will stay intact and you don’t have to worry about asking the question at the start of every new number conversation.
- Customer service: Gen Mobile is dedicated to having great customer service. It offers three different ways to reach customers and is available for a large portion of the day.
- 100 countries: This unlimited calling to 100 countries is a game-changer for expatriates. Seriously. Many phone plans charge you over 50 cents a minute for international phone calls. This is definitely something to be taken advantage of.
- No credit checks. If you are still trying to get your credit score back up to where it once was, or say you’ve never had a credit card before, then this service will not discriminate against you!
- Data: Truthfully, this is the only real negative I can find. Once you surpass your monthly data amount, that’s it. No more data for you. For heavy data users, this could be an issue. However, Gen Mobile offers plans with up to 3 GB of data, which is more than enough for me. I will be the first to admit I am definitely data-dependent, so if I can make 3GB work seamlessly then you probably can too.
As part of this Gen Mobile review, I reviewed one of their phones. My Gen Mobile package arrived very quickly. Just a couple of days passed by between shipping it from them to my doorstep.
When it arrived, after I took the bubble wrapping off, the package looked something like this:
Then, upon opening, I saw my phone and instructions – with specific phone plans and how to get started. It was super easy, by the way. All I had to do was charge the phone and then dial 611 (or you can dial in from a separate phone, if easier) and hook up my phone.
I really liked that it provided a little reminder, it is small enough to keep on your fridge so you can always look back at it if needed.
So after setting up the phone, I was ready to put it to the test. So, the the weekend I did this review I headed to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for the weekend. The idea was to see how good their service is outside of a highly populated area – the mountains were perfect for this purpose.
I had service the whole time. There were no problems with calling, texting or using social media. These were all hugely important to me as I run a part-time business through my phone so I had to make sure I was always available.
Gen Mobile really did pleasantly surprise me with how great the service was. I have tried other random MVNOs (not to be name) that were just bunk. They were nothing that they said they were – making you pay extra for every little thing.
In doing this Gen Mobile review I found them to be very transparent. They offer what they say. Yes, there are additional things you can purchase with your plan, but they are not mandatory. Only if you want extra specific items a la carte to make your plan more tailored to you.
Gen Mobile Review Wrap Up: Its Good, Get it.
For anyone in the market of a new phone service provider, I would definitely recommend Gen Mobile. Heck, even for those who don’t even need a new phone provider, I would still recommend it. Gen Mobile costs about one sixth the price of a regular phone plan, you get a tailored plan and excellent customer service. Learn how you can save $600 a year with Gen Mobile.
Have you ever used Gen Mobile? If so, what was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!
About the author: Gini Dimasi is a corporate finance analyst, blogger and graduate of Framingham University. She’s a finance expert, bitcoin enthusiast, real estate investor and index fund aficionado. She regularly blogs at Dual Income No Kids and The Wicked Wallet.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, savingadvice.com will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
As the weather continues to grow colder across the country, the idea of curling up in front of a fireplace becomes increasingly enticing. However, if you don’t have one in your home, getting a permanent one installed is a costly venture. Luckily, there are plenty of portable fireplaces that can provide you with the heat and ambiance you seek without breaking the bank. Here are 10 of the best portable fireplaces on the market today.
- Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove with 3D Flame Effect
Made by Duraflame, one of the most recognizable brands in the industry, the DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove with 3D Flame Effect portable fireplace resembles a wood-burning stone. It features a set of mock logs and 3-D flame effects. This effect allows the electric heater to have a realistic appearance when in use.
Additionally, it can heat up to 1,000 square feet. The heating range makes it a great option for colder homes. Plus, the infrared quartz helps maintain a comfortable level of humidity. Therefore, ensuring the room doesn’t dry out.
- HomCom 16″ 1500W Free Standing Electric Wood Stove Fireplace Heater
The HomCom 16″ 1500W Free Standing Electric Wood Stove Fireplace Heater also has a look that mimics a wood-burning stove. It’s smaller than the Duraflame option, making it an excellent choice for smaller spaces. This fireplace has a classic metal finish and copper-colored accents, as well as a realistic log flame effect.
This portable fireplace can heat up to 323 feet. As long as there is an outlet available, you can put this fireplace anywhere inside your home.
- PuraFlame 36″ Galena, Portable or Wall Mounted, Flat Panel Electric Fireplace with Remote
Puraflame’s 36″ Galena, Portable or Wall Mounted, Flat Panel Electric Fireplace with Remote can either be portable, when free-standing, or mounted to a wall. This gives you additional flexibility regarding placement. Wall-mounting may be better if floor space is at a premium.
This supplemental heater has a realistic fire-like feature and can heat up to 400 square feet. The remote adds a level of convenience. You can adjust the thermostat or turn the fireplace on or off without having to leave your cozy chair.
- HOMCOM 32″ 1500W Freestanding Full Frame Electric Fireplace Stove Heater Portable with Remote Control
If you want your portable fireplace to look like a permanent one, consider the HOMCOM 32″ 1500W Freestanding Full Frame Electric Fireplace Stove Heater Portable with Remote Control. It has a substantial surround, built-in shelf, and a mantle, making this electric option look more authentic. Simply plug it into a standard outlet and place it near a wall, and you’re ready to go.
- Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Console for TVs up to a 50″
For those who need their portable fireplace to pull double duty, the Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Console might be right for you. Not only does it work as an attractive electric fireplace, but it’s also a television console with storage.
The portable fireplace has realistic flame effects and it can heat a room up to 400 square feet. Plus, the cabinet has holes for any cords you need to run for items like cable boxes and video game systems.
- Regal Flame Arkon Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit Tabletop Portable Fire Bowl Pot Bio-Ethanol Fireplace
If you prefer a tabletop option with an actual flame, the Regal Flame Arkon Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit Tabletop Portable Fire Bowl Pot Bio-Ethanol Fireplace has you covered. Bio-Ethanol fuel allows you to have a clean-burning flame and the curved dish and glass side allow for 360-degree viewing.
The flames can reach 7 to 12 inches high. This portable fireplace can even heat a room up to 400 square feet. Since it’s clean-burning, it’s safe for indoor and outdoor use. It doesn’t require anything but suitable fuel to run.
- Sunnydaze Barco Tabletop Fireplace, Indoor Ventless Bio-Ethanol Fire Pit
Another bio-ethanol option, the Sunnydaze Barco Tabletop Fireplace, Indoor Ventless Bio-ethanol Fire Pit’s compact design fits on most tables. The glass sides ensure everyone can enjoy a good view of the real flames. The flames last from one to two hours.
Plus, since these portable solutions don’t need electricity, you can set it nearly anywhere. You also get a convenient snuffer tool. The tool ensures you can extinguish the flames should the need arise.
- PuraFlame 12″ Octavia Portable Electric Fireplace Heater
If you need a compact, electric fireplace, consider the PuraFlame 12″ Octavia Portable Electric Fireplace Heater. Measure 12” x 7” x 14.7”, it doesn’t take up a substantial amount of room. However, it is still powerful enough to heat up to 400 square feet.
Since this portable fireplace is smaller, it can be ideal for cozy homes, offices, or even trailers. Plus, when you need to store it after the winter, it can easily fit into most closets or a surprising number of standard-sized cabinets.
- Regal Flame Bruno Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit Tabletop Portable Fire Bowl Pot Bio-Ethanol Fireplace
For a real flame and a unique design, the Regal Flame Bruno Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit Tabletop Portable Fire Bowl Pot Bio-Ethanol Fireplace is as much of an art piece as it is a source of warmth during the winter.
Capable of heating up to 250 square feet, this compact solution features a unique metal surround that makes it attractive even when not in use. Since it is clean-burning, you can use it indoors or outside. Plus, you don’t need an outlet, as it runs on bio-ethanol fuel.
- Sunnydaze Portable Fire Pit Bowl with Spark Screen and Carrying Case, Folding Outdoor Patio and Camping Wood Burning Fireplace, 29 Inch
If you are looking for an outdoor option with actual wood-burning capabilities, consider the Sunnydaze Portable Fire Pit Bowl with Spark Screen and Carrying Case. The provided screen helps contain sparks, and the foldable design makes it easy to move. Ultimately, this can be a great option for backyards, patios, and even camping, giving you an exceptional amount of flexibility.
Any of the portable fireplaces above can be excellent additions to nearly every home. Consider which ones may best suit your needs and give yourself the gift of a fireplace this holiday season.
Do you use a portable fireplace to help stay warm during the winter? Share your experience in the comments below.
- Here are the Most Useful Kitchen Gadgets Under $10 on Amazon
- 15 Items You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store
- Weirdest Things You Can Buy on Amazon
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Whether it is shopping at a different store, or searching for the best deal, there are a plethora of ways to save. However, in the 21st century, most people are looking for apps and gadgets to help their finances. In fact, there are a number of money-saving gadgets out there for less than $25.
13 Money-Saving Gadgets Under $25
Yes! There are money-saving gadgets. While many of them don’t necessarily put money right in your pocket, you’ll realize some savings over time. Below are just a few of the cheapest, and best, money-saving tools you can find on Amazon under $25.
An electricity usage monitor will help you see how much electricity you’re using through the idle electronics plugged into your wall. For instance, your cell phone charger being plugged in all the time uses more energy than you’d think. Once you see it with this usage monitor, you can figure out which devices are costing you the most and unplug them. Depending on how much you’re spending now, this could take up to three years for you to break even but it will help you cut down on energy use quickly.
Certified fluorescent light bulbs can save you up to $100 per year. Not to mention, they look great! With a four-pack of bulbs coming in at $9.97, you’ll break even and begin realizing savings within four months.
Energy-efficient showerheads can help you save a ton of money on your water bill. In fact, it has been said these showerheads can save you 15,000 gallons of water per year. Within about 10 months, you’ll break even on this purchase and begin to realize savings through your water bill. Not to mention, you’ll be decreasing your energy usage as well because your water heater will have to heat less water.
We all love spending evenings outside and, if you like to entertain, even more so. Outdoor solar lighting can help you save money on your electric bill. You can get a four-pack for $24.99 and, if you spend a bit on lighting your backyard, you’ll break even and see savings within six months!
Power strips can help shield your electronics and other items from damage if the power goes out abruptly. A “smart” power strip can do even more. These power strips can sense which outlets on the strip are actually being used and cut the power to the ones that aren’t. You’ll break even on this purchase within four months and start seeing savings after that!
This isn’t one of the money-saving gadgets many people think of very often. However, if you are a coffee drinker, having your own machine at home can help you save money every day. The average cup of coffee runs about $5. If you’re stopping for coffee every day, you’ll realize the savings from this purchase within a week.
People who travel regularly could save quite a bit with an at-home luggage scale. Most of these are less than $10 and can prevent you from paying unexpected baggage handling fees. Depending on how often you travel, you may recognize savings from this gadget immediately.
The average American buys 167 bottles of water per year. For name brand waters, that could cost you around $85 per year. However, you could save $70+ a year by picking up your own self-filtering water bottle. Not to mention, this will cut down on the amount of plastic in America’s dumps.
Finding a dimmer for a light that needs to be on regularly could save you more than you think. Even just dimming your lights half way can save you $30+ per year on your electric bill.
Americans throw away nearly $29 billion in food each year. Most of the time, it is simply because we aren’t able to store food away properly for leftovers or veggies and other products don’t maintain freshness in the fridge. This money-saving gadget can help a family of four save up to $600 a year.
Did you know you can save 10% on your regular electric bill by turning back the thermostat for eight hours a day? For most people, that would mean just programming your thermostat to be at a certain temperature while you’re at work. If your thermostat shuts off your heating or cooling for just six hours a day, it can save you $4 and the gadget will have paid for itself within a week.
Motion-sensor lighting can help you cut down on energy use by only lighting the room when someone is actively there. Depending on your personal energy consumption, it can help you save between 35% and 75% on energy use.
These are just a few of the best money-saving gadgets available online. Of course, there are some that may be a larger initial investment, like energy-efficient appliances. However, every step you take towards saving more money is a positive one!
Have a gadget you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comment section below!
FreedomPop is a wireless provider that’s working to turn the industry on its head. While most mobile carriers charge high prices for their service, FreedomPop offers the cheapest hotspot plan on the market today. One that’s entirely, 100 percent free.
Fast and Easy WiFi Setup
When you order a hotspot through FreedomPop, the first thing you’ll appreciate is the low cost shipping. You’re charged about $9.99 to get your device.
Once the mobile WiFi hotspot arrives, I found that the setup was a breeze. I just had to follow the instructions that came with the device and was ready to go in only a few minutes.
After the hotspot was ready, it was time to get online. I grabbed my laptop (though it works for smartphones, tablets, or any other WiFi-enabled device), and headed over to my WiFi connections window. Then, I just had to find my hotspot on the list and enter my password. It’s that easy.
Using the FreedomPop Mobile WiFi Hotspot
Once you get online, you can enjoy the benefits of the genuine 4G LTE network. You get access to some of the fastest speeds around, so your time on social media, streaming music, or watching videos should proceed without a hitch.
I went ahead and tested it out with a few of my favorite sites and streaming a video. Overall, the experience was great. No long buffering or load times here.
Plus, FreedomPop’s mobile WiFi hotspots run on Sprint’s national network. Even if you travel completely across the country, you’ll likely have great 4G or 4G LTE service nearly the entire way. Since the device is incredibly portable (not much larger than a credit card), taking it with you is easy. You can put it in your pocket, place it in a purse, or even sit it in a car’s cup holder.
Lastly, let me say that I live in a rural area and never lost wifi while going through the same areas that I would have otherwise lost my signal and coverage. That meant a lot to me.
Essentially, when it comes to performance and portability, the FreedomPop mobile WiFi hotspot is hard to beat.
FreedomPop Internet Plans
When it comes to affordability, it’s practically impossible to beat FreedomPop’s $0 plan. After all, it’s entirely free, and nothing is better than free.
With the free basic plan, you get 200 MB of 4G LTE data every month. This can be ideal for low internet users or people who want an emergency backup for their home internet that costs them absolutely nothing.
But, if 200 MB doesn’t cover your needs, there are other FreedomPop internet plans that provide you with additional data at industry standard prices. They also offer premium plans depending on your needs.
Ultimately, the pricing is extremely competitive, and often below what other carriers would charge. Plus, you can change your plan at any time. If you need more data while traveling, just upgrade your plan. Need less now that you’re back at home? Then consider downgrading.
You get complete flexibility when it comes to choosing a plan that’s right for you, even if your needs change frequently.
No Contract Required
Additionally, FreedomPop’s services never require a contract. So, you don’t have to commit to a long-term arrangement like you do with some other carriers.
You can also try FreedomPop’s mobile WiFi hotspot out before you decide if you want to keep it. Just sign up for the 14-day free trial of the 2 GB plan, and you can use the device however you want within that limit. Then, you can decide if you’re going to keep the 2 GB or upgrade or downgrade. If you move over to the free basic plan within that 14-day window, you’ll receive continuous free service.
If, after the 14-day free trial is over, you decide that FreedomPop isn’t right for you, that’s okay too. You can cancel within 30 days, follow the instructions and get a refund.
So, is FreedomPop legit? Can you really get free WiFi? The answer is yes. You can have a plan that doesn’t cost you anything, including over the long-term.
What About Their Customer Service?
Wireless providers aren’t always known for exceptional customer service. In fact, FreedomPop doesn’t really have a great reputation when it comes to customer service.
However, that wasn’t my experience. In fact, I found their customer service to be excellent. Here’s why:
After ordering the mobile WiFi hotspot from FreedomPop, the company accidentally sent me three devices. Yes, I was faced with a trio of matching hotspots, which isn’t something I was expecting.
I quickly realized that this must have been a mistake, so I reached out to customer service over the phone to remedy the issue. The customer service representative was incredibly easy to work with, listening carefully to my concerns and assisting me with my two returns.
Immediately after the call, I received a set of detailed instructions that covered my next steps. The entire process was easy and painless. Now, I do need to let you know that there is a small fee to return the product. My costs for returning the two I opened were $18.29. I felt this was a small price to pay, especially, since the product worked so well.
So, if you were wondering if FreedomPop is legit when it comes to customer service, I would have to say, yes.
What If You Exceed Your Allotment?
As with most plans with data limits, you can be subject to overage fees if you exceed your allotment. FreedomPop uses a “top-up” approach to help you manage your data. When you get close to your limit, you can top-up for an additional $15, giving you more data to use.
Before a top-up goes through, you do get an email from FreedomPop. This gives you a chance to opt out or to sign into your account and upgrade your plan.
If you decide not to top-up, your device won’t have any data if you hit your limit until the next month unless you use one of the other available options. This includes a per MB option, though that can get expensive.
However, you also get 50 MB of free data if you have friends or family sign up through the Freedom Friends program. Additionally, you can complete software downloads, offers, or surveys to get even more free data.
If FreedomPop Really Offers Free Service, How Do They Stay in Business?
When a product or service is provided at no cost, many potential customers wonder if they will simply be nickeled and dimed, giving the company a way to stay in business.
However, that isn’t the case with FreedomPop.
FreedomPop’s $0 plan functions as a form of loss leader. The company chooses to accept lower profit margins to secure customers. They take a loss on their $0 paying customers to broaden their customer base. A broader customer base means that FreedomPop can convert more of its free customers into paying customers.
You are never required to leave the free plan. However, FreedomPop hopes that, if your data needs increase, that your experience while using this $0 plan will lead you to think of them for your future wireless needs. Additionally, they do make money from free plan customers who choose to buy more data when they hit their limit, though this is entirely optional.
While FreedomPop has a lot of customers on the free plan, they also have plenty of paying customers too. This keeps their business model working.
Is FreedomPop Legit?
To put it simply, yes, FreedomPop is completely legit.
If you order a mobile WiFi hotspot from FreedomPop, you’ll get a device that comes with 100 percent free service – no tricks or false advertising.
Plus, if you’re a light internet user, the free plan might handle all of your needs. That means you get blazing fast internet for absolutely nothing, no matter where you go.
If you could use more data, the prices are incredibly reasonable and exceedingly competitive, so you can choose an option that meets your needs without breaking the bank. It really is that easy.
So, now it’s your turn. Go ahead and take advantage of the 14-day free trial. That way, you can experience it for yourself first and then decide what is right for you.
If you’ve used FreedomPop and believe FreedomPop is legit; let us know in the comments below.
Fine Print: We are an affiliate of FreedomPop. Although this posting contains affiliate links, the review and opinions expressed below are my own.
Coffee consumption is on the rise in the US. In a recent survey, 64 percent of Americans age 18 and up stated they had at least one cup of coffee the previous day. Based on data from the US Census Bureau, that means that around 150 million people had a cup of joe.
When it comes to making your own coffee, there are quite a few options. You can grind your own beans, buy ground coffee, or opt for convenient pods. But, when it comes to getting a quality cup of coffee, which option is most cost-effective? Are certain coffeemakers better than others?
With so many options on the market, you have a lot of choices for controlling your costs and creating an ideal cup of coffee. Here’s how you figure out what’s right for you.
Ground vs. Whole Bean Coffee
Your biggest ongoing expense when you brew coffee at home is the coffee itself. Typically, outside of pod form, you have two options: ground and whole bean.
Ground coffee has already been through a grinder and is ready for use. You simply place it in the area of your coffeemaker designated for grounds (usually in a coffee filter), and there’s no extra work.
Whole bean coffee must go through a grinder before use. Many people attest that grinding your own coffee creates a fresher, more flavorful cup of coffee.
Usually, whole bean and ground coffee have similar prices per pound, though the exact cost varies by brand and size. Store brand coffees in either form may be only $3 per pound. However, specialty or rare coffees can run much higher.
For example, Kopi Luwak whole bean coffee, often considered the most expensive in the world, can run almost $400 per pound.
While coffee prices vary, you can typically find similar prices for ground and whole bean variants. However, if you choose whole bean, you’ll need a grinder.
Combined Grinder Coffee Makers
A combined grinder coffee maker has a bean grinder built into the machine. That means you don’t need two separate appliances to enjoy freshly ground coffee.
The cost of these coffee makers tend to be a little higher than regular drip models since they are more complex. However, that doesn’t mean they are unaffordable.
For example, you can find a Hamilton Beach Grind and Brew Single Serve Coffee Maker for under $100. This can be a great option for individuals or couples that don’t need an entire pot of coffee at a time.
The Krups Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Maker, which can make a full carafe, is often available for less than $140.
If you want more features, the Breville BDC650BSS is a great option. You can choose from eight strength settings and hold up to ½ pound of coffee inside the machine. However, it does come with a nearly $300 price tag.
Regular Drip Coffeemakers
For those who use ground coffee or prefer a separate grinder, then a regular drip coffee maker is the direction you need to go.
Prices for a drip coffee maker can vary, with some available for less than $20, like the Black+Decker 5-Cup. Low-cost machines don’t have the bells and whistles of their more expensive counterparts. Options like setting an automatic brew time typically aren’t available. However, they can still produce a reasonable pot of coffee.
If you want additional features, like delay brew or larger capacity, you usually need to spend between $50 and $100 to get a quality machine. The Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal fits right in that price area, and it brews up to 20 percent faster than certain competitor units.
When you cross over $100, you get even more options. The Cuisinart DCC-3200CPAMZ PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker gives you the ability to control the brew strength and adjust the warming temperature.
If you use a drip coffee maker but want to freshly grind beans, you will need a separate grinder. You can find many to choose from for under $15.
The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Electric Coffee Grinder offers a large capacity and multiple settings. This makes it not only cost-effective but also pretty high-quality.
If you want additional grinding options, spending over $40 isn’t uncommon. The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grinder is just below $45 but offers 18 different grind settings. Plus, you can set it to grind for the equivalent of anywhere between 4 and 18 cups of coffee brewed, giving you a lot of options.
Benefits of a Keurig Coffeemaker
Keurig quickly took the world by storm once it hit the market. These machines provide a quick and convenient way to brew a single, fresh cup of coffee at any time. So what are the benefits of a Keurig.
From a cost perspective, you can find Keurig coffeemakers at a variety of price points. For example, the Keurig K15 is an entry-level model. You can easily find it under $100, though, at times, you can buy one for less than $60. In many cases, it’s still noticeably more expensive than the cheapest drip coffeemakers. However, the brand has a strong reputation, so you should get enough use to justify the price.
The Keurig K475 is on the higher end of the price scale, usually coming in around $250. For that price, you do get additional features. Along with a bigger water tank, you have options like strength and temperature control. If you have a multi-person household, you can also brew an entire carafe at a time, as long as you have the right pods.
Overall, the price range of Keurig machines isn’t unlike other coffeemakers, so you aren’t necessarily spending more to enjoy the convenience.
Where Keurig gets expensive is the pods, called K-cups. One estimate showed that if you use K-cups, you pay the equivalent of around $40 per pound of coffee, though the exact amount varies by brand and whether you buy in bulk.
If you want to keep the cost of your coffee down, you do have options. One of the easiest is to buy reusable K-cups. These mesh containers allow you to put any ground coffee into the basket and brew your beverage using the Keurig. This is another great benefits of a Keurig Since you can get a 4-pack of reusable K-cups for around $10, that is a cost-effective option.
Which is Most Cost-Effective?
When it comes to machine costs, it depends on whether you use ground coffee or whole bean. If you like to grind at home, then a combined coffee maker or drip version with a separate grinder can come in around the same price point.
Keurig machines start at a higher price than drip coffee makers but aren’t outside of the usual range by much. However, if you use K-cups, you could spend a lot more on coffee than if you use beans or grounds.
If you want to keep your Keurig costs low, opt for the reusable K-cups and purchase ground of whole bean coffee. Otherwise, just make sure the additional expense fits in your budget.
What kind of coffee maker do you use at home? Tell us in the comments below.
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