Ground Coffee (Beans) are Cheaper than K-Cups (Pods): Here’s Proof!

Anyone who has bought and used a Keurig likely has found that they dread buying their next box of coffee pods, mainly due to their high price! They feel like they need to get the value that they had back when they purchased 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, on if pods are more, or less expensive than ground coffee or even beans.

The Quick Answer

Ground coffee and coffee beans are much cheaper than buying pods by a large margin. In the example of Dunkin Donuts coffee, pods are 413.95% more than the same coffee as ground coffee.

So, I drink regularly Dunkin Donuts coffee as my regular coffee! It is some of the best, relatively inexpensive coffee I have found at my local store, and with my Aeropress (which was sent out to me years ago by the brand), it makes a perfect 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, how in the world did he get that number? Over 413% is quite a lot. As mentioned earlier, I drink Dunkin’ Donuts ground coffee! Their original blend comes in both ground coffee cans and pods.

Their Original Blend 30-ounce can was $12.94 at this time. They were making this ground coffee at $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 same ground-form coffee. 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, that isn’t really why someone buys a pod coffee maker.

Most people will buy a pod coffee maker because they want to make coffee at home, with 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 opposed to $3-$5 at a local shop, the Keurig or pod coffee maker is still a huge savings.

You need to keep this in mind! It is still an excellent option to save money, but you will only make coffee at home if you have a Keurig.

Why are coffee pods so much?

There are a few reasons why coffee pods cost so much. Let’s take a look at those!

1. Material

The names of coffee pods really are self-evident here. Add extra packaging for every ounce (or less) of coffee you buy. In the example above, you have 44 plastic pods to add.

2. Labor

While ground coffee can be dumped into an enormous container, coffee pods take more time and energy to be added to each pod and then sealed. Of course, I am sure robots do this now, but then you have to buy and build those robots.

3. Convenience

Finally, convenience is worth something, and people pay for it. Have you ever looked at soda and realized that a 2-liter bottle is the same, if not less, than a 20-oz soda? Yep, that’s 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 discussed, you can still get huge savings with a pod coffee maker if you consider it an alternative to a coffee shop. However, what other reasons are there to buy a Keurig?

For most people, it comes down to ease of use. You put in some water occasionally, 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 foolproof. As we’ll talk about in a moment, I like the Aeropress coffee maker. However, if I had someone over and they wanted to make their 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 more involved with making it even cheaper, I recommend an Aeropress.

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


You would want a pod coffee maker over a ground coffee maker for many reasons. However, there is no way around that coffee pods will always be so much more expensive than ground coffee or even whole-bean coffee. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if that is worth it for you!

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