Sunday, October 02, 2011

Prices of coffee, sizes of containers

For most of the years of our married life, Cliff and I drank Folgers coffee.  It's often on sale, so it's probably the most thrifty name-brand choice.  When my son was a baby, I made sure to buy a one-pound metal can of Folgers, a two-pound can, and a three-pound can.  I'd nest them inside one another with the lids on, and my toddler son would take the lids off and un-nest them.  Of course I made sure the rims were smooth.  
Back then you could still buy a pound of coffee.
About the time we moved back here behind the barn, I started buying more expensive brands than Folgers.  Cliff had a good job and we could afford it.  I found Starbucks whole coffee beans at Sam's club and used that for awhile.  After while, that price seemed ridiculous and we settled on 8 O'clock coffee, one of their darker blends.  
We were visiting Edna, Cliff's cousin, one time and remarked on how good her coffee tasted.  She told us she got it at her local Save-a-Lot store.  There's one of those in our nearest town.  Save-a-Lot is sort of a would-be Aldi's, but the prices aren't as low.  I went in and bought a 12-ounce bag of their Donut Shop coffee for $3.99.  We both liked it.  When I went back two weeks later to buy a couple more bags, the price was $4.49.  
Now, I have been aware for a long time that you can no longer buy a pound of coffee.  But as I was perusing the coffee section at Walmart the other day, I found out not all coffees are in the same size can, even within the Folgers brand.  Some of the cans are 11 ounces, some are 10.  I was checking all this out because eventually, I figure our cheapest bet for good-tasting coffee would be some sort of Folgers:  Columbian, perhaps, or their Black Silk.  We really do prefer a dark, stout-tasting coffee.  I figured if we buy a large container (which used to be three pounds), it would end up cheaper than our Donut Shop coffee.  
Black Silk, however is in a smaller can than other kinds.  You can't tell it by looking; you have to read the label.  
I was so dumb-founded by this that I fetched Cliff to the coffee aisle and showed him the lineup.  
"You'd have to be a mathematician to figure out which one is the best buy," I grumbled.  
So, as of now we're drinking our Donut Shop coffee from Save-a-Lot.  Eventually we'll probably gravitate back to Folgers and Maxwell House, buying whatever is on sale.  One thing I have learned during my search for good coffee:  Aldi's coffee is horrible!  
We go through a non-pound (10 or 11 or 12 ounces, depending on the brand) of coffee each week.  I drink two large cups in the morning and one after dinner (noon meal).  Cliff drinks three cups in the morning, two at noon, and two at night.  We wouldn't even consider giving up coffee; it's our main motivator for getting out of bed in the morning.  
Do you still talk about buying a pound of coffee?  Once in awhile I use that term, knowing very well it isn't a pound, and hasn't been for years.


Margaret said...

I drink Equal Exchange Ethiopian and Espresso. Finding good coffee for us coffee lovers is very important. Making my mocha is what gets me out of bed some mornings. It's strange--I don't recognize the names of any of your stores. It must be because different regions have different chains.(but I do know Starbucks since we have one on every corner here and the original one is in Seattle!)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I stretch my more expensive coffee which I love by adding it to whatever brand I find on Sale. Right now I've got a can of Maxwell house and a can of Hills Bros. on the shelf. They'll mix well with they others. I mix half one and half the other. It may be that they won't have all the full flavor, but still it works for me. I haven't been to Save a Lot in ages, but they do have some good buys there. Hope your Sunday is a wonderful one.


I'm a tea drinker but my husband is all about the coffee. He had to grind his own beans and everything. But a few years back he got a Keurig coffeemaker, so now he's into the pods. He enjoys the convenience of one cup at a time and having choice of different flavors with each cup. They are a tad bit expensive, so now that he's unemployed, I don't know how that will work out? We may be going back to 1lb packages and a different pot. Unfortunately they're downsizing everything on the grocery shelf.

Lori said...

I'm the only one who drinks coffee, and I don't drink it everyday. So I will buy Folgers or Maxwell House, whichever is on sale when I have to buy coffee. I also like the Save-A-Lot brand which has a good robust flavor and is reasonably priced. I drink more tea than I do coffee, and I'm a Lipton girl, where tea is concerned.