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Buy a reusable cup and save money at the coffee shop.

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Thanks largely to Blue Planet 2 last year lots of people who weren’t bothered about recycling and single-use plastic have had a change of heart. We’ve seen retailers taking action too, including straws disappearing from MacDonalds, and Morrisons trialing paper bags. But it’s not always easy to know what can and can’t be recycled – and something that often can’t is the takeaway coffee cup.

Now, I’m not a coffee drinker, but if I was I’d be getting in on the reusable cup trend (I already have an environmentally friendly water bottle which I refill). They can make a huge difference to what ends up in landfill.

Not convinced? Well what if I told you they can also save you money? Well the big coffee shop chains are offering a discount if you bring your own cup, and I’m sure lots of smaller, independent ones will be doing the same.

Coffee shop discounts for bringing your own cup

Here are the discounts from the biggest national chains:

  • Pret will take 50p off your drink
  • Starbucks offer 25p off any hot drink, though it’s actually 30p off as there’s a 5p charge for paper cups
  • Costa discount by 25p
  • Caffe Nero gives double stamps (nine stamps = a free drink)

You can also save at a few other national chains.

  • Greggs reduce by 20p
  • Paul take off 25p

If your favourite coffee shop isn’t listed here then just ask when you next pop in, and check they’re happy to fill a cup they haven’t supplied.

How much money a reusable cup could save you in a year

Practically speaking you’re not going use your reusable cup every time you buy a coffee, but let’s say you keep it at work and manage to use it three times a week. Take away a few weeks for when you’re on holiday and that leaves us with 150 cups of coffee over 12 months

So at Pret you’ll be £75 better off, at Starbucks it’ll be £45 cheaper and at Costa you’ll have spent £37.50 less. Decent money. While at Nero you’ll have bagged 30 odd free coffees rather than 15.

Of course you’ve got to factor in buying the cup! These can get quite expensive, with some of the snazziest ones coming in at more than £20. But there are lots of cheaper alternatives that start from £1. But even if you do want to treat yourself to a designer cup you’ll have paid for it after 80 cups.

You can save a bit more too by making yourself a brew first thing before you leave home.

Just make sure you don’t leave it in the office dishwasher – you just know you’ll never see it again.

My pick of reusable coffee cups

1. Starbucks £1 reusable cup

Yes it’s emblazoned with the Starbucks logo, but at £1 it’s a very cheap way to save.

2. KeepCup from £11

These cups get decent reviews on Amazon and look pretty smart. Medium 12oz sized cups start from £11, which is pretty much a “Tall” drink at Starbucks.  Plastic ones are BPA free, or there are glass and cork alternatives.

> Shop for KeepCup reusable coffee cups at Amazon

3. Stojo and Pokito collapsible cups – £10 to £15

I like the idea of these as they collapse down to a size which will easily fit in your bag. The Stojo cups are 12oz when opened up, and you can also expand the Pokito ones to a size that suits the size of drink you want, up to a large 16oz/475ml. The cup is BPA free.

> Get a Pokito cup

> Get a Stojo cup

 

4. ECoffee cup from £10

If you want to shun plastics, then this ECoffee range is made from bamboo. There are a few with nice William Morris patterns too which are all very pretty.

> Check out the ECoffee range

5. Thermos ThermoCafe from £8

You can buy very expensive insulated mugs, but this is an option at the cheaper end, and it’s one that I’ve had stashed at the back of the kitchen cupboard (I think I won it in a competition!). It does the job well and has good insulation, plus it has a handle if that’s something you’re after!

> Find a ThermoCafe travel mug

Fancy a free tea or coffee?

Don’t forget you can pick one up from Waitrose, though you do need to buy something and take your own mug. As I cheekily investigated a few years ago you only need to spend 1p!

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