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

Thanks to Blue Planet 2 lots of people who weren’t bothered about recycling and single-use plastic have had a change of heart. But, as we’ve heard a lot recently, not everything can be recycled – including most takeaway coffee cups.

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). I wouldn’t be the only one either. These cups have hit the headlines this week and sales have jumped massively.

Not convinced? Well what if I told you they can also save you money? You see 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 except the £1 filter coffee
  • 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, and at Starbucks or Costa you’ll have spent £37.50 less. Decent money.

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 £10

These cups get decent reviews on Amazon and look pretty smart. Medium 12oz sized cups start from £10, 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. Pokito collapsible cup – £15

I like the idea of this one as it collapses down to a size which will easily fit in your bag. You can also expand it 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

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 £6

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 now need to buy something. As I cheekily investigated last year you only need to spend 1p!


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