Smart SpendingSmart Spending

5 best cheap coffee brands

Like waking up to a fresh cup of homemade coffee? We'll tell you the best tasting, most affordable brands and give you tips for choosing your own.

By MSN Money Partner May 3, 2013 12:32PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News logoAccording to a study by Wakefield Research for Seattle's Best Coffee, 32% of coffee drinkers say a morning cup of joe with your significant other is the best way to maintain a healthy relationship.

Image: Coffee (© HD Connelly/Getty Images/Getty Images)While I'd say honesty, good communication and understanding probably top coffee as keys to a successful relationship, that survey may be on to something. After all, Consumer Reports says the average coffee drinker consumes about 1,200 cups a year, which adds up to a lot of time spent on coffee. Sip together and you'll be spending that time as a couple, which is part of a healthy relationship.

Too big of a stretch? Maybe, but I'll take any excuse to drink coffee. I love the stuff -- so much so that I've tried brewing a few dozen different brands at home. Excessive? Maybe, but I've found some of the best cheap coffee around. Below is my list. For ease of cost comparison, the prices I've provided are for Wal-Mart.

1. Folgers 100 Percent Colombian

Folgers says the "best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup" and the Harris Interactive 2013 EquiTrend study indicates that Americans agree. Folgers made the top of the list in the coffee category. I like the Folgers 100 percent Colombian brew. It's a dark, nutty roast with a ton of flavor and a small price point, only 32 cents per ounce or $8.68 for 27.08 ounces.

2. Eight O'Clock Coffee Original

I picked up this brand because of the great reviews -- 4.1 stars on Amazon -- and I wasn't disappointed. It has a good, rich flavor and doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste like some other cheaper brands. Plus, it's only about 42 cents per ounce or $4.98 for a 12-ounce bag.

3. Sam's Choice Organic Ground Medium Roast

If you've been brewing organic, you know that most brands carry a pretty hefty price tag. I used to brew Newman's Own at home but it got to be too expensive and I gave up on organic until I found this brand. It has a smooth flavor. The medium roast costs about 45 cents per ounce, or $5.48 for a 12-ounce bag.

4. Chock full o' Nuts Original

Chock full o' Nuts has been around since 1932 and claims the title of "New York's classic coffee brand," so I figured it would be all hype and little taste, but I was wrong. The original blend delivers on the claim -- a medium roast coffee with a bold flavor. And it's cheap, only 33 cents per ounce or $3.78 for an 11.3-ounce bag.

5. Community Coffee New Orleans Blend

I live in New Orleans and the Community Coffee brand is everywhere, so you'd assume they make a great cup, right? Not exactly. I'm not big on Community Coffee's other flavors, but the New Orleans blend is a great drink for strong-coffee lovers. The blend of coffee beans and chicory produces a dark, strong and robust flavor. I recommend it to any coffee addicts I meet and it only costs 50 cents per ounce or $5.98 for a 12-ounce bag.

Those are my top five brands and flavors. I'd recommend you try them all. And if you want to find your own favorite, here are a few tips:

  • Check online reviews. Sites like Coffee Review, and Amazon post reviews of different brands. Get their take before you buy.
  • Try smaller batches. Look for sample sizes so you don't waste money if you end up hating the flavor.
  • Start with the recommended brew. All bags have a recommended brewing guide on the back. Start with those measurements and adjust later if needed.
  • Check the date. Some bags of coffee come with a roasted date. Look for the most recent date you can find for the freshest beans.

Do you have a favorite cup of coffee?

More on Money Talks News:

Wal-Mart coffee vs. Starbucks: Guess who wins? 

Could climate change make coffee disappear? 

30 tips to save on food 

May 3, 2013 1:46PM

Folger's? One of the worst coffee brands on the supermarket shelf!  A great coffee choice is Costco's house brand Kirkland, both regular and decaf and the price is right. 

May 3, 2013 4:55PM
Trader Joes "Joe" in medium or dark roast is great. Whole bean coffee, 14oz for $4.99.
May 3, 2013 1:23PM

I can barely tolerate regular Folgers.  The Folgers Columbian is better, but any Columbian is at least drinkable.  The worst coffee is Maxwell House.  I cannot understand why that stuff is still on the shelf after all of these years.  It is the worst!  Of the premium brands, Seattle's Best is usually the least expensive (less than Starbucks, Peetes, Tully's, etc...) but is my favorite.

May 3, 2013 2:01PM
Chase and Sanborne coffee is less expensive than all these other brands and makes one helluva cup of coffee!
May 3, 2013 4:14PM

We drink a lot of coffee and for the $ we use great value columbia from Wal-Mart. The classic or

house blend leave a lot to be desired!!

May 4, 2013 1:15AM
Have you ever tried that coffee brand of "Green Mountain?"  I haven't try it
May 3, 2013 5:39PM
Gevalia House Blend, $6.99 12oz.  Delicious and I use 1/3 less than usual per pot.
May 4, 2013 12:10AM
I'd recommend trying the Trader Joe's brand, both the regular and dark roast.  Both are around $0.35 an ounce
May 4, 2013 1:03AM
I like Yuban, Millstone, Gevalia blend, Kona blend (Hawaii) and 8 o' clock. I can't remember what else.....?  Oh yeah, I forgot.....Folger stink  Taste like a cigarette ash.
May 3, 2013 4:46PM
A pound of cheap steak that you would only feed your dog is still expensive dog food.
May 6, 2013 10:29AM
Ever have the ship's coffee on a Naval Ship? FANTASTIC !! It keeps you alert and it's good. Oil slick and all
May 3, 2013 5:15PM
I don't drink coffee, but my husband loves Chock Full O' Nuts. I bought it because it was on sale one time and now that is all he will drink.
May 6, 2013 11:13AM
Agree...Trader Joe's and Costo brands are the best...any coffee that is not whole bean is not worth purchasing.
May 6, 2013 9:57AM
May 6, 2013 1:00PM
May 6, 2013 8:44AM
I agree about Community Coffee's New Orleans blend.  I don't live in New Orleans anymore, but when I visit, I make sure to stock up.  When that runs out, I buy more on line.  I haven't calculated the price per ounce with the shipping involved, but it's still quite reasonable. 
Sep 29, 2013 5:43AM
The Folgers Brazilian blend is ok. The rest taste like watery dirt.
Jun 2, 2013 10:19PM
Community coffee and our local brand, JFG are equally excellent.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.