10 Things You Can Do With Leftover Coffee That Saves You Money

by Laura Foor

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Do you typically brew more coffee than you drink? Save yourself some money by saving it for some other later use.

Do you buy your coffee from a grocery store or a local coffee roaster? Buying already ground coffee from the store can save you money, but there’s nothing quite like the taste of a cup of java using locally roasted coffee beans ground that very morning. Either way, you can expect to pay between $.25 and $.35 per cup of coffee when you make it yourself at home.

If you happen to stop on your way to work to order your morning fix of caffeine, you can easily spend ten times as much, simply for convenience.

Stop Throwing Out That Extra Brew

Most people who make coffee at home use a 10 to 12 cup coffee maker. Making a full pot is easier, and whatever isn’t consumed tends to be poured down the drain. Since there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this coffee, it can easily be used for other purposes, which could save you a lot of money over the long run.

To be sure we’re on the same page, we’re not including uses for leftover coffee grounds. The following are the best uses for using already brewed leftover coffee.

One of the great things about using leftover coffee is that it can be used to make both savory and dessert dishes, making it quite versatile for recipes.

1. Brownies

Who doesn’t love a homemade brownie? Now you can make a mocha brownie by simply adding some leftover coffee to your favorite brownie recipe. Just substitute the leftover coffee for any liquids used.

2. Ice Cream

You can make your own homemade coffee-flavored ice cream, or you can pour leftover cold coffee over a big bowl of store-bought ice cream. Chocolate and vanilla work best, but any flavor will do!

3. Ice Cubes

Sounds so simple, right? It is!

Pour your leftover coffee into ice cube trays for future use. Coffee ice cubes can be added to iced coffee so it doesn’t get diluted. Or they can be added to other drinks to give them some additional flavor, like a glass of milk or even a cocktail.

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4. Specialty Drinks

Do you often stop by your local coffee shop to buy a specialty coffee drink? Although delicious, specialty drinks are expensive.

Now you can make your own at home for pennies! Here’s a recipe for a Mocha Frap:

Put 2 cups of cold already brewed coffee (1/2 can be frozen coffee cubes for a slushy drink), 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon honey, a pinch of salt, and 3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder into a blender and blend well.

5. Adding Flavor

Whether you’re looking to add more flavor or want to change up some of your regular everyday meals, coffee can help.

Leftover coffee can be added to your favorite gravy recipe or into slow cooker recipes for extra richness. How about a piece of homemade chocolate cake with coffee-flavored frosting? Or coffee pudding? Or coffee Jell-O? It’s endless.

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6. Your Garden

You can pour completely cooled leftover coffee over your tomatoes or any other plants that thrive on acidic soil every few weeks or so. You can also add it to your compost pile.

7. Cleaning

The acid found in coffee is a great cleaning agent, making it great for hard-to-clean surfaces, including grease.

Use it to clean your dishes, grill, floors, and more. You can pour leftover coffee down your garbage disposal, which helps to eliminate foul odors.

8. Repair Scratches

You know those minor scratches in your dark wood furniture you’ve been meaning to repair?

All you have to do is simmer down the leftover coffee by about half or until it resembles the color of the furniture, and then use a soft cloth to rub the reduced coffee over the scratches gently.

9. Hair Dye

Want to see what your hair would look like in a beautiful shade of brown without committing? Use leftover coffee to make a temporary hair dye.

All you have to do is take one cup of leftover coffee, mix with two cups of a leave-in conditioner and leave it in your hair for about an hour. Then rinse.

10. Iced Coffee… NOT!

Although you may be tempted to use your leftover brewed coffee to make iced coffee, this is not how authentic iced coffee is made.

For actual iced coffee, put about 3/4 of a cup of ground coffee beans into a one-quart glass container, add cold water, shake a few times, and then set in a cool place.

Why this method? It removes any bitterness or acidity, making for a really smooth and delicious cup of iced coffee. In 16 to 20 hours, strain the coffee, which will keep in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Reviewed March 2022

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