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Breathe New Life Into Old Things: My Coffeemaker

Posted By Jim On 11/21/2007 @ 3:48 pm In Frugal Living | 9 Comments

We live in a disposable society. We’ve gotten so used to everything being so cheap that we often think about replacement before we think about refurbishment, which is great for companies but bad for our budget and our environment. I experienced this first hand a month ago when I pulled out my coffeemaker to make a cup of coffee.

About a year or two ago I took advantage of a Gevalia free coffeemaker offer that gave me two little bags of their coffee, a travel coffee mug, and a 12 cup programmable coffeemaker for only $5. (The current offer isn’t that good, it’s like $14.95 + S&H for the coffeemaker, a scoop, and two mugs – not that great of a promotion) Well, it was the first time I saw a coffeemaker that used funny little cone-shaped coffee filters and until just recently I thought they were some weird custom shape that forced you to buy them from Gevalia (clever eh?). Anyway, I used up the coffee and the filters they sent and put the coffeemaker on the shelf for a few months. In the interim, I used instant coffee (oh the horror!) because, honestly, it’s far far easier. Well, a month ago I went to Costco and picked up a unreasonably large container of coffee thinking it was instant. Well… it wasn’t.

So, with a container of ground coffee and an old coffeemaker in the closet, I pulled it out and tried to make some coffee. I didn’t have any of those funny little cone-shaped filters but I did have regular filters so I made do for a few brews. Most of the time it worked fine, sometimes the filter folded and I discovered a minor coffee disaster. I was just about to throw the whole thing away when I thought I would try to find the special Gevalia filters online and see if they were cheap enough to buy. Lo and behold, I discovered that the filters were pretty common and they were called #4 Cone filters! A quick trip to Walgreens netted me a package of like four million for $3, and they were non-bleached recycled paper filters. Very green!

The end result? I could’ve tossed the coffeemaker and picked up another one that used “regular” filters for like $20, but a little research discovered I just needed to buy the right filters. So, the landfill has one less coffeemaker and I still have my $20.


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