Surprising (And Frugal) Uses for Coffee

by Merissa on October 28, 2013

in Frugal Living Tips, Stretch It!

Uses for Coffee - Little House Living

Uses for Coffee

Most people love a steaming pot of coffee in the morning but are unaware of the myriad of other uses for un-brewed coffee, brewed coffee and the coffee grounds. There are many frugal and green uses for coffee aside from the most popular use. Next time you make a pot of coffee you might want to consider taking advantage of coffees unique properties that make it far more than just an AM beverage.

 Uses for Un-Brewed Coffee

If you grind your own beans select the coarsest setting (French Press Setting) to make a Coffee Scented air freshener. Use one of those unmated socks you have all but given up on , pour in some un-brewed , ground coffee beans , tie a knot in the top and Voilà – air freshener! If you use pre-ground coffee you can pour the grounds into a short glass mason jar utilizing a stocking to cover the hole left by not using the mason jar lid. This will sit on a counter or in the fridge and emanate a delicious scent. You can always add a little cinnamon, cloves or other dry herbs to create a different scent. coffeecup

 Uses for Brewed Coffee

Did you know coffee is pretty acidic? When you need a light acid for a marinade most people turn to a vinegar or citrus but coffee can act as a delicious, deeper marinade base for red meats. Google Coffee marinades for some tasty ideas for your next tri-tip or BBQ recipe. Coffee also enhances the flavor of chocolate. Add a shot of espresso or dark brewed coffee to recipes utilizing chocolate. Got wood scratches? Brewed Coffee’s dye properties can help minimize the look of scratches. Leave a little coffee at the bottom of your pot till it thickens ( you know- until it looks like that stuff you hate to have to clean up when someone forgets the pot on the burner) put a little of that on a damp dishrag and apply to the scratches. Let set overnight if possible to dye your scratches and make them blend better. coffee-bean1 Uses for Coffee Grounds

Now that you have enjoyed a delicious pot of coffee you’re left with the grounds. Don’t throw them out! There are many uses for coffee grounds you may never have heard of before. You can spread the grounds on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven on low to dry them out completely and add to cat litter to refresh the box and adsorb odors. Place the damp coffee grounds in your garden or add wet grounds to mulch and apply to acid loving plants like tomatoes and blueberries. Ants are not a fan of grounds so boil a large pot of water with the used grounds and pour the steaming concoction on the mound itself. Coffee can be one of the most surprising, versatile and delicious multi-use items in your pantry! Many of these are also great ways to use up old or expired coffee so nothing goes to waste.

Another fun way to use coffee is to make your own homemade Coffee Tea Bags! Those make great gifts!

In what ways do you use coffee besides for drinking? merissabio

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andy October 28, 2013 at 9:40 am

I am chemically sensitive. On the rare occasion when I go shopping, there are times when I get chemical fragrances on my hands from the shopping cart (hand creams, perfume, etc.), which are all toxic chemicals and which are nearly impossible to get off. This is a real health issue for me. That’s when I reach for a handful of wet coffee grounds right from the coffee maker. Rub that vigorously on the hands and it will take most of the chemicals out. If I’m lucky, that day I have made blueberry coffee and my hands smell like blueberry coffee for a few hours.


2 Merissa October 28, 2013 at 9:42 am

That’s really good to know. Thanks for sharing that tip!


3 Lizabeth Osterholt October 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I use the left over coffee as the water in brownies or cake. And the grounds are added to my garden.


4 Donna November 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays for use in your homemade kahlua drinks!


5 Jennifer November 2, 2013 at 10:30 am

That’s a great idea about the air freshener. Do you have any other recipes to use as a natural homemade air freshener? I love the smell (not the taste:) ) of coffee but I’d love to try other kinds. Store bought air fresheners are scary!


6 Kristi November 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I just used coffee to tone down some highlights in my bangs that missed being toned at the hairdresser. Worked like a charm. I took about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground coffee added a little water and worked with my fingers until it was brown. Then I sectioned out the highlights that were too light from the rest of my bangs. I worked in the coffee ‘juice’ and let it sit for a couple minutes, then rinsed and let dry. I did this three times because I didn’t know how quickly it would take hold in the hair. I am VERY pleased.


7 Marilyn January 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm

What a great idea to use the coffee as a toner. May I ask how long does this last? I think I am going to try it on my greys. You have really piqued my interest.


8 Deanna Stevens Clark November 4, 2013 at 12:23 am

I use them for the chickens who eat and compost it and for the Garden flowers I want the Cats to stay out of.


9 Heather-Lynn Passmore February 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

I have used them in the past for a scrub in the shower. The exfoliating effect feels fabulous and the diuretic effect reduces swelling! 🙂


10 deztiny February 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for the tip about coffee darkening hair, I am only 27 but i do have quite a bit of noticeable grey strands which is embarrassing for my age. I have been looking for a way to darken them because i am pregnant and can not use regular dye due to chemicals!
Also, as for air freshener, i put coffee beans in a mason jar or vase, shove a mini strand of white xmas lights or little LED lights with battery pack (you can get that at craft store for few dollars) cover the top with a doilie tie a ribbon around it to keep it on. wa-la. the heat of the lights warms them up just enough to trigger the sent into the air. also makes wonderful gifts for the holidays! ( dried flower pedals and cinnamon sticks are also nice as alternative!)


11 Kaitlyn March 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I mix the used grounds with brown sugar and coconut oil to make a nourishing exfoliating scrub, just put it in a jar & keep in the shower, you can add a drop or two of vodka to increase shelf life. works great!

Also, I’ll rub used grounds on the dog to repel fleas.


12 Marisa August 6, 2014 at 9:55 pm

I have never heard of using grounds in a scrub. Do you dry out the used grounds or use the damp ones? Thank you!


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