THERE is a difference between the whole bean and the ground coffee! When I look at coffee prices in the grocery store, there is a $1 difference between the whole bean and the ground coffee packages - the ground coffee being more expensive. Here's what I do: I buy the less expensive one (whole bean) and then use the coffee grinder there in the store to grind it up. Not only is it less expensive, but I also grind it at the finest setting, which means that I end up using less coffee than the pre-ground -which is more coarsely ground- to get the same strength coffee in my coffee maker.
Coffee Using the Bean