12 Hacks For Cheap Starbucks Drinks That'll Save You Big Time
While Starbucks drinks might as well be part of our bodies at this point, making that daily coffee run can get pretty expensive over time. And while you could always cut back on coffee to save some money... who actually wants to do that? Thankfully, there are hacks for cheaper Starbucks drinks that'll help you make sure you're fueling your coffee cravings but not your credit card bills.
Americans spend an average of about $718 a year on coffee, according to GoBankingRates.com. But that's just the average overall. Millennials spend about $848 a year, and those ages 35-44 spend about $886 a year on coffee. While you may not notice this while you buy your $3 or $4 cup of coffee everyday, it starts to add up.
Considering the fact that Starbucks prices on all cups of coffee were hiked up about 10 to 20 cents in 2018, as the Wall Street Journal reported, that just means more money out of your pocket. But you shouldn't have to sacrifice your favorite morning pick-me-up because of the price. Where there's a will, there's a latte macchiato— and a way!
Here are 12 Starbucks hacks to make your next drink cost a little less.
1. Bring Your Own Cup Or Mug
Save money and the environment at the same time by bringing your own reusable coffee cup or mug the next time you get coffee. Whenever you bring your own cup (and it doesn't have to be a Starbucks cup!), Starbucks takes 10 cents off your drink. It may not seem like much, but sometimes that 10 cents can be the reason your drink ends up being under $2. And it can definitely add up over time.
2. Make Your Own Drinks
Sure, it's easy to order one of Starbucks' cleverly-named pre-created drinks, but it's cheaper (and more fun) to make one of your own. This way, you're sure to get exactly what you want in a drink and you're likely to save some cents. For example, instead of asking for an iced latte you can order a doppio, or a double shot of espresso over ice, and just add milk. This gives you a "latte" with two shots of espresso for either $2.75 or $3.55 (depending on what size you get), when a regular latte with only one shot will cost you $3.45.
3. Order 'Short' Instead Of 'Tall'
If you thought a Tall was the smallest option at Starbucks, you're in for a surprise. The "Short" is the 8-ounce Starbucks drink option that makes for the perfect-sized cappuccino. The Short size is about 30 cents cheaper but still packs a mean caffeine punch since baristas add less milk to Short drinks.
4. Sign Up For Starbucks Rewards
Starbucks has plenty of deals and savings for their most loyal customers that they give out often as part of the Starbucks Rewards program. You sign up for the rewards and get stars every time that you buy something. There are days that stars are doubled and other days when you get free stars. Eventually, these stars can be used to cash in drinks or deals on drinks.
5. Don't Buy Water
If you ever need a sip of water in between your coffee, don't buy bottled water. Instead, ask for a cup of water with or without ice. The baristas will always give it to you and you'll save a little over $2. You'll have your thirst quenched and you won't even have to pay a single cent. Bring in your own water bottle, and you'll also be saving some plastic!
6. Order A French Press Pot
If you and your friends are all in the mood for coffee (and have the same general taste), order a French Press Pot of your favorite mutual coffee instead of buying separate drinks. This way, you'll all get a drink, and you can share the costs, making it cheaper. Plus, it might just start a new tradition with you and your friends. If you don't see it on the menu, ask your barista.
7. Order Venti Instead Of Two Drinks
If you and a friend want to buy some drinks, try ordering a Venti of the drink instead of two separate Tall ones. You'll still get a good amount of coffee and you'll be able to split the price of just one drink. Just make sure you both can agree on a drink. For example, if you both want a Caffe Mocha, instead of ordering two-$3.45 Tall orders, you can split one $4.65 Venti for about $2.32 each.
8. Ask For Whipped Cream Instead Of Syrups
If you think your drink won't be sweet enough but don't want to throw more money down for a syrup or splash, just ask to add whipped cream like NBC News suggests. It's totally free and will be just the added sweetness you need. Plus, who doesn't love whipped cream?
9. Take Advantage Of 'Happy Hour'
Starbucks often hosts different "Happy Hours" throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. On some Thursdays in November and December 2019, for instance, the company offered a buy-one-get-one free deal on any handcrafted drink, grande or bigger as part of its Happy Hour promotion. By constantly checking Starbucks social media accounts and the Starbucks app, you'll be notified of when the Happy Hour days are going on.
10. Replace Your Latte With A Cold Brew
Starbucks cold brews are often super strong. So if you order one grande cold brew, you can actually turn it into two separate iced lattes, according to NBC News. Just split the 16-ounce cold brew into two separate cups of the same size, and then pour milk over each one. You now have two grande iced lattes (normally priced at $2.65 each) for just $3.25 total.
11. Order A Venti Drink, No Ice, And Ask For Three Grande Cups With Ice
You’ve likely seen different iterations of this Starbucks hack all over TikTok. If you order Venti drink with no ice and then two Grande cups with just ice, you can distribute the Venti drink into the two Grande cups with a little bit to spare. (This isn’t magic. Just math.) In theory, you’re getting two drinks for the price of one (plus 50 cents), ultimately saving yourself about $2.75. This relies on your Venti drink with no ice being filled to the brim and poses some questions about how potent or watered down your drinks will end up tasting. Also, be forewarned, you might piss your barista off a little. But if saving $2.75 is worth the angry glare, it’s a hack you can give a shot.
12. Order A Tall Drink, No Ice, And Ask For Venti Cup Of Ice
Like the drink hack above, your mileage may vary as well as the amount that you irritate your barista. As you may have seen on TikTok, if you order a Tall drink without ice you can pour that into a Venti cup of just ice and fill it to the brim. So, in theory, you’re getting a Venti drink for the size of a Tall. Of course, that relies on your barista filling your Tall drink up to the brim.
You don't have to break the bank every time you want to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. So next time you find yourself on line at Starbucks (probably tomorrow morning), remember these few tricks and you might be able to bring your tab down.
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