5 Starbucks Hacks to Help You Save Money On Coffee

by Connie Mei · 2 comments

When I first starting being more conscious about saving money, one of the first things I tried to do was stop going to Starbucks. It seemed a little ridiculous to be spending so much on a cup of coffee when I could easily make it at home.

Unfortunately though, my efforts didn’t work out very well. I was able to avoid all Starbucks (not easy in NYC!) for about a week and then immediately went back to my old ways.

For me, coffee every morning is essential. It helps me get my day started off right. And I just really enjoy a Starbucks latte. Yes, it’s probably better for my wallet to avoid it altogether. But coffee is my spending vice and one luxury I fit into my budget.

However, a daily trip to Starbucks can get quite expensive. As I tried to minimize my spending and still fit in a cup of coffee, I discovered some great money-saving hacks that can help you at Starbucks, too.

Join the Starbucks Rewards Program

For Starbucks loyalists like myself, be sure to join their rewards program. It’s one of the best I’ve encountered from major coffee chains. As a rewards member, you get a free drink for every 12 drinks you order — any flavor, any size.

Plus, you also get a free drink reward on your birthday, and they’ll send you special offers and deals from time to time.

Get the Smaller Short Size

A small or, as they call it, Tall size at Starbucks is 12 ounces. While it’s rare, I just don’t need that much coffee at certain times. Ordering a Tall would be a waste of money.

If you want a small pick-me-up, but don’t want to waste money on a Tall size, you can ask for the Short size instead. It’s not on the menu but it does exist. It’s 8 ounces and is available for most drinks, except Frappuccinos.

Use Misto as a Latte Alternative

My drink of choice at Starbucks is a latte. But it can get quite expensive. If you like the taste of a latte but don’t want to pay the prices, go for a misto instead. A misto, otherwise known as a cafe au lait, is coffee with steamed milk.

It won’t taste as strong as a latte since it’s not made with espresso but it’s pretty similar, and much cheaper.

Try Americano for More Flavor

If taste is what you’re looking for, opt for a Americano. This is made with espresso and hot water and tastes a bit stronger than regular coffee. From a price perspective, it’s a bit more expensive than coffee but cheaper than a latte.

Bring Your Own Cup

Don’t forget that you can always bring your own cup to Starbucks. If you do, they’ll knock 10 cents off the price of your drink. It’s not much but will add up if you go frequently. Plus, it’s better for the environment.

It’s probably best to avoid Starbucks altogether. But if you’re a coffee addict like I am, or just want the convenience, these tips can help you save a little on your daily cup of Joe.

Do you know another money-saving hack for Starbucks? How do you save money on coffee?

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  • Shirley says:

    I’m a part-time addict, mostly I collect drinks to give the awards to someone else. Enroll in the loyalty program and make sure you opt in on emails. I typically only go in when there are better multiple star offers.. this is absolutely key if you’re aiming for Gold (aka 30 stars).

    You can order 30 individual orders or heck, go in when you get double/triple or 8-20stars depending on runs you do.

    Caveat is when you go in more, targeted offers may not be as strong… but you get decent ones all the time (at least once monthly) and the return is greater than saving up individual stars.

  • Kim says:

    As a starbuck addict, this helps a lot. I had no idea about the loyalty program but you can bet I will use it from now on. I do have another tip for frappe lovers like myself. To save some money you can buy the bottled frappes from the grocery store. Starbucks does sell them bottled and it is much cheaper. It won’t have the whip cream but it takes very similar and can help you cut back a little.

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