I LOVE Starbucks just as much as the next girl! What I don’t love is that I can easily spend over $5.00 on a single drink. If I have my kids with me I can kiss a $20.00 bill goodbye. Ouch!
Did you know I worked at Starbucks for 4 years once upon a time? I am going to share some tips and tricks to save money at Starbucks. These are my top 4 savings hacks!
4 Starbucks Money Saving Hacks
1). Ask for an extra cup with lid. Be prepared for the weird looks. If the side eye bothers you, just ask for a cup of water or ice. It’s really common for people to request a cup of water or ice. That is the safest way to get an extra cup and lid minus the side eye, though not all baristas will look at you strangely. Most are more then happy to give you a cup and lid! Starbucks is like Disney in that most employees are more than accommodating.
Why the extra cup? By far the best money saving hack I have is to split a Grande (medium) or a Venti (large) drink between people if you go with more than one person or kid. My kids love Frappuccinos, but there isn’t a kids size option. That means for a Tall (small) you going to pay $3.95 plus tax…ouch! If you order a Grande (medium) it is $4.75 plus tax. If you split a grande between 2 people or kids you are going to spend $2.37 per person, verses ordering a Tall for each person at $3.95 each. That is a savings of $3.15!
2). Don’t order Lattes. You can get almost the same exact taste by just ordering a Cafe Misto with whatever syrup you would like. A Cafe Misto is half coffee and half warmed milk of your choice. It’s also $1.00 less then a latte. You can add in any flavor of syrup you would like for an extra $0.50. If you prefer Iced Lattes you can replicate the taste by ordering an iced coffee with 1/2 the cup full of your choice of milk.
If you really like the taste of espresso or need the added boost of caffeine then order just espresso shots with warm milk of your choice. You can also order the espresso over ice with milk. When ordering ask for the amount of milk and sugar you would like in your shots. Remember, this is Starbucks- you can customize as much or little as you want!
3). Sign up for the Starbucks Rewards program! This is a MUST. You will earn points back on every purchase. Every dollar spent is worth 2 points. These points accumulate and are redeemable starting at just 25 points. You can either scan the app when you pay or use a Starbucks gift card that is registered to your account.
There is always some sort of promotion going on that earns you extra points for purchasing certain items. Usually the more you visit the more points you get during that promotion period. Each visit counts as each time you pay for a transaction and scan the code in the app or use the registered card to pay . Currently the promotion is earn 40 bonus stars when you order 2 Frappuccino’s or earn 80 bonus stars when you order 3 times. If you are strategic with earning, the points can be a gold mine of savings!
In addition to the bonus point earning offers, you can get free coffee and tea refills while in store during the same visit. Let’s say you buy a green tea. You sit down and read a book. An hour later you are realize you finished your tea and want another. You can then order a refill green tea and pay nothing for it. As long as you don’t leave the store you can get refills on hot brewed coffee and tea.
With the app you will also earn a free treat on your birthday. That treat can be a handcrafted drink, food item, or ready to drink bottled item.
4). Buy discounted gift cards from Raise! You can often find discounted Starbucks gift cards for up to 10% or more off. After you buy the discounted gift cards from Raise, you can add funds from one Starbucks card to another. I have a Starbucks card I have had for years linked to my Starbucks rewards. Every time I buy or am gifted a Starbucks gift card I move the funds from that card to my registered card on Starbucks website. It is a very simple process!