10 ways to save money at Starbucks Associated Press
A Starbucks customer drinks a beverage outside Starbucks, in Beverly, Mass. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

So is it really possible to save money at Starbucks?

Serving up lattes is a big business (which is an understatement) — Starbucks ended 2015 with $19 billion in revenue, and year after year, it just keeps climbing. So there is no doubt that Starbucks customers love their coffee!

But if you want to save more in 2016, how can you save money and have your coffee too? Well, first we have to say that making your own coffee at home is your best bet when it comes to saving over time. Cutting out small daily expenses is a great way to build good financial habits.

But with that said, we know there are some people out there who just can’t resist a tall, hot, skinny, no-foam, extra caffeine — and whatever other way there is to drink coffee — daily fix. So if you have to have it, you might as well save!

1. Bring a cup.

Save 10 cents on every drink by bringing a refillable cup or a paper cup from another coffee shop. The savings may seem small, but if you buy one drink a day, this can save you $37 over the year!

2. Ask for light ice — or ice on the side.

Iced beverages can be significantly watered down when ice is added — up to as much as 50%. So by asking for light ice or ice on the side, you can get more of your actual beverage versus paying for ice.

3. Ask for a cup of water instead of buying bottled water.

If you’re buying water from Starbucks, you can save by asking for water in a cup instead. Don’t waste your money on bottled water — especially since most of it is tap water anyway.

4. Create your own latte.

By buying two or three shots of espresso, and adding cream and sugar at the condiment bar, you can save big when you want a latte instead of paying full price!

5. Rediscover the secret menu.

Even at Starbucks, there are plenty of yummy menu items under $4. These options are all under $3:

Iced Coffee with Milk and Flavored Syrup: $1.95
Raspberry Passion Tea Lemonade: $2.55
Minty Hot Chocolate: $2.80
Vanilla Bean Frappuccino: $2.95

6. Get creative for an iced latte.

Order two shots of espresso over ice and head to the condiment bar to add milk and sugar.

7. Enjoy refills for 50¢.

Let’s face it — most of us can’t get through the day without an extra caffeine boost in the afternoon. Statistics show the average coffee drinker drinks 3.1 cups per day!

To aid you in your pursuit of afternoon alertness, Starbucks will give you a refill of a hot coffee, iced coffee, hot tea or iced tea beverage at any time after your first purchase. That’s pretty sweet!

8. Split a drink with a friend.

If you’re meeting for coffee with a friend, you could both agree to save by purchasing a venti-sized beverage, then asking for two tall cups. (An iced venti beverage is 24 ounces, while an iced tall is 12 ounces.)

9. Request no water with your tea.

If you’re a tea drinker, you might want to know that Starbucks brews their tea very strong, then waters down the recipe to serve. But if you request no water in your tea, one tea drink will actually contain about two tea beverages. Request an extra cup to water it down on your own.

10. Join the rewards program.

If you’re a Starbucks frequenter, joining the My Starbucks Rewards program might make sense to you. Receive a free food or beverage item after every 12th item purchased, plus you’ll receive a free drink on your birthday.

Clark Howard staff

Stories You Might Like