In fact, the only thing that stands between me and a straight-up addiction to Starbucks is the high price. All those Pike Places and PSLs with almond milk and no whip can really add up. So, what’s a girl to do?
Turns out, there are some easy ways to feed my caffeine addiction without going broke.
Check out these 19 clever tricks to save money on your next Starbucks run.
1. Download the App
While the Starbucks app has gotten a bit of heat, the end result is the same. If you use it, you get free coffee. Download the app, add money, order coffee, scan for stars. Get 125 stars, get free coffee.
2. Play the In-App Game
The Starbucks app always features bonus opportunities in the form of a game, so make sure you take advantage. For example, right now if you order three macchiatos by September 25 you get 60 bonus stars.
3. Grab a Groupon
Just this morning I had a Groupon offer in my inbox for half off Starbucks gift cards.
4. Go Halfsies
One venti equals two tall drinks. So if you and a buddy are craving a pricey Frappuccino, just order a venti and an extra cup. You can split it down the middle and save over $1 each. But make sure you split it yourself — some Reddit users say baristas will charge for two talls if asked to split it for you.
5. Treat Your Pup
Did you know baristas love dogs? Ok, well maybe not all of them, but you can get a special treat for your pup — you just need to ask! The Puppuccino is a sweet cup of whipped cream. Consider it a free dog treat.
6. Bring Your Own Cup
The quickest way to save 10 cents? Bring your own cup.
7. Go Light On The Ice
It’s all about maximizing your caffeine, and it’s no secret baristas fill up your cup with ice and milk before topping it off with espresso. By ordering light ice, milk and cream, you can ensure your cup is packing a punch with the greatest amount of good stuff.
8. Go Up A Size
Huh? Yes, you can order your grande drip coffee in a venti cup at no extra charge. This is a great option if you are someone who leaves room for cream. By going up a size, you will get the full cup of actual coffee and then can add the cream on top.
9. Order Drip
Drip coffee is cheaper (and less calories). If you crave flavor, you can ask for added syrup. While the flavor will cost you, it’s not nearly as expensive as an espresso drink.
10. Make Your Own Latte
This one makes me feel all kinds of secondhand awkwardness, so I’m not sure I could do it. But if you have no shame, you can order 2 or 3 shots of espresso in a cup with ice. Then head to the free condiments bar and use the cream and sugar to make your own latte.
11. Skip The Bottle
Ask for a glass of water from your barista instead of purchasing bottled water. They’ll happily give you any size ice water your thirst desires.
12. Short Order
There are several items off the official Starbucks menu, including the elusive short size. It’s only 8 oz. but if you just need a small jolt, go short and save.
13. Grande Is The New Venti
Other than drip coffee, most of the Starbucks specialty drinks offer the same amount of caffeine in both the grande and venti sizes. So, while the venti gives you more cream and sugar, it doesn’t actually give you more caffeine. Check out this chart and when in doubt, go for grande.
14. Hold The Water
When ordering iced tea, ask for it straight up. Baristas are trained to automatically add water to their extra strong tea brew. When you skip the water you get a more concentrated tea that can double your order simply by adding your own water later.
15. Birthday Beverage
In addition to all of the other perks, Starbucks app users get a free birthday drink, too. Think big and fancy because you can order any beverage in any size on your special day.
16. Group Discount
Did you know most Starbucks locations have French presses available? Me neither. But they do and they hold 32 oz. of liquid magic. So, if you and a few friends are meeting for coffee this can be a great way to save.
17. Refill ‘er Up
If you are hanging out in-store for awhile, make sure you take advantage of refills while you are there. Starbucks app users enjoy free drip coffee and tea refills. Sorry, drive-thru customers, this deal only works in-store.
18. Target Savings
If you shop at Target and you drink Starbucks (duh), take advantage of special Target savings. Starbucks is often featured on Target’s Cartwheel. I’ve also had Starbucks coupons pop out with my Target purchase receipts.
19. Follow The Leader
Follow Starbucks on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The company posts about all kinds of promotions and this is really the best way to stay on top of special offers, like buy-one-get-one-free deals.
We were not paid to write this story. Our team scours the internet looking for tips, tricks and products that can help you save time and money. However, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from one of the retailers mentioned in this story.