How to Save Money at Starbucks

23 Nov

The other day, I was talking with some coworkers about our coffee habits and, inevitably, how expensive Starbucks was! I had run into this problem a few months back (primarily the unsustainability of going to Starbucks for a cup of coffee every morning!) and had found some great ways to save.

  1. If you drink regular coffee in the morning: Buy the Starbucks ground coffee or beans on your own and make it at home, and don’t buy it FROM Starbucks – buying it from your local grocer or CVS can save you at least $3 a bag. We typically pay about $7 for a bag when it’s on sale at Target, and it takes a good month of two people drinking one cup each every morning (and sometimes an extra one in the afternoon!) to go through the entire bag of coffee. It practically pays for itself after 3 days of not going to Starbucks, at $1.67 for a tall!
  2. If you drink specialty drinks (cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, etc.): Get a Starbucks gift card and register it online! This strategy has a multi-fold purpose. First, buying having a gift card and registering it Starbucks can track how many drinks you purchase with it. Once you hit 15, you are bumped up to “gold” level where all of your customizations are free! So, if you like to drink a venti soy triple pump of cinnamon macchiato – you will only pay the price of a venti macchiato, saving you about $1.50 per drink! Additionally, having a set amount on your gift card for you to spend in a week/month will keep you on budget, too! If you want to be a supersaver, and can deal with the sacrifice, the cheapest and fastest way to get to the “gold” level is to buy only tall coffees until you reach that status, THEN start buying your fancy drinks!
  3. More tips from a former barista: Yes, in a past life I was a barista so I know a few tricks of the trade that can help you save money on the specialty drinks at any cafe!
    1. The only difference between a cappuccino and a latte is the amount of foam (cappuccino = a lot, latte = a little); lattes are better bang for your buck.
    2. A cafe au lait is just brewed coffee with steamed milk. Order a plain coffee and add your own milk – coffee is brewed at molten lava temperatures so chances are you won’t notice the milk cools it a little bit (and you may even welcome it!)

Keep your eye out for a follow up post on how to order healthy options when you’re at a coffee shop!


One Response to “How to Save Money at Starbucks”


  1. How to Make Coffee Shop Drinks Healthier « fresh & frugal divas - November 28, 2011

    […] that you are equipped with all the knowledge that you need to spend less on coffee and make healthier choices while you’re there, go take on your favorite coffee house and start […]

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