Tiffany Bixler | 

10 Insider Starbucks Hacks from a Barista

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If you like Starbucks, you probably really like it, and learning a few secret Starbucks hacks in order to save money is gonna be your jam.

A Starbucks barista is making your drinks all day long, and they know a thing or two about some ways you can save money on your favorite drinks.

Check out these tips for a Starbucks barista, and then check out our even bigger list of ways to make Starbucks menu prices cheaper.

Download the KCL app and set deal alerts to find out about special Starbucks promotions.


1. Skip the Venti and pocket $0.40.

Skip the Venti and pocket $0.40.

Want to optimize your caffeine-to-coffee ratio while saving money at Starbucks? The Grande has the same amount of espresso as the Venti (2 shots, or 150 mg) when you order hot beverages.

You do you: Use and buy Starbucks gift cards for less! New users save even more!


2. Craving Chai? Get a Chai tea instead of a Chai tea latte — you get free refills and you’ll save $1.80.

Craving Chai? Get a Chai tea instead of a Chai tea latte — you get free refills and you'll save $1.80.

A little effort on your part and you can bag the savings and some tranquili-tea.

It’s a little like your bestie let you borrow her Jimmy Choos. Only you can drink them. Simply ask for hot water at the counter.

Chai’ll always love you: Unless you ask for unsweetened, assume your iced tea is sweetened.


3. Download the Starbucks app for freebies and rewards.

Download the Starbucks app for freebies and rewards.

One Starbucks hack that’ll consistently save you money is being an avid Starbucks Rewards user.

Not only do you earn free drinks on your birthday, you’ll get two stars per dollar you spend, and when you reach certain thresholds, you’re eligible for freebies (one free coffee for every $25 spent, for example).

Where you bean? Get a Starbucks card and work it like it’s your birthday (but only because you literally score free food or drink on your special day).


4. Ask for light ice in your iced coffee and get more bang for your buck.

Ask for light ice in your iced coffee and get more bang for your buck.

When you order more ice, you end up with less beverage bodaciousness in your glass. Who needs that? You’re not a barbarian.

Also, iced coffee comes sweetened with classic syrup. A fun Starbucks hack is to switch out the classic syrup for any other flavor of liquid syrup for free.

Note that if you want a sauce (mocha, white mocha, pumpkin spice), you’ll pay $0.60 more.

Java jive: Order the Americano and knock back added caffeine for less money!



5. Bring your own cup and keep $0.10.

Bring your own cup and keep $0.10.

Not only can you accessorize your own coffee cup to match your mood, but you can also save up those extra dimes toward a free pastry! #carbswhatcarbs

You’ve urned it: It’s the equivalent of bringing your own reusable bag to Target!


6. Split a Venti and save almost $2.00.

Split a Venti and save almost $2.00.

Bringing a friend? It’s cheaper to order the Venti than two smaller drinks. Oh hi, Starbucks hacks with friends.

You’re sweet enough: If you find your drinks are too sweet, order “half sweet”!


7. Download the Starbucks app and get free refills on drip coffee and tea.

Download the Starbucks app and get free refills on drip coffee and tea.

As long as you’re a Starbucks Rewards member and you stay in the store, you can grab more of that coffee goodness. Refill your drip coffee or your iced tea for free.

Bean me up, Scotty: On those refills, you can get a refill of coffee, even if you ordered tea (and vice versa).


8. Order a “Short” latte and save $0.10.

 Order a "Short" latte and save $0.10.

These fun-sized drinks (8 oz. versus a 12 oz. Tall) contain the same amount of caffeine for less money (you get less milk-to-espresso)!

Sure, this isn’t going to save you tons of money at Starbucks, but I think Mom would be proud.

Less is more: Try a caffe misto, (half coffee, half milk) for a cheaper drink with fewer calories.



9. Order tea “without water” and save $2.25.

Order tea "without water" and save $2.25.

Just say H2NO, and you get double the drink happiness for the same amount of money. That’s because you get extra-concentrated tea, for more oomph (we like oomph).

Also, if you order tea without water in a double cup and ask for ice water on the side, you can score half-price tea (two teas are better than one)!

Tea-rrific: Is your hot tea too hot? Ask for the kids’ temperature instead!


10. Create your own iced latte by ordering an espresso and save you $1.60.


Two shots of espresso (or a doppio) over ice will cost you $2.65, and you can add milk yourself in store. A regular iced latte costs $4.25 – so you’ll be saving $1.60!

You can also order a triple espresso for $2.95 if you need that extra caffeine boost, and you’ll still save $1.30.

This is just a start! Read nearly two dozen more Starbucks hacks so you can save even more money.


Resources and Links Mentioned:


Starbucks app (iOs) (Android)

Starbucks Hacks Your Barista Doesn’t Want You to Know


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