1. Swap the Latte for a Misto
If you typically order a Latte at Starbucks, consider switching to a Misto! If you’re unfamiliar with a Misto—or café au lait as it is often called—it is a drink made from equal parts brewed coffee and frothy steamed milk. Compare this to the espresso and steamed milk that goes into a latte and you’ve got two very similar drinks. The big difference? The price! Although Starbucks’ prices vary from location to location, you can expect to pay around $3.65 for a grande latte and under $3.00 for a Misto. If you’re worried about getting your full fix of caffeine, don’t! Both the grande latte and the grande Misto contain 150 milligrams.
2. Split a drink with a friend
You may think it sounds silly to split a drink with a friend, but it may not seem so silly when you start pocketing an extra buck or two every time you go! Let’s say you and a friend go to your local Starbucks to get a Caramel Frappuccino. You could order two tall Frappuccinos at an approximate cost of $3.75 each, or you could order one Venti Frap with an extra cup and pay about $5.00, or $2.50 each! Most locations will typically charge about 10 cents for the extra cup, but you can save that money (and go green) by bringing your own. Although splitting a venti will result in a drink 2 ounces smaller than a tall, your savings will still be approximately 30% or more.
3. Skip the iced drink
If you’re trying to save money, forget about ordering an iced espresso drink, which can run as high as $4.00. Instead, order a shot of espresso over ice for around $1.75. From here you can add milk, sugar and any flavorings from the condiment bar and get a very similar drink for less than half the price! If you tend to order flavored drinks such as Iced Mochas or Vanilla Lattes, add a shot of syrup for about 50 cents and you’re still way ahead!
4. Try an Americano
If a cold drink isn’t your thing, but you typically order a hot espresso drink such as a latte or cappuccino, try an Americano instead. An Americano is a blend of espresso and hot water and costs approximately $2.15—quite a bit less than most espresso drinks on the menu. Just like in tip #3, once you get your beverage, you can add in a bit of milk and sugar from the condiment bar. Although you won’t get the foamy froth that tops many hot beverages, you won’t walk into the office with a foam mustache, either.
5. Order a press pot
If you plan on hanging out at your local Starbucks for an afternoon of studying or catching up with friends, consider ordering a press pot. A press pot will generally hold 3–4 cups of joe and costs around $4, which comes out to about a buck per cup. Not bad considering a tall cup of brewed coffee typically runs about $1.75! Ordering a press pot is also a great way to try out a bean that you’ve been thinking about purchasing. Although most Starbucks locations offer press pots, be aware that locations in supermarkets or kiosks may not.
6. Order a short
If you’ve ever wondered why the smallest size at Starbucks is called a tall, it turns out that there is actually a smaller size—a short! Although the short size isn’t advertised on the menu, you can order any hot drink in this 8-ounce size. If you tend to drink cappuccinos, many coffee aficionados actually prefer the short cappuccino, as it more closely resembles the traditional European-style beverage. Not only do you get a better beverage, but you’ll save some cash while you’re at it. Although prices vary between locations, you can expect to pay approximately 20 cents less for a short beverage than a tall.
7. Skip the venti
If you pulled an all-nighter trying to catch up on your newest Netflix addiction and you’re just interested in a cup of coffee for the caffeine, you may think to order the largest drink on the menu. However, you may be surprised to learn that a grande and a venti have the same amount of espresso in them! Both sizes contain two shots, or approximately 150 milligrams, so you can save that extra buck and still get the boost of energy you were looking for.