I do love me some Starbucks. There was a time I went every day—but I paid a lot more for my delicious lattes and coffees back then. Now I know better and realize there are so many ways to save. If you love Starbucks too, try these tips to save more! 

1. Sidestep the "latte" for cheaper chai tea.

In my earlier years, I lived in India for a time. One of my favorite memories is of the roadside chai tea stands. So I love ordering chai tea lattes at Starbucks.

  • What to do to save: Instead of ordering a chai tea latte ($3.65, grande), order hot chai tea ($2.15, grande) and add your own milk at the condiment stand for free. (You can even ask your barista for a small shot of hot milk on the side and you likely won't be charged!)
  • Note: If you want more than a small shot of hot milk, ask them to add hot milk for you—it's just $0.60 more, so that brings your total to $2.75 and you still save $0.90!

2. Skip the "iced."

While I do love my icy cold drinks during the hot Texas summers, the truth is, what I'm mostly paying for in these drinks is the ice.

  • What to do to save: If you’re really on a budget but Starbucks isn't optional, skip the iced drinks out—you can make them for cheaper at home. When ordering out, order hot! Or, if you must order iced, ask for less or no ice so you get more beverage for your buck!

3. Order a grande, not a venti.

With a venti drink, you are getting more sweetener/milk/etc., but not more espresso. Both sizes have two shots per drink.

  • What to do to save: At $0.30 to $0.50 more per drink for a venti versus a grande, in just a few trips you can save up enough to buy another grande!

4. Make your own café au lait.

I just love café au lait (at Starbucks, this is the "café misto.") Best of all, I love that you can make your own and save by just ordering drip coffee and adding your own milk.

  • What to do to save: You can try asking for a small shot of warm milk on the side, bring your own warm milk in a thermos, have them add the hot milk for $0.60 more, or simply add the cool milk at the condiment bar if savings is a priority. End result: you pay $1.95 for a grande drip coffee versus $3.65 for a grande latte—a $1.70 savings!
  • Note: Order one size larger cup (for instance, "I'd like a grande coffee in a venti cup," so you can add the milk without having to sacrifice precious caffeine to make it fit!).

5. Don't buy bottled water at Starbucks!

Did you know Starbucks triple-filters their drinking water and their ice?

  • What to do to save: Order a cup of water and save yourself $1.80.

6. Tired of the same ol' drip coffee? Try an Americano!

The first time I sampled an Americano, it was by mistake. (I think this is why the baristas now write your name on the side of your drink!) But now I order Americano drinks—one shot of espresso with water—all the time.

  • What to do to save: At $2.15, you pay just $0.10 more than you would for drip coffee, and you get a fresh new drink that still saves you cash!

7. Try a short order.

Starbucks still offers the "short" (an 8 oz cup) as well as the "trenta" (31 oz cup). But neither of these routinely make the menu boards. Perhaps this is because their "short" drink is such a great value!

  • What to do to save: Order a short of coffee or any specialty drink and save ~$0.20 per drink order. (Pssst…you get the same amount of caffeine too!)
  • Note: Bring your own cup and save an additional $0.10 on coffee refills.
  • Resource: A Little Secret to Saving Big at Starbucks

8. Keep your eyes peeled for the coupons!

Starbucks knows they’re not the only game in town (even if they are often the biggest). So they frequently issue coupons to keep us loyal!

9. Reap your rewards

In a nutshell, Starbucks' rewards program just keeps getting better and better.

 

9 Ways to Save at Starbucks That You Probably Didn't Know About