Starbucks Steals: How to Save Money at Starbucks During Finals

   Leaving Mugar you can’t help but sigh. It’s 10:00 am, you studied until 3:00 am last night, and you have a long day ahead of you before it’s finally time for your history final. You can see the line at Starbucks right when you leave the library—it’s that long; but not one, not two, not even 12 people can come between you and your coffee. You’re determined and you hop on line for your first caffeine fix of the day.

   Since there are 5 Starbucks on BU’s campus, a BU girl is bound to find herself at one (or two!) sometime, especially during finals. If it’s not hard enough deciding which location to go to, Starbucks has a notoriously long, and expensive menu. A Caramel Macchiato may taste good and a Peppermint Mocha may be the perfect holiday treat, but when you buy your favorite Starbucks drink day after day, your bank account may not be as appreciative as you’d think.

   Luckily, if you need to start saving your coffee funds for next semester’s textbooks, you don’t have to switch to City Co (gasp!) quite yet. Try some of these Starbucks Steals instead!

1. Instead of your Favorite Latte, try Coffee with Flavored syrup (add milk) Since this is Starbucks, you don’t have to settle for plain coffee just for a cheap drink. Add Caramel, Hazelnut, Cinnamon dolce, Vanilla, Raspberry, Toffee nut, or Classic Syrup, to add sweetness and flavor. Just ask for coffee with [caramel syrup] and you'll get your drink within minutes--it's much quicker than waiting on a second line to pick up your latte. Starbucks also offers coconut syrup for the summer, pumpkin spice syrup for the fall, and gingerbread syrup for winter. A coffee with milk and gingerbread syrup can replace a Gingerbread Latte for a twist on a fun holiday drink! 

2. Instead of your pick-me-up espresso drink, try espresso shots in a larger cup Order two shots of espresso, but ask for it in a grande or venti sized cup. Then, poor milk over the espresso for the Starbucks version of your simpler drink. For example, a Caramel Macchiato is made with milk, vanilla syrup, and espresso with caramel sauce drizzled on top. Order 2 espresso shots in a venti cup with vanilla syrup and then pour milk over the espresso. This option works better if poured over ice because Starbucks steams their milk, so unless you want to heat up your drink, order an espresso poured over ice.

3. Try Tea Starbucks has many different flavors of Tazo tea that will help you stay awake while you study. Opt for black tea for the most caffeine. Tea is also a good option if you need some extra caffeine but don’t want to be bouncing off the walls all night.

More tips:

  1. Lattes and Café Mistros are both coffee and milk, but the Café Mistro costs almost a dollar less.
  2. Register a Starbucks card online. Once you reach the gold level, you’ll get a free drink after every 12 visits!
  3. Use a reusable cup and save 10 cents, plus ask for a tall coffee and Starbucks will fill your mug to the top, no matter what size it is.
  4. If you’re working in Starbucks, get a refill on your coffee for only 50 cents, no matter the size. Refills are free if you have a registered Starbucks card.
  5. Split a venti sized drink between 2 people, Starbucks doesn’t charge extra for cups. 

Good luck on finals everyone! Remember, these tips are extra helpful now that your Starbucks visits are more frequent (thank you finals), but they're useful all year! 


More tips here!


Rebecca Shinners is a Her Campus Chapter Advisor and Photo Intern/Freelancer at O, The Oprah Magazine. She graduated from Boston University in 2014 with a BS in Journalism and concentration in Photojournalism. She got her start in magazines writing for Her Campus and was previously an Editor for both Her Campus BU and Her Campus Tulane. Her work has also appeared in Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue,, Hamptons Magazine, and Newsday. When Rebecca isn't busy writing and taking pictures, she can be found shopping, petting puppies, wearing the color mint, and going to concerts.