The Most Bang For Your Starbucks

I’ve been a barista for 2 years now, and started working for corporate Starbucks stores about 6 months ago. I love working there, I love my co-workers (or partners as we call them), getting to know my regular guests, the atmosphere, and the nature of the work. One thing I’m not crazy about is Starbucks prices. Trust me, as a college girl trying to save for the future, I know that spending $5 on coffee is never easy - but we all keep doing it. So, since we’re all still going to go anyway, I’ve made a list of hacks to save you some money while you enjoy your beverage (and just in time for holiday drinks!)

1. Get the Starbucks App

The Starbucks app is awesome. Probably the biggest perk is redeeming stars. For every dollar you spend, you receive 2 stars. After you receive 125 stars, you get a food item or beverage for free, and it actually takes the more expensive item in your order by default. Once you earn 300 stars, you are promoted to gold status. Gold status members get exclusives like Double Star days, and free refills on select beverages (I’ll talk more about that later). In addition to stars, all app users get a free birthday beverage and get notifications of deals going on that day like Happy Hour on certain beverages. Also with the app, you can send a mobile order so your order should be ready for you when you get there!

2. Light ice

This is a simple hack. Standard Starbucks recipes for iced beverages call for a decent amount of ice to keep your drink chilly and refreshing. If you want a little more drink in your cup, just ask for light ice.

3. Personal Cups

This won’t save you a ton of money, but cents add up and it’s also good for the environment. If you bring your own cup to Starbucks you’ll get 10 cents off your drink. This doesn't need to be a Starbucks cup, any cup from your home is fine. If you forgot one and you have some time to sit, ask for your drink for here and they’ll give you a mug and you’ll still get the discount. If you are looking for a new cup anyway, Starbucks sells grande sized (medium, 16 oz) hot cups and venti-sized (large, 26 oz for cold, 20 oz for hot), iced cups that can be bought for only $3. I love these cups and use them all the time at my house!

4. Refills

Few people know that if you stay inside Starbucks to drink your beverage you can get a refill on select beverages for a discounted rate. Unfortunately, this is only offered for hot, iced, and cold brew coffee, and hot or iced tea. For gold status members, these refills are free. For everyone else, they are only 53 cents.

5. Ordering in the next size up

If you like a lot of cream in your coffee, extra whip cream, etc., and you only want a tall (small, 12 oz), order your drink as a tall coffee in a grande cup. Or a grande in a venti. That way, you can still have all the extra cream, whipped cream, ice, etc. you desire but you still get the full amount of beverage you wanted. You will be charged for the smaller size.

Hopefully, these tips save you a little bit of money and you can feel a little better about enjoying that tall iced pumpkin spice latte in a grande cup with light ice and extra whipped cream.


Happy Sipping!


*All photos courtesy of Pinterest and