The Best Hacks to Save Money at Starbucks

Finals week is officially here and that means us college students must be caffeinated at all times in order to function. Starbucks coffee shops are located in many convenient locations in and around campus. Right now, Starbucks is known for their iconic holiday drinks like the Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, and Toasted White Mocha but one of these drinks costs between $5-$6 and even going three times a week means you are spending at least $15 on coffee. We all start off the week thinking that a $6 latte won’t hurt our wallets, but buying coffee on a frequent basis is a lot more expensive than we realize. Everyone has the Starbucks menu engraved in their memory, but what many people don’t know about are all of the small ways you can save money on every coffee run. Some hacks are more obvious than others, but implementing one or two of these hacks every time you order will save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Get The App

Starbucks has an app that allows you to connect your card and collect points or “stars” for every dollar you spend. This is the most basic way to save money at Starbucks, but you can get some pretty sweet discounts if you always scan your barcode when you pay. The app also notifies you of happy hour deals that are happening that week like BOGO free or 50% all drinks. Rewards like a free bakery item at 50 stars, free sandwich at 200 stars, and free merchandise at 400 stars makes downloading this app worth it. 

Create Your Own Iced Latte  

I don’t know about other people, but I’m down for an iced latte all year round. A tall iced latte from Starbucks will cost around $5 when it’s literally just espresso, milk, and ice. Luckily, you can get the same taste of an iced latte for a fraction of the cost. All you have to do is order a triple espresso iced in a venti cup and ask for whatever syrup you want. Starbucks has free milk and cream at the condiment bar where you can add your own milk to build your own latte.

Hot Lattes for Cheap

Hot lattes can also be super cheap just by ordering an americano with whatever syrup you want and leaving room. Putting in your own cream is free and gives it a similar, rich taste as a traditional latte. 

Don’t Get Ice!

I never realized how much ice Starbucks baristas pour into iced drinks until I watched one fill my cup with 75% of it with ice. Asking for your drinks with light ice or no ice won’t reduce the price of your drink, but you definitely get more bang for your buck because you’re actually paying for the beverage and not a cup of ice. 

Ask for Drinks Blended

Frappuccinos are easily the most expensive drink Starbucks has to offer. If you’re craving a thick, blended drink, ask your barista to blend your drink for you. It doesn’t cost extra which is a plus. Having your refreshers or iced coffees blended is a cheaper alternative to a frappuccino and can save you around $2!

Bring Your Own Cup 

More and more people are starting to bring their own reusable cups wherever they go and Starbucks is encouraging their customers to bring their own cup for a 10 cent discount. It doesn’t seem like much but bringing your own cup also helps reduce plastic waste. 


DIY Caramel Macchiato

A caramel macchiato is just an iced vanilla latte with milk and caramel drizzle with a fancy name. Next time you're craving one, order an iced coffee with vanilla syrup (no charge) with milk and caramel drizzle around the cup. It only costs around $3.00. 

Reduced Cost Dirty Chai 

A dirty chai is the perfect drink to have on a cold day and you can actually order it for a very little cost. Order a normal latte with pumps of chai syrup. Usually a grande has four pumps. This ends up being cheaper than a dirty chai because you won’t be paying for the added espresso shots. 

Using these hacks to order your favorite holiday drinks is easy! Get your coffee with one of these tips in mind and add a holiday syrup you like to get the flavor you crave without paying full price.