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20 Starbucks Tipd That Will Save You Money

MARCH 25, 2015  —  By Spencer Montgomery

1. Eat before you go.

Adding a cookie, bagel or other food item to your bill adds up quickly at Starbucks. Avoid spending more than you intended by picking up your drink after eating; you'll be much less tempted to splurge that way.

2. Order "light ice" in your chilled drinks.

Ice waters down the product you're really paying for. Skip it to get the most out of your purchase.

3. Never pay for water.

I know it's tempting to grab an overpriced bottle and go, but you can save serious money if you opt for Starbucks' triple-filtered FREE water in a to-go cup instead.

4. Brew it at home.

I know you love frequenting that Starbucks on the corner, but you can save the most money if you brew your coffee or tea at home. Starbucks makes this easier than ever.

5. Always claim your birthday treat.

All you need to do is sign-up for Starbucks' free reward program and they'll give you a free birthday drink. The best part? You have 30 days to redeem it.

6. Order a Venti Frappuccino and ask for a Tall cup.

The 24-ounce drink can easily be split between two besties. One of you order the four dollar drink, each of you pay two dollars and everyone's happy.

7. Double up on perks.

Get your mocha and some free Wi-Fi at the same time. Better yet, if you're on a data budget at home, do your downloading at Starbucks and then watch at home later.

8. Swap your latte for a blended iced Americano.

This hacks saves money and calories. Instead of paying for a latte, order the cheaper, but equally delicious, blended iced Americano and a shot of your favorite syrup.

9. Forgot your reusable mug? No problem! You can still get your coffee discounted.

If you really want that discount, simply find a competitor's paper cup and bring it in. Starbucks explains: "Any personal cup qualifies for the discount. If you bring in a competitor's cup, we'll offer to replace it and apply the discount when we pour your drink in a new Starbucks paper cup."

10. Ask for "no water" with your tea.

One barista admits: "Iced Teas are double--strength in pitcher and watered down for your final recipe."Get more bang from your buck and avoid the watered-down version by saying "no water."

11. Bring your own reusable mug to help save you money.

They offer a ten cent kick-back when you BYOM. While it doesn't seem like a lot, every little bit helps. Just think: after ten drinks, you'll have saved a dollar. This adds up over the weeks. To help you out, Starbucks offers their own line of reusable mugs for purchase:

12. Use the "Refills for 50 cents" rule to your advantage.

You know as well as I do that most days one cup of coffee or tea just doesn't cut it. So now know this: at anytime throughout the day, on any size of drink, you can refill it for only 50 cents.Other specifics:Refills have to be during the same visit.They have to be coffee, tea, hot or iced.They can be refilled even if the original drink was not one of the above drinks.The rewards card can waive this fee.

13. You can get free whipped cream if you say it's for your dog.

Seriously, Starbucks gives dogs free cups of whipped cream called Puppiccinos. To save money on fancy drinks, ask for the freebie and use it to top your own drink.

14. Go for gold.

Remember that free rewards card I was talking about? If you use it 30 times in 12 months (easy), you'll be upgraded to Gold. Gold level gets you:A free drink or food reward with every 12 purchases.Personalized offers and coupons.Welcome and green level rewards.

15. Minimize costs by getting the smallest size possible--the Short.

Oh, you thought the Tall was the small? It gets even smaller than that! You can save money and still get your fix by ordering a Short.

16. Take time to check out their menu again.

When we frequent the same spot time and time again, we get stuck in a pattern of re-ordering our favorite items almost by default. I know you're in love with their expensive drinks, but did you know Starbucks actually has a decent selection of options for under four dollars? Here are seven "mystery" options you can order today.

17. If you need a latte, try the cafe misto.

It's made with half the amount of coffee and milk, making it easier on wallets and waistlines alike. Check out how delicious that budget-friendly froth looks!

18. Order coffee in bulk via a coffee press.

This option is cheaper than ordering individual coffees and is perfect for large groups.

19. DIY faux tea latte.

I know you know how expensive Starbucks lattes are. Instead, go for this tea latte: order a Grande tea in a Venti cup with your favorite flavor shot and lots of room for milk. Add the milk of your choice. Doesn't half-price taste good?

20. DIY two dollar iced lattes.

This is certainly a tip to save. Create a cheap, but equally satisfying latte by ordering a triple espresso over ice in a Venti cup. Add milk as you please.