By Erica Webb
While you may hear us talk a lot about how to stop impulse buying by making coffee at home to save money, we know that some days saying “no” to that ever-delicious vanilla latte is just not an option. So today we have some tips for you to make the most of your Starbucks visit and creative ways to save money when you can’t pass up the espresso. And who better to hear these tips from than myself, a current Starbucks barista?
1. Bring your own cup
I have all sorts of customers that come in with their own travel mug. Each time you do you save ten cents, and hey- a tree too! And then there’s the idea that you are much less likely to spill on yourself with a closable mug than a Starbucks cup. Want to sit down? I have customers who come in with regular ceramic mugs too!
2. Know your prices
This is key; you won’t know how you got to $6.10 for your iced triple grande raspberry soy mocha until you know what it all costs.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Additional syrups (raspberry, caramel, cinnamon dolce, vanilla, hazelnut, peppermint, toffee nut, coconut, classic) all cost $0.50
- Soy milk: $0.60
- Extra shot of espresso: $.0.75
3. Looking for a lot of caffeine?
A hot venti espresso drink is not the answer! A little known fact is that a hot venti drink has two shots of espresso- the same as a grande. Why? That’s just the recipe. Starbucks spends a lot of time and money researching their recipes so this must be a good proportion, but you are just paying for more milk (and syrup if applicable)! Iced venti drinks do have three shots of espresso, but if it’s January and you want three shots, don’t expect that from a venti. In fact, a lot of research shows that brewed coffee actually has more caffeine anyways, so if caffeine is the goal, get the cheaper and more buzzed brewed coffee of your choice.
4. Use the condiment bar to your advantage
It has a lot to offer! There can be nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon powders all right there, no $0.50 necessary. Getting an iced espresso drink? Consider asking for the number of shots over ice in a grande or venti cup. This way you’re only paying for the espresso and can add the milk for yourself at the condiment bar. Two shots (doppio espresso if you want to use the fancy lingo ;-) )over ice in a grande cup: $2.08. Iced grande latte: $3.61. Over a dollar in savings!
5. Drink a lot? Get refills!
If you don't have a Gold card, refills on brewed coffee and hot tea are only $0.53, cheaper than getting a second full priced espresso drink. That makes $2.61 total for two grande brewed coffees, while it will be a minimum of $6 for two espresso drinks. That’s $4 that you could ImpulseSave right now!
6. Can’t resist the urge? Get a registered Starbucks card
After you’ve achieved 5 stars (you get a star for each purchase) you hit the “green” level which gets you free syrups, soy milk, refills on brewed coffee and hot tea, and a free tall drink of your choice when you buy coffee beans. Once you’ve hit 30 stars, you also get postcards in the mail every 15 stars with a free drink, and a fancy personalized golden card. Have more questions about your Starbucks card? Look in their FAQ for all sorts of answers!
Happy coffee drinking, and don’t forget to ImpulseSave the difference!