Photo by Kelleen Mull
The new year means new budgets, and $5 coffees are burning holes in the wallets of students who seek to caffeinate economically. But sometimes you need a daily grind to get through the daily grind. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy tips to shave cost off every Starbucks run!
1. Order ice on the side: Chilled drinks come filled to the brim with ice. Maximize coffee intake by asking for ice on the side so that it won’t take up extra space.
2. Don’t buy bottled water: The bottled water by the register is a pricey investment. Water cups are free at Starbucks and come with triple-filtered water, which may well be cleaner than the bottle that breaks the bank.
3. Make your own latte: Get creative with the milk and cream offered on the side. Espresso shots over ice with milk from the condiment table create a latte at almost half the price.
4. Watch for added expenses: Starbucks doesn’t hesitate to charge for additives. Richelle Bernier, Pepperdine junior and Starbucks barista, recommends avoiding add-ons, explaining that extra caramel or coconut milk can add up.
5. Bring a reusable cup: A plastic cup, mug or tumbler takes 10 cents off a purchase! It may not seem like much, but a frequent Starbucks-goer could save some cash over time. Plus, thermoses and cups can make a fashion statement while helping the planet.
6. Split a venti with a friend: Think teamwork next time you order. A venti drink split in half makes two tall beverages at a fraction of the cost.
7. Get a rewards card: The free Starbucks rewards card earns coffee drinkers a free drink after 12 purchases. It also earns a free coffee with the purchase of a one-pound bag as well as a complimentary birthday drink!
8. Size up the cup: Asking for a tall drink in a grande cup means that the barista won’t need to leave room for milk. This is also helpful if ice is coming on the side and extra room is required.
9. Buy gift cards online at a discount: There are websites dedicated to buying and selling gift cards at discounted rates. If visiting Starbucks is part of a routine, then a discount on a gift card can translate to some serious savings!
10. Skip the food: However tempting it may be, it’s not a good financial move to buy the food at Starbucks. Save some money by eating at home or hitting up a grocery store instead of being wooed by the case of goodies next to the line.
11. Get the app: Getting the Starbucks app means a free drink or food item on birthdays after five drink purchases as well as free refills in the store! For those who like to do homework in the shop, this means bottomless brewed drinks while working.
12. Get more ounces for your buck: Automatically opting for the smallest coffee may technically be cheaper, but ensures the highest price per ounce of coffee. “A lot of the time people go for the smaller sizes when it’s only a 50 cent difference. You get more bang for your buck if you get a grande,” explained Bernier.
13. Refill at will: Refills for non-app-holding members are just 50 cents, which is still a steal! There are also refills of brewed coffee and teas even if you started with a fancier drink.
Cost-effective ordering at a coffee giant like Starbucks can feel like an intimidating undertaking, but a bit of prep can go a long way for a monthly food budget.
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