Let’s face it: The glory days of a $2 drip coffee are a thing of the past. The increasingly pricy — but also increasingly delicious — Starbucks drinks turn what would otherwise be a casual coffee shop trip into the price of a moderate lunch. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a handful of hacks — some of them even Starbucks encouraged! — that will help you save money next time you’re at the counter.
Download the Starbucks App
The best and easiest way to save money at Starbucks is to download the Starbucks app and pay for your coffee using a virtual Starbucks card. While you can set the card to automatically add funds when you run low, you can also limit your spending by treating the card like a gift card — once the money has run out, you’ve spent your budget.
Another perk of using the Starbucks app is enrolling in Starbucks Rewards, where you earn stars for every order you make that you can use towards food, drinks, and more. You can also get freebies like a free drink on your birthday, free coffee and tea refills, and opportunities to collect extra stars through double star days and bonus challenges.
Bring Your Own Cup
You can save 10 cents on any Starbucks drink if you bring your own cup. That might not sound like a lot on paper, but if you go to Starbucks daily, weekly — or even multiple times a day — that small amount will add up over time. You’re also doing the environment a big favor by not contributing more paper or plastic waste.
Order Americanos Over Lattes
While heralded for must-have seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and peppermint mocha, lattes are one of the pricier items on the menu. That’s because when you pay for a latte, you pay for more milk than espresso. (And you are charged extra when you order a latte with a dairy milk alternative.) Maximize your caffeine intake — and wallet savings — by ordering an espresso-based beverage like an Americano or a drip coffee like a Pike. You can always add your own milk and sweetener to the drink.
Ask for Light Ice
Nothing is better than an iced drink in the summer, but sometimes it feels like the cup is way more ice than coffee. Ask the barista for light ice and get more drink for your buck.
Split a Venti Drink
If you’re getting coffee with someone else and want the same thing, consider splitting a venti-sized drink instead of ordering two smaller drinks to save money. One venti-sized drink costs at least three dollars less than two smaller ones. Ask the barista for an extra cup, and you’re ready to go.
No matter where you’re located in the country, you can always order iced water at Starbucks for free, regardless of whether you’re buying coffee or a treat. Just make sure you order your iced water at the counter where you pay instead of randomly asking the barista.
Featured Image Credit: Alina Valetka/ iStock