10 Starbucks Tips You Should Know

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10 Starbucks Tips You Should Know

You are totally fixated with Starbucks. It’s a way of life, not just a coffee shop. We anticipate the summer with fruity, reviving, and Insta-worthy iced teas, look forward to the holidays with Gingerbread Lattes served in Christmas glasses, and wait all year for the notorious PSL (“basic” be damned).

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But having an addiction can be quite expensive.

It can quickly mount up with regular menu beverages costing between $3 and $7 (with an additional shot of espresso or almond milk). But you can be getting more for your (Star)buck, whether you want to save money, spend less time in the Starbucks queue, or have healthier options. Continue reading for Starbucks tips that will help you save time, money, and extra sugar.

1. Don’t restrict yourself to the menu options

The most seasoned Starbucks customers rarely purchase drinks from the menu in order to get their preferred beverages—and they save money. Never pay $6 for a coffee again by checking out the hidden menu (yes, it really does exist!) or trying one of these $3 secret menu combinations.

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If you prefer lattes, go for the Caffe Misto instead, which is somewhat less expensive and has the same flavor (half coffee, half milk). Do you prefer tea more? If the terminology bothers you, just order a hot chai tea with steamed milk to save $1 to $2. A chai latte misto is half steamed milk and half brewed chai tea, saving you money and sugar.

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2. Create Your Own Drinks to Save Money.

We all enjoy our lattes, but they can be expensive, particularly if you need a Venti. If you don’t mind skipping the foam, buy a triple espresso in a Venti cup (which has room for milk) if you prefer iced lattes.

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Then, proceed to the condiments section and top off your coffee with milk for a DIY iced latte at a much lower price. Enjoy your foam? To get a Grande latte for the price of a Tall black coffee, order a Tall coffee with steamed milk (still less expensive than a latte!) or a Tall hot coffee in a Grande cup. Then, fill up on milk at the condiments station.

3. Benefit from Refills

Do you frequently attend meetings or workdays at Starbucks, where you linger for hours and order a number of drinks? Or perhaps just one cup of coffee won’t do? Even if your initial drink was not only brewed coffee or tea, you can refill your cup with it for just 50 cents while you’re at Starbucks rather than paying for another beverage.

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Only iced or hot coffee and iced or hot tea qualify as “refills,” but use the tips above to make it into a latte. During your coffee shop meeting, fill up on a Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy a 50-cent extra pick-me-up of tea before you depart.

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4. Bring a Cup of Your Own

I adore the limited-edition Christmas cups just as much as the next gal, but you can save 10 cents on your beverage if you bring your own cup to protect the environment (we’re all about saving the earth, one coffee cup and plastic straw at a time!).

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While saving 10 cents each time you go to Starbucks for a year may not seem like much, you will have saved $36.40 in total (yeah, I did the math). Bring your own cup, tumbler, or to-go container to conserve resources and the environment.

5. Join a rewards program

Rewards schemes typically only result in more spam emails, but at Starbucks, they are required. In addition to having a ton of benefits for being a reward member (hello, free birthday drink! ), you also earn points for a variety of things, like buying anything in-store and buying specific Starbucks items in grocery stores, that can be used for free food and drinks. First of all, signing up is free (isn’t that convincing enough?).

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If you frequent Starbucks frequently, joining the rewards program will allow you to accumulate points toward fantastic benefits. It’s still worthwhile to visit Starbucks for the free drink on your birthday even if you only do it sometimes.

6. Place a coffee order for a French Press.

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Getting coffee with a friend, seeing your coworker’s wife for an after-hours meeting, or working all afternoon at your neighborhood Starbucks? Instead of getting individual cups of coffee, order a French press pot. Although each pot only makes a few cups of coffee, it will still be less expensive than purchasing each cup separately. Get a serious caffeine buzz on your lonesome (we won’t judge) or enjoy a pot with your buddies.

7. Make the Most of Your Iced Beverage.

Do you regularly consume iced coffee in cold weather? Or perhaps you’re drinking a lot of iced tea to cut down on your caffeine intake? There are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your preferred iced beverages.

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Ask for “no water” while ordering an iced tea, for instance. Since iced teas are frequently diluted, requesting no water will result in a stronger brew. Choose “light ice” when ordering any iced beverage. By default, the barista puts all of the ice in the cup, which reduces the amount of cold brew or matcha you get. Light ice can still keep your beverage deliciously chilled while giving you more drinks for your money.

8. describe Your Syrup in Detail

Want to cut back on sugar while maintaining your desire for PSLs and vanilla lattes? Instead of completely giving up your favorite beverage, just be specific about the syrup. A Tall drink normally includes three pumps of syrup by default (for example, a Tall PSL has three pumps of pumpkin spice syrup), a Grande drink typically has four pumps, and a Venti drink typically has five to six pumps of syrup.

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You go girl if enjoying a Venti vanilla latte is your favorite part of the day. However, if you want to be healthier without giving up your favorite drink, try indicating in your order how many pumps you prefer. To get the same great flavor with less sugar in a Tall or Grande, try one to two pumps.

9. Request a Sample

I typically get a standard iced coffee, but if you’re more daring than I am and prefer to sample the seasonal specialties or a novel drink on the menu, there’s no need to take the chance that you won’t enjoy what you choose.

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If you’re not sure if you’ll like a certain brew or drink, the barista should have no problem obtaining you a sample unless the shop is extremely busy. This is the official signal for you to test the newest roast or the seasonal beverage (after sampling it first, of course).

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