I first published this post over a year ago and some things have changed with how Starbucks does things. It has recently been shared a lot and have received a lot of comments about how it’s outdated. So, I am updating it so we can all still enjoy Starbucks without breaking the bank!

If you are a new reader here, you probably don’t quite yet understand the depth of my love of all things Starbucks. Although the “Grande” in A Grande Life should have tipped you off. It’s true. I love everything about Starbucks. Well, not everything.

The price can take it’s toll on your wallet. But, over the years, I have found ways to actually save some money will still being able to stop by the holy grail.

money saving tips at starbucks


Bring Your Own Cup

You can get $.10 off any beverage (except bottled and ready-to-drink) when you bring in a reusable cup. If you frequent Starbucks a lot, this will save up over time!


Download the Starbucks App and Use It

If you’re a frequent Starbucks customer, there’s no reason not to to download the app (especially if you get a bunch of gift cards for your birthday and every other major holiday). At no cost to you, a registered card will get you lots of freebies.

Starting April 1, 2016, there will be a NEW Rewards System. And this Starbucks fan is pretty happy about it!

Here’s what you can expect with the new Rewards:

  • 2 Stars per $1 spent (yay!)
  • 300 Stars to Gold level
  • 125 Stars for a free reward (Gold level)
  • Two levels: Green, Gold
  • Monthly Double Star Days

Green Level Benefits:

  • Birthday Treat
  • Free in-store refills on brewed coffee and tea
  • Order and pay ahead from your phone
  • Pay with your phone at the register
  • Member-exclusive events
  • Special offers in email and in the Starbucks App

Gold Level Benefits:

  • Birthday Treat
  • Free in-store refills on brewed coffee and tea
  • Order and pay ahead from your phone
  • Pay with your phone at the register
  • Member-exclusive events
  • Special offers in email and in the Starbucks App
  • Free drink or food item every time you redeem 125 Stars for a reward
  • Monthly Double-Star Days
  • Personalized Gold Card

Use Your Birthday Treat

If you sign up for the Starbucks reward program (registration is free), you’re entitled to a free drink when your birthday comes around. Make sure you use it, Birthday Rewards expire the day after your birthday!

Watch Out for Groupons

Several times a year, Starbucks will have a Groupon for a $10 gift card for only $5! Buy as many as you can and make sure you load them into your account so you can receive stars for your purchases.

Order Americano Mistos instead of Lattes

An Americano is an espresso with water. A Misto is a drink plus half steamed milk. So instead of ordering my Caramel Latte, I’ll order a Caramel Americano Misto and get espresso + water + steamed milk + syrup. By doing this, you can save anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar. It will also save you some calories!

Take Advantage of $.50 Refills

While Starbucks no longer offers free refills (unless you have Rewards), you can still get a refill pretty cheap!  You can get a refill during the same visit for only $.50! . This includes all brewed coffee, hot tea, iced tea, and ice coffee.  This is only available at participating Starbucks stores. Non-participating stores are typically found in the airport. 

But if you do have gold level rewards, you can get fee in-store refills on brewed coffee and tea. This is great when you are hit the Starbucks in Target, shop, and your drink is empty when you check out. Swing through the Starbucks on your way out and grab your free refill before heading home!

Ask for “No Water” with Your Tea

When you order an iced tea, ask for one without water. The tea is double-strength in the pitcher and then watered down when you order it. When you request no water, you won’t get the watered down.

Don’t Grab a Bottled Water

Next time you start to reach for a bottled water remember that water they give out from behind the counter is just as good or better quality (it’s triple-filtered!) than the water in the bottle. Oh and it’s free!


Size Matters

Did you know there is the same amount of caffeine in a Grande versus a Venti? When ordering a Venti you are just getting more milk. So save yourself some money and grab a Grande next time! If you want the extra milk, ask for a Grande in a Venti cup and add the milk yourself at the condiment bar.

Earth Day Savings

Every Earth Day, April 22nd,  Starbucks gives everyone free coffee  or tea when you bring in a reusable mug or tumbler. Any choice of brewed, hot or iced coffee and tea– it is spring after all. Check to make sure your local Starbucks is a participating store.

Take Advantage of Treat Receipts

A treat receipt is offered several times throughout the year.  The deal? Purchase something in the morning and you will receive a treat receipt.  Bring the treat receipt back after 2:00pm and you can order any drink off the menu for only $2!

Save with Iced

If you like iced, order a “Starbucks Double Shot.” It’s espresso and milk, shaken with ice for about $2 and some change, as opposed to a $4 latte. Ask for a tall in a grande cup, with extra milk, because they can be are pretty strong. It’s the perfect adjustment. Thanks reader Edita for this tip!

Do you have a money saving tip at Starbucks? Make sure you share it in the comments!

Related Post