July 24, 2024
How to save money at Starbucks, according to a barista

Don’t let your money sip away!

The easiest way to save money on coffee is to make it at home, but some of us can’t live without our Venti Java Chip Frappuccinos — a treat that’s become increasingly expensive in recent years.

Fortunately, a former Starbucks barista reveals, you don’t have to give up your visits to the popular chain — you just have to be smarter about how and what you order.

A former Starbucks barista revealed the ways you can save money when ordering from the popular chain. Alamy Stock Photo

Inga Parkel, who told Business Insider she used to work for the Seattle coffee giant, shared seven spending mistakes too many customers make — and how to avoid them.

First up, she said, is taking control of how much ice goes in your beverage — a simple trick to make sure you get the most for your money.

“The easiest way to avoid spending an arm and a leg on half a cup of ice with a hint of the beverage is just to specify that you’d like light ice,” she said.

The option is so commonly chosen, that ordering “light ice” is an option on the Starbucks app.

This tip will not only help you at Starbucks, but should work at most places were you order an iced drink.

And if you’re thinking of ordering an Americano, she says Ameridon’t.

A grande sized version of the drink — just three shots of espresso and water — rings in at around $4. Instead, Parkel recommends ordering a double or triple shot of espresso in a grande cup, and a separate pour of water, saving you up to a dollar in some places.

Another order the Starbucks experts suggests skipping if you need a caffeine boost is a hot venti latte or cappuccino.

The former barista insisted that she wouldn’t pay for cold drinks filled halfway with ice.

Shutterstock / Nor Gal

She explained that hot venti lattes and cappuccinos are only made with two shots of espresso — the same amount you get in a grande — which means you’re getting “a more diluted caffeine-to-coffee ratio” for more money.

For Starbucks fanatics, Parkel advised that instead of paying for a logo embossed tumbler or mug to take home, rack up points using the Starbucks rewards program — with 400 points you can select any merchandise worth up to $20.

Once you have that stylish Starbucks cup, don’t forget to bring it back in for the “bring your own cup” discount — which works with any reusable cup not just a Starbucks branded one.

Another order the Starbucks experts suggests skipping if you need a caffeine boost is a hot venti latte or cappuccino.

Alamy Stock Photo

The discount prevents additional plastic use, saves customers $0.10 and rewards members an additonal 25 bonus stars.

Most people come into Starbucks for a caffeinated or sweet drink, but sometimes you need a sip of water to help keep you hydrated. When that does happen, the former barista urges customers to just ask for a cup of water.

“I’ve always been baffled by people who insist on buying bottled water from Starbucks. I can understand if you absolutely need something unopened, but other than that, there’s no reason to pay full price for the one thing the chain offers for free,” she said.

But whether you follow these hacks or not, your Starbucks spend is likely about to shrink.

The ubiquitous chain has long abstained from offering deals, but with inflation driving people away from cafés and to their at-home coffee machines, Starbucks has begun to bust out the bargains on a regular basis, offering “Happy Hour” specials, 50% off afternoons and coffee and breakfast food bundles beginning at $5.

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