I was very late on the Starbucks train. I only started regularly going there within the last year. Particularly as an entrepreneur, Starbucks is a useful place to consistently get a good latte, a wi-fi connection and a place to camp out for a few hours if need be. Because those lattes can add up and I am generally always on the hunt for a deal, I've found a few ways to save a latte on my latte!
Join the Starbucks rewards program. If you know me, you know that I have never met a loyalty program I didn't like. But they are not all created equal, and some of them are mystifying. Starbucks, however has a GREAT rewards program. For every 10 drinks you buy, you get 1 free. Simple, easy, direct. If you spend an average of $4 each visit, this essentially reduces your spend to $3.60 per visit, which adds up over time (and feels good).To make it even easier, the Starbucks iPhone app tracks your purchases and eliminates the need to exchange money when you buy, as it is reloadable (via Paypal or credit card). You just open the app, scan and you're good to go!
- Bring a reusable cup. Not only is it better for the environment to reduce the waste caused by paper cups, but Starbucks subtracts $.10 for each purchase when you bring your own cup. (They even sell a $.99 reusable plastic cup, in addition to ceramic and stainless steel options.) You probably knew that already, but my FAVORITE Starbucks hack is to bring my "grande" sized cup and order a "tall" coffee. I pay for the smaller size, but because of they way the baristas work, they always fill the cup up to the top. A grande for the price of a tall, minus $.10? Brings a smile to my face every time.
- Drink in. If you have a Starbucks reward card, refills on drip coffee (sorry, no lattes, frappuccinos and the like) and tea are complimentary in-store. So you can sit for hours AND get free refills. Score!
- Go for the secret "short". You might have heard that there is a Secret Starbucks menu (get your "butter beer" recipe HERE), but you might not know that in addition to secret drinks, there are also secret sizes. God knows why anyone would need the enormous "trenta", but the "short" size is smaller (and cheaper) than the "tall". Which also explains the confusion over why Starbucks would name their smallest drink "tall".
For those of you who don't frequent Starbucks, there are still coffee discounts to be had. Most smaller shops are now giving a discount when you bring your own cup, and make sure to check if they have their own reward program - lots of them do.