(Updated 11/23/16) Who doesn’t love easy Starbucks secret menu hacks that can save you significant money on your next trip. After all, the idea of walking into a Starbucks (see our Starbucks coupons) and shelling out $4 for a cup of coffee is something many of us dread like the plague. In the past we’ve talked about some practical ways to save money at Starbucks, but today I wanted to dissect their menu and tell you about some cool hacks that’ll save you money on your next coffee order.
Here are the Starbucks menu hacks and secrets worth knowing:
Order a “Short” in a Tall Cup
The next time you order a brewed coffee at Starbucks, order a “Short” and ask for it in a “Tall” cup. Your barista will pour your cup about 3/4 full and hand it to you.
Once you top it off with a little creamer or milk, you’ll basically have a tall cup for the price of a short.
Also, you can get similar savings by ordering a tall in a grande sized cup.
One more thing, if you stay in the store and finish your coffee, hit up the barista for a cheap 50 cent refill on your way out. Better yet, if you have a registered Starbucks reward card at the “Green” level, your refill is completely free.
Order a French Press when Drinking with Friends
If you’re hitting your local Starbucks with friends, consider ordering a “French Press” and get a a 32oz to 45oz (depending on your location) pot of coffee in the $4 to $5 range. You’ll end up getting your coffee for about half the cost compared to everyone ordering individually.
Order an Americano for a Cheap Caffeine Fix
If you consider yourself a caffeine junkie and love espresso, order an Americano and get the most bang for your buck. An Americano is simply hot water poured over two freshly pulled espresso shots.
You can then doctor it with milk and sweetener if you’re looking for more of the traditional coffee taste.
If you want even more caffeine, don’t order an extra shot of espresso for your tall Americano, instead order a “grande Americano in a tall cup” and get the extra shot cheaper by doing so. You’ll get 3 shots of espresso, instead of two, and pay less overall.
Order a “Pour Over” to Ensure Fresh Coffee
While this Starbucks hack might not save you money, it’s a great tip to ensure the freshest coffee available. Order a “Pour-Over” and get a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee instead of something that has been sitting in a hot pot since 5:30 am.
It does take a bit longer, but real coffee aficionados will gladly wait for a fresh cup.
Split a Venti Frappuccino to Save Money
A 24 oz venti Frappuccino is about the size of a gas can. When indulging with a friend, order a venti along with 2 tall cups (12 oz each) and split it yourself. They won’t do it for you as they’ll end up charging you for 2 talls.
So politely ask for a couple cups and they’ll happily oblige. In the end, you’ll pay about $5 for the venti instead of $8 for two talls.
Order a Cheaper Chai Tea and Make Your Own Latte
For this Starbucks hack to work you’ll need to simply order a Chai Tea (hot water and Tazo tea bag) and add the milk yourself to make a Chai Tea latte. A grande latte will run you $3.95 but the water and tea bag will only cost you a little over 2 bucks.
If you really want the steamed milk in your latte, politely ask a barista if they could hook you up. The first 1.5 inches of milk is completely free.
Additional Menu Hacks:
- Order iced beverages with “Half-Ice” and get more beverage and less frozen water.
- Bring in your own mug, or travel tumbler, and Starbucks will give you 10 cents off your next cup of coffee.
- Instead of buying their bottled water, always ask for a cup of water to-go as it’s triple-filtered goodness.
- Consider ordering your next iced tea with “No Water Added” and get it full strength. Otherwise they’ll water that bad boy way down. By getting it full-strength, you can add your own water and get twice as much iced tea for the money.
Ask the Reader: What Starbucks secret menu hacks do you use to save money? Or do you choose to brew at home and forget the whole ruckus?
By Kyle James
Photo by N i c o l a.