We all know that Starbucks can be super expensive and confusing at times, even for the regulars. Starbucks has a menu so big that it can’t even fit everything they can do on it! There are just so many possibilities, how do you know what to choose? Don’t worry, here are 10 Starbucks Hacks you need to try now.
Get A Refill For 50 Cents
Do you spend ages working or studying in Starbucks, but don’t want to spend money on loads of expensive drinks while you’re there? Are you a major caffeine addict? Did you know that you can fill up your cup once you’ve finished and take it out with you? For just 50 cents, you can top up on iced tea, iced coffee, hot tea, or hot coffee in any size. Some restrictions do apply, however, as you are not allowed to order the iced tea lemonade drink as a refill, and the coffee refill is just whichever is the brewed coffee of the day. The refill is also limited to the size of your paid drink, so if you’re getting a second drink, it might be worth forking out for a Venti to get the biggest bang for your buck. Although you can’t get absolutely anything, it’s still a great hack for those who need more than a one-morning coffee to get themselves going. Be aware that you can only get the refill on the same visit, so make sure you pick it up on your way out to start your journey or your busy workday to get that all-important caffeine boost.
The Lid Doubles As A Coaster!
Picture the scene; you’ve just come back from Starbucks with your beautifully crafted drink, you’ve sat down on the couch and realized you forgot to grab a coaster. Now, you can either get back up, which you don’t want to do, or you can put the cup directly onto the table, which will leave a ring stain. But wait, Starbucks has given you a third option because you can use the lid as a coaster. Ever wondered what the ridges on the plastic lids are for? Ingeniously, they are there for you to slot the drink into, to stop it from moving inside the coaster, making the drink more secure. Just take off the lid, flip it upside down and press your cup into the ridges. This works on both hot and cold drinks to prevent condensation from wetting everything the cup touches. It is also a real godsend for people who love a nice, clean, dry desk at work. No one wants their delicious drink to leave behind unsightly coffee rings, which are almost impossible to remove! Obviously, this only works when the lid is off, so if you’re a little on the clumsy side, ask for two lids from the barista so you can cover the drink and stop it from tipping over. Finally, you can enjoy your drink in peace.
Stay Hydrated For Free
Is coffee not quite quenching your thirst? Or maybe just a little low on funds? Or you’ve already had more than your daily fill of caffeine. We’ve all been there, but don’t worry, you can get some water for free with this hack. Bottled water normally costs a few bucks at Starbucks, but the bottle isn’t the only option available to you. You can also order water from the faucet instead and it won’t cost you a dime, not a single penny. We know what you’re thinking; ‘tap water is cheap but it just doesn’t taste as good.’ Well hold your horses, because Starbucks tap water is no ordinary water; both the water and the ice are triple filtered. This can more than match the fresh and crisp taste of bottled water, and it annihilates the bottled water on price, seeing as if there is no price. Another great advantage of this hack is that you can get your own water bottle refilled at Starbucks for no cost at all, which is both awesome and environmentally friendly. This wonderful water is better for your morning and it’s better for the environment, keeping you hydrated without the need for single-use plastic.
The Starbucks French Press
Having a chat with some friends in Starbucks, but don’t want to pay through the nose for separate drinks? Don’t worry, we have just the hack for you! Starbucks actually offers a French press coffee, which is absolutely perfect for sharing with friends and groups. You and your buddies can enjoy a couple of coffees each using this method, and it comes for the low price of $8 dollars. Okay, so we know that sounds expensive, but it’s 32 ounces, so it’s definitely worth it. It actually works out to be around half the price per cup. Not bad, right? It’s also a great idea if you like to work in the store; the French press option has loads of coffee to drink and the press itself keeps the coffee hot while you’re there getting your things done. Whether you’re typing up your next masterpiece, scrolling through spreadsheets or getting up to date on your social media, the French press could be your new Starbucks BFF. As always, Starbucks is keeping us on our toes, and so there are limits to this hack. Unfortunately, it’s not available in all stores but check with your barista at your preferred Starbucks location to find out what is, or isn’t, available before you order. If your store is special enough to serve it, you’ll never look back with this amazing hack!
Be Your Own Barista
We all love Starbucks lattes, but although they taste amazing, they are not so good for your bank balance. Is Starbucks doing a number on your budget? Don’t panic, you can save yourself some money by doing some of the coffee-making processes on your own. If you’re a student, you’re broke, or you’re just addicted to coffee in general, these tips could save you real money without compromising on the taste or all that precious caffeine. For a budget hot latte, order a tall coffee with steamed milk, which works out cheaper than the latte, despite being almost identical. For an iced latte, you can order espresso shots (order more for a stronger but more expensive coffee) with ice in a Venti cup. This leaves enough room for you to fill up on the free milk at the condiment station, which transforms the cold espresso shots into a full iced latte! Depending on the size you normally drink, you could save up to $2 dollars per trip from using this hack. That’s a lot of money saved, especially if you’re a loyal Starbucks custom er who frequents their locations often. Just a few more seconds of Starbucks time can get you a real bargain. It’s almost too easy to save money so why not do it!
Hate Lines? Use Your Phone
If you’re always rushing in the morning and have no time to wait, use your phone to order ahead instead. You can place the order for food or drinks on the Starbucks app and pay for it with your phone, talk about some serious convenience! You can even leave tips for your brilliant barista, even if they do spell your name wrong on your cup. The app will also keep track of your Starbucks Card, your stars and rewards, so you’re not losing out on anything when using the app. Well, actually, you’re losing out on all the lost time you would have spent waiting in line, ordering, and paying — now that’s a game-changer. The app also allows you to collect free drinks and food on your birthday, or to claim a free treat after purchasing 12 items. Everything you need for your next order is all in one place. Pretty handy, right? While ordering before you arrive will prevent you from waiting as long once you get there if you’re already in-store, it isn’t guaranteed to be quicker. So the best thing you can do to skip the rush is to use the app at the busiest time and go to the counter when it’s quiet inside.
Chai tea lattes are one of the best things on the menu for tea lovers, but that creamy chai comes with a hefty price tag. A grande chai tea latte can set you back more than $4 dollars, which can set you back a lot if you drink them often. So, what can you do to save money but still get some sweet chai to start your morning? Well, apparently you can cut the price down to $2.75 by taking advantage of Starbucks free add-ons. Firstly, you need to order a Tazo Chai Tea bag in hot water. You only pay for the bag, which is $2.75 and then you can top up on milk from the beverage bar. Yes, this isn’t going to be as creamy, I know, but there is a work around if you’re worried you’ll miss the frothiness. According to baristas, you can get up to an inch and a half of steamed milk added to your drink for free. Pretty cool, huh? There is a small charge if you want more than two inches in your drink, but it’ll probably work out cheaper than the latte anyway. Not only is this a pretty good imitation, but it is also lower in sugar, and it has fewer calories, so it’s also better for you! Try it yourself to find out just how close it is and let us know what you think!
Know Your Syrups
Starbucks has loads and loads of syrups on offer, and they add even more in certain seasons. An important thing to note is that some of them are absolutely loaded with sugar. For most drinks, Starbucks normally uses 3 pumps for a tall, four for a grande and five or six pumps for a venti. This means that sugar adds up fast, so you may as well know what you’re ordering. One way you can reduce your sugar intake is by asking for the sugar-free syrups. You can get premade ‘skinny’ beverages which have much lower sugar, and use Skinny Caramel, Skinny Vanilla, and Skinny Cinnamon Dolce syrups. You can even replace some of the sugary shots in the normal drinks to cut down the sugar without compromising on taste. If you don’t have a sweet tooth anyway, you can take out some of the sugar by just asking for fewer shots of syrup than normal. You can still enjoy the caffeine without all the sugar.
Ordering from the ‘secret menu’ can be tough on the baristas, so most of the time you’re better off deciding on your own recipe and ordering the ingredients so that they have something to follow. Although it might take a few rounds to perfect on your own, lots of people have made recipes that you can follow or use as inspiration. The trendiest secret menu item of the moment is the ‘Pink Drink’, a gorgeous fruity beverage, beloved by stars such as James Charles, who has nicknamed the creamy concoction ‘pinkity drinkity’. To make this drink, just ask for the Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk rather than water and strawberries and/or blackberries. Aside from being aesthetic, the Pink Drink is also ideal for summer as it is less thick than a Frappuccino and low in calories. It doesn’t stop there, either. Designing drinks isn’t just for summer. If you love the taste of Christmas all year round, ask for 2 shots of peppermint in your hot chocolate. It makes a milky treat with a twist of Christmas magic. Delicious! Finally, if you want to make your own latte flavor combo, a top tip is to be careful not to go overboard with the syrups. Get creative. You won’t regret it.
Bring Your Own Cup
This is a great hack for loads of reasons. Firstly, it’s good for Mother Earth, as you can reduce your plastic use and save energy, and so helps to decrease pollution and prevent climate change. You might be thinking, ‘aren’t the cardboard cups already recyclable; what difference would it make?’ Actually, according to CNN, the classic single-use cardboard cups are hard to recycle as they have a plastic lining, which means that many facilities instead send the cups to landfills, where they break down into microplastics and pollute the environment. Even if they were 100% recyclable, lots of energy is wasted to produce and then recycle the cups, which could be prevented by using reusable cups. Starbucks has seen this problem, and so as part of a recent ‘sustainability’ push, they have started rewarding those who bring their own cup, in an attempt to promote more environmentally friendly habits. Bringing a reusable cup for your coffee can now cut 10 cents off the price of your drink. Someone who drinks a coffee on the way to work each day could save $26 in a year just by making this change. This might not sound like much, but it all adds up. Besides, Starbucks themselves sell some pretty cool reusable cups which may even look better in your Starbucks selfies than the classic plastic and cardboard ones. So, it’s sustainable, saves money and looks good… What more could you want?