Here are the best and worst deals at Starbucks

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October 1 is the happiest day of the year for caffeine fanatics: International Coffee Day. And where is the best place to celebrate? You guessed it: for a lot of people, it’s Starbucks.

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Starbucks prices can be steep, but with the right strategy, you can still get your caffeine fix without breaking the bank. To avoid wasting money at Starbucks, figure out what you should buy and what you should ignore. Click to find out how you can save on drinks – and more – at Starbucks.

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The best Starbucks deals

Despite Starbucks’ reputation for being overpriced, these deals can save you money without limiting your daily or weekly visits. From discounted refills on the best Starbucks drinks to handy savings tips, here’s how you can get the best value in Starbucks coffee for your money. Find out how you can optimize your Starbucks trip, such as a happy hour visit.

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1. Starbucks Rewards Program

If you frequent Starbucks, sign up for the coffee rewards program. For every dollar spent on drinks and other Starbucks products, you earn 1 star when you link a payment method and pay through the free Starbucks app or with a Starbucks Card. You can earn double the stars when you preload your Starbucks app or registered Starbucks Card with funds. As you accumulate stars, you can redeem them for a free drink or Starbucks product.

2. Free top-ups

If you need a pick-me-up even after you’ve finished your coffee, get another free by paying for your first brew with your registered Starbucks Card or Starbucks App.

If you get a coffee (hot, iced, or cold) or tea (hot or iced and excluding lemonade) and enjoy it at Starbucks, you can get a second for free using the same cup. The catch is, you can only get a free top-up at the same store in the same visit. If you don’t have a Starbucks Card or App, you can still get a top-up at a discounted price, but not for free, and that option doesn’t apply to people who buy through drive-thru..

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3. Starbucks mailing list

Joining the Starbucks mailing list can save you money. When you sign up, you get 10% off your next order, although some exclusions may apply. If you sign up, you will also be kept up to date with exclusive Starbucks offers and discounts.

4. Seasonal offers

Pay attention to Starbucks offers and promotions during the vacation to save money on seasonal favorites and get cheap Starbucks drinks.

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5. Free add-ons

It might sound trivial, but you can save money by skipping the flavor at the counter and instead opting for the free flavor supplements offered by Starbucks – like cinnamon, chocolate and vanilla, said Kerry Sherin, SEO and PR manager at Effective Spend, an internet marketing department. “The Starbucks menu offers free half and half, cream, sugar, and several spices, making it easy to spice up inexpensive brewed coffee into cinnamon cream coffee for free,” said Kendal Perez of Coupon Sherpa, a site Web devoted to helping people find coupon codes and printable coupons.

6. Birthday gift

Like many stores and restaurants, Starbucks allows you to get a free birthday reward. For example, you can mark a free drink or treat. Don’t forget to register your Starbucks Card and / or use the app.

7. Divide a Trenta

A great way to save at Starbucks is to go big, then split. When you go to Starbucks with a friend, order a trenta-sized iced coffee – that’s 31 ounces – and split it up. Just ask the barista for two small cups. You’ll pay $ 3.75 for the larger drink, but this will save you $ 1.15 compared to if you both order the larger ones at $ 2.45 each. It might turn out to be the cheapest thing at Starbucks.

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8. Order an Americano

Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping, a website that provides coupons for everything from clothing to wine, said ordering an Americano is one of the best ways to get your caffeine fix on the cheap. “It’s just hot water poured over two freshly drawn espressos,” he said. And, it only costs around $ 2.65 for a large and $ 3.45 for a venti.

9. Request free samples

The next time you go to Starbucks, see if you can get a free sample. “They’ll probably tell you to go ahead and sit down, and they’ll bring it to you first, because they’ll set up a tasters tray for everyone in the store when they cut this muffin,” he said. said Teri Gault, a savings expert and author of the book “Shop Smart, Save More”.

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10. Starbucks Online Sales

Always wanted a cute Starbucks tumbler but didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for one? Visit the Starbucks “Sale” section online for discounted Starbucks mugs, tumblers and coffee. Remember to keep an eye out for Starbucks coupons to get an even bigger discount.

Worst Starbucks Deals

Starbucks menu deals might be your daily delight, but there are some deals you should skip. From Starbucks merchandise to Starbucks gift cards, here are some of the more notorious things you should avoid buying at a coffee shop.

1. Coffee beans and grounds

If you’re looking to brew some of the best Starbucks coffee yourself, don’t buy from the physical store. Starbucks sells 16-ounce packages of whole beans and ground coffee starting at $ 12.95, depending on the mix, Perez said, but you can find 11-ounce bags of similar blends at Target for around $ 7.50.

2. Starbucks K-Cups

Like Starbucks beans and coffee grounds, Starbucks K-Cups at Starbucks are generally not worth the purchase price. K-Cups are the small plastic pods your Keurig could use to brew one serving of coffee. “Never buy them from a real Starbucks store,” James said. “You can still find them for a lot less at Costco.”

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3. Travel mugs and glasses

Starbucks branded glasses are another “bargain” that is not a smart choice for your wallet. “Awesome displays of coffee cups, tea kettles, French presses, and other coffee and tea accessories are tempting to those in line for drinks, but best avoided,” said Perez. If you want to buy Starbucks glasses, approach them like buying Starbucks coffee beans, Sherin said. “Buy from other online retailers like Amazon or find a coupon for the Starbucks online store to save even more,” she said.

4. Starbucks Gift Cards

Starbucks Gift Cards are staring you in the face every time you reach the cashier. While they are a great gift to receive, you can find discounted gift cards online. “Buying gift cards can be a big mistake if you are buying through a retailer,” Sherin said. “Use sites like Raise and you can find discounts of up to 10 percent.” When you have a Starbucks Gift Card, follow these tips to check your balance and more.

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5. Goodies located near the register

As tempting as it may be to grab a cookie, granola bar, or even mints, ignore those impulse purchases at the checkout. Chances are, you don’t really need these moments. And, you can usually find better deals at your grocery store.

6. Bottled water

Bottled water is certainly not a Starbucks business. Instead of paying $ 2 or more for a water, you can probably get an entire case for a few more dollars at your grocery store, especially if there’s a sale or you have coupons.

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7. Bistro boxes

Need a quick lunch? You probably won’t find a good deal at Starbucks. If you’re in a rush, stop by your favorite fast food restaurant for an inexpensive meal that will save you money. Better yet: make your own packed lunches at home. “Five dollars for a few crackers, cheese cubes, grapes and a hard-boiled egg isn’t a good deal, considering these items are cheap in your local grocery store,” Perez said.

8. Pre-packaged sandwiches

Along with bistro boxes, expensive, prepackaged coffee sandwiches are another item to avoid. “They flaunt these beautifully wrapped sandwiches that look good and have quality ingredients in while you line up to hang out,” said Mark Mazza, co-founder of PromoCodeWatch, a website that publishes information on online coupons, promo codes and discounts. “Coffee is relatively cheap, so selling yourself an overpriced sandwich that costs as much or more than your drink order is an obvious score to them.”

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9. Breakfast sandwiches

Continuing on the sandwich theme, Starbucks breakfast sandwiches shouldn’t be on your bucket list. They look fresh in display, but these sandwiches – along with many other food items – are just overpriced. You better make your own breakfast sandwich at home.

10. Creme Frappuccino mixed

Unless you’re a kid or watching your caffeine intake, it doesn’t make sense to spend your money on a Starbucks Creme Frappuccino. A venti a vanilla will cost you $ 4.45. “It’s basically a $ 5 vanilla milkshake – and not very good at that. Too much ice in this thing and not enough thickness, ”said James. That said, be on the lookout for announcements regarding Starbucks’ upcoming happy hour. Maybe you could get a Frappuccino for half the price.

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Nicole Spector contributed to the writing of this article.

Last updated: October 1, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here are the best and worst deals from Starbucks


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