Starbucks coffee cup.

17 Starbucks Hacks for Frugal People

Love stopping by Starbucks for your morning coffee but hate the toll it takes on your wallet? Listen up. Starbucks lovers took to the internet to share their best tips for saving money on your next order. 

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

1: Two For One 

Ice cubes.
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If you want more bang for your buck, a great Starbucks hack is to order a tall or grande drink with no ice. Then, order a second large cup of ice (free). “Pour the non-iced drink into the iced drink, which only fills it halfway. Then refill it again, and you get 2x drinks for the price of one.”

2: Reach for the Stars 

Stars in the sky.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Starbucks has a rewards system using “stars” that customers earn with every purchase. Stars are redeemable for free drinks, pastries, sandwiches, and even merchandise, so many customers love raking them in. To start earning, open a Starbucks account through their app. 

3: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

Recycle sign.
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If you bring your own personal cup to Starbucks, they’ll take $0.10 off your order and give you an extra 25 stars. Plus, it’s good for the environment to bring a reusable cup!

4: It Takes Two

Green Starbucks frappuccino.
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One Starbucks lover says every time they visit, they place two separate orders to rack up the most stars possible. “I get 50 stars per order,” they said. 

5: Real Savings 

Pile of dimes.
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Ten cents may not sound like a lot, but it adds up quickly. “Everyone is missing the point,” they said. “If you drink simple tea or coffee, you get every fourth drink free. Taking my own cup probably saves me $20/mo.”

6: More for Me 

Pile of credit cards.
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Though one person says they haven’t used this trick in a while, buying Starbucks gift cards with credit card points could help you reap more rewards. “With some credit cards, you get more by buying gift cards than by redeeming points in other ways. If you’re a Starbucks regular, it’s a pretty reliable way to get more out of your points without putting in any effort.”

7: Double Trouble 

Happy woman.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

One person has a double Starbucks hack to share. If you’re a rewards member, using a gift card on the app will earn you two stars for every dollar spent versus using cash or credit for one star. Load and reload the card on the app for double points. 

8: Free Refills 

Starbucks coffee cup in coffee beans.
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If you’re drinking tea or coffee and not staying at Starbucks, you’re leaving money on the table, one person says. Starbucks does free refills for tea and coffee in-house. 

9: Download the App

Woman looking at her phone.
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One person visited Starbucks every weekend with their partner as part of their routine, so they got used to some savvy savings hacks. Their top tips are to download the app and bring in reusable cups. “The savings from using the app = AWESOME, and I say this as someone who hates signing up for stuff even remotely like that.”

10: Stay Hydrated

Pouring water into a glass.
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It may sound obvious, but one person’s hack is to grab a crisp, refreshing water for free. “Most places will charge you for water. Some coffee shops don’t charge much except 75¢.” They recommend simply asking “for a regular cup with ice and water.”

11: Happy Accidents

Man with an excited face.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Bringing your own cup could bring in more savings than 10 cents. “Sometimes they’ll ring you for a grande on a venti-sized personal cup. It doesn’t happen everywhere or every time, but that’s easily fifty cents every time it happens.”

12: Anything Helps 

Woman looking at coffee.
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Another Starbucks regular vouches for the “free refill” hack. They said if you order any drink and finish it in-store, you get two coffee refills for free. The only catch is that you only get a regular coffee as a refill. Any special milk or flavor costs extra.

13: Gifting Yourself 

Man pointing at himself.
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One Starbucks customer says the real hack is only using gift cards and getting double the stars every time. The original poster agreed and said you can also load your account with money from your linked debit card and get double the stars in the same way. 

14: Strange Things 

Person looking surprised.
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A sarcastic commenter jokes that they like to come into Starbucks and “only ask for a free ‘pup cup’ of whipped cream and eat it in the store without breaking eye contact.” That’s one hack to make people a little weirded out. 

15: Cup Qualifications

Question mark.
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If you’re planning on hopping on the “personal cup” hack, you may be wondering what qualifies. “Personally, I like to ask for a Trenta pink drink with no ice, and I use my 32 Oz Yeti,” the original poster says. Another person says Walmart is the place for cheap knock-offs of popular insulated cups and mugs. 

16: Thanks for the Tip 

Woman looking surprised.
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“Reduce, reuse, and recycle,” one environmentally friendly Starbucks fan said. “Good for you! I never thought they would pour into a cup that was not theirs! Thank you for sharing.” 

17: Do It Yourself 

Coffee beans.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Starbucks haters couldn’t help but fill the online thread with some negativity. For those who aren’t fans, one person suggested ordering an $18 coffee machine on sale at Target, an electric grinder, and splurging on high-quality beans. “Each cup is much cheaper but tastes much better. And [you] don’t have to leave home!” 

Source: Reddit

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