This piece is not to entice you to go to Starbucks. In fact, if you want to save money, don't go. Make your own coffee.
No matter what I say, people will still go regardless of whether or not they have the money to spend. It's a luxury that even some die-hard Ways 2 Save viewers won't live without.
The reason I'm not focusing on Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's today is because their prices are already really low, and it's the folks that go to Starbucks that have asked me for help.
#1 (The Golden Rule). Never ever pay with cash or a credit card. Use a REGISTERED Starbucks Card! Starbucks Cards are free. It takes 10 seconds to register one online. A registered Starbucks card can save you up to $1.20 on a drink by giving you free flavor shots, like vanilla or hazelnut, and also giving you free modifiers, like milk, which would otherwise cost you 60 cents. The Starbucks Card, which works the same as cash, also gets you every 15th drink free.
#2 Easy on the ice, please. Starbucks will overload every drink you order with Ice. In fact, a "light ice" medium size beverage is almost equal to a large iced drink. Order the smaller drink, but ask your barista for light ice. It's just as cold, but you're not wasting your cash on cube filler.
#3 "Make friends with the free condiments!" You can easily save yourself a dollar almost every time by doing a few seconds of dirty work yourself. Instead of getting a latté, order two shots of espresso and then pour in your own milk. It's waiting for you right there on the condiment stand and cheaper if you do it yourself. Also, the Starbucks condiment bar has free cinnamon, vanilla and mocha powder. Save yourself the cash -- and calories --and flavor the drink yourself rather than paying for a Starbucks flavor shot.
#4 Ask for a Grande in a Venti cup! This trick works mostly on the Frappucino blended beverages and smoothies. If you're ordering a smoothie or Frappucino, order a medium beverage, but ask them to put it in a large cup.Nine out of 10 times, you'll see the barista has extra Frappucino or smoothie left-over at the bottom of the blender. You can save yourself well over a dollar by asking them to put the Grande beverage into a Venti cup. You get more beverage and you're not paying for it.
#5 Get the short cappuccino. It's not listed on the menu, but you can order a short-sized cappuccino instead of the tall. Yes, it's a little smaller, but chances are, it will satisfy you and for the folks going to Starbucks twice a day, this is a way to save on at least one of your visits.
#6 Bring your own cup! It will save you 10 cents, which may seem like nothing, but in addition to benefitting the environment, there are savings. For the folks that go twice a day, you'll be saving at least $72 a year, which does add up.
#7 Split a Venti. Starbucks does not charge for cups. If you go with a friend and you both want banana-chocolate smoothies, order a Venti and split it into two tall cups or two cups of your own. You'll be saving $2.50 a visit, which adds up quickly if you car pool with someone or have a regular Starbucks partner that appreciates the same drink you do.
#8 Stay in the store! I saw it twice while researching for this piece. A customer comes into the store, buys a cup of coffee with cash and then leaves, comes back an hour later and buys another cup. Considering you can enjoy free net access at Starbucks, just sit there for the hour and work on your laptop or smartphone. Register your Starbucks Card, stay in-store and the refills are free.
#9 Consider a Misto. For many of the regularlatté drinkers that can't live without a latté, expand your horizons. Although a Café Misto has a little more milk than a latté, it is $2.85 for a Venti, while a latte is $3.90. Considering the drink might taste almost the same to you, or you might like it better, the $1.05 savings per beverage is significant, especially every day.
#10 Don't buy Starbucks Cards from Starbucks. I'm constantly on the lookout at sites like Cardpool.com and PlasticJungle.com. I've signed up for their newsletters and they often have Starbucks Cards at 15% - 30% less. Considering you can register and unregister as many cards to your account as you want, sign up for the lists and buy cards at discounts when they're in stock. Up to 30% off is quite a break if you're buying a $100 worth of Starbucks dollars.
If there's a deal you want me to research or a question you have, I'd love to hear from you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can watch for new savings tips each morning at 5:50 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. on Channel 3 News Today, and always at WKYC.com.
We receive absolutely no financial compensation for mentioning any company, product, or deal. The purpose of this segment is to find great deals -- that's it.