I think Starbucks has us wrapped around its little finger. And who’s complaining? With the million and one combinations they offer, pretty much everyone is happy.  When I go to Starbucks, though, I am always looking for ways to trick the system.  The same taste for less?  A clever hack no one knows about?  Here are some Starbucks tricks and tips you never knew existed!

Don’t leave until you read the comments with all the pro’s tips! They are gold.

  •  Turn in empty coffee bags for a free tall coffee or iced coffee:  This is my favorite.  My office uses Starbucks coffee, and every few weeks they give me their empty bag!  I have a stash of these (including some in my car!) that I turn in for free coffee.  If you ever meet me for coffee, there is a 99% chance I will bring you a random empty bag :).  Maybe we should all ask random companies or families for their empty bags!
  • Add a shot or sprinkle:  Ask for a shot of mint or sprinkle in vanilla, cocoa or cinnamon at the coffee bar.  Get that little twist for an additional $.55.  Oh, and Christmas “red cup” season has Gingerbread syrup you can add!  Read about more Cheap (under $3) Starbucks Drinks here. 
  • Refills for $.50 all day:   Get the Tall and then refill all you want!  (*This only applies as long as you are in the store.*)
  • Bring your own cup:  Bring your own cup and receive a $.10 discount!
  • Go healthy:  Order the healthiest version of your Starbucks favorite!  Use this list of the Healthiest Iced Starbucks Drinks here.  My favorite?  The Iced Skinny Mocha saves you 400 calories!
  • Free triple-filter water:  Save yourself the bottled-water price!
  • French Press for a Few:  Order a pot of french-pressed coffee and serve a few friends for less!
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  • Got kids?  Use this cheat sheet for the best Starbucks kid-friendly drinks!  Who knew they had a “Babycino” that is an extra-foamy milk—like a cappuccino, but without the espresso.  Ask for it bone-dry if you want the drink to be all foam.
  • Celebrate your birthday!  Sign up for the Starbucks reward program (registration is free) and get a free drink when your birthday comes around. (You’ll have to redeem it in the 30 days after your birthday.)
  • Design your own!  This list is awesome!  The Oreo Frappe?  The Cinnamon Roll?  What about the Poor Man’s Chai Latte that is half the price?
  • There’s another size!  Order the “short” – even smaller than the “tall!”  The “short” cappuccino has the same amount of espresso as the as its “tall” version, but for less.
  • Treat your Pup:  Order a puppy latte or puppycino, and your dog will get a sample cup full of whipped cream.
  • And my favorite?  Personally, I love to add a shot of caramel to my regular coffee (iced or hot).  To me, this gives the same flavor as an (iced) Caramel Machiatto.  I love this trick and save TONS of calories and dollars with it :).
  • Make sure you read the comments below!  There are some awesome suggestions from real baristas!

*Disclaimer, I have only tried a few of these ideas.  If you are a Starbucks Barista, feel free to comment on the validity of these ideas.*

(Read more here.)

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