Addicted to Starbucks? Feel like you’re spending too much money there? You are! Use these tips to get FREE Starbucks!
That title caught your attention, right? Chances are if you clicked over here faster than your brain could register, it’s because you’re as addicted to the good stuff as I am. Like me, there may have even been a time when you scoffed at paying exorbitant amounts of money for coffee when you could make something ‘just as good’ at home or grab something cheaper at a different store, but you’ve somehow been dragged to the dark side and crave the ‘Bucks daily.
It’s a true problem, isn’t it?
I used to be the only one in our house addicted, but at some point, I introduced Alex to Frappuccinos and there has been no turning back. But here’s the thing – as I’m sure you know, Starbucks ain’t cheap. While we used to just hit it up once a week or so, it seems I’ve mapped out where all of our local ones are and tend to plan my outings around where my favorite drive-thru is, and I spend a couple hours there a week doing blog work sans-kids. Suffice to say, I’ve fallen into the dark hole that is an expensive Starbucks addiction.
And I know I’m not the only one – I originally posted this a year ago and it’s quickly jumped the ranks to one of my more popular posts. Because of that, I thought it was time to update it a bit with even more tips and tricks and ways to get free Starbucks.
Back when my Starbucks habit started becoming less of a treat and more of a lifestyle choice, I knew I needed to find some ways to cut back on the cost. Okay, so maybe Alex told me that I couldn’t keep spending that much on Starbucks. Either way, I was faced with the dilemma of how to pay for my favorite pick-me-up without getting a divorce. (I KID.)
So I turned to the interwebs, did a little research and was pleased to find more than a few ways to keep the cost down. I no longer spend so much on coffee that I need to hide the bank statements. In fact, sometimes my trips are very, very cheap and other times they are essentially free. Today I’m going to be sharing all of my tips for how to get free Starbucks.
How to Get Free Starbucks
And only use that. I know this is such common advice and I also know that a lot of people started hating on the rewards system once they changed the structure, but I have to say – I’ve been getting more free drinks than ever. Here’s what you need to know about the program in orgder to get free Starbucks:
- For every dollar spent, you get 2 stars – 125 stars equals a free drink
- One free drink is received for opening an account and another on your birthday each year.
- Gold members get in-store refills on ‘basic’ drinks, like a hot or iced tea or coffee for .50. More about this below.
- Gold members get monthly double star days ($1 = 4 stars)
- Stars are earned on food, drinks, drinkware, coffee, tea and more when bought in store or online (also applicable at Teavana stores)
- Earn 10 – 20 stars when you input star codes that are on packaged coffee at your grocery store.
- Emails are be sent regularly with opportunities for bonus stars (anything from extra stars when you go multiple days in a row, buy multiple items, go after a certain time of day, or input a certain amount of star codes.) You will still get your normal amount of stars for purchases, but you will also receive extra stars – usually anywhere from 30 – 150 stars.
- You can refer friends to the program for 60 stars each – here is my link if you don’t have an account – it’s free to join and you’ll get free Starbucks in the form of one free food or drink purchase!
2. Hacks to save when ordering.
There are so many hacks in the way you order that can save you so much money! Below is my favorite secret for a $2 iced latte that I use every time I go in store (it doesn’t work at a drive through, unless you just take the shots home. Or go on your way back from the grocery store and keep the milk on the passenger seat. Not that I’ve done that or anything.) plus a bunch of my other favorite money-saving hacks that I’ve found all over the web (so you don’t have to – time is money, right?)
- Order 2 shots of espresso over ice in a grande cup. Add sweetener and milk at the condiment station. THERE YA GO. They usually have flavored powders as well that are fun to add (vanilla and chocolate, but there is also cinnamon which could be fun.) Order 1 sho for a tall or 4 shots for a Venti.
- Alternatively, if you’re at the drive through, you can order an Iced Americano and ask for cream/sweetener/whatever. It’s the same price, but they add a bit of water. I usually order mine with extra cream so they end up cutting back on the water and adding more cream.
- If you’re looking for a hot drink, try a Misto instead of a pricey latte. It uses coffee instead of espresso, but you still get the foamy steamed milk. A misto is just about half of the coffee and extra milk. Add in your favorite latte flavorings and you’ve got an ‘almost’ latte. (this is my fave during pumpkin spice/peppermint mocha season.
- I’ve found if I only ask for one pump of something they don’t charge me. This, of course, depends on the barista and how nice you are to them.
- On the same page, if you go to the same Starbucks often, make friends with the barista! A little kindness goes a long, long way.
- Get our gold member refill. You’re supposed to only get a refill during the same visit, but honestly, if you go to a very busy one, I think you’re solid. But to be honest, my BIGGEST trick is this: during a Target trip, hit Starbucks first- get a $2 iced latte or whatever you want. Obviously, a grande is NOT enough caffeine for me because I have issues, but as a gold member, I get my 50 cent refill. Grab it on your way out after you pay and it’s like you’ve got 1 big drink.
- Bring your own cup and save 10 cents
- Water is free – and good. I have a ‘thing’ about hating tap water, but the Bucks water is triple filtered and awesome. In the summer we often get out order plus a Trenta ice water fo’ free.
- As for less ice – BUT remember that if it’s an iced latte, they will not be increasing the espresso amount.
- If you’re getting normal coffee, order a smaller size in a larger cup (a tall in a grande cup, for example) that way you’re not losing coffee/money when you have to ask for room for milk or pour some out to make room, but you’ll be charged for the smaller size.
This is my favorite option for getting some free Starbucks gift cards – it’s an app that you download onto your phone and on your lock screen, they show advertisements. You just swipe to ignore them and open your phone, but you earn points throughout the month towards gift cards. You can cash out for a ton of different ones, including PayPal or GooglePlay but I use them for Starbucks gift cards that I just transfer to my main gift card (so that money spent goes towards my star total, meaning free drinks!) I usually get about $5-10 a month, which isn’t crazy or anything, but on since I’m swiping out of my lock screen multiple times either way, might as well get paid for it! After you make your account you also can refer friends and get even more points monthly!
4. Cash back.
We all love a good cash back site, right? If you’re new to the online shopping world, cash back sites are sites that give you a percent of your purchase back if you click-through the site using one of their own links. For example, if you needed to buy something at Target online, you could use a cash back app to get a percent back. It usually takes a little time to get the money, but it’s worth it since you’re already spending the money. Here are my favorite ways to use cash back services to get free Starbucks:
- Ebates. This is probably the ‘industry standard’ in cash back – the usually offer a cash bonus upon signing up even if you never use it (right now new sign-ups will get a $10 cash bonus) and they have a very wide range of stores to choose from. They don’t offer gift cards, but they send quarterly checks. Use these towards buying some Starbucks gift cards to load to your account. They also offer 2.5% cash back for shopping at Starbucks.com. (They also have 5% back for Groupon, which increases your savings if you use the tip below!)
- Honey. I raved about Honey in this post, but it’s worth another shout-out. They offer a browser extension that automatically finds coupon codes for whatever site you are shopping on and tests them to find the most valuable one. They also offer cash back through their HoneyGold program.
- Ibotta. If you’re not using Ibotta to scan your grocery receipts, you’re missing out BIG time! Ibotta offers TONS fo cashback options for so many products you buy all the time, even things like product, eggs, and milk. Plus if you hook up your loyalty card, you don’t even need to upload a receipt. Cash in your rebates to get a Starbucks gift card! If you sign up through my referral link and upload a receipt within 7 days, you’ll get $10 into your account! You can instantly use that to get free Starbucks gift cards.
- Checkout 51. Another cash back app for receipts, but I like this one because you can use it on a desktop – just upload a photo of your receipt from the website. They always have a decent selection of products as well. (Allergy friends – they often have a lot of healthier options for their products as well as allergen-free options.)
- Shopkick. I never really got into this app, mostly because I could never remember to open it when I was out. But you can earn points while using it that can be cashed out for Starbucks cards.
5. Bing Rewards.
While Google may be king of the search engine world, Bing is my own favorite- because they’re willing to PAY me to use them. Yes, please. Bing gives points for using their search engine as well as completing short tasks which can be used to redeem gift cards – which means you can get free Starbucks gift cards. I find they rack up pretty quickly
Occasionally Groupon will have a pretty killer deal for discounted Starbucks gift cards, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for those. When they pop up I post them on social media so be sure that you’re following me!!
There was a time when I was obsessed with Swagbucks – I actually got a FitBit for free using them! There are a wide variety of ways to earn points and get free things and they add up pretty quickly. Definitely check them out! Some opportunities they offer will be enough points for a $5 gift card immediately.
If you’re looking for ways to save on your Starbucks bill at home, try these!
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee <– I use Starbucks bagged Columbian – I find it to be the best for the method!
So tell me – what’s your favorite trick to get free Starbucks? Are you as addicted as I am? Let me know in the comments!