Yesterday, I began my on-going series on ways to save money as part of my effort to reduce spending this year. Today, we will look at a major offender against your wallet, Starbucks. Now, full disclosure, I absolutely love Starbucks and it is my go-to coffee brand. But, since I recognize this it is pricier than other brands, I try to avoid buying it directly from them in their stores, because I know I will be overpaying. In this post, I will point out a few ways in which you can reduce the cost of this daily habit.
Ways to save money on coffee (and other food) with loyalty programs
First, as I have written about in the past, Starbucks Rewards is a must join loyalty program if you drink Starbucks frequently. It’s free and is easy to use. How it works is that for a variety of activities you engage in, such as buying coffee at their location, reloading a Starbucks gift card, buying a gift card, and other activities, you earn “stars,” which are good for free food and/or discounts in store and also online. This video explains it best. Note: this is a Canadian version, just replace “.ca” with .”com,” when you see the website, but it’s the same program otherwise.
Second, here’s where the additional ways to save money on Starbucks comes to play. Chances are your grocery or drug store sells Starbucks ground or whole bean coffee. While there are rarely any coupons for Starbucks, you might just happen to have a 20 or 30% coupon at CVS, which they call a “shopping pass.” Normally, ground coffee goes for about $10 to $11/bag, but if you have one of these coupons in hand, your cost is now somewhere between $7 to $9. This is less than what you would pay for it at a Starbucks, or even their online store. Walmart might even have it for less, too.
Finally, in addition to whatever savings you snagged off the price of the whole or ground coffee you bought at a grocery store, you can also check your bag for a peel-away star. Peel off the sticker on the bag, visit www.starbucks.com/card/rewards, and enter the special code that is on the back of the sticker. Enter up to two a day and pretty soon you will be on your way to free food and/or discounted drinks. Bonus tip: in your birthday month, you will receive other promotions, too.
Coffee is a daily habit for a great deal of Americans, but it doesn’t mean having to sacrifice quality for price if you are looking for ways to save money on it. If you can, try to cut down on paying the full retail markup on a cup of coffee by buying Starbucks at a grocery store and using Starbucks’ loyalty program. Make going to an actual Starbucks a special occasion, rather than a regular habit.