For many, Starbucks is the place they start their day, for others, it’s the perfect pick-me-up or a place to meet friends and family. The iconic coffee shop is prized for their amazing customer service and personable baristas. Their menu is pretty darn great too, providing an immense amount of options.

While Starbucks is awesome, it does cost a pretty penny to get a treat. To ensure that you’re making the best out of your Starbucks trip we have found some amazing hacks that might just blow you away. From saving money to accommodating your diet and some must-know secret menu items, we have found ways that will make you fall in love with Starbucks all over again.

1. Order Your Cup One Size Bigger

When ordering coffee we often need to make room for milk or some other additive we enjoy in our beverage. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your drink order a grande but ask for a venti cup. You’ll get the grande amount but have extra room to add in milk or whatever you please.

The same applies to blended drinks too. It’s too often, that we watch our barista make our delicious drink just to watch the extra go down the drain. If you’re nice enough to your barista they’ll often allow you to order a grande size but will give you the extra amount all in a venti cup. No more wasted beverage!

2. More Drinky, Less Ice

Almost all cold beverages will come with ice. Often, the cup is filled to the brim with ice and the drink is poured on top. This applies to iced coffee, cold refreshers and the like. To help you maximize your dollar and avoid a watered down drink make sure to order “LIGHT ice, please”!

The same applies to your frappuccino order. If you want your frappuccino to taste sweeter ask for light ice before they blend it up! You will seriously taste a difference with this hack.

3. Stronger Iced Tea

I’m sure you’ve seen the pitchers of iced tea at Starbucks. The baristas will make them double strength because they’ll later be added to water for each individual drink.

If you enjoy more flavor and more caffeine make sure to ask for no water. In result, you’ll be served with a double-strength delicious iced tea.

4. Shave Calories Off Your Frappuccino

When the hot months roll around many of switch out the hot drinks for cold ones. Starbucks offers an array of sweet and refreshing drinks that will cool you off all summer long. Amongst those refreshing drinks is a popular choice, the frappuccino. They come in many flavors but often come with loads of calories and sugar.

To help save you some unwanted calories we’ve found a few quick fixes to shave them right off. Firstly, make sure to ask for no whipped cream this can save you anywhere from 80-100 calories, woah! Next, You can always ask to adjust the milk, asking for a non-fat milk or a nut milk can have a big impact on the total calories too. Further, you can also ask for fewer pumps of the sweet stuff, the syrup. Last but not least you can also opt for a sugar-free syrup instead. None the less, making these substitutions will shave off calories but you’ll still be left with a delicious drink.

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5. Ditch The Overpriced Bottled Water And Get Free Water

If you’re like me and enjoy having water on hand especially when enjoying a delicious coffee or sweet beverage then you’ll want in on this hack. Starbucks does offer bottled water at their cash counter but skip the hefty price tag and ask for a cup of water for FREE.

Their water is filtered after all and is just as safe to drink as the bottled variety. It won’t cost you a dime and you can enjoy refreshing sips between your delicious drink.

6. Bye-Bye Frappuccino, Hello Blended Iced Coffee

If you love the blended taste of a frappuccino but don’t want to pay the price, a quick and cheaper fix would be a blended iced coffee. You’ll get the flavors you love about iced coffee but enjoy it in a blended style, a.k.a more fun!

Firstly, to order ask for iced coffee of whichever size you please. Then choose what type of milk whether it be dairy, nut milk etc. If desired add in a sweetener of your choice and ask your barista kindly to blend it. The result will be a slushie/frappucino-like blended coffee, it’s delicious trust us!

7. Save Money, Bring Your Own Cup

While this isn’t exactly a secret it’s shocking how many people still don’t know about this money-saving hack. If you bring your own tumbler you can save 10 cents off your drink. If you don’t have your own travel cup Starbucks now has a low cost, high-quality option for just $1 US.

They explain “Since you receive a 10-cent discount everytime you use it in our store, this cup pays for itself in just 10 uses”. Not only does this hack save you money but it’s a great option for preventing added waste into our landfills. You can read more about Starbucks environmental approach HERE.

8. Keto Coffee

Coffee, Americano, and espresso are all great low carb options but if you can’t fathom drinking it black then we have a couple hacks that can seriously jazz up your morning cup of joe. Try one of these on the mornings your not enjoying your bullet coffee at home or are on the go.

If you like your coffee sweet choose a sugar-free syrup instead of regular sugar. Further, since dairy milk is high in carbs opt for almond milk, coconut milk or half-and-half. Keep in mind half and half is calorie rich so if you’re trying to watch your calories you may want to stick to the first two options.

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9. Keto Frappuccino

A frappuccino can contain anywhere from 50 to 80 grams of carbs which is a huge no-no while following the ketogenic diet. Did you ever think you could enjoy a delicious frappuccino again once you started the keto diet? Well with this hack you definitely can!

Unsweetened iced coffee blended with sugar-free syrup and heavy whipping cream can be the perfect substitute to get your frap fix. For example, if you wanted to recreate a cinnamon dolce keto-approved frappuccino according to Hip 2 Keto , ask for “a tall unsweetened iced coffee with extra ice, 2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup and 2 shots of heavys hipping cream”. Make sure to ask for it to be blended like a frappuccino but with NO frappuccino base or syrups.

10. Keto Chai Tea Latte

Chai tea lattes are very sweet and delicious but are definitely not keto-friendly. They’re about 22 net carbs per drink. According to Mr. Skinny Pants, you can easily make your favorite low carb with a few substitutions. You can also read HERE for more tips on converting some of your favorite Starbucks drink to a low carb option.

He explains, that asking for chai tea bags instead of the concentrate and subbing the commonly used milk, sugar and honey for heavy whipping cream and sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup you can achieve a drink that will satisfy you and coincide with your diet.

11. Free Refills

While not everyone qualifies for free refills those who have a registered Starbucks card or mobile app sure can. According to Starbucks website if you have a registered Starbucks card or mobile app and order a beverage you can get a FREE refill of brewed coffee (hot or iced or cold brew) or tea (hot or iced).

The only catch is if you leave the store and come back your “refill” will be considered a new purchase.

12. Secret Menu: Mint Chocolate Chip Frappuccino

Starbucks has a menu filled with delicious items, however, not everyone knows about the secret menu. By requesting a few additions or substitutions you can turn a classic drink into an extraordinary one.

To achieve a frappuccino that literally tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream in a cup start by ordering a green tea frappuccino. Then, request peppermint syrup and java chips prior to blending for an addictive drink.

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13. Tips To Ordering Vegan

Whether you’ve been vegan your whole life or are trying to adapt to the new plant-based lifestyle means that going to places like your favorite coffee shops will require a little more research. No need to worry we’ve got you covered on how to help you order vegan at Starbucks.

According to Peta 2, you can order vegan like a pro with these few hacks. All Starbucks locations will have dairy milk alternatives so remember many beverages can sub for an alternative milk. However, make sure to always ask for no whipped cream, java chips, protein powder (found in smoothies), and caramel drizzle as these are not vegan-friendly. Further, it would be wise to stay clear of anything pumpkin spice (sorry!), white mocha, caramel brûlée, and chai lattes as these are also not vegan-friendly. To read more about vegan options at Starbucks, read HERE.

14. Secret Menu: Year-Round Eggnog Latte

During holiday seasons as well as several times a year Starbucks will often release special drinks for that a limited time only. With a bit of research and a peek at a secret menu, you can quickly discover that some of these seasonal favorites can actually be ordered year-round by customizing your drink.

Thanks to, Starbucks Secret Menu, you can order your beloved eggnog latte all year round. Eggnog is a seasonal ingredient but with this hack, you’ll have the perfect “taste-a-like” eggnog latte. If you like it hot order a chai latte with caramel syrup. If you like it iced order an iced chai latte with caramel syrup. Last but not least – if you enjoy a frappuccino, order a chai frappuccino with caramel syrup, whipped cream, and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.

15. Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte

As soon as fall rolls around, it’s fair game to queue pumpkin spice season, yes it deserves its own season! This delicious drink has a built up a huge reputation and is definitely worth standing in line for. However, the beloved drink on average is 380 calories just for a grande. If you don’t enjoy drinking your calories then you’ll enjoy a lighter version of your fall favorite.

According to Verily, you can make a few easy substitutions to help make your PSL a lot healthier. For starters you can make a quick swap for the 2% milk it comes with for skim milk or almond milk. Further, to cut down on sugar you could consider having less sugary syrup pumps, opt for 1 or 2 pumps of pumpkin spice instead of the 4 pumps that are in a grande. They also recommend skipping the whipped cream, it might be tasty but is definitely not needed and make sure to treat your PSL like a dessert, treat yo’ self (in moderation)!

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

So disclaimer: I'll pretty much try anything that's new and plant-based at Starbucks.
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