How To Save Money On Your Next Starbucks Experience

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Life Lessons, Money Saving Tips on January 3, 2008

Going to Starbucks and other gourmet coffee shops has become a common practice nowadays, specially for Pinoys.

Is it because we are too lazy to make our own brewed coffee or espresso at home? Maybe.

Is it because we simply love having their blended drinks like the Mocha Frappe? More likely.

Or is it because these gourmet coffee shops offer the best ambiance to hangout or pass time? I believe so, and I think that this is the most common reason for us why we actually go to these places like Starbucks.

Any frugal person would say that going to these gourmet coffee shops is an expensive activity and should be avoided if one wants to save money.

I would have to agree but I think that you should also consider that these places has become an integral part of people’s lives that one cannot simply decide not to go there.

I personally have accepted the fact that I would eventually have to go to Starbucks whether I like it or not.

Personally, I go to these places only for a couple of reasons: first is to hangout with friends and colleagues and second, to meet up with clients.

As a freelancer, I get most of my income opportunities through these social networks. If my target market are Caramel Macchiato and Café Latte drinkers, then these gourmet coffee shops become more than just a place to hangout but also an extension of my workplace.


So the question now is, how do you become financially smart when going to these places?

I’ve personally discovered a great way to save money in Starbucks here in Manila – and that is to drink tea.

Remember my post about bulk buying? That is what I usually do.

I purchase a box of Tazo® tea from the counter. That will cost me P250 (approx $6) for a pack of 24 bags. And then whenever I need to go to Starbucks to meet a client or hangout with friends, I just bring a bag to the counter and request the barista for hot water in a mug for my tea and buy a couple of honey sticks at P5 each.

This brings my total cost for my drink to a low, low price of approximately P24 (approx $0.54). Great way to save money huh?

Lastly, I’d like to share some varieties I do so that you won’t drown of boredom with your hot tea.

  • Iced Tea – ask your barista to steep the tea for 5 minutes then pour lots of ice and enjoy a refreshing cold drink.
  • Tea Latte – steep for 5 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of honey and top with milk (preferably half-and-half).
  • Tea Infusion – add a shot of syrup for a few extra cost, I would recommend Valencia (orange) on black tea.

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Photo courtesy of Peter Owen



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12 Responses to “How To Save Money On Your Next Starbucks Experience”

  1. Entrepreneur says:

    You can also order the largest cup- the grande, and ask them to split it into two 😀

  2. Fitz says:

    YES you’re right! Thanks for the additional information!

  3. […] was amused that my friend knows my usual routine in Starbucks. I gave him my tea bag and settled myself at the table while he gets our drinks. As I see him […]

  4. Ramon says:

    you can also ask quad espresso split into two on a tall size mug and ask the barista for a hot water = 2 tall size americano..

    or get a brewed coffee and then ask for a refill much cheaper

  5. Fitz says:

    Yes, I sometimes ask for the discounted refills whenever I drink drip coffee.

    Thanks for the additional tips, Ramon.

  6. Tony Tovar says:

    As an avid tea drinker, I must say that people must get into the habit of doing just that! Start buying the bigger bulk tea boxes. I remember when I worked for a tea store, people would spend like 4-6 bucks on a 16 oz cup of tea and it only cost 16 cents to make! So yeah, I totally agree with you here!

    Tony Tovar

  7. Fitz says:

    Yes, when you spend some time to do the math, you’ll realize how much you’re actually paying for something that’s really so cheap. Thanks for the comment Tony.

  8. Tony Tovar says:

    Your Welcome! Great material. Keep up the good work! 😀

  9. Starbucks Gift Cards - Mark Harris says:

    Some helpful ideas to save money at Starbucks, especially if you like tea.

    I suppose if everyone started doing this, it might annoy Starbucks a bit. But today, in these more difficult economic times, especially here in the US, Starbucks should appreciate the business, even if the customer is trying to save money. A customer in the store is better than none.


  10. […] might also be interested in an article I wrote a few years back in my other blog. It’s about how you can save money in Starbucks. Share and […]

  11. Malen says:

    This is a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing!

    God bless!

  12. Malen says:

    I already did that.

    In addition, I included your/this site in my blogroll at http// Hope you’ll find time to visit my site but please don’t be surprised, I’m a freshman in blogging.

    You, as well as Ms. Connie Veneracion, inspired me to make my own blog.

    Thanks and God bless!

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