starbucks coffee
If you missed the news, Starbucks raised their prices once again this summer, for the third summer in a row. The obvious solution to save money at Starbucks is to avoid the coffee shop altogether. However, if Starbucks is your crutch – like it is mine, you just have to learn how to get more creative about getting drinks for free.

Here are four such hacks you should try if you want to score free drinks.

Check Your Grocery Loyalty Card

The Starbucks in Vons, Albertsons and Barnes & Noble are all separate businesses, meaning they do not operate under the same umbrella as a Starbucks franchise. That means that they can offer different opportunities for Starbucks discounts and free drink offers.

My Vons’ card had four free Starbucks drinks on it last month. I also received multiple offers for discounted drinks and pastries in the past too. It seems that whenever Starbucks introduces a new drink, my Vons’ card has a free drink promo to entice me to try it.

You can check your Albertson’s card too, along with any other grocery store that has a Starbucks in it. Keep an eye out for special coupons or discounts for the Starbucks in Target and Barnes and Noble. I have seen a few, but not as many specials through the two retailers.

Volunteer to Be the Errand Drink Getter

I am usually the first person to volunteer to get a group of friends Starbucks, because they will usually pay me in cash, and I can just pay for everything on my card. This means I get the bonus points without personally having to spend more.

This can work great at your workplace too. Many of your co-workers will want coffee, but they don’t necessarily want to waste their lunch hour getting drinks. You can spend your lunch hour and enjoy the bonus stars. Be sure to manage how you are going to get paid though. You don’t want to deal with IOUs from co-workers.

Partake in Bonus Promotions

While I miss the old star program, I also enjoy the extra bonuses the new program offers. If you aren’t receiving regular emails from Starbucks, then be sure to change your spam filter settings.

Starbucks sends out a promotional earning email about once a week, but you need to open it and add the bonus deal to your account. Usually the emails are for double star days, 100 bonus points for ordering a specific thing, or extra bonus points for their “star dash,” which consists of going several days in a row.

Stick Around for a Few Minutes More

If you regularly get coffee or tea at Starbucks, you might as well get the tall size and stick around for a few minutes. Drink your tall quickly, then get a free refill to go. Obviously this tip isn’t ideal for those in a hurry, but you can cut the wait time by mobile ordering your drink ahead of time.

Let me know your tips and tricks for saving money on your favorite Starbucks (or other coffee shop) beverages. Have you ever received a free drink on your grocery loyalty card? What other tips do you have?

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