How to Afford Starbucks

starbucks logoA cup of specialty coffee or sweet treat from Starbucks doesn’t come cheap.  However, follow these tips, and you’ll find yourself spending less while still enjoying the pleasures of a coffee shop vibe.

1.  When you get your first Starbucks Gift Card (either as a gift from someone else or treat to yourself) make sure to sign up for the My Starbucks Rewards program BEFORE you start using your card.

2.  Gather your loose change and cash them in at a CoinStar kiosk in exchange for a Starbucks Gift Card.  CoinStar does not charge the 10.9% processing fee when you exchange for a gift card.

3.  Watch your email or text for individualized offers – such as Buy One Get One Free drinks or bakery items.

4.  Watch your email or text for challenges to earning Stars – for example, visit 3 Starbucks locations by a certain date, and earn 10 Stars.

5.   Try to earn 30 Stars within your first 12 months as a member so that you can get to the Gold Level.  At this level, you get a free drink or food item of your choice whenever you earn 12 Stars (and a free, personalized Gold card in the mail!).

6.  Always transfer balances from new gift cards to your main card – this way you can accumulate points on the same card.

7.  Every transaction counts for 1 Star, regardless if made on the same day – so don’t be shy about splitting up your transactions when appropriate.

8.  If you buy Starbucks coffee to brew at home, don’t forget to enter the code on the outside of specially marked packages to earn 1 Star.  I’ve purchased Starbucks coffee from Target and Costco, and they all have this special code.

9.  Sign up for the mobile app – you can pay from your phone and also get notices for free app and song downloads.

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