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Insider Tips to Save Big at Starbucks

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Starbucks (Stock Quote: SBUX) may be one of the most popular beverage chains on the planet, but prices for most of its cups of coffee still scare away frugal consumers. Looking at a Starbucks menu is almost like checking your cell phone bill: It’s full of odd words that don’t really make sense (What is a Venti, and what exactly does it have to do with coffee?), and it always ends up costing more than you expect.

Recently though, one anonymous Starbucks employee posted nearly a http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/efxps/starbucks_hacks/ ">dozen tips on Reddit, a popular social news site, for ways that consumers can save cash at the popular chain.

Some of the tips offered aren’t really secrets. For example, the employee recommends befriending a barista in an attempt to get perks, signing up for the Starbucks loyalty program, or using your own coffee cup to save 10 cents. But some of the tips are particularly clever and useful:

  • “If you and a friend both want a tall cup of coffee (the smallest size), the most cost effective route is to order a single Venti drink (the largest) size, and ask to have it split into two cups. You’ll end up with nearly the same amount of coffee as a tall cup, and you and your friend will each shave about $1 off the bill.”
  • “If you and a friend are out and want a Frappuccino, ask for a Venti split into two tall cups. Iced venti cups are 24 oz. Tall are 12. Voila. Two talls would cost you about six bucks, a venti, four.”
  • “If you want espresso, avoid the options already on the menu board. Americanos cost just a little more than a cup of brewed coffee, but packs more of a caffeine punch because it's espresso and hot water. It tastes like coffee and you can sweeten it just like you would your normal cup of coffee ... If you want an extra shot, don't ask for one. Ask for a "grande Americano in a tall cup." That way, they charge you an extra 30 cents, instead of an extra 70 cents, for the shot of espresso. This works because Grande Americanos get three shots. Same would work for a Venti. My manager tells all his partners to do this by default, whether the customer asks for it that way or not, but other stores may not be so nice.”

With the help of this one mystery barista, everyone can be one step closer to that perfect roast, at a more reasonable price.

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