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I am probably killing my good deal , but ... (Starbucks related)

I never was a fan of the Iced Cafe Mochas at Starbucks. First of all, their standard recipe uses 6 pumps of chocolate syrup (for the Venti size), way too much for my taste. Second, they add milk before the ice and that results in not nearly enough room in the cup for ice, so the result is stratified layers of hot drink below the ice, and third, three shots of espresso isn't quite up to snuff. I like 4.

So what I would do is order the mocha with 2 pumps only, add an extra shot of espresso, then have them fill the cup with ice. When prepared in that fashion, there is only a little room on top of the drink for a float of milk.

My cost for this was $4.30 (including the extra shot) at my local Starbucks.

What I discovered is that you can have the same drink for $2.40.

How? Order the Iced Cafe Americano, have them add two pumps of chocolate, then hold the water and just fill the cup with ice.

The Iced Cafe Americano already comes with 4 shots of espresso. The local store never charges me for the two pumps of chocolate, and the milk?

I just trot it over to the creamer station and float a bit of half and half on the top, snap the lid back on, and walk.

$1.90/drink saved.

The scam works the same for iced lattes, order the Americano, hold the water and fill with ice, then float with milk/h&h at the prep station.

The drinks are strong, delicious, cold, and 50% cheaper than ordering either a mocha or latte.

This is my first post here. Hope it helps.

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  1. I have another Starbucks Saver Deal. I like cappuccino but Starbucks baristas can distinguish between that and lattes. So I order an expresso macchiato and ask for extra foam. Voila, a perfect cappuccino comes out and instead of 2.65, it is about half of that. I am happy with my drink...and the saved money.

    1. The debate/discussion regarding "ghetto lattes" (not my terminology) has been going on for a while now...



      1. Ghetto Latte! That's great! Thanks for the links.

        1. Its not even a matter of makingit cheaper. I ahve always referred to teh stuff sold at *$ as "dessert"...primarily b/c it is too sweet and if you look at the nutritional info/calorie count, its scary.

          The name on the outside of the building is "Starbucks Coffee" and I go there for just that- coffee. It is indeed always fresh (there are timers on the brew pots and they dump every hour; there is even a timer on the iced coffee pots I noticed this summer).

          Yes the Americano is wonderful, always a good strength and of course, consistent.

          None of this has actually been a 'secret'...people go there and buy themselves a dessert-daily.

          My only 'secret' is that in every stand alone store you can get your coffee in a "for here" cup (or glass for the iced stuff)and it doesn't cost extra. It just seems to taste so much better that way, and also it forces me to sit down and relax with my beverage instead of running off and driving someplace and being rushed in my day. It is a true "coffee break".

          ...and it is good to see that maybe some people are thinking about what their true taste buds tell them, as well as the pocketbook.


          5 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            Actually, I used to work at a Starbucks in high school in San Francisco (24th and Sanchez) and we actually DID charge more for a 'for here' cup. I don't remember the reasoning, but we charged a tax in this case.

            I'll tell you how to save money: make friends with the baristas.

            When I started, was a woman who came in every day and was very friendly with all of the employees. She made jewelry for a living and gave all the girls a bracelet every once in awhile. To return the gesture, we gave her coffee for free. So, she spent about $1 on each of the 4 or 5 girls every several months and got her $2 coffee for free every day. She probably saved about $40 a month.

            1. re: Melanie

              This doesn't make any sense. Shouldnt 'Bucks be ENCOURAGING the for here cups and charging LESS? It saves money on inventory. What BS

              1. re: tamerlanenj

                They have to clean the ceramic cups, properly and to some kind of Health factor....it has to be costing them more...

                Some stores give me 10ยข off and some don't....

                and lots of times, if I order a 'tall' and those cups are out/not clean, they will give it to me in a larger cup, not filling it...but I know I'm getting more than 12 oz....

                1. re: tamerlanenj

                  Not starbuck's fault on this one. California law says that to go is "food" and there is not sales tax on food. In house is service, and thus sales tax. Ask for a to go, and then sit down at a table.

                2. re: Melanie

                  When I worked there we gave the cup discount for the "for here" patrons, so anyone doing that saved a dime. i thought that was protocol.

              2. The best way to save money at Starbby's is to refrain from odering anything the Barista needs to make. With my oldest in college I told her that her double frappe mochie soy colata w 2 shots of gold and a barrel of oil is setting her back mucho dollars over the course of the year. The Wall Street Journal did an article on the cost over four years of our kids spending $4+ on a cup of coffee. It's staggering!!!

                I love their coffee (and paying $1.91 for an all-day size) and shake my head every time i see someone fork over $5 for an iced coffee.

                1. This is a lot like the ghetto Big Mac. Instead of paying $3+ for a Big Mac, get a $1 double cheeseburger and ask for Big Mac sauce instead of ketchup. Ask for a sesame seed bun instead of a regular bun. They will almost always do both of these things for free. This alone taste pretty similar to a big mac, but for the coup de grace, get a $1 value fries and use half of them to make a layer of fries between the two patties: this becomes your substitute third bun! So for $2 you get a "ghetto" big mac and a half order of fries.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: tamerlanenj

                      Hey I'm one of the guys who started the Ghetto Big Mac meme some months back.


                      We just posted a follow-up video by the way. It's very different in some ways but it still talks about how to get very cheap disgusting food:

                      http://www.ohword.com/blog/581/bodega... (warning: some profanity early on in the video)

                      1. re: rafi

                        ha, thanks for the links. Good work!

                        "If you ain't eatin Utz, you eatin' butts!"

                        "Whole foods?!!? This is the Bronx! No Whole Foods!"
                        "You got Part Foods."


                    2. Axes, you da man, thanks for the tips (or da woman?)!!!!!!! And you have THE best handle I've seen here at CH.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: missclaudy

                        The man would be correct, missclaudy. Thank you very much for your kind words, not to mention the Jimi Hendrix riff.

                        1. re: axesbowledaslove

                          Love Hendrix(saw him at Woodstock) and the way you twisted bold into bowled which is much more fitting for us food fiends!

                        2. re: missclaudy

                          but does that mean that someone has axisbowledaslove already? or am i missing some play on words?

                        3. Hm. I just get a short latte and it's plenty for me -- 8 ounces of coffee (well, an ounce of coffee and six ounces of milk) is enough for anyone's morning.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            Not for me. :0) The Americano is a tried and true trick I learned in college and grad school, where I picked up this bad caffeine habit.

                          2. I like the americano trick for another reason. Using half and half to get the milky flavor saves all the lactose, which, as calories go, are pretty useless in the taste department.