It’s easy to justify a few bucks per day for a much needed morning coffee and late-afternoon pick-me-up. However, it’s harder to justify the yearly expense of daily coffee shop visits. According to Loans Canada, the average North American spends $1,100 a year on coffee – like we said, not so easy to justify!
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Now that we have your attention, here are our top 6 tips to save where you can, while remaining caffeinated. Let’s face it, we aren’t willing to give up our coffee companion.
1. FOR THE LATTE LOVERS OUT THERE: ORDER AN ESPRESSO IN A REGULAR-SIZE CUP AND ADD YOUR FAVOURITE MILK OR NON-DAIRY MILK
Lattes are great, but the price…not so much. They consist of 1-2 shots espresso and steamed milk. We’ve got a savvy solution to satisfy both your latte craving and your wallet – order 1-2 shots espresso for a fraction of the price and add your choice of milk or non-dairy milk. This way you can customize the strength of your drink (number of shots) and shave off anywhere from $1-3 (depending on the cafe).
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For colder months: bring back to the office and nuke in the microwave for 30 seconds for a creamy, cozy customized latte.
For warmer months: ask for your espresso on ice and enjoy a refreshing iced latte.
2. ORDER YOUR USUAL SIZE IN A LARGER CUP
Get the max capacity of your usual size with additional room for milk. Plus, the barista is likely to overestimate and pour you a little more love aka coffee if it’s in a larger cup (psychology). Better yet, swap your usual size for one size up, in a larger cup. You can save the extra coffee in the fridge for your late-afternoon cup – saving two of life’s most valuable resources: time and money!
3. ASK FOR YOUR FAVOURITE NON-DAIRY MILK AFTER YOU HAVE PAID
Prefer coconut, almond or soy milk? Some coffee shops charge extra for these options, typically ranging from 60 to 80 cents. Wait until after you have paid for a non-dairy milk, chances are they won’t bother charging you afterwards. Dairy intolerances, allergies and diet preferences are widely known and respected, the good-hearted baristas understand this. If you know of a coffee shop in your area that doesn’t happen to charge extra for non-dairy milk, all the better.
4. ASK FOR COFFEE PUNCH CARDS
Take advantage of punch cards and earn your way to a free drink! Local coffee shops often have punch cards to incentivise repeat customers. Ask your barista if they offer them; if asking makes you uncomfortable, they are often kept near the cash register, so keep your eyes peeled.
5. GET A CUSTOMER REWARDS CARD
If you tend to get your daily coffee at a chain, such as Starbucks, get a rewards card. If you are loyal to another coffee shop, find out if they offer one – what’s the harm in future free drinks?
Learn more about the Starbucks Rewards Card and sign up here!
6. BRING A REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
Investing in a reusable coffee cup is both environmentally and fiscally responsible. Most coffee shops offer a small discount for customers who bring their own reusable cup. Starbucks offers a 10-cent discount, others offer greater discounts; personal anecdote – this week I noticed my local cafe offers a 20-cent discount! This might seem insignificant at the time, but remember, it all adds up.
Do you know any other tips to get the most out of your coffee shop bucks? Share your wisdom in the comments below!
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