cheap starbucks drinks

The Hidden Gems: 11 Cheap Starbucks Drinks You Must Try!

Starbucks, recognized globally for its iconic green mermaid and luxurious lattes, often gets a reputation for being a pricey coffee indulgence. However, this perception is about to change. Dive into our guide on the best cheap Starbucks drinks that not only save you money but also tantalize your taste buds!

The Importance of Being Budget-Friendly

Budget Friendly

In today’s consumer-centric world, achieving a balance between quality and affordability has become paramount. As global economic dynamics shift and personal budgets tighten, many are seeking ways to indulge in their favorite treats without breaking the bank.

Starbucks, a brand synonymous with luxury and premium offerings, surprisingly caters to this budget-conscious crowd as well. It’s not just about splurging on a $6 latte; it’s also about savoring a $2 brew that’s crafted with the same care and attention to detail.

Moreover, the rise of digital influencers and savvy shoppers has amplified the voice of budget-friendly hacks and choices. The appeal of finding a “good deal” isn’t limited to just discount stores or sales anymore; it’s about making smart choices every day. And what’s smarter than enjoying Starbucks quality at a fraction of the expected price?

This shift in consumer behavior emphasizes a broader trend: the pursuit of value. Value doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest option. Instead, it signifies the best bang for your buck, combining quality, experience, and affordability. And this is precisely where Starbucks’ array of cheap drink options shine. They are emblematic of the brand’s commitment to cater to all customers, ensuring everyone can enjoy the Starbucks experience regardless of their budget.

In the sections to follow, we’ll guide you through these “hidden gems” on the Starbucks menu, proving that premium taste can indeed come without a premium price tag.

Navigating the Starbucks Menu for Affordable Choices


The Starbucks menu, with its seemingly endless array of options, can often seem like a maze to those unfamiliar. Vibrant pictures of frothy frappuccinos, bold espressos, and decadent macchiatos can be both inviting and daunting. But for those on a budget, there’s a world of affordable choices hidden amidst the opulence, waiting to be discovered.

1. Understanding the Menu Structure

Starbucks categorizes its drinks into core families – espresso beverages, teas, cold coffees, frappuccinos, and more. While the elaborate concoctions with multiple ingredients usually come with a higher price, their simpler counterparts often offer a similar taste experience at a fraction of the cost.

2. Sizes and Pricing

Starbucks offers its drinks in various sizes, from the small ‘Tall’ to the large ‘Venti’. By opting for a smaller size but keeping the intensity of flavor – for instance, asking for a double shot of espresso in a Tall latte – you can enjoy a robust taste without stretching your budget.

3. Seasonal vs. Regular Menu

Seasonal specials, while enticing, often come with a slightly elevated price due to their limited availability and unique ingredients. The regular menu, on the other hand, hosts a range of classics that have stood the test of time. Drinks like a simple brewed coffee or a classic cappuccino rarely fluctuate in price, ensuring consistency for your palate and pocket.

4. Customization Is Key

One of Starbucks’ standout features is its openness to customization. You have the freedom to tweak almost any aspect of your drink. By substituting, omitting, or even adding certain elements (like syrups or types of milk), you can not only control the flavor but also manage the cost. For instance, choosing almond milk might have an additional charge, but forgoing the whipped cream might reduce the price.

In essence, the Starbucks menu is not a rigid list but a canvas. With a bit of knowledge and creativity, you can paint your perfect, budget-friendly masterpiece on it. The next sections will delve deeper into these pocket-friendly concoctions that don’t skimp on the Starbucks quality you know and love.

8 Cheap & Popular Drink Recommendations

Navigating the vast sea of Starbucks’ offerings can be daunting, especially when trying to stick to a budget. However, with a keen eye and a bit of know-how, one can uncover drink options that provide exceptional value for money without compromising on taste. Let’s delve deeper into some of these cost-effective treasures:

Hot Drinks

  • Tall Brewed Coffee ($2.25)


Image source: Pinterest

Beyond its reasonable price point, the Tall Brewed Coffee embodies Starbucks’ dedication to fine coffee. Different blends emerge seasonally, offering a spectrum of flavors. From the mild undertones of the Veranda Blend to the bold and smoky French Roast, there’s a world to explore in just this simple selection.

  • Classic Hot Chocolate ($2.75)


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Far from the powdered versions available elsewhere, Starbucks’ Hot Chocolate is a rich symphony of cocoa, steamed milk, and whipped cream. It’s a hug in a cup, perfect for those looking to indulge without splurging.

  • Teavana Hot Teas ($2.45)


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Starbucks’ collection of Teavana teas offers solace to the tea aficionado. With options ranging from the invigorating Emperor’s Clouds & Mist green tea to the aromatic and calming Chai Tea, there’s a brew for every mood.

Cold Drinks

  • Iced Coffee ($2.65)

Iced Coffee

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A staple for many, Starbucks’ iced coffee isn’t just brewed coffee poured over ice. It’s specially crafted to be robust and flavorful, ensuring the ice doesn’t dilute its character. Add a dash of milk or a sweetener, and you have a personalized, refreshing treat.

  • Iced Teas ($2.65)

Iced Teas

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These aren’t your regular iced teas. The Iced Passion Tango Tea, as an example, brings together a tantalizing mix of hibiscus, lemongrass, and apple. It’s more than a drink; it’s an experience — zesty, sweet, and utterly revitalizing.

  • Starbucks Refresher ($3.25 for a small size)


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Positioned between a fruit drink and an iced tea, Refreshers are unique. Using green coffee extract for a mild caffeine kick, flavors like the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher offer a tropical escape, making them perfect for those sweltering summer days.

Blended Drinks & Frappuccinos

  • Coffee Frappuccino ($3.75 for a tall size)


Image source: Starbucks

Think of it as your morning coffee’s cooler cousin. Combining the deep notes of coffee with a creamy blend, the Coffee Frappuccino stands as a testament to the fact that simplicity often yields the most delightful results.

  • Basic Frappuccinos ($3.95 for a tall size)

Basic Frappuccino

Image source: Starbucks

Frappuccinos are often associated with decadence, but when you strip them back to their core – devoid of the lavish toppings and intricate swirls of syrups – they’re both delectable and more affordable. Classics like the Caramel and Vanilla Bean Frappuccinos, even in their basic forms, offer a creamy and refreshing escape.

As you embark on this Starbucks journey, armed with this knowledge, you’ll find that a delightful experience doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. Every sip of these budget-friendly options brings the rich legacy and quality of Starbucks to your taste buds.

Exploring Starbucks’ Secret Menu for Affordable Twists

Starbucks’ unofficial ‘Secret Menu’ offers a plethora of unique concoctions that aren’t necessarily listed on the standard menu. Some of these hidden treasures are surprisingly affordable:

1. Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino ($4.25)

Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino

Image source: Pinterest

Start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and request a pump or two of cinnamon dolce syrup. This cost might slightly increase depending on the number of syrup pumps added. This drink not only satisfies sweet cravings but also is a nod to the warm, inviting aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

2. Raspberry Milk Tea ($3.50)

Raspberry Milk Tea

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This begins as an Iced Black Tea. Instead of water, request half and half (or another milk preference). With an addition of a few pumps of raspberry syrup ($0.50 per pump, prices may vary), you get a concoction that’s both refreshing and creamy, striking a balance between fruitiness and richness.

3. French Vanilla ($2.95 for a tall latte with the flavor additions)

French Vanilla

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Though not explicitly listed on the Starbucks menu, achieving the French Vanilla flavor is easy. Simply request any drink, like a latte or an iced coffee, with half vanilla and half hazelnut syrups. This flavor combination provides a gourmet touch without drastically impacting the price.

Always remember, when trying out ‘Secret Menu’ items, it’s essential to know the ingredients or the recipe rather than the name, as not every barista might be familiar with all the fan-made concoctions. It’s also courteous to visit during less busy hours if you’re trying out a new or complex drink order.

Additional Tips to Save on Your Starbucks Order


Venturing beyond the drink itself, there are numerous ways to extract even more value from your Starbucks experience. These strategies can make each visit both enjoyable and budget-friendly:

  • Join Starbucks Rewards Program: Starbucks Rewards offers members exclusive benefits. By accruing stars with each purchase, you can earn free drinks, food, and more. Periodic promotions also allow members to gain bonus stars, accelerating the rewards process. Over time, this loyalty can lead to considerable savings.
  • Bring Your Own Cup: Starbucks offers a small discount to customers who bring their reusable cups. It might seem minimal at first, but over multiple visits, these savings accumulate. Plus, it’s a great way to contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Order a Larger Size and Share: If you’re out with a friend, consider ordering a ‘Venti’ and requesting an extra cup. Many times, the larger sizes offer more value per ounce and can be enough for two when shared.
  • Opt for ‘Short’ Over ‘Tall’: While not prominently displayed on the menu, Starbucks offers a ‘Short’ size for many of its hot drinks. It’s smaller than a ‘Tall’ but can be a perfect amount for those who prefer a more concentrated flavor or a quick caffeine hit.
  • Customize with Free Add-ons: Subtle customizations, like asking for extra water in an iced tea or additional ice in an iced coffee, can adjust the drink’s strength and volume to your preference without any added cost.
  • Skip the Extras: Whipped cream, flavored syrups, and certain milks might incur additional charges. By opting for the basic version of a drink and skipping these extras, you can enjoy a more affordable beverage.
  • Take Advantage of ‘Refill’ Policy: If you’re planning to stay awhile at Starbucks, remember that the refill policy allows you to get a brewed coffee or tea refill at a reduced price, regardless of your original drink.
  • Check for Happy Hour Promotions: Starbucks periodically offers Happy Hour deals, typically after 3 PM. This might include buy-one-get-one-free offers or significant discounts on specific beverages.

Implementing even a few of these strategies can transform your Starbucks experience. Not only will you enjoy your favorite beverages, but you’ll also do so with the satisfying knowledge that you’re making the most of every dollar spent.


Navigating Starbucks on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on flavor or quality. By exploring lesser-known menu items, tapping into the ‘Secret Menu’, and employing smart ordering strategies, one can enjoy a delightful Starbucks experience without breaking the bank. It’s all about savoring the sip and saving the cent.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.