Cheapest Starbucks Drinks on the Menu

In the hustle and bustle of our modern world, the quest for that perfect cup of coffee, one that doesn’t break the bank, is a challenge many of us face daily.

Whether you’re a college student pulling an all-nighter or a graphic designer juggling multiple projects, the allure of Starbucks is undeniable. But how does one navigate the seemingly endless options on a tight budget?

Cheapest Starbucks Drinks

Fear not, I am here to guide you on a journey to discover delicious Starbucks drinks that are all under $4. As an experienced connoisseur of cheapest Starbucks drinks, I will share my insights, hacks, and top picks. From understanding Starbucks sizes to the art of syrup selection, this guide will transform your Starbucks experience without leaving a hole in your pocket.

So, you’re a few days away from Payday and you’re trying to pinch as many pennies as you can. I understand. I’ve been there as well! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to drink a delicious Starbucks drink. You’ll just have to change the type of drink you order from Starbucks to a cheap drink.

The cheapest version of any Starbucks drink is the tall size. Brewed coffee is usually the cheapest version and they allow you to add a bit of milk and sometimes a pump of sweetener or two. Don’t forget to use your Gold Rewards on your Starbucks gold card or Starbucks app.

If you have less than $3 to spend at Starbucks, there are a few drinks and treats you can order. Starbucks is known for their $6, $7, and $8 drinks, but that doesn’t mean a handful of change won’t buy you anything. Keep on reading to learn about the cheapest drinks at Starbucks and how you can customize them.

Important note: The prices for these drinks are typical for the Los Angeles area in California, the United States.

What to know about Starbucks

For those who are not regular visitors to Starbucks, here’s a guide to help you navigate your way through the Starbucks experience, complete with a few insider tricks!

Understanding Starbucks Drink Sizes

For a novice, Starbucks’ drink sizes can be quite daunting. Here’s a simplified guide to understanding their sizes:

  • Short: 8 fl. oz. (available for hot drinks only)
  • Tall: 12 fl. oz.
  • Grande: 16 fl. oz.
  • Venti Hot: 20 fl. oz.
  • Venti Cold: 24 fl. oz.
  • Trenta: 30 fl. oz. (for cold drinks only)

Comparing Starbucks Sizes with Other Coffee Chains

How do Starbucks’ sizes stand up against other popular coffee destinations? Here’s a comparison:

  • Mcdonald’s: small (12 oz), medium (16 oz), and large (22 oz)
  • Dunkin’: small (12 oz), medium (24 oz), and large (32 oz)
  • Chickfila: 12 oz
  • Panera: small (12 oz), regular (16 oz), large (20 oz)

Which Starbucks size is the most cost-effective?

From my perspective, the Grande size offers the best value for money at Starbucks. Let’s consider an iced coffee to illustrate this:

  • Tall iced coffee: $2.95
  • Grande iced coffee: $3.25
  • Venti iced coffee: $3.75

Opting for a Grande gets you an extra 4 oz for only $0.30 more than a Tall, making it the most economical size upgrade. For an additional $0.50, a Venti gets you an extra 4 oz. Both Grande and Venti sizes offer good value for money, but I recommend you bypass the Tall and go for a Grande to get the most out of your purchase!

The prices and caffeine content for the drink recommendations listed below are based on the 16 oz Grande size.

Starbucks Iced Drink Size Hack

Starbucks Iced Drink Size Hack

When you’re ordering an iced drink, you can request additional ice in a larger cup size. For instance, you could say, “Grande iced coffee with extra ice in a Venti cup.” This way, you’ll get the same amount of coffee as a Grande but with more ice, which fills a Venti cup. This is beneficial if you like the feel of a larger cup or if you want to enjoy your drink over a longer period and need the extra ice to keep it cold.

Starbucks Syrup Flavor Options

Starbucks offers an array of syrup flavors that pair well with iced coffee, an americano, or regular hot coffee. Here are the syrup options available at Starbucks:

  • Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Funnel Cake Syrup
  • Hazelnut Syrup
  • Peppermint Syrup
  • Raspberry Syrup
  • Toffee Nut Syrup
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

How many pumps of syrup are in each size drink?

A Tall drink gets three pumps of syrup, a Grande gets four, a Venti hot gets five, and a Venti iced gets six.

What does “cream” mean at Starbucks?

When you request cream in your drink at Starbucks, it refers to half and half. If you prefer heavy cream, make sure to specify that. Other available options include regular milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and oat milk.

Best Cheap Hot Drinks at Starbucks

Hot coffee

1. Blonde Roast with flavored syrup and cream – $3.15

Caffeine content in a Grande blonde roast: 360 mg

Did you know lighter roasts have more caffeine than medium (310 mg) or dark roasts (260 mg)? According to Starbucks, their blonde roast offers a “mellow and soft taste with notes of toasted malt and milk chocolate.” It’s a solid choice! Learn more about choosing the right coffee roast for you: How to find the right coffee roast for you

My syrup recommendations include vanilla or caramel.

Ordering instructions: “Grande blonde roast with [vanilla] and cream”

2. Americano with cream – $3.25

Caffeine content in a Grande americano: 225 mg (3 espresso shots)

An americano is a blend of espresso shots and hot water. Mixed with a splash of cream, it’s just right.

Ordering instructions: “Grande americano with cream”

3. Caffè Misto – $3.45

Caffeine content in a Grande misto: 150 mg

A misto, also known as café au lait, is a 50/50 mix of brewed coffee and steamed milk, similar to a latte. Read more about “Misto vs. latte.”

Ordering instructions: “Grande misto”

Hot Tea

1. Chai Tea – $2.75

Caffeine content in a Grande chai tea: 40 mg

Chai tea is a black tea blend featuring clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. It’s especially soothing during the fall season.

Ordering instructions: “Grande chai tea” (Be sure to specify if you want the Chai Tea Latte, which includes milk and syrup and is pricier than the plain Chai Tea)

2. Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea – $2.75

Caffeine content in a Grande Jade Citrus Mint tea: 40 mg

The Jade Citrus Mint tea is a green tea infused with spearmint and lemongrass, a favorite of mine all year round!

Ordering instructions: “Grande Jade Citrus Mint Tea”

Best Cheap Iced Drinks at Starbucks

Iced Coffee

1. Iced Coffee with vanilla and cream – $3.25

Caffeine content in a Grande iced coffee: 165 mg

This was my staple drink during college: iced brewed coffee with vanilla and cream. This drink is incredibly versatile; you can experiment with other syrups too. A couple of my favorites include caramel syrup (order as: “Grande iced coffee with caramel and cream”) or a mix of vanilla and caramel (order as: “Grande iced coffee with two pumps vanilla, two pumps caramel, and cream”)

Ordering instructions: “Grande iced coffee with vanilla and cream” (if the barista asks if you want classic syrup, say no, as you’re substituting the default sweetener with vanilla syrup)

2. Iced Americano with cream – $3.25

Caffeine content in a Grande iced americano: 225 mg (3 shots)

An iced americano is simply espresso shots topped with cold water. Add a little bit of cream and it’s perfect.

Ordering instructions: “Grande iced americano with cream”

3. Iced Shaken Espresso – $3.95

Caffeine content in a Grande Iced Shaken Espresso: 225 mg (3 shots)

The iced shaken espresso is made with espresso, shaken with milk and classic syrup. This is my favorite summer drink!

Ordering instructions: “Grande Iced Shaken Espresso”

Iced Tea

1. Iced Passion Tango Tea – $2.95

Caffeine Free

Iced passion tango tea is an herbal tea blend featuring hibiscus, lemongrass, and apple. It also has a vibrant pink color!

Ordering instructions: “Grande iced passion tango tea”

2. Iced Green Tea Lemonade – $3.45

Caffeine content in a Grande iced green tea lemonade: 25 mg

The iced green tea lemonade is a refreshing mix of green tea and lemonade, a perfect summer afternoon drink!

Ordering instructions: “Iced green tea lemonade”

Which Starbucks Drinks are the Cheapest?

The next time you’re at Starbucks, take a look at their prices. You’ll notice that most items are in the four to $6 range. But they do have a few cheap drinks as well as cheap snacks and food. Choosing the cheap drinks will help you cut down on daily costs.

Plus, if you’re running out the door, you don’t have to worry about grabbing more money in order to get your caffeine fix.

So, what are the cheapest drinks at Starbucks?

1. Brewed Coffee

Each of the brewed coffees, like The Veranda Blend or the dark roast coffee, as well as the decaf brew are $2.65 for a tall.

Considering a tall brewed coffee has over 200 milligrams of caffeine, that’s plenty of caffeine if you are sluggish on a Monday morning and you need a quick pick me up.

2. Espresso Drinks

The Espresso Macchiato is $2.95

The Cafe Americano is 3.35 for a tall.

If you need even more caffeine, you can add a shot of espresso to any drink. One shot of espresso is $1.

3. Non-Coffee Hot Drinks

The tall hot chocolate is $3.45

The steamed apple juice is $2.75.

The tall vanilla cream, which does not have any coffee, is $3.45. If you’ve never tried a vanilla cream, it is just steamed milk with vanilla syrup. You can also ask for it to be topped with whipped cream.

Any of the hot brewed teas, like the Earl Grey tea, the Royal English Breakfast tea, the Emperor’s Clouds and Mist, the Honey Citrus Mint tea, the Jade Citrus Mint tea, the Mint Majesty and the Peach Tranquility is $2.95 for a tall size.

4. Cold Drinks

There aren’t many cool drinks that are priced at less than $3. Even the tall iced coffee is more than $3.

A tall lemonade is $2.65.

A plain iced tea is $2.95. This does not come with lemonade. If you order your iced tea with lemonade instead of water, the resulting price will be $3.45.

5. Packaged Drinks and Food

I’m busy these days, I just can’t spare the time to wait for the barista to make my drink. So, my solution is to get in line and grab some prepackaged food and drinks from in front of the cash register and in the refrigerator section.

Here are the cheapest items in these sections:

  • A horizon chocolate organic milk is $2.95
  • A sparkling water is $2.95
  • An Ethos bottled water is $2.95
  • The Madeline is $2.95 each.
  • The Vanilla Biscotti with Almonds is $2.25.
  • The Gingerbread Biscotti, which is only available during Christmas time, is $2.65.
  • The Squirrel Brand Fruit and Nut Mix is $2.25.
  • The String Cheese is the cheapest item in the packaged foods section, as it is only $1.75.
  • The Kind Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Nut Bar, and other related nut bars are $2.65.

Cost of Modifications and Additions to Drinks?

If you add a shot to a drink, they will charge you $1. There is no charge for adding cream to a drink.

When you switch a dairy drink to a non-dairy milk, the barista will charge you $0.60. But if you switch from a Dairy Milk to a different Dairy Milk, the rooster will not charge you.

When you ask for extra syrup, the barista will charge you $0.60.

Any extra toppings, like chocolate swirls or salted caramel topping or peppermint topping, will cost $0.60.

What are the Cheapest Snacks at Starbucks?

Your next meal isn’t for a few hours and you didn’t eat lunch! Well, Starbucks has a few items that can keep the hunger pains away for only a few dollars.

The everything bagel, the plain bagel and the raisin bagel are $2.95.

If you order avocado spread along with a bagel, the avocado spread is $1.55.

A glazed donut is $2.95.

One petite vanilla bean scone is $1.85.

The butterfly sugar cookie is a dessert that appears in the wintertime. It is only $1.95.

Lunch and Sandwiches

If you’re hoping to get a cheap lunch at Starbucks, it would be best to pack your own lunch. You can’t buy a drink and a lunch from Starbucks with only $5. The cheapest menu item at Starbucks is the spinach feta and egg white wrap, as it is only $4.45.

If you’re a big fan of the protein lunch boxes from Starbucks, you might as well just pull out your credit card! PB&J protein box and other similar protein boxes are priced at a whopping $6.95.

So, what’s the Verdict?

If you want a cheap drink with a lot of caffeine, the tall brewed coffee is the way to go. With over 200 milligrams of caffeine at only $2.65, you can order a brewed coffee every day and you won’t spend $20.

And remember, when you receive a brewed coffee, you can ask the barista for a splash of milk. Starbucks also puts out whole milk, 2%, and half and half at the milk and sugar station.

If you want a snack with your brewed coffee, then your ideal snack is a single petite vanilla scone at $1.85. But if it’s the winter time, then you can indulge in a butterfly sugar cookie, which is only $1.95 cents.

If you want something that’s more filling and less sugary with your drink, then order a bagel from Starbucks. You will get both a bagel and cream cheese for only $2.95.

Possible Questions on Your Mind

What is the most cheapest drink in Starbucks?

The cheapest drink at Starbucks is typically a tall brewed coffee or a hot tea, which usually costs around $2 to $2.50, depending on the location.

What can you get at Starbucks for $2?

For $2, you can typically get a tall brewed coffee or a hot tea, with prices varying slightly by location and tax rates.

What is the 12 dollar Starbucks drink?

A $12 Starbucks drink is likely a customized beverage with multiple added ingredients, like extra shots, syrups, or toppings, which can increase the price significantly.

How much is the cheapest Starbucks coffee?

The cheapest Starbucks coffee, a tall brewed coffee, usually costs around $2 to $2.50, with prices varying by location and tax rates.

How to get Starbucks at a low price?

To get Starbucks at a low price, opt for a basic brewed coffee or tea, minimize add-ons, and consider joining Starbucks Rewards to earn free drinks and discounts.