How to slash the cost of your daily cuppa

Love your daily caffeine kick but loathe the expense that comes with it? Here are my top tips on how you can cut the cost of your daily cuppa without having to make it yourself – or worse – go without. 

My boyfriend buys a fancy coffee from the train station into work every single morning which costs him about £3 (that’s what he’s admitted so it could be more). This drives me mad as I can’t stand the waste of money.

The worst thing about it is we’ve got an expensive coffee machine at home that does exactly the same job. But it’s not my money – and I don’t drink tea or coffee, so maybe I’m missing something.

So if you’re like my boyfriend and enjoy getting a cup of java from a coffee shop, you might as well get as much for your money as possible.

With a bit of help from our brilliant forumites who work or have worked for a coffee shop or just frequent these places, here are my 20 tips on how you can save a bit of cash when buying your daily cuppa.

1. If there’s two of you, buy a large drink and ask for it to be split between two small cups.

2. Ask for one large Americano and one cup of hot water and one spare cup – makes two large drinks for the price of one.

3. Sign up to the Starbucks newsletter and get a free drink within 30 days of your birthday.

4. Don’t buy bottled water as some coffee shops filter their water (Starbucks and Costa do, Café Nero doesn’t). Ask for a large tap water with ice.

5. Ask for frozen coffees in larger cup with extra ice – same price but goes much further.

6. In Costa, order a Babyccino, which is a choice of hot milk or chocolate, sprinkles with chocolate on top and a big marshmallow. A bargain for 55p.

7. Be nice to the baristas, ask politely with a smile and you’re much more likely to get freebies.

8. Order a ‘short’ sized drink at Starbucks. It’s cheaper and not advertised.

9. Keep an eye out for coffee shop offers on daily deals sites. I’ve seen offers on Groupon, Living Social and more that sells a £10 voucher for Starbucks and other coffee chains for £5.

10. Sign up for John Lewis or Waitrose’s loyalty cards instead and get your coffee for free. With the John Lewis loyalty card you get sent a voucher to get tea or coffee and cake once month, and just flash your myWaitrose loyalty card in-store Waitrose to get free coffee every day.

11. Top up your coffee from the free milk jug – there is always room for more volume under the froth.

12. Don’t buy a cup of milk, ask for a spare cup and fill it up with the free milk jug.

13. If you buy a pot of tea, always ask for a jug of hot water as well to top up the pot.

14. If you want fancy coffee, go to McDonalds or Greggs. Their coffee is just as nice and half the cost compared to what you have to pay in a typical coffee shop (as long as you don’t come away with a sausage roll as well!).

15. Carry your own tea bags with you, and ask for hot water in a cup to get yourself a free cup of tea.

16. Sign up to free loyalty cards, such as Costa and Starbucks (or any local ones in your area) as you may get a free drink out of it. If you’re a Starbucks fan, also consider getting a prepaid Starbucks card. With it you’ll get the choice of  free syrup shots, whipped cream and free extra espresso shots.

17. If you go to Starbuck’s a lot, invest in a reusable cup – it gets you 25p discount. I spoke to Starbuck’s and it told me that it doesn’t even have to be a Starbucks branded cup.

18. When ordering an iced late, ask for less ice if you want more liquid (although don’t complain if it’s not as cold as you’d like!)

19. Standard brewed coffee – ask for a filter coffee – is usually cheaper than the fancier stuff.

20. At Costa the take-out Primo is bigger than the drink-in Primo.

Obviously, these may not work for you – it may depend on how the barista is feeling or how nice you are to them. If I’ve left any out – comment below.