Get a 19p Pret coffee, 59p Costa croissant & more on Mon-Wed using a clever coffee shop deals stack

Combine 'Eat Out to Help Out' with other offers for a brew-tiful saving

With lockdown easing in some places, many high streets reopening, and some returning to offices, coffee is on many people's mind. If you regularly buy a brew, then you'll know that over time the cost can really add up. With this clever deals stack, you can get your fix of caffeine for pennies throughout August, so you won't be left feeling like a mug.

We know some coffee shops and restaurants are struggling, and Eat Out to Help Out (paid for by the Government) is designed to help them – so this isn't about getting one over on them, but simply stacking deals that are available.

This stack combines three offers which are running throughout August:

  1. The Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, where you get 50% off (up to £10 per person) when you sit in – not takeaway – on a Monday to Wednesday in August at participating coffee shops, restaurants and pubs. It's taken off the bill automatically after all other discounts have been applied.
  2. The recent VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for the hospitality sector, which if passed on in full would lead to a 12.5% discount, though it's up to stores whether they do it. Some have passed on the saving to customers (it's been automatically applied to prices), though even where it's given, it's not always the full 12.5%.
  3. Ongoing discounts for bringing your own cup, which acts like a coupon to get up to 50p off hot drinks every time.

Now, you won't necessarily be able to stack all three at every one of the big coffee shop chains, eg, Greggs isn't doing Eat Out to Help Out at most branches, Caffe Nero doesn't give money off for a reusable cup.

It's also important to note that many of the big chains operate as a franchise, which means individual branches can have slightly different pricing depending on the location, so you may not end up with exactly the same prices as I have below, though it should apply to most locations, and the principle will be the same.

In the tables below, I'll show you which discounts apply at PretCostaStarbucksCaffe Nero, and Greggs, and what saving it gets you on drink and food...

Pret – coffee from 19p (Mon-Wed)

Menu item Original price VAT discount price (running total) Reusable cup discount price (running total) EOTHO discount Final price after deals stack (total saving)
☕ Filter coffee 99p ✔️ 12p off (87p) ✔️ 50p off (37p) ✔️ 18p off  19p (80p)
☕ Regular latte £2.40 ✔️ 30p off (£2.10) ✔️ 50p off (£1.60) ✔️ 90p off  80p (£1.60)
🥪 Hoisin duck wrap OR vegan avo, olives & toms £3.75 ✔️ 47p off (£3.28) ✔️ £1.64 off £1.64 (£2.11)
🥐 Chocolate croissant £1.79 ✔️ 22p off (£1.57) ✔️ 78p off 79p (£1)

Will it 100% work? While Pret's press office has so far only confirmed the VAT discount, its website states it's taking part in Eat Out to Help Out. We've checked its menu which applies nationwide and the prices add up, and we were able to get a filter coffee for 19p at a Pret store in London.

We found when we did it, our drink was poured into one of Pret's own disposable cups but we still got the reusable cup discount when we showed it at the till. We can't be certain all baristas will apply it, but you could always show them this if they don't do it for you.

Costa Coffee – coffee from 32p (Mon-Wed)

Over 1,700 of Costa's 2,300ish stores have an eat-in area so are eligible for the 50% off Government discount (see all participating branches).

Menu item Original price VAT discount price (running total) Reusable cup discount price (running total) EOTHO discount Final price after deals stack (total saving)
☕ Small filter coffee £1 ✔️ 12p off (88p) ✔️ 25p off (63p) ✔️ 31p off 32p (78p)
☕ Flat white £2.70 ✔️ 33p off (£2.37) ✔️ 25p off (£2.12) ✔️ £1.06 off £1.06 (£1.64)
🥪 Vegan ham & cheez toastie OR sausage bap £2.95 ✔️ 37p off (£2.58) ✔️ £1.29 off £1.29 (£1.66)
🥐 Croissant £1.35 ✔️ 17p off (£1.18) ✔️ 59p off 59p (76p)

Will it 100% work? Costa's press office has confirmed these prices, and that you'll be able to use your own cup, so the price you see above should be the price you pay in store.

If you're visiting on Thu-Sun, you'll still be able to get the reusable cup discount and VAT reduction on days Eat Out to Help Out isn't running, and pay 63p for a small filter coffee, or £2.12 for a flat white in a reusable cup.

Starbucks – coffee from 38p (Mon-Wed)

Menu item Original price 'VAT discount' price (running total) Reusable cup discount price (running total) EOTHO discount Final price after deals stack (total saving)
☕Filter coffee £1 ✔️ 25p off (75p) ✔️ 37p off 38p (62p)
☕Cappuccino or latte £2.76 ✔️ 45p off (£2.31) ✔️ 25p off (£2.06) ✔️ £1.03 off £1.03 (£1.73)
☕ Caramel macchiato  £3.54 ✔️ 45p off (£3.09) ✔️ 25p off (£2.84) ✔️ £1.42 off £1.42 (£2.12)
🥪 All day breakfast roll £4.32 ✔️ £2.16 off £2.16 (£2.16)
🧁 Blueberry muffin £2.39 ✔️ £1.19 off £1.20 (£1.19)

Will it 100% work? While Starbucks' press office hasn't confirmed all of this works, we've checked the menu at some branches so we know the VAT saving has been applied as above. We also know from reports that it's taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

It has confirmed the reusable cup discount can be used on filter coffee (there had been reports previously that it wasn't) – so you could be sipping a brew from 38p on Monday to Wednesday. As of Fri 7 Aug, Starbucks says it's introduced a new contact-free procedure so you can use your own cup again.

Caffe Nero – coffee from £1.02 (Mon-Wed)

Menu item Original price VAT discount price (running total) Reusable cup discount price (running total) EOTHO discount Final price after deals stack (total saving)
☕ Cafe latte (regular) £2.05 ❌ (extra stamp in app) ✔️ £1.02 off £1.03 (£1.02)
☕ Tea £1.90 ❌ (extra stamp in app) ✔️ 95p off 95p (95p)
🥪 Vegan deli sandwich £5.25 ✔️ £2.62 off  £2.63 (£2.62)
🥐 Vegan raspberry croissant £1.95 ✔️ 97p off 98p (97p)

Will it 100% work? Caffe Nero's press office has confirmed the above is correct, and as you can see from the table, discounts are less than other coffee chains, so you won't be able to get any of the discounts Thursday to Sunday.

If you're on O2, you can get a free hot or cold drink on Tuesdays or Wednesdays via the O2 Priority app. See Free hot or cold drink at Caffe Nero for more information.

Greggs – coffee from £1.11

While most Greggs stores aren't taking part in Eat Out to Help Out as dining areas aren't open, there are selected stores participating at Euro Garages roadside service locations (see the blue pins on this map). However, we've not had confirmation that you'll get a reusable cup discount at Euro Garages branches.

Menu item Original price VAT discount price (running total) Reusable cup discount price (running total) Price after EOTHO (50% off) Mon-Wed Final price after deals stack (total saving)
☕ Regular white coffee £1.50 ✔️ 19p off (£1.31) ✔️ 20p off (£1.11) £1.11 (39p)
☕ Tea £1 ✔️ 12p off (88p) ✔️ 20p off (68p) 68p (32p)
Vegan sausage roll £1
Vegan steak bake £1.55

Will this 100% work? Greggs' press office has confirmed it's passing on some of the VAT saving, that you can get a reusable cup discount, but that it's not taking part in Eat Out to Help Out. Bear in mind, that prices may differ where you are as we've based these on our local branch.

Greggs says that due to the pandemic it won't be able to pour your drink into a reusable cup, but if you bring one, you'll still get the 20p off.

What about independent coffee shops?

Of course, it's worth asking in your favourite local independent coffee shop if they're participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme (you can also check using this postcode tool), as well as if you're able to get a discount with your reusable cup. They may also be passing the VAT savings on, but with smaller shops this is less likely. If they're not doing any discounts and you can afford it, you may wish to ditch the big brands entirely – it's up to you.

Wherever you choose to go, please use a reusable cup where possible to help save the environment even if you're not saving money, and don't forget to wear a mask if you're getting take-out. See how to make face masks with spare fabric if you'd like to save money and make your own reusable mask.

Will you be trying a coffee shop deals stack if you're out and about? Have you already 'bean' making savings on coffee and food? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter.