The Starbucks Mobile Order Hack That Gets You Cheaper Lattes

No matter how long or how often you've been ordering your go-to drink from Starbucks, it's never too late to start ordering smarter. There is a right way to order items at the coffee chain, and while some ordering tips are time-savers, others can actually save you money.

If you're a latte person, you're in luck. Thanks to a certain mobile ordering trick, you can essentially re-create your typical drink order without paying extra for the milk, resulting in a cheaper drink. All you need to do is order the beverage as an espresso or iced espresso item, and build your own latte from there by customizing accordingly. If you're ordering in person, try asking for an espresso or iced espresso with extra milk added (and any other customizations you'd like).

To do this on the mobile ordering app, choose either espresso or iced espresso on the menu. Select the size cup you'd like, then click "Customize" and scroll down to the "Add-Ins" section, then select "Add Creamer". Add a splash of any type of milk you prefer, and if you click on the same dropdown again, you'll have the option to increase the amount of milk added. From there, you can keep customizing your drink by adding things like shots of syrup, cold foam, or sweeteners. Keep in mind that since this is a bit of a loophole, depending on the size cup you order and how many other ingredients you add, the drink may not fill the cup all the way. 

How much can you save with this Starbucks hack?

One helpful thing to know about Starbucks is that you can add "creamer" — e.g. extra milk of any kind — to pretty much any drink that isn't already milk-based, and you can add up to four ounces of steamed milk for no extra charge. By starting with a cheaper drink order like an espresso, you could end up with a big drop in price for what is essentially the same drink, depending on what you typically order. TikTok creator @jenglufling shared a step-by-step video for how to perform this ordering hack on the company's mobile app, and saves over $3 in the process.


Wish i would’ve known this sooner 🙌🏼 #starbucks #starbuckshack #starbucksorder #icedlattestarbucks #whattoorderatstarbucks

♬ original sound – jenglufling

The exact prices of a custom drink will vary based on your store's location, but generally speaking, the price difference between a standard size espresso and Caffe Latte at Starbucks is upwards of $1.50. If you order an espresso, you can add extra milk of any kind for free, but since a latte is already crafted with milk, you'll not only be charged for the milk built into the drink, but will be charged further (usually around 70 cents) if you choose an alternative milk, such as a plant-based option. While customizations like flavored syrups, sweeteners, or cold foam will create further charges, you'll still be starting from a lower base price, and you might save up to several dollars on a single drink order.

More Starbucks menu hacks

With such a large menu and so many complex customization options, Starbucks customers have discovered tons of other tips and tricks to order the signature drinks you love in more cost-effective way. Sure, it may be a difference of a few cents, but it adds up quickly if you're a regular at the coffee chain.

For example, if you go grab coffee with a buddy, you can split your Starbucks drinks with a friend by asking for a venti to be split in two. A tall drink is 12 ounces, while a hot Venti drink is 20 ounces and an iced venti is 24 ounces, so you can get two 10- or 12-ounce drinks out of one order and save up to a dollar. There are hacks for other popular drinks, too, such as the ordering trick for cheaper Americanos, and the trick for a Misto or Cafe au Lait, which involves ordering drip coffee and adding steamed milk.

Last but not least, Starbucks runs various promotions throughout the year that you can take advantage of to save some money. If you join the Starbucks Rewards Program, you can grab deals like BOGO weekend drinks with your Starbucks buddy and discounted grande drinks on Thursdays. You can even bring your own cup with you to save 10 cents on your order.