Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway – Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

The contest has ended. Congratulations Marsha!
Read how you can still win a Starbucks gift card!

We’re giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to one of our readers (that’d be you). To enter, leave a comment on this post. For a second entry, make sure you like us on Facebook, and then come back and leave a 2nd comment telling us that you’re a FB fan! One comment will be picked at random at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 9th. We’ll mail the winner a $10 Starbucks gift card!

Caramel Frappuccino 189x300 Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

Starbucks gets a bad rap.

Sure, you can spend $5 on a fancy schmancy espresso drink 6 times a week and completely derail your Dave Ramsey baby steps, but there are ways to spend less at Starbucks.

First off, don’t believe the hype. A tall (small) sized coffee at Starbucks costs $1.50 in the Orlando area. A grande (medium) is $1.95, and a venti (large) is $2.15. That’s comparable or cheaper than a cup of coffee at McDonalds, Dunkin’ Doughnuts, 7-11, or just about anywhere else.


With a little effort, there are several ways to stretch your dollar further at Starbucks.

travel mug Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee



#1 Bring in your own mug:

If you bring in your own cup, Starbucks will knock 10 cents off your drink cost. 10 cents may not be much, but you’ll be saving a paper cup and plastic lid from a landfill, and it’s like getting a free tall coffee with every 15 purchased. And, if you are friendly to your Barista, they’ll likely charge you for a tall drink even though you brought in a larger sized cup. Check out these cool reusable cups for your hot and cold drinks.



Free coffee bag Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

#2 Bring in your empty Starbucks coffee bag for a free coffee.

If you purchase whole bean or ground Starbucks coffee for brewing at home, you can bring in your empty bag for a free tall coffee. Some of the bags say so right on the top (usually, the bags sold in a grocery store) and technically those are the only bags eligible, but I’ve found that many times they will accept bags that don’t have the label. Does your employer brew Starbucks in the breakroom at work? Then start collecting those bags!

starbucks rewards card1 Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

#3 Join the “My Starbucks Rewards Program”

This is the big one. If you really want to save, join the rewards program. First, purchase a gift card. Then, register it, reload it, and make all of your purchases with this card. If you get another gift card (for Christmas let’s say), have them transfer the new gift card amount to your registered card.

First, with a registered card you’ll enjoy any drink free on your birthday.

After just 5 stars (green level), you’ll enjoy free refills on brewed coffee, iced coffee, and teas. Refills are good on your the same visit only. At the green level, you’ll also enjoy free syrups (Caramel, Cinnamon Dolce, Classic, Hazelnut, Raspberry, Peppermint, Toffee Nut and Vanilla) and free milk (including soy). My favorite way to take advantage of this is to ask them to add steamed half and half to my coffee. Steaming it makes it sweeter and keeps your coffee hotter. This level also gives you a free coffee when you purchase a bag of coffee in their store.

starbucks coffee Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

After 20 stars, you reach the gold level which gives you any free drink (fancy schmancy drinks included) for every 15 drinks purchased. Check out the rewards program FAQ.

Android Rewards1 Starbucks Secrets and Giveaway Free Refills, Free Syrups, Free Coffee

All of this is tracked through your registered card and you can check your rewards at or even with the Starbucks mobile app.

Lastly, budget your Starbucks spending by setting up auto-reloading of your card. Let’s say you have budgeted $20 a month for Starbucks. You can set it up to load $20 each month on to your card. If you are committed to only using your card for purchases, then you’ll never overspend your budget.

So, the next time someone mentions how overpriced Starbucks is, you can tell them how to get a cup of hot fresh coffee with free refills, syrups, steamed dairy, a comfy leather couch, air conditioning, and free wi-fi for $1.40!

We’re giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to one of our readers (that’d be you). To enter, leave a comment on this post. For a second entry, make sure you like us on Facebook, and then come back and leave a 2nd comment telling us that you’re a FB fan! One comment will be picked at random at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 9th. We’ll mail the winner a $10 Starbucks gift card!


  1. Jamie says:

    Excellent post! Thanks for the tips. :)

  2. Jamie says:

    Also, liked ya’ll on Facebook. (Can’t believe I hadn’t already been following you on there.)

  3. Mami2jcn says:

    I’m suddenly in the mood for Starbucks! They’re baked goods are wonderful, too.

  4. Mami2jcn says:

    I like you on FB with my username Mary Happymommy.

  5. Aunt T says:

    Great post! I always have Starbucks gift cards but never register them. Now I am going to go register one…hopefully in time for my free drink for my upcoming bday!

  6. Aunt T says:

    And I’m already a fb fan.

  7. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I’ll be using them for sure! :)

  8. Deana says:

    So helpful for my coffee drinking husb. Now how do I get my favorites, the Mocha Frappaccino or the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate for $1.40??? Guess I should set up a prepay card for those Target shopping trips that suck me in!

  9. Deana says:

    Oh, and have liked you on FB forever… well, from the early days… okay last month or so.

  10. KHBride says:

    I love fancy frappuccinos!

  11. KHBride says:

    I like on facebook now :)

  12. Traci Tracy says:

    Already like you on Facebook (and in general). I have the card registered and use the app which is really cool. They can scan the card straight from your phone. I love it because it looks cool to pay with a phone and I don’t have to keep track of the rewards. It just rings up with whatever discount automatically.

    Great job on the deals, keep ‘em coming!

  13. Dee says:

    I didn’t know about the bag refill. I will definitely bring in whatever I have at home. Thanks for the heads up and for the entry into this delicious contest! :)

  14. Dee says:

    I like you on fb as Dee G.

  15. Chris G says:

    thanks for this great giveaway!!! also, thanks for all the deals you post!

  16. alice says:

    Very cool. I recently starting using a Starbucks card and am up to 6 stars! woohoo!

  17. Donna C says:

    I didn’t know you could bring in your old coffee bags and trade them in for a free coffee. That is quite cool.

  18. Esther W says:

    I could go for a Salted Caramel Mocha right now…

  19. Esther W says:

    Liked you on facebook!

  20. Cheryl says:

    Great advice!!

  21. Jen says:

    I don’t drink coffee but I LOVE their Chai Tea…my guilty pleasure ; )

  22. Jen says:

    I’m also a FB fan of OBD : )

  23. Samantha says:

    Great tips! Would love a gift card!

  24. Chrissy R. says:

    These are great tips – especially bringing in the bag for a free cup! Starbucks is such a guilty pleasure for me so thanks for the giveaway!!

  25. Chrissy R. says:

    I liked you on FB! (Chrissy Megan)

  26. Laura says:

    Wow, I like the ideas!

  27. Laura says:

    Fan on facebook! Thanks!

  28. Christina M. says:

    Awesome ways to save! Great article! And I’m a FB fan!

  29. Heather says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

  30. terri brothers says:

    Thank you for the post .I bring in my empty bags.

  31. Melissa Bradley says:

    Oh my goodness! Thanks for this!!! Love me some Starbucks and I love saving a few of my own bucks! Win, Win! Thanks!

  32. Marsha says:

    Love getting a treat at Starbucks…always feel bad about spending the money! I’d love to win a giftcard! Thanks!

  33. jennifer hall says:

    Great post! Love the tips, now I can go to Starbucks more often. Thanks.

  34. Marsha says:

    Love getting a starbucks treat…hate the guilt that comes from spending all the money. Thanks for the tips!

  35. lindsay posey says:

    ooh ooh! I’d love a gift card!

  36. JennAtFFP says:

    I had no idea they traded free coffee for empty bags. Thanks for the tips!

  37. Naomi says:

    Count me in!

  38. Alissabeth says:

    Thanks for the tips! Love my reward card!

  39. JennAtFFP says:

    I just liked you on FB too!

  40. Alissabeth says:

    Liked you on Facebook.

  41. tabatha says:

    great advice

  42. Carole says:

    Great post! Passing it along. :)

  43. Carole says:

    I’m a FB fan, too! :D

  44. Sarah says:

    I would looove a sbux gc!!

  45. Sarah says:

    I “liked” you on fb!!

  46. Hannah says:

    Love all the great tips!!!

  47. Ashley Pichea says:

    Thanks for the Starbucks education! I’ve only purchased a few drinks from them over the last several years, but I’d love to become a more loyal customer!

  48. Erica says:

    Awesome article! I use the gift card every time that I go but set a limit to about $10 a month and it really helps keep track of my coffee treats. One day I went in for a sandwich with my reusable coffee cup from Starbucks, and they charged .50 to refill it with iced coffee and took .50 off! I don’t know why but I appreciated it just the same. Those cups come in handy!

  49. Brandi Hudson says:

    I do everything except bring my own cup. I love the free syrups I get!

  50. Brandi Hudson says:

    I like you on Facebook

  51. kattie says:

    I love the coffers misto.

  52. Kristen says:


  53. Kristi G. says:

    I heart Starbucks! Thanks for your post!

  54. Alethea says:

    I already liked you on FB, but now I love you for this post:), but only for the coffee tips;)

  55. Jill Mills says:

    I love my Starbucks and I use all these tips! Been a gold card holder since Spring and I usually get a free drink card every month. Dont forget thru Monday you can get a $2 breakfast sandwich with the purchase of ANY drink! =)

  56. Jill Mills says:

    Also liked you on Facebook!

  57. tina says:

    With all these tips, I don’t feel so guilty about buying myself some starbucks :)

  58. tina says:

    I”m now a FB fan!

  59. Jessica says:

    My husband is a starbucks addict and we already use some of your suggestions. Now I have a few more :)

  60. Jessica says:

    I’m a fan on FB

  61. Patricia Brewer says:

    I love Starbucks Coffee!

  62. Patricia Brewer says:

    Facebook fan now :-) Thanks for the tips and ideas! I plan to try them out!!!

  63. Susan says:

    Me, me, me!! I want free Starbucks coffee! ;)

  64. Jessica Evans says:

    I love love love the salted mocha frappuccino and their, well, mochas in general!

  65. Jessica Evans says:

    And I am now a facebook fan!

  66. Charity says:

    I love me some Starbucks!

  67. Lila says:

    Love coffee!

  68. domestic extraordinaire says:

    Great tips!

  69. keeley nyman says:

    I love starbucks!! :)

  70. keeley nyman says:

    I like you on FB

  71. Lisa says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips!! I do love Starbucks but I also love saving money!!

  72. Karen says:

    Thanks for the tips – I love it when companies reward us for keeping things out of landfills – we can all be a little more green!

  73. Tanya says:

    Hubby always gets brewed but I didn’t know about the rewards program!

  74. Pam says:

    Great tips! Thanks!

  75. Alicia @ Alicia's Homemaking says:

    Awesome tips…thank you!

  76. Pam says:

    I’m a fan on Facebook

  77. Alicia @ Alicia's Homemaking says:

    I’m a fb fan, too. :)

  78. Tonya says:

    Thanks for the tips!!

  79. Tonya says:

    I definitely liked the page on FB :)

  80. Shannon says:

    Thanks for the money saving tips. I’m going to get a card now!

  81. danielle says:

    Love this! We love the pumpkin spice lattes but hardly buy them – we are cheap! LOL

  82. Valerie Reeder says:

    I love Starbucks!

  83. Valerie Reeder says:

    I liked you on facebook, too!

  84. Tara says:

    That’s right! Love the article.

  85. Leslie Brown says:

    On my way to Starbucks now!

  86. Darla says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for the chance at a gift card!

  87. Ginny says:

    Thanks for the tips! Did you know that even if the date on your bag of coffee has expired, they will still honor it for a free cup of coffee! Enjoy!

  88. Bree says:

    Thanks for the chance to win! I love me some fancy Starbucks drinks, but man does it break the bank! Thanks for the tips! It reminded me to reload my card! :)

  89. Lauren says:

    Great Tips!! Thanks!!!

  90. Lori says:

    I liked the rewards card idea the best!

  91. Lori says:

    I’m also a fb fan!

  92. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been using the Starbucks reward card for a while now and love it. Hubby has one registered to the same account, so he earns me free drinks even faster. Love your site!

  93. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been a FB fan for many months! Thanks for all the good info.

  94. melissa says:

    I LOVE Starbucks! Thanks for these tips!

  95. Jen says:

    I love those “fancy schmancy” drinks… but hate paying for them..thanks for the great tips on how to stay in budget!

  96. Kathy J says:

    Great post! Thanks for all the tips! :)

  97. Kathy J says:

    Just “liked” you on Facebook! :)

  98. Frances says:

    Now I like Starbucks on Facebook too!

  99. Liz M. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love Starbucks!

  100. Liz M. says:

    I’m a new Facebook fan!

  101. Erica says:

    Thank you for the great tips we love going for our nightly tea

  102. Jenni says:

    Thanks for the tips! :)

  103. Tammy says:

    I had no idea about the free coffee with an empty bag. I buy Starbucks coffee for at home all the time, and never noticed. Love these tips! Thanks! I’m also going to try the gift card idea! :)

  104. Danette says:

    Thanks for the great tips!! Starbucks is great, just wish they’d make k cups;-)

  105. Danette says:

    I’m now a fb fan too;-)

  106. Heather says:

    Great post. I will register my Starbucks card from now on :)

  107. Tonya says:

    Lots of great ideas here… some I’ve never heard of at Starbucks (free coffee for an empty bag… )

  108. Sybilla F. says:

    Great tips, I love Starbucks!

  109. Sybilla F. says:

    Fan on Facebook

  110. CC says:

    Great article and great tips! Love me some starbucks.

  111. CC says:

    Also just found your FB page and liked it.