Indianapolis - Circa June 2017: Starbucks Retail Coffee Store. Starbucks Inclusion Academy prepares people with disabilities for retail jobs XIII


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Most of us need that jolt of caffeine to kick-start our mornings or fight off that mid-afternoon slump. But at $4 to $5 per latte, getting your caffeine fix can quickly add up. If you venture out to Starbucks often, did you know you could be saving money, winning rewards, and contributing to a greener planet all at once? 

Fun fact: Starbucks has a nifty (and little known) policy in place. When you opt to bring your own mug, tumbler, or reusable cup for your java, the coffee giant knocks off 10 cents from your bill. While a 10-cent discount may seem small, every little bit counts towards larger savings — plus you get to help reduce waste and promote sustainability by ditching single-use cups. Go you! 

The deal gets even sweeter. For those who are a part of the Starbucks Rewards program (signing up is easy; all you need is an email address), this eco-friendly push also gives you an extra dose of Starbucks Stars. For every purchase where you bring your own cup, you'll get a bonus 25 Starbucks Stars loaded into your account.

"I bring in my Yeti and get $0.10 off the order, as well as an extra 25 stars," writes one Redditor, adding, "Every time I get Starbucks, I do two separate orders for my wife and I, and I get 50 stars per order." Now that's what we call shopping smart.

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How Do Starbucks Rewards Work?

For those not in the know, Starbucks Stars are like currency. After signing up, you'll earn stars with each purchase, which can be redeemed for a variety of perks such as free drinks, food items, and even merchandise. By bringing your own cup, you're not just getting your caffeine fix and saving a little on each purchase, you're also piling up rewards to help you save even more in the long run. 

"The ten cents is trivial," writes one Redditor, explaining how the real perk lies in getting more stars. "The stars are a different matter. If you drink simple tea or coffee, you're getting every fourth drink free. Taking my own cup probably saves me $20/month." 

Another perk of bringing your own cup? You might be able to get more bang for your buck, the user says. "Another cool thing is that they'll sometimes ring you for a Grande on a Venti sized personal cup. Doesn't happen everywhere or every time, but that's easily fifty cents every time it happens. In those scenarios, you're getting a sixty cent discount plus about a dollar in stars (again, drinking simple tea or coffee). So the real overall value for someone like me is about $1.10-1.60 every time I use my $8 insulated Walmart cup. You won't get a better ROI (return on investment)." 

The Bottom Line

During your next Starbucks trip, grab that reusable cup. It's a simple switch with triple benefits — you get to save money, earn bonus Stars, and do a good deed for the planet. And when you take a sip of your favorite Starbucks drink (paired with a breakfast sandwich or bakery item, obviously), give yourself a pat on the back, because you've not only treated yourself, but also done your part for the environment.

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