Nothing is immune to inflation, including your morning coffee run. If you haven't noticed the prices rising over the last couple years at Starbucks, then either you live under a rock or you recently won the lottery (congratulations!). But to everyone else, that caffeine fix is hurting their wallet.
It's gotten so bad that even Starbucks employees are taking notice. On the r/starbucks subreddit, one poster complained about the $7.25 cost of a grande pumpkin spice latte at their location. Hundreds of commenters have chimed in to complain as well, but one thing stands out from the usual griping: The amount of purported Starbucks employees who agree, and their advice for saving money on pricey drinks.
Redditor HappyMelonGirl, who displays the barista tag as a purported Starbucks employee, says the chain "is ruining prices everywhere... an iced vanilla latte is $7.50 immediately after starbucks upped our prices." They add that there's even a $1.25 upcharge for sweet cream in the point-of-sale system for ordering now. "Literally it is so expensive that I bought my own espresso machine because even with a 30% discount, starbucks is way too expensive."
A whole chorus of other Starbucks employees has chimed in to say that they also make their own coffee at home with an espresso machine rather than buy it with their employee discount.
It's not just baristas, who are already skilled at making espresso drinks, that are forgoing Starbucks for fancy home coffee machines. Commenter u/lumimab, who says they've been an "almost daily customer for years," says they "can't in good conscience continue to pay almost $7 for one drink with no customizations. I bought an espresso machine and have not been to Starbucks for a month."
If you're considering kicking the drive-thru coffee habit and investing in your own home setup, consider this: Prices are unlikely to come down anytime soon. "...Our drive thru is busy still and we have consistent mobile orders and cafe walk ins," says u/triforceshards. "It does not stop. The price hikes will continue if our traffic stays the same or increases."