Save Money On Your Starbucks Iced Latte With This Simple Hack

It can sometimes be hard to justify buying a Starbucks Iced Latte every day. And if you're looking to cut costs a little without giving up your morning craving, you don't have to resort to making your own at home. Instead, try this simple hack for getting an Iced Latte that's easier on your wallet. First, order an Iced Espresso. 

If you get a Doppio, which comes with 2 shots of Starbucks' signature espresso roast, the total cost currently comes out to be $2.75. Then, ask for it in a venti cup. If you're ordering off the app or the website, you can find this option under the "Cup Sizes" dropdown. Finally, add in whatever milk or creamer you'd like to turn it into a Latte — you can choose from any of the milks Starbucks offers, which include 2% milk, almond milk, half-and-half, oat milk, and heavy cream. 

The extra addition of most creamers shouldn't alter the total price of the drink, and you can mix and match as many as you'd like. However, some do have a charge, such as $1.25 for Vanilla Sweet Cream. And voilà — you've got a customized Iced Latte for just a few dollars. Considering that a grande Iced Caffè Latte from Starbucks is almost $5 (before any potentially costly additions), you'll get more bang for your buck with this espresso version.

Create a customized Starbucks Latte with an Iced Espresso base

Not only does this hack get you a cheaper Iced Latte, but you're essentially getting the same exact drink, since a Starbucks Iced Caffè Latte is simply espresso, milk, and ice. If you're used to having your Latte taste a little sweet, you can also add sweetener packets like sugar, Stevia In The Raw, Sugar In The Raw, honey, and Splenda for free. You can even make a flavored Latte for less using your customizations. 

It will cost you 80 cents to add in a pump of caramel syrup or New Dark Caramel Sauce to your Iced Espresso or 60 cents to line the cup with Caramel Sauce. However, this still means you can get a grande Iced Caramel Latte for less than $4. And if you order your drink in a venti cup, you'll get even more caramel sauce lining the cup with all that increased surface area. You can use a similar trick to order a Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato for cheaper.

Or, you can mimic an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte, which is typically around $5.75 for a grande, by adding a pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup to your Iced Espresso for 80 cents and adding cinnamon powder on top for free. It won't be the exact same thing as the signature Latte, which has whipped cream, Cinnamon Dolce sprinkles, and 4 pumps of syrup, but you'll still get a similar taste for less.

The cold foam hack for a custom Starbucks Latte

Another relatively new option for customizing your Iced Espresso is tapping into the Starbucks cold foam phenomenon. The company first incorporated cold foam into drinks in 2014, but only at its Reserve Roastery in Seattle. The creamy topping made its way into mainstream Starbucks coffee shops in 2018 and has increased in popularity ever since. Cold foam, which is essentially an airy, stiff foam created by injecting air into cold milk, comes standard on specific drinks but it can be (and often is) ordered as an addition to other drinks. 

Similar to other methods that inch your drink toward a luscious Latte, you'll be ordering 2 shots of cold espresso in a grande or venti cup. But instead of asking for added milk or creamer, you can request a cold foam topping, which is a customization item that costs $1.25. The larger cup doesn't increase that base price, as it's a flat-cost add-on regardless of what it tops. Then, you can really get to customizing with the various Starbucks cold foam flavors. 

The options tend to change or expand, especially during the holidays. For example, Starbucks now offers holiday cold foams in four Vanilla Sweet Cream-based flavors, including Peppermint Chocolate Cream, Sugar Cookie Cream, Chestnut Praline Cream, and Caramel Brulée Cream. The special cold foam flavors come at the same cost as the standard cold foam. That means you're essentially turning a cold espresso drink into a venti Sweet Cream-flavored cold foam-topped Latte for only $4!