The Valuable Reason To Order Starbucks' Chai Tea Instead Of Lattes

When it comes to saving money, every little bit counts. It can sometimes feel like our favorite little luxuries, like a daily Starbucks drink, are out of reach when we're trying to be more frugal. Fortunately, a simple menu swap is all it takes to put an extra dollar or two back in our pocket. Take Starbucks' chai tea latte, for example. The delicious blend of warming spices and creamy milk may seem irreplaceable, but there's actually a cheaper item that will deliver the same flavor experience.

The next time you head to the 'Bucks for a little pick-me-up, get a plain chai tea instead of ordering a chai tea latte. Depending on your location, a Grande chai tea latte will cost around $4.65, while a regular chai tea of the same size will only cost about $2.75 — a difference of $1.90! If you were to make that order change every week, you could save almost $100 in a year. (There's a reason chai tea is on our list of the best-value drinks at Starbucks.) The only real difference between it and a chai tea latte is the "latte" part, and that all comes down to milk.

Save money by ordering a chai tea and adding milk

You may already know that "chai" means "tea" in Hindi, which is why saying "chai tea" is rather redundant. But did you know that "latte" means "milk" in Italian? So, when you break it down, a chai latte is just tea and milk. That's why you can easily recreate Starbucks' chai tea latte by ordering a chai tea and asking your barista to leave room for milk. Once you have your beverage, you can add it at the self-service station. To add some zip to your drink, you can also add a few shakes of cinnamon, one of the most common spices in masala chai.

It's possible to have your barista add the milk before they hand the tea over to you, which may be necessary if you want a non-dairy option. However, this could add to the overall cost, so it's best to check what's available at the self-service area and to ask about the price first.

There's a lot to learn about chai, like that by enjoying it you're contributing to a tradition that has lasted several millennia. And while saving money can sometimes feel like a full-time job, that doesn't mean you can't still have some fun by ordering your favorite drinks. Just add your own milk to a Starbucks chai tea, and watch the savings add up.