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Use A Starbucks Card To Limit Your Coffee Budget and Earn Rewards

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USAP loves coffee like it's going out of style.

USAP loves coffee like it's going out of style.

I’m pretty much addicted to coffee (or as I like to say my “go go” juice). I especially love Starbucks coffee, because they use quite a bit of coffee for each cup of water — instead of trying to make an entire pot of coffee from only a single scoop. The result is not only a great tasting cup of coffee, but one that’s chock full of caffeine, which enables me to write blog posts early in the morning on rainy days. Plus, Starbucks coffee is probably pretty healthy for you and, unlike their Strawberry Frappuccinos, is not made of crushed up beetles.

If I had my way, I’d pretty much go to Starbucks every single day, multiple times a day. I’d bet that most other coffee drinkers are in a similar boat and, like me, would be shocked to see how much they spent on coffee each week. In other words, if you’re into coffee like I am, you need a budget.


Budget Yourself With A Prepaid Gift Card

One way to significantly reduce your coffee shop spending is with a prepaid gift card. This works well at Starbucks because you can use any gift card multiple times and reload it when you’ve used the balance. So, for example, if you’re shooting to spend no more than $20 a week on coffee, simply load up $20 at the start of each week and use that card, and only that card, until the balance runs out.

Starbucks allows you to reload your card at the store, but also has an option for reloading via the web or on one of their apps for Android or iPhone.

The other big plus about using gift cards is that they often give you rewards over time. At Starbucks Rewards Program gives you free refills on some drinks, free drinks on your birthday and, once you’ve used your card enough, a free drink after using your card 15 times.If you’re extra special, Starbucks will give you a gold card that will help the barista “you know by name.”

I don’t know how much I care about that; I barely have enough energy to mutter my order to my barista in the mornings.


Having Cake And Eating It Too

Could I survive with out coffee? Sure. Do I want to? No. The tough part about limiting your budget with the small daily luxuries, like Starbucks, is that it doesn’t seem like you’re spending a lot, when in reality you could be spending over your budget, consistently, each week. While there are various Starbucks “hacks” and, of course, the option to brew your own coffee, the gift card approach is a good start for still getting to have Starbucks each week but keep your actual budget and how much you’re spending in mind.



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