Free Stuff You Can Get From Starbuck’s Coffee Stores

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Free Stuff You Can Get From Starbuck’s Coffee Stores

Bet you didn’t know there are some free things you can get from Starbuck’s Coffee.  Here are some things you can ask about or do to get free stuff, and if they workers aren’t too insanely busy, you have a really good chance of success.

Get to know the workers: Be friendly.  Don’t be one of those rude or impatient customers.  Remember that the employees are people too.  Ask them how they are doing, talk to them.  If you are a regular customer, you’re going a LONG way to getting “hooked up” by just talking to the people there and being friendly.  The more they know you and like you, the more freebies you’ll get offered to you out of the blue.  Sometimes even free drinks without asking!  Also all the tips below are pretty much guaranteed to succeed if the employees like you.

Samples: Ask coffee questions, ask for samples.  Starbuck’s employees HAVE to sample and share knowlege.  In fact, there’s an ideal number of samples they have to “mark out” each day.  This works really well with new “promotional” drinks.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes around Thanksgiving, Eggnog Lattes around Christmas, Frappuccinos during Summer,etc.  Can usually get at least a short size drink out of it, free of charge. 

Drinks are among the free stuff you can get from Starbuck’s Coffee stores: Keep an eye out at the drink hand-off area.  People usually notice when their drink isn’t being made correctly and will complain to the barista working the espresso machine.  If you notice that the finished drink was set aside or that the barista is going to throw it out, ask about it.  Baristas are usually more than happy to give you “mistakes” rather than pour it down the drain and waste it.

Grounds For Your Garden:  Most Starbuck’s try to fill bags with used coffee grounds and keep it in an area with easy access.  If you are a gardener, ask about any old coffee grounds to use as fertilizer.  Most Starbuck’s are eager to give a customer their used grounds rather than throw them out.

Filtered water:  Starbuck’s has a “just say yes” policy, so if you bring in an empty bottle and want it filled with some filtered water they will do it.  Any liter sized (or less) bottle of water will be no problem for them to fill on your way to work.  Anything bigger and they might say no just because it will take too long and interfere with their ability to do business.

Free Ice: If you need a few pounds of ice for a party, bring your coolers to Starbuck’s (but keep ’em in the car until you get the “OK” so you don’t look presumptuous). IF IT’S NOT BUSY ask them if they can spare you some ice.  They won’t have a problem with it normally, especially if you’re a regular customer they like.

Free Cardboard Boxes: If you are moving and need some cardboard boxes, ask the employees.  Chances are they have a bunch either in the back room or outside in the recycle bin dumpster.  They won’t have a problem with you grabbing some boxes, it saves them the effort and space.

Free Pastries:  Right before Starbuck’s is going to close, they begin to “mark out” the leftover and expired pastries.  Most of the time they throw them into a bin to donate to homeless shelters.  But if you show up while they are doing it and ask about a marked out pastry nicely, chances are you will get one.  Be careful, tactful, and understanding, as the employees can get in trouble if their boss is adamant about only donating them to the homeless shelters.

Recovery Coupons:  If your drink was made incorrectly and you don’t have time to wait for them to remake it, NICELY let them know.  They should offer you a free drink coupon.  If you get rude and freak out over a cup of coffee, they might suddenly be all out of coupons…

“Free” Wi-Fi, a free drink, and more:  Buy a $5 dollar Starbuck’s Card and go to and REGISTER IT.  They will send you a free drink coupon in the mail, and then you can use your card information to sign up on the website for 2 hours of free ATT&T Wi-Fi a day. You must use the card about every 30 days to make a purchase to keep the free Wi-Fi bonus… but you can buy anything no matter how cheap.  You have to reload the card in $5 increments… not exactly free but if you are in Starbuck’s a lot and want Wi-Fi internet, very worth it.  Also, a registered Starbuck’s card will let you get free syrups added to drinks, free refills on drip coffee, etc.  You have to pay with the card, however.

Free Pounds of Coffee:  If you are going to buy a coffee machine, ask them if they will throw in a free pound of coffee with the purchase. The more expensive the machine, the more pounds you are likely to get for free.  I’ve seen a customer get 5 pounds free while buying one of the high end espresso machines.  Usually at least a free pound for a drip coffee machine.  No Store Manager is going to say NO to selling a coffee machine over a pound or two of coffee they can just mark out.  Unless that Store Manager doesn’t like his quarterly $$ bonus.

Whipped cream:  Starbuck’s NEVER charges for whipped cream.  If you want it, you just ask for it.  Don’t try to ask for it after the drink is made like people used to do back when Starbuck’s charged for whipped cream. There is no point.  Just ask for it up front, and it’s no problem. Whipped Cream even comes up on the cash register as N/C (no charge).

Extra syrups: If the drink comes WITH the syrup, feel safe in asking for more of the syrup at no charge.  Sometimes you can also get extra syrups that don’t come in the drink free, but you have to ask for less pumps than normal etc… OR just buy the drink with a REGISTERED Starbuck’s card and the syrups (and soy milk) are free.

Coffee Donations:  Starbuck’s is all about contributing back to the communities they exist in… SO if you are hosting an event for a charity or school (some institution that contributes back to the local community) ask to speak to the Store Manager.  Tell him/her the details.  You might just get a few gallons of free coffee/cups/sugar for the event.  You have to speak to the Store Manager however, as he/she is the only one who has the power to donate product to organizations.

There is a lot of Free Stuff You Can Get From Starbuck’s Coffee Stores.  Just remember to be patient and respectful when you ask and the employees are very busy!


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