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One of my favorite things about the colder months of the year is seeing the Holiday Starbucks cups come out. There is a cozy, homey feel to them that just puts a smile on your face, a little bit of pep in your step.

I know many friends who prefer to support the local coffee shop, and I hear you. But whether you’re a diehard fan of the brand, or the only option standing between you and a coffee-less morning is a Starbucks, here are some Starbucks hacks to save you time and money.

Don’t limit yourself to the menu

One of the things you may not know about Starbucks is that fans of the franchise have created a secret menu (yes, friend, it really exists!). What is cool about the much-loved secret menu is there are tons of unique drink options like a Skittles Frappuccino. The cost can sometimes be a bit less than the normal menu listed at an in-person store, plus it gives you the opportunity to find and try something completely new and different.

Bring your own cup

Bringing your own cup from home not only helps out the environment, but it will also save you 10 cents on your drink. It might not sound like a lot to you, but every little bit adds up. Imagine if you brought your own cup every time you popped into a Starbucks. Who doesn’t love a little extra money in their pocket?

Sign up for rewards

I know what you might be thinking. Signing up for another reward program in my email just gets annoying and I end up eventually ending up opting out. However, at Starbucks, signing up for the rewards is a must.

It comes with different perks for being a member, like a free birthday drink on your birthday. You can also earn points for purchasing anything in the store or certain Starbucks items in the grocery store. If you are a fan of Starbucks, signing up for the rewards will come with some added perks and bonuses. If anything, it is at least worth the free drink on your birthday.

Lessen your syrup

Another area where you can think outside of the Starbucks menu is to reconsider the sugar amounts they use. I was surprised to learn was how much syrup Starbucks uses in a variety of their drinks. Whether you are more closely tailoring your drink to your taste specifications or looking to limit your sugar intake, you can make adjustments without limiting your favorite beverage. Get specific about how much syrup you want. Typically, a Tall drink has three pumps of syrup, a Grande has four pumps, and a Venti usually has five to six. Now, if I am getting a Venti Skim Mocha, I will almost always ask for it with two fewer pumps of syrup. You can still love the flavor but have it with less sugar.

Do you have Starbucks hacks of your own? Please share in the comments!