Pumpkin Spice Latte season is upon us, and white girls everywhere are rejoicing. The PSL craze does present a dilemma for those of us on the lower end of the income scale: do we forego that pumpkiny spicy goodness, or consign ourselves to being penniless and depending on installment loans to get back? And while that’s a bit of an overstatement, Pumpkin Spice Latte’s can add up in cost over the scale of a week or month. After all, Starbucks isn’t exactly known for how cheap it is.
Luckily, there are a few ways to cut costs without having to sacrifice how many Pumpkin Spice Lattes you down this Autumn.
Ironically the most effective way of saving money on Pumpkin Spice Lattes this Autumn is to circumnavigate Starbucks entirely. While Starbucks may have elevated Pumpkin Spice Lattes to trending status, it’s entirely possible to make your own at home for a fraction of the price you’d pay at Starbucks.
There’s a few recipes floating around on the web, but by far our favorite is this one from the Food Network. It’s simple to follow, takes a minimum of ingredients, and will have that pumpkin goodness ready to go in ten minutes flat.
This is an old trick to save money on Starbucks in general, but will work just fine for our purposes today. But wait, you hypothetical reader say - you can only buy gift cards from Starbucks for roughly the amount they hold using them doesn’t seem like a way to save money, right? And that’s true, but there are other places that sell Starbucks gift cards, and often for less than the dollar amount they hold.
There are a plethora of online gift card stores, but our favorite two are Gift Card Granny and Raise, both of which commonly feature gift cards that are cheaper than what you’ll find at Starbucks and will help you fund your PSL addiction.
Like most big corporations, Starbucks offers a reward program where you earn stars for every dollar you spend there, which can be traded in for various rewards and even free drinks. Now, the conversion rate is nowhere near one-to-one, but if you already make daily or weekly Starbucks runs it’s a way of recouping a little of your money over time, especially since you’d have spent that money anyway.
But what about if you want to save money but don’t have the time to brew your own Pumpkin Spice Latte? Luckily, Starbucks doesn’t have a monopoly, and there are other options out there. Panera also offers Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Dunkin Donuts has an entire menu devoted to the flavor combination, and your local coffeeshop is bound to have something similar considering its popularity.
So like any good consumer, shop around a little before you settle down. You may even find you prefer the taste of another brand’s version of the PSL more than Starbucks’.