Coffee shop hacks

It’s the beginning of the semester, which means Cardinal Dollars are once again plentiful. As many of us have experienced, that balance can fall quickly as the semester goes on and nights get longer. We’ve all been there—it’s the end of the semester and you’ve heard that Mary has a lot of Cardinal Dollars, but you have never talked to her, yet you really need some coffee. To help you stretch your Cardinal Dollars out all semester so you’re not asking strangers to buy you coffee during finals week, the Hilltop Monitor asked baristas for some simple but effective ways to get the most joe for your dough.


Wanting a white chocolate mocha?

To save money, order a Grande Americano with pumps of white chocolate syrup instead. It is $3.35 instead of $4.75, and you get an extra shot of espresso. All you have to do is add the milk yourself.

Wanting apples and caramel?

Instead of buying the prepackaged apple dippers at $2.25, you can buy an apple and a dish of caramel sauce for $1.15. You have to cut the apple yourself, but it is about half the cost.

Wanting a strawberry banana smoothie?

Instead of paying $4.55 for your smoothie, you can pay $4.00 by bringing your own banana, so next time you leave the Dining Hall, grab a banana.

Have a late night of studying? Buy your drinks before 10:30.

The baristas have to start cleaning around 10 p.m., so containers with tea and coffee not used up for the day will be dumped and cleaned. Blenders and espresso machines are also cleaned at this time. To ensure you can get the cheapest drink and the drink you want, get there early.

Procrastinating may not help you with your classes, but it can get you free coffee.

Didn’t get to the coffee shop before 10:30? Leftover coffee at the end of the day is poured out, so if you go to the coffee shop close to closing time you can ask for a free cup of coffee.

Coffee Hacks

Up late on a Sunday night and craving a cookie?

Pastries that don’t sell by Sunday night have to be thrown away, but they are still good to eat. If there is anything left it can be yours free.

Buy a reusable cup.

By purchasing the reusable Jewell travel mug, you can pay for coffee refills instead buying a new paper cup every time. It’s a win for your Cardinal Dollar balance and the environment.

Wanting a cup of hot tea?

Hot water is free! Bring your own cup and/or tea bag and the cost of this drink is dramatically reduced. If you bring both, this drink just became free and you don’t have to heat your own water. A single tea bag is $1.00 versus buying the tea bag and cup for $2.15. Again, another win for your Cardinal Dollars and the environment.

Never order Venti lattes or mochas.

These Venti drinks have the same amount of espresso in them as a Grande, so you end up paying way more for the same amount of caffeine.

Or just don’t buy coffee.

Coffee Hacks

Brianna Steiert

Brianna Steiert is a senior Oxbridge Molecular Biology major and mathematics minor. She serves as Features and Managing editors for the Hilltop Monitor.

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