Is Starbucks Increasing Prices Again?

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Word on the street is there is about to be a Starbucks menu price increase on one of the most popular drinks. Here’s the scoop!

hand holding red drink in starbucks cup

Your Starbucks faves may be getting more expensive. 

One of our favorite Starbucks hacks may no longer be a hack! Rumor has it that Starbucks is thinking about up-charging customers who order their drinks a certain way. Word on the street is that on May 9th, 2023, Starbucks will begin up-charging customers an extra $1 if they request their Refreshers be served without any water. 😱

It seems Starbucks has discovered that many patrons skip the water to score a stronger beverage. When we heard the news of the possible change, we did a little investigating and found the following image posted on Reddit:

Starbucks price increase notice

According to responses from Starbucks baristas, the image is legit. Starbucks employees had a lot to say about the change too! Many sided with Starbucks on the decision while others dreaded having to inform unhappy customers.

There was also some confusion on whether the rule was just for “no water” orders or also for “no ice/light orders.” When you order a Refresher with no water, your drink contains much more of the base product which is what costs the company money. Ordering light or no ice doesn’t impact the base-to-water ratio, but you do tend to get more product in your cup.

I called up two of my local Starbucks to see if they had any insight. The workers I spoke to both confirmed the $1 upcharge was coming, but was only for “no water” orders. They both stated they believed you can still order light or no ice for the same price. However, we asked a barista at our local Starbucks, and they said not only will the $1 upcharge apply to no or light ice or no water for Refreshers, it will also apply to other drinks, as well. They specifically mentioned cold brew coffee as being included. 😢

Here’s some of the feedback we saw from baristas on Reddit about the Starbucks menu prices increasing:

“I’m excited about this. We get SO many people asking for Trenta refreshers with no ice, no water, and no fruit. And it uses up like 2/3 of the jug we keep them in. They probably use the concentrate to make their own drinks at home. So this is a good thing.”

“It’s true. Sorry, but I’m saying this now. Y’all adults best not start yelling at us for it. It’s not under our control”

“This [image] isn’t accurate. There is only a charge for “no water.”

“We’ve been told “no water” will add a dollar and honestly it’s fair. It’s twice the amount of product. I’m sure I’ll get yelled at as I did with the points but I’m not management and I can’t control this.”

orange pink drink in starbucks cup on wood table

Starbucks price increases are definitely a bummer, but there are a few ways you can offset the extra cost:

  • Get a small discount on drinks when you use a reusable Starbucks cup (*may vary by location).
  • Purchase Starbucks drinks in the grocery store and get cash back via coupons from Ibotta. Sometimes you can get them for FREE after the rebate! The Pink Drink and Paradise Drink Refreshers are now available in Ready-To-Drink bottles at local stores.

And of course, if you want to save a ton, try making some of your fave Starbucks recipes at home. 🙌

See more delicious homemade drink recipes here!

About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. beth-3

    The no water certainly makes sense but I would be very sad (upset) if they charged for light ice. They put in SO much ice with those refreshers, you really only have a few sips of the actual drink when you order a small, which is the size I usually buy.

  2. Nkiser

    Question for Hip2Save: where can I find different or multiple at home recipes that y’all have? Thank you!

  3. Nkiser

    Thank you for your answer Hip2Save!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome! Glad to help! 🤗

  4. paula-5

    It makes me laugh that everyone adds the special discount of .10 with reusable cup. Yay. .10 off a $7 drink. What a deal! 🙄

    • Kimberly B

      You get 25 starts too. Which is worth 1/4th of a brewed coffee ($3.49 where I live). So 25 stars is worth 87 cents off a future coffee plus the 10 cents also. It’s worth brining a cup for 97 cents off a 3.49 coffee.

  5. Kara

    The price increased on the oat milk today. It’s now 80 cents, at least in Southern California. I once asked them why I get charged for it since they get to leave the milk out but I never got a response.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Bummer! 😔 Thanks for sharing the price increase on oat milk in your area, Kara!

    • Tony P

      Prices jumped for grande mocha to $6.64 from $5.50 since last week (10/17/23)😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫

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