For those who can't wait any longer for that time of year when you can don oversize UGG boots and wrap your hands around sugary lattes laced with nutmeg and fall potpourri, we have great news: Starbucks is bringing a line of pumpkin-spiced products to a grocery store near you.
In a recent press release, the coffee chain announced it'll be launching two of its popular pumpkin spice products in grocery stores nationwide. (Because if there's one thing we've learned over the past few years, it's never too inappropriately early to celebrate #PSL season.)
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1. Coffee Beans and Grounds
If you're looking to brew some Starbucks coffee on your own, skip out on heading to the brick-and-mortar store to buy it.
"Starbucks sells 16-ounce packages of whole bean and ground coffee for $11.95 to $14.95, depending on the blend," said Perez. "However, 12-ounce bags of the same blends can be fetched for as little as $7.95 at Target, while Albertson's has been known to offer a sale price of just $6.99. [The] bottom line: Do not buy your bagged Starbucks coffee from Starbucks."
Also, not only is the in-store coffee priced higher than you would find at other retailers, but if you shop on the Starbucks store online, you can often find coupons that can take off as much as 20 percent off your entire order, said Sherin.
Like Starbucks coffee beans and grounds, Starbucks K-Cups are generally not worth the purchase. K-Cups are the small plastic pods your Keurig might use to make a serving of coffee. And, although brewing coffee at home is usually an easy way to save money, it's not with K-Cups.
"Never buy these from an actual Starbucks location," said James. "You can always find them much cheaper at Costco."
3. Travel Mugs and Drinkware
Starbucks-brand drinkware is another "deal" that isn't a smart choice for your wallet. "Impressive displays of coffee mugs, tea kettles, French presses and other coffee and tea accessories are tempting for those waiting in line for drinks, but are best skipped," said Perez.
"Most coffee mugs start at $9.95 and cost upwards of $29.95," she added. "The Limited-Edition travel mugs are an especially bad deal — priced between $70 and $74.95, these mugs further Starbucks' obsession with Swarovski crystals and make absolutely no sense at all."
If you want to buy Starbucks drinkware, approach it like buying Starbucks coffee beans for home, said Sherin. "Shop other online retailers like Amazon, or find a coupon for the Starbucks store online to save even more," she said.
4. Starbucks Gift Cards
Starbucks gift cards stare you in the face every time you reach the cashier. Although they are a great gift to receive, you can save on them by purchasing elsewhere.
"Buying gift cards can be a big mistake if you purchase through a retailer," said Sherin. "Use sites like Raise.com or Cardpool.com and you can find discounts as much as 10 percent off."
5. Premium Gift Cards
Speaking of gift cards, Starbucks offers special ones around the holidays — but they're more a money trap than a deal, said Mark Mazza, co-founder of PromoCodeWatch.com.
For instance, Perez said, "Every holiday season, Starbucks comes out with a high-priced gift card which costs $200 but only has $50 preloaded. Trust me, no one on your shopping list wants you to pay $200 for a $50 value, even if the card is made of stainless steel or encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
6. Bottled Water
Bottled water is definitely not a Starbucks deal. There's no reason to spend up to $5 on Ethos or Fiji water when you can get triple-filtered water for free, said Perez.
7. Bistro Boxes
Another Starbucks item to be wary of are its lunch bistro boxes.
“Five dollars for a few crackers, cheese cubes, grapes and a hard-boiled egg is not a good deal, given how inexpensively these items are at your local grocery store,” said Perez. “Starbucks' latest offering of lunch, two snacks and a bottled water for $8, is a bit easier to swallow...still, you can pack all these things from home and save your money for a fancy latte."
8. Prewrapped Sandwiches
Along with Starbucks lunch boxes, the cafe's expensive pre-wrapped sandwiches are another deal to avoid.
“They display these nicely wrapped sandwiches that look nice and have quality ingredients as you wait in line to hook you,” said Mazza. “Coffee is relatively cheap, so selling you an overpriced sandwich that costs as much, or more, than your drink order is an obvious score for them."
9. Breakfast Sandwiches
Continuing on the sandwich theme, Starbucks breakfast sandwiches should probably not be on your list of things to buy. They look fresh in the display, but Starbucks breakfast sandwiches, as well as many other food items, are simply overpriced for the quality.
10. Blended Crème Frappuccino
Unless you’re a child or watching your caffeine intake, blended crème Frappuccinos don’t make sense for your money. "It's basically a $5 vanilla milkshake, and not a very good one at that. Way too much ice in this thing and not enough thickness," said James. Blended crème Frappuccinos will cost you in calories as well, considering a 16 oz. vanilla bean grande frappuccino packs 400 calories.
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The products include pumpkin spice-flavored ground coffee, which has notes of "pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg," and retails for $10 for an 11-ounce bag. There's also a ready-to-drink iced PSL ($2.79 for a 14-ounce bottle) that's perfect for people who want to enjoy the flavors of fall while it's clearly still summer. Featuring brewed arabica coffee with the flavors of "cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices," plus a healthy dose of milk, the drink means you no longer have to wait in line to use the PSL hashtag on Instagram.
And no matter how much flack we give the premature celebrations of pumpkin spice season, we can't deny it'll always have a place in our cinnamon-scented hearts.
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Haven't posted in a while so here's some pumpkin spice almonds http://t.co/zk1lP9jqjG
My favorite part about fall is pumpkin spice everything! Just picked up these goodies at Target. http://t.co/XAhJPB07oi
Where the white girls at i got pumpkin spice bagels #white #whitegirl #pumpkin #pumkinspice #spice
Pumpkin Spice Twinkies! | Keith, Tony & Meg on 98.1 WKDD http://t.co/zDrUKKLpIM http://t.co/QO6K6b7r3o
Pumpkin Spice is here! Try a Pumpkin Spice Frap or Latte while they last. http://t.co/QB6b4Xa4gW