The whole process begins by going to ebay. Then go to the Gift Certificates section of ebay and do a search for a "Starbucks gift card". I usually find the most savings by purchasing the smaller cards. Sometimes, I only save a quarter or fifty cents on a $5 or $10 gift card, but that's still a savings.
Then, once I win the auction at ebay, I follow ebay's link through UPromise, and receive a 1% contribution into my kids 529 College Savings account on my behalf.
Then, once I receive my gift card in the mail from the ebay seller, I go to the Starbucks web page and enter my gift card number. You have to register first, but it's worth it.
Then I take my gift card that was purchased at a discount from an ebay seller for which I received a 529 contribution from UPromise and was registered at the Starbucks reward page to my local starbucks and order my drink.
Then I order a short drip with peppermint syrup and nonfat milk. By using my registered card, the peppermint flavoring is free (savings of 30 cents). I could choose soy milk if I wanted and that would also be free with my card, too.
Did you notice that I ordered a short? That's smaller than a tall and I order that size because it's cheaper AND I can get free refills as well with my registered card.
Now, let me tell you why I just order coffee. Do you know what a latte is? It's made of espresso (concentrated coffee) that is diluted with warm milk and usually has a flavoring added. Do you know what coffee is? "Watered-down" espresso. So, when you order a latte, which is about $2 more than a coffee, you are basically just paying somebody to warm your milk up for you. Then that warm milk is used to dilute the espresso into "watered-down" coffee. Instead, just use the milk they provide and get a flavoring put in your "cheap" coffee for free by using your registered Starbucks card.
AM I MAKING ANY SENSE?
One other thing...have you tried the kid's hot chocolate? TO DIE FOR!! And only $1.15. Score!