Fast Food Coffee: Low Cost Starbucks Alternatives

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Posted on 06/28/2013

That caffeine fix is about to cost you a little bit more. Starbucks announced price increases to many of its coffee, tea, latte and espresso drinks according to CNN. It boils down to paying about 10 cents more for a tall brewed coffee. Find that jump in price tough to swallow? Consider these low cost Starbucks alternatives.


McDonald's
According to coffee connoisseurs polled by Businessweek.com McDonald's has the best cup of Joe compared to other fast food chains. A small cup is $1.09 and is made from 100 percent Arabica beans freshly brewed every half hour. According to the OC Register a small McDonald's mocha is 61 cents cheaper than the Starbucks alternative.

Burger King
Burger King recently started selling what it calls "coffeehouse-style" lattes. Choose between vanilla, caramel, mocha, plain and non-fat. Pick one up for about $2.49, about a buck cheaper than Starbucks.

Dunkin Donuts
There has been an ongoing feud between Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Both are massive companies, each reaching more than 30 countries with billions in annual sales. But according to research from students at Temple University the average amount spent per visit at Starbucks is $6.36 while the average receipt at Dunkin Donuts is $5.92. A small iced coffee will cost at least 15 cents less at Dunkin.

Wendy's
Wendy's now serves coffee drinks including a Specialty Roaster made with a hint of Frosty. A 12-ounce cup of iced coffee costs about $1.29, but you'll pay a quarter extra to add flavor like vanilla or caramel. You'll save about a dollar compared to what you'd pay for an iced coffee at Starbucks.

Dairy Queen
If you're in the mood for ice cream and coffee head to Dairy Queen for a blended MooLatte. It's their take on a Starbucks Frappuccino. If you're counting calories, get the Starbucks Mocha Frap. It's 280 calories compared to the Mocha MooLatte's 510. But if cost is all you're worried about the MooLatte is about a dollar less.

By Alison Storm

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