Starbucks Free Iced Coffee vs. McDonald’s Free*! Iced Coffee

By Tana Kosiyabong


About a month ago I received a coupon from Starbucks offering a free Iced Coffee. Of all the coupons I’ve ever used, Starbucks coupons are my favorites. The offers are always generous with no strings attached. Even though I’m normally not a big fan of coupons, Starbucks’ are one of the exceptions. Whenever their new coupons come out, I try to get as many as I can. It’s as simple as picking through the paper recycling bin next to the mailbox in my condo lobby. You’ll be surprised how many people had thrown them away. This year I scored the total of 5 coupons – or 5 free Starbucks Iced Coffee with no strings attached.

On the other hand, McDonald’s coupons usually come with some sort of strings attached. This free coffee coupon is one of those buy-one-get-one-free offers. I don’t know about others, but I only want one iced coffee at a time. Though I must mention that the McDonald’s free-coffee-for-two-week promo back in April 2009 rocked my world.

Inspired by these coupons, I decided to take on a new Cheap Appetite mission. That’s why, yesterday, I set out to redeem a free Iced Coffee at the Starbucks in my neighborhood, Gastown. As usual, I got a small — which I refused to say “tall” — iced coffee without a guilt trip from the cashier. The coffee had a very strong flavor that last even when the ice was melting. I spent almost an hour there. Though I had finished my coffee long before then, it was really nice to just sit on a comfy armchair and watch people passing by. Thanks Starbucks for this free, yet very tasty and pleasant, experience. And thanks G-d that I still have a couple more Starbucks coupons left.


This afternoon, I went to get two Iced Coffee at the Tinseltown’s McDonald’s. One was free. The other was not. Each of them was about the same size as the Starbucks. But the actual retailed price is $1.59 vs. $2.10 by the Starbucks. Plus you may add a shot of vanilla or caramel flavored syrup at no charge. For a fair comparison, however, I chose not to add any flavor shot. McDonald’s Iced Coffee was a bit weak compare to the Starbucks. After a few minutes, I no longer tasted the coffee flavor, but even so, it was quite creamy and not too sweet. It’s more convenient for people on the go. I didn’t feel like staying there as long as I did at the Starbucks. McDonald’s was designed for a quick sitting. But I felt gratified to give the panhandler nearby my extra cup of iced coffee. That was my good deed for the day.



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7 thoughts on “Starbucks Free Iced Coffee vs. McDonald’s Free*! Iced Coffee

  1. hey its katey over from fooodbuzz! i wanted to comment you! I am ALL about cheap food! I’ll add you to my blogroll- can you do the same? Your site looks really good! keep up the good work, okay? 🙂

  2. Thanks Katey. I love cheap food too! It’s good to find someone that has the same interest. Your blog will be added to my blogroll in a min:)
    Enjoy and Cheap Appetit

  3. Coupons do really come in handy:), especially for a cheap a$$ like me,lol! And speaking of coupons, I have a free starbucks coupon that I got from my Barnes and Nobles application via my ripped off iphone. Cool blog,by the way! Just curios, are you pinay by any chance?

    1. Hey sassytomato,
      I’m a cheap a$$ too, hehe. Thanks for your compliments. I hope you enjoy the free Starbucks coupon as much as I do! Oh btw I’m Thai, but now a permanent residence of Canada. Next year I’ll be both Thai and Canadian yay!

    1. Kristin,
      Thanks for your great comments. I’m glad to hear that you enjoy my blog. I just opened a new section called Fans’ Favorites where anyone can share their favorites cheap good eats from around the world. Please feel free to visit and share your favorites at


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