Inflation Is Coming for Your Pumpkin Spice Latte

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  • Inflation has been hitting consumers all year long.
  • This fall, the cost of a popular Starbucks beverage is rising as well.

Get ready to pay more for your favorite fall beverage.

Although some people may be eager to hang onto the last bits of summer, others can't wait for fall. And if you're in the latter camp, you may already have visions of wrapping yourself in cozy sweaters, breathing in crisp, cool air, hiking through trails filled with beautifully colored leaves, and sipping your beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, has long been a favorite among Starbucks fans. But this year, a PSL will cost you more. We can thank inflation for that.

Prepare to pay up

As is the case with most "fancy" Starbucks beverages, the Pumpkin Spice Latte generally isn't cheap. But this year, its cost is increasing about 4% due to inflation. That means a grande-sized PSL will cost you $5.45 to $5.95, depending on your location.

Of course, it's not just the cost of the PSL that's going up. Starbucks has been implementing broad price hikes over the past year due to the higher costs of labor and goods.

Should you skip the Pumpkin Spice Latte this year?

At more than $5 a pop for a grande, the PSL is clearly a splurge. But should you give it up due to its higher (and generally high) cost? Not necessarily.

The reality is that the PSL is a seasonal drink, and if you're a pumpkin fan, it stands to reason you'd want to get your fill while you can. And so if buying yourself a PSL once a week makes you happy and helps you make the most of fall, go for it -- provided, of course, that doing so won't cause you to add to an existing credit card tab.

That said, if you're the type to indulge in a daily PSL, you may want to rethink that. Assuming you're looking at the $5.95 price point, a daily dose of warm pumpkin goodness could cost you about $184 for the month of October alone. That is a lot to spend on a morning beverage, so you may want to consider making your PSL an every-other-day treat unless money is really not an issue at all.

How to save money on your PSL

The cost of a PSL -- and other Starbucks favorites -- may be on the rise, but that doesn't mean you can't eke out some savings. First, download the Starbucks app and create an account so you can accumulate rewards for your orders and redeem them for free drinks. There's no cost involved, and using the app can even be a more convenient way to order (think having your beverage ready when you arrive at your local Starbucks rather than having to wait in a long line).

You can also see if your local Starbucks offers a discount for bringing in your own cup. Some stores did away with this practice earlier on in the pandemic, but if your store allows it, you might shave a modest amount off of your purchases.

Finally, consider getting a smaller PSL instead of always opting for the grande. A short or tall beverage might give you the pumpkin fix you need at a lower price point.

All told, it's not surprising that the cost of the famed PSL is rising as part of a broader trend. You don't have to give up your favorite fall drink because of that, but you may want to budget carefully if you plan to indulge numerous times this fall.

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