01/02/2014 03:52 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2014

How To Save Money at Starbucks

Yesterday I was behind three people at Starbucks. The first ordered a grande decaf soy Americano with extra foam. It cost $8.75. The next ordered a vente 130-degree decaf triple five-pump vanilla non-fat caramel macchiato. It cost $14.15.

"Tall drip," said the third person.

"With room?" the cashier asked.

"I am indifferent," the customer replied, "but I am paying for only two syllables."

He was charged $1.45.

"What was that about?" I asked the customer.

"Don't you know? Starbucks now charges by the syllable," he explained. "The cashier was trying to trick me into ordering a 'tall drip with room' so he could charge me for four syllables instead of two."

"Doppio, " I then ordered.

"Doppio espresso," said the cashier to the barista.

"No," I said. "I ordered a doppio. I will not pay for the three syllables in "espresso."

"Make that a doppio," the cashier said to the barista.

I was charged $1.95.

The next customer ordered a Triple Venti Half Sweet Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato.

"For here or to go?" asked the cashier.

"To go," the customer answered.

"One Triple Venti Half Sweet Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato to go," said the cashier to the barista, thus changing a fourteen syllable drink to an seventeen syllable one.

When ordering pastries, simply point.