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Deals Worth Waiting For: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte PSL

Updated on December 3, 2014

PSL is Back!

Walking into my regular Starbucks location, the chalkboard was updated with a "PSL is Back!" Say no more, my dear Starbucks, I get your drift. It's pumpkin season and you are officially in pumpkin spice heaven. For a 2-3 month window every year, people flock to Starbucks stores for the seasonal beverage, as well as the accompanying breads, muffins, bars, cookies, cakes, and yet another latte.

Every great food brings up a food memory, and so I go back to my undergraduate years. I was a novice to coffee at that point, and actually preferred the superiorly sugary soda to the bitter beverage I crave every hour now. Taking a break from my studies, I met with a friend who showed me the ropes at Starbucks and introduced me to all the wintery treats (Pumpkin spice, gingerbread, eggnog). And after my first sip, I was hooked. I would close my eyes and imagine pumpkin cream cheese muffins dunking themselves in pumpkin spice lattes before dancing toward my lips... Anyway, sorry, I got off topic.

But every year at this time in September, PSL returns and it's hit a fever pitch this year.

Pumpkin Spice is Back

Pumpkin Spice is Back
Pumpkin Spice is Back | Source

Treating Myself to Pumpkin Spice

It's true, it's been a few days since Starbucks declared the return of pumpkin spice, and on day two, there I was at the counter ordering my quadruple venti pumpkin spice latte (which is probably 2500 calories). And oh my goodness, it was even better than years past! It's an absolute treat, and I will be treating myself often over the next 2 months before it goes into a deep hibernation until 2015.

To be fair, because of that first encounter with this drink, I've branched out to Caribou, Dunkin Donuts, and some other local coffee shops so I get my pumpkin spice fix whenever and wherever I want it. It's warm and spicy, yet perfectly cool and refreshing when served over ice. It is immaculate.

PSL in its Glory

PSL in its Glory
PSL in its Glory | Source

Did you get a pumpkin spice latte yet this year?

Did you get a pumpkin spice latte yet this year?

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The Details

Breaking from tradition, the pumpkin spice latte is not actually a good deal at all. I know, how hypocritical of DealForALiving, but that's why you have a separate budget for personal expenditures!

Compared to a regular latte at Starbucks, depending on your location and the difference in drink, you're looking at a difference of somewhere between a quarter and a dollar per drink. That's pretty significant, especially with all of the publicity about the drink not containing any pumpkin. Why is this a big deal every year anyway? But I must say, I wish Starbucks would have a soft opening for pumpkin spice with discounted pricing to welcome all of us back.

While we're covering details, let's talk about what's actually in that pumpkin spice latte:

  • Caramel Color Level IV - Worrisome but ok...
  • Monsanto milk - Does not bother me in the slightest
  • A whole lot of sugar - Don't drink this all the time. It's really a liquid dessert.
  • Natural and artificial flavors - None of which are pumpkin. They include hints of clove and other spices you'd find in a pumpkin pie.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte | Source

About DealForALiving

I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.

I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.

Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.

Most Sincerely,


Limited Time Only So Go Now

As with all deals that are waiting for, you end up waiting an entire year and then it's gone in a flash. Luckily, pumpkin spice sticks around until Thanksgiving so if you haven't tried it, or haven't had one yet in 2014, you still have some time. And while your regular drink might be a skinny latte with 3 splendas and a dash of cinnamon, treat yourself for once and embrace the taste of love and warmth. This is the one time a year that our favorite coffee shop reaches out and gives us a big, warm, pumpkin spice hug.


What's a Deal Worth Waiting For?

One of the ideas that lead to the birth of DealsForALiving is that navigating deals and maximizing resources makes life easier and more joyful. It spans everything that I'm passionate about in food, technology, news and media consumption, the workday and my work, and in relationships. The more I can share these things, then the more I get to see and hear people benefiting from these deals, and these snippets of wisdom (that's how I see it).

Closest to my heart are national and international deals that are offered by big brands, because they are there for the taking by thousands, even millions, of people. What comes to mind are Labor Day sales on furniture, annual food events, Black Monday, Cyber Friday, and end of the year clearance sales. And so I want to write about these things so you can join me in enjoying the fruits of our long wait!

PSL On the Go

PSL On the Go
PSL On the Go | Source

P.S. Via on the Go

So yesterday in Target I was strolling through the aisles picking up toothpaste and whatnot, when I found myself in the coffee and tea aisle. I try to keep a small container of instant coffee on hand to serve guests, or myself on a busy weekday morning. So I'm looking at Folgers and Taster's Choice, and quickly scanned over the Starbucks Via section for items on sale, and voila, there it was!

Pumpkin Spice Via! I thought to myself, "Those scoundrels have figured me out and I have no choice but to buy this..." All this time I usually just skip over the Via section because it's not competitively priced, my first experience with it two years ago was just average, and that is that. But now they have struck at my heart with something I can not resist. So I bought it, and in the next week or two, I will give it a try to update this post!

PS. I've also started writing on my own site:


DealForALiving | Source


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    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      As will I. Let's enjoy it while we can!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've reinforced my suspicion that the pumpkin spice latte is really a liquid dessert, but it's so delicious! I know I'll have multiple servings this fall.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thank you for stopping by and reading, even though you don't drink coffee. I hope you make your way to the "dark side" or even just give this is a try as it's more milk, sugar and spice than espresso.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      If I drank coffee, this is what I'd drink. It looks and sounds delicious -- just like you say, liquid dessert.