Are you using a stirplate, or just shaking as often as you can. This will make a big difference in the size of your starter.
You can pitch the whole starter which will lessen the drop in your abv. But, you are making a starter which is not ideal for tastes. If it is a stirplate/small starter it won't make much difference. It it is a large starter the off flavors in the starter might transfer to the beer.
There is a Goya product, a malt or some kind that you can get at grocery stores to make starters in a pinch.