Fast Food Hacks to Save Money at your Favorite Stops

Fast Food Hacks to Save Money at your Favorite Stops

Jennifer Carno

Jennifer CarnoApr 19, 20184 min read

Fast food feeds us quickly and often for less money than sit-down restaurants and cooking at home. So why not hack the system to spend even less on fast food when the craving hits? Here are our fast food hacks that will save you money on burgers, coffee, pizza, and more.   

Download the App

Pretty much every fast food chain you can name has an app designed for the smartphone. The apps offer special discounts, deals, and loyalty rewards for frequent purchasers. You can also make your fast food faster and skip lines by ordering ahead through the app. Score free meals after you order certain amounts! For example, Dominos will give you a free pizza after you accrue 60 points, which you can earn on 6 separate orders spending $10 or more. Shake Shack announces new menu items that are exclusively available on their app first! McDonald's has discount deals only available through their app. The list goes on!

Use Delivery Services

Haven’t tried any online delivery services? They all offer great deals for first time users. You can usually save $10 ordering through Grubhub for the first time. Caviar has discount codes and so does Uber Eats. Door Dash even offers 2% off. Know that a lot of these places will add up since they often charge extra fees, and you should tip. While this may not be the cheapest option for repeated use, take advantage of some of the new customer deals to save. Plus, time is money, so if you’re super busy and food delivery saves you time, it’s worth it in the long run. These services can also deliver fast food to you much faster than standard delivery options from more expensive restaurants.

Make the Most of the Menu

There are extensive hacks applicable to many menus across the fast food landscape. For example, order a double espresso with a cup of ice at Starbucks. You can then add the free milk and sugar from the counter to make your own latte for less. Take advantage of Arby’s has 2 for 1 deals, they’re always worth it. You’ll save money and get more meat. Love a Philly Cheesesteak Sub? Don’t specifically order it at Subway to save money. Instead, buy a double steak and cheese. Want a Big Mac? Next time you go to McDonald’s ask for a McDouble instead of buying a more expensive Big Mac. All you have to request is a free substitution of the ketchup and mustard for lettuce and special sauce. If you really want to save money at any fast food spot, skip the soda and get a free cup for water. It’s not only better for your health, it’s better for your wallet. Consider ordering the available kids meal if you’re trying to indulge in fewer calories while still getting a taste and saving money. The smaller portions have just as big a taste as the larger ones. And don’t forget, Chipotle will give you extra rice for free, just ask. That extra rice can go a long way in making you feel full for much longer or helping you to later create a second meal from leftovers, thus saving you more money!

Look for Coupons & Sign Up for Rewards

Don’t want to fill up your general email account with ads? Make a new email address expressly for the purpose of mailing lists for fast food chains. Soon the specials from Pizza Hut, Arbys, Taco Bell, Dominos, Papa Johns, Burger King and more will come rolling in. Make sure to follow your favorite spots on social media too. They advertise exclusive discounts and freebies there. You will definitely want to join the rewards programs that all of your favorite spots offer. It’s like using a credit card for miles, if you’re going to spend the money, make sure you’re earning rewards and hearing about great deals. And best of all, the rewards programs are free to join!

We hope that these fast food hacks help you save money while you eat on the go. With so many free offers and discounts out there, why not take advantage? The days of simply hitting the drive-through without a plan are over!