10 Tips to Help You Save Money on Fast Food

Let’s get real, there are many nights that life is crazy and a nice sit down dinner just isn’t going to happen. It’s super nice to be able to go to a drive-thru and have dinner ready in a matter of minutes. With this convenience comes expense. Fast food can add up if you’re not careful. I’ve found some super easy ways to save money and I really do save a TON each time I’m buying fast food. Here are 10 ways you can save money too.

  1. Watch your mail for coupons and mailers. Coupons for fast food are everywhere. I’m sure you’ve seen those come in your mail or even your email. These coupons can save you a TON just buy tearing them out and using them. Take those coupons and put them in your cars or purse. That way you have them on hand for those last minute dinners.
  2. Use Apps and Reward Programs. This is super simple and can save you a lot of money. In today’s tech filled world, almost every fast food restaurant will have an App. Simply download your favorite fast food’s app, check out their coupons and rewards program right there on the app. A lot of apps will have free items as rewards which is so worth the download. Be sure to check the app before you go and see what offers are available to help you save the most money.
  3. Take advantage of Kids Eat Free days. If you have kids you know how expensive it can get to eat out. It would be super cheap if you go on a kids eat free day.
  4. Know the deals of the day. If you have a favorite place you usually go, be sure you know what deals they have going on each day. That way you can plan ahead and go when you would be eating the deal of the day items.
  5. Look at the whole menu and know what items can save you money. When you are ordering, look at the menu and see if they have dollar items or cheaper items that you can get more of and still be satisfied. I’ve noticed if you buy a few $1.00 items per person, it’s a lot cheaper than buying just one $6 item per person.
  6. Order water. I know, I know, this is pretty hard and maybe not what you want to hear, but it’s a simple way to save money. By ordering water you don’t pay that insane amount for a tiny soft drink. Just think, most grocery stores have 2-liter sodas on sale for $1.00. However, when you go out to dinner you will be paying $2 or more for a soft drink for ONE person. Instead of paying that amount, just take your food home and grab that 2-liter soda and share with the family. Soft drink purchases add up way fast, this is a great way to save money.
  7. Don’t buy side items or share your sides with others instead of ordering one per person. I don’t know what it is about fast food, but I always think I need french fries with my hamburger or chips with my sandwich. Instead of buying one side per person, just buy a couple and share them with your family. If you really want to save money, or if you’re watching your food intake, try not to eat the sides. You can buy the main entree and most likely be satisfied. Again, if you are taking your food home, then grab sides that you already have at home. Most likely you have fruits, veggies or chips that you can add to your meal. You can save a lot by not buying those side items, or by sharing them with others.
  8. Avoid buying kids meals. I RARELY buy kids meals for my kiddos. They just know they won’t be getting one. First, they are overpriced. Second, the toys are usually junk and provide a few minutes of joy, then those toys are lost somewhere in my car seats. Lastly, did I mention they are overpriced?? Seriously, look on the dollar menus or grab a bigger bundle of those nuggets and share them with the kids. Skip or share your sides and then order water. Super simple and definitely cheaper.
  9. Skip the desserts and treats. It’s super tempting when you see everyone with an ice cream cone to join in and buy one yourself. However, that is an easy way to save some money. That’s an added expense that you can do on occasion, but not every time you go out to dinner.
  10. Check your receipts for surveys. Have you noticed that a lot of restaurants have quick surveys at the bottom of your receipts? I do this all of the time. Sometimes these offers will be a free entree or a bogo offer. It’s an easy way to grab a freebie the next time you are at that restaurant.

How do you save money eating out? Comment below and let us know!