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Fast food deals are everywhere; there are a ton of opportunities to save money on eating out and get the best bang for your buck. No matter which fast food restaurant you choose, we’ve found every way you can score discounts, use coupons, and find the cheapest fast food around. Sometimes the deals are so good you’ll get your fast food for free!
We know where you can go to get the cheapest chicken sandwich, hacks on where you can find the best fast food coupons, why you should always keep your receipts, and the skinny on fast food delivery discounts.
How to Find Fast Food Deals
1. Use restaurant apps and loyalty programs, these tend to offer the best fast food deals.
The absolute best way to get fast food deals is to download your favorite restaurant’s app and join their loyalty program. You’ll often get the best fast food deals through the app and can even earn points and rewards for using their app.
If you don’t know what apps to download, our list of the best fast food apps is a great place to start.
And speaking of apps, make sure to download the KCL app, and we’ll notify you of all the best deals.
2. Shop around every year for some of the best fast food deals on your birthday.
One underused fast food hack? Birthday rewards equals free fast food. Most restaurants will give you a freebie on your birthday after joining their rewards program. In many cases, you’ll get the freebie sent directly to your email. Here are a few of my favorite birthday rewards:
- Auntie Anne’s: Free Original Pretzel (reg. $3.29)
- Chick-fil-A: Free Chocolate Chip Cookie (reg. $1.29)
- Starbucks: Any free drink or bakery item of your choice. Price varies depending on the drink or bakery item you get.
And that’s just the start of all the birthday freebies and discounts you can get.
3. Get 20% off discounted gift cards — you can stack the savings with your other fast food deals.
When you get your gift cards from sites like Raise.com, you can save 20% or more on your order depending on the deal they have on the site.
If you have a Target RedCard, you get 5% off most of your purchases including gift cards, so you can get an automatic 5% discount on your fast food order.
4. Save your receipt to get fast food deals and freebies on your next order.
Whenever I eat out, I always keep my receipt and check to see if it offers surveys or coupons. Surveys usually take around 5 minutes to complete, and most of the time the fast food restaurant offers freebies, discounts, or special deals in exchange for your time.
At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I always ask for a receipt since I can get a smoothie for $1.99 (a 65% discount) on my next visit. And when I get that smoothie, I get another receipt — for another $1.99 smoothie. I’ll never pay full price again.
We know every restaurant where you can get rewarded for taking receipt surveys.
5. Check your calendar for food-related holidays to get free meals and discounts.
There are so many different food-related holidays scattered throughout the year that will get you freebies and discounts on all kinds of food. Here are some of our favorite food-related holidays:
- National Pizza Day: Feb. 9
- International Pi Day: March 14
- National Burger Day: May 28
- National Donut Day: First Friday of June
- National Coffee Day: Sept. 29
Download the KCL app to be notified of the best deals on every food holiday under the sun.
6. Check Restaurant.com for some of the best fast food deals and coupons.
Restaurant.com is one of the best places to find restaurant coupons for local restaurants, but did you know that you can get fast food coupons as well?
Here are just a few of the coupons I could get with my Restaurant.com Discount Dining Pass:
- BOGO free shakes at Sonic ($4.59 value)
- BOGO free pizzas at Papa Murphy’s ($12.00 value)
- BOGO free Signature Creations at Cold Stone Creamery ($5.49 value)
7. Check fast food deals on third-party delivery apps — many times they offer free delivery and menu items.
Before you order delivery through third-party delivery apps, you should always check to see if there are any deals you can get at your local fast-food restaurants. Some can save you from $5 to 20% off your order.
Where to Find the Best Bang for Your Buck Fast Food
8. Order the cheapest chicken sandwich at McDonald’s.
The chicken sandwich wars might be over, but who won? We might never really know the answer, but we do know that when it comes to fast food deals, the cheapest premium chicken sandwich you’ll find is from McDonald’s.
9. Get the cheapest burger at Burger King.
Getting the cheapest fast-food burger doesn’t mean just getting the cheapest price. It means getting the cheapest price per ounce, which means Burger King is the cheapest burger out of the various fast food restaurants — it offers the best bang for your buck deal at just $1.04 per ounce. Here’s how the competition compares.
- Burger King: $4.19; $1.04/oz.
- In-N-Out: $2.10; $1.05/oz.
- Wendy’s: $5.09; $1.27/oz.
- McDonald’s: $3.99; $2.49/oz.
10. Get the cheapest fries at In-N-Out Burger.
We took the prices from the largest size available at fast-food restaurants and found that you can get the cheapest fries at In-N-Out Burger — this deal works out to just $1.60 for a comparable size across other fast food joints.
- In-N-Out: $1.60
- McDonald’s: $1.89
- Jack in the Box: $2.29
- Chick-fil-A: $2.69
- Burger King: $3.09
- Wendy’s: $3.39
11. Never get a soft drink at fast food restaurants — order water for no charge instead.
Saving money on fast food means watching what you drink. Sodas cost $0.25 for fast-food restaurants to make, but they sell them for over $2.00. Instead, save money and make your fast food order that much cheaper by asking for a cup of water instead. Fast-food restaurants give them away for free and this is one reliable hack that will always save you money.
12. Split larger menu items to get two meals for the price of one.
Some restaurants, like The Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, and Olive Garden, serve larger portions that are hard to finish in one sitting. Ask for a takeout box before you start your meal and split your meal in half. That way, you can get one meal at the restaurant and one at home. This also works well if you stack this hack with restaurants offering current deals. And if you’re at a fast food restaurant, family meal deals offer a similarly great way to get your fast food for a bit cheaper. This fast food hack is not only good for your wallet, but it’s a healthier option too.
Tip: Instead of ordering a kids’ meal, you should order a regular entree and split it in half. That way, you can portion it out and save money, too.