If you're in school, using your student discount at restaurants to score free or cheap meals is a must. Because, unfortunately, there are entirely too many college kids having sleep for dinner. (I was struggling too back in the day since my scholarship didn't cover a school meal plan so I feel you.)
It's a given that cooking at home is the best way to save money on food, but most dorms don't have a kitchen. And even if you did have a kitchen, after a long day of studying, going to classes, and trying to have a social life, cooking your own meals takes a back burner. So while you could try to sneak into a meeting for a club you're not even in just to snag some leftover pizza, I recommend utilizing restaurants with student discounts and college freebies instead.
Here are some food joints where college students can find cheap(er) eats. Of course, always call ahead since most restaurants operate independently and may not participate in the discount deal.
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the KCL app or text HACKS to 57299.
Via Save In My City
Save 10% on your entire meal when you show your student ID at participating locations.
2. Buca di Beppo
Via Buca di Beppo
Students can eat Italian family style and get 10% off at various locations. Call ahead and see if your store offers this deal. And be sure to stack that discount with other deals like Meatball Monday's 50% off spaghetti and meatballs.
3. Buffalo Wild Wings
Via The Street
Students score 10% off their meal at many locations. Don’t be shy to ask, so long as you have your student ID handy.
4. Burger King
Via Trip Advisor
Get 10% off your Burger King purchase at participating locations.
At many Chick-fil-A’s, students can get a free drink when they buy a meal. Find out if yours does by flashing a valid student ID.
Via USA Today
Most Chipotle locations will offer a free drink with purchase of a meal when you show your student ID.
7. Dairy Queen
Show a valid student ID for 10% off at participating locations.
8. Dunkin’ Donuts
Students show their ID and get 10% off at participating locations.
9. Firehouse Subs
Students may get 10% off when they check in first with their local sub shop.
10. Pizza Hut
Via ABC Columbia
Get 10% off your next pie. Discount depends on location.
11. Qdoba Mexican Grill
Via Qdoba Peoria
Qdoba offers a free drink for students when they purchase a meal, as well as burrito meals for $5.
Via My Other Blog
Shoney’s offers a 15% discount for students. Check ahead to see if your location participates.
13. Sweet Tomatoes
Via Tampa Bay Online
Depending on the location, students can get a 10% discount on the healthy salad buffet.
Students receive 10% off the total purchase with a valid student ID at participating locations.
15. Taco Bell
Via E News
Get a student discount of 15% at participating locations.
Check first to see if they participate in offering 10 - 20% off yogurt goodness when you show any form of student ID.
17. Waffle House
Students can enjoy coffee and waffles at a 10% discount at participating Waffle Houses.
At some locations, you can get 10% off your meal with a valid ID.
Score 10% off your next $5 footlong cookie, or preferred meal.
How to Get the Most Out of Deals at Restaurants with Student Discounts
1. Stack discounts with promotions.
A lot of these savings can be applied to other promotions. So for example, Subway does a BOGO 50% off promo on footlong subs. The offer's fine print doesn't say you can't stack it with other discounts so take advantage of that. Just make sure you check that your location is participating in the promo and offers a student discount before you order.
2. Sign up with StudentBeans and UNiDAYS.
Some locations will only offer a student discount if you're signed up with third party sites. The two biggest are UNiDAYS and Student Beans. It's free to create an account. Just sign up, verify your affiliation, and you're all set.
3. Eating at a buffet? Go right before close to snag leftovers.
This is a classic strategy that kept me fed time and time again. Pay a cheaper entrance fee with your student discount, but make sure you're showing up about 45 minutes before the location closes. As the area clears out, ask the workers if you can take home the leftover pizzas and salads. It's not a guarantee they'll let you take the extras, but you mis 100% of the shots you don't take, right? Personally, I've had some great success at Cicis.