What’s the best part about eating at McDonald’s, beside the McFlurry? You can save money at McDonald’s. Admit it, it’s hard to turn down menu items that even the smallest budget can handle.
These days, you don’t even have to go into the restaurant to grab your Happy Meal, thanks to the McDonald’s app and Uber Eats delivery. With our insider secrets, dinner at McD’s has never smelled so good.
Grab the Krazy Coupon Lady app for the best money-saving tips and freebie deals.
Note: McDonald’s pricing is regional, so the cost for these items may be a bit different depending on where you live.
1. Get the McDonald’s app for a steady stream of freebies and special deals.
The free McDonald’s app alerts you to sales, shows you the current menu, and most importantly gives you all the current coupons that can be scanned right from your phone. We got free Large Fries just for downloading the app!
Here are some past examples of deals we’ve seen come and go:
- Buy 1 Get 1 Free Happy Meals every Wednesday
- Free Large Fries with any purchase
- Free Medium Fries and Drink with purchase of a Signature Crafted Sandwich
- Buy 1 Get 1 Free Signature Crafted Sandwiches
New offers and freebies are added every day, so check the Deals section of the app before you order.
2. Give the cashier your four-digit MyMcDonald’s code BEFORE you order to save money.
McDonald’s just added the new MyMcDonald’s Rewards Program to the app, which lets you earn points on your purchases, which can be used to get free menu items.
Before you place your order in person or in the drive-thru, make sure you tap “Earn Points” and give the cashier your four-digit code to get the credit.
If you place an order through the app, you’ll automatically get the points for your purchase.
3. Every $15 you spend at McDonald’s gets you free food.
There are four different tiers of freebies with MyMcDonald’s, and each one unlocks new menu items. Go to the Rewards tab in the app to pick your freebie, and either add it to your mobile order or pick “Use at Restaurant.”
When you spend $15, your 1,500 points will earn you a free:
- Hash Browns (reg. $1.09)
- Vanilla Cone (reg. $1.00)
- Cheeseburger (reg. $1.00)
- McChicken (reg. $1.00)
When you spend $30, your 3,000 points will earn you a free:
- Large Iced Coffee (reg. $2.52)
- 6-piece Chicken McNugget (reg. $3.49)
- Medium Fries (reg. $1.79)
- Sausage Burrito (reg. $1.29)
When you spend $45, your 4,500 points will earn you a free:
- Large Frappe (reg. $4.93)
- Filet-O-Fish (reg. $3.79)
- Sausage McMuffin with Egg (reg. $2.99)
- Large Fries (reg. $1.89)
When you spend $60, your 6,000 points will earn you a free:
- Free Quarter Pounder with Cheese (reg. $5.08)
- Free Happy Meal (reg. $5.29)
- Free Big Mac (reg. $4.23)
- Free Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit ($3.19)
4. To stretch your rewards points the farthest, get the Large Frappe.
McCafe Rewards have been absorbed by the MyMcDonald’s program, so you can still get free coffees with your points. And out of all the things you could spend your rewards points on, the Large Frappe gives you the most value.
The Large Frappe is regularly priced at around $4.39, and at 450 points, you’re getting 9.8% cash back rewards.
At 300 points, Medium Fries are the next best reward, getting 8.97% cash back, followed by the 600-point 6-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, which at $5.19, gets you 8.65% cash back.
5. Get free Medium Fries every Friday on the app.
Free Fry Friday at McDonald’s is our favorite. Every Friday, you get a deal on the app for an order of free Medium Fries with a $1 or more purchase.
6. Get a secret menu Mac McDouble to pay 60% less than a Big Mac.
You can get Big Mac taste for less by ordering a McDouble without ketchup or mustard, but with Big Mac sauce and lettuce instead for no extra charge.
You might not get the middle bun found in the Big Mac, but you’ll only pay around $1.89, as opposed to $4.59 for a regular Big Mac.
7. Don’t ever order 4-piece Chicken McNuggets; order the 20-piece box for the best value.
Why? Because if you compare the cost per nugget, the 20-piece McNuggets is the clear winner in the cheapest deal category.
- 4-piece Chicken McNugget box $1.99, or $0.50 per nugget
- 10-piece Chicken McNugget box $5.29, or $0.43 per nugget
- 20-piece Chicken McNugget box $5.49, or $0.27 per nugget
8. Save over 60% on McFlurries when you add toppings to a sundae.
Love a McFlurry, but not crazy about the price? Order a sundae instead and ask for McFlurry topping to save $2.80. You’ll get a small side cup (about 2 oz.) of M&Ms or Oreos for just $0.30.
A regular McFlurry is $4.39, but the McDonald’s secret menu sundae with McFlurry topping is only $1.59. That saves you 63% on your order! And it’s JUST as good.
9. Get free food when you fill out the survey from your receipt.
Your McDonald’s receipt will get you a coupon for a free item such as: Hamburger (reg. $1.00), Egg McMuffin (reg. $4.39), or you could get an offer like a Buy 1 Get 1 Free on a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (reg. $5.08).
Head over to the McDonald’s Customer Satisfaction survey website and fill out the survey using the 26-digit survey code on your receipt.
10. Upgrade your Happy Meal Chicken McNuggets to a 6-piece for a better value.
A regular 4-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal is $5.29, but for $0.30 more you can get the 6-piece Chicken McNuggets and still get your small soda, fries, and toy.
Only $0.30 more for two more McNuggets — not bad, when the best you can get per McNugget is $0.27 each (see Tip 7).
11. Work at your local McDonalds to get 30% off discounts on food.
McDonald’s employees are treated well: health insurance, dental, 401k plan, tuition assistance, family medical leave, maternity and paternity leave, and discounts. They also get 30% off their orders at all McDonald’s restaurants.
12. Order a burger with no patty if you want a secret menu “grilled cheese.”
The grilled cheese sandwich is one of the best McDonald’s secret menu hacks for customers who want a light vegetarian meal, or you want a vegetarian-friendly option in your child’s happy meal.
If you just want to try one out for yourself, order the slice of melted cheese between two grilled buns. It’s not any cheaper to skip the meat on a Cheeseburger; it’ll still cost you $1.00.
13. The McChicken gives you the most calories per $1 spent at McDonald’s.
If you look at the most valuable menu items in terms of the number of calories you’re getting per dollar, the clear winner is the $1.00 McChicken, followed by the $2.09 Sausage Biscuit.
This is not based on the healthiest menu items! But these will give you the most food and calories for your dollar:
- McChicken: 400 calories/$1
- Sausage Biscuit: 210 calories/$1
- Bacon Cheddar McChicken: 200 calories/$1
- McDouble: 191 calories/$1
14. Go to McDonald’s between 10-11 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. to avoid peak times.
It’s no joke that McDonald’s gets packed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Avoid peak hours by going between 10-11 a.m. and between 3-5 p.m. It’ll save you a lot of time and get you those fries you’ve been craving.
Also, avoid ordering any chicken sandwiches if you’re in a rush. They can take about eight minutes to prepare, which means you can be sitting in the car a lot longer than you planned.
15. The best deal on the “$1 $2 $3 Menu” is the $3 McNuggets bundle.
Don’t be fooled; the “$1 $2 $3 Menu” isn’t a value menu. It’s just a collection of menu items that cost between $1 and $3, and then some $3 bundles.
While you can find any size drinks, hash browns and McChicken for around $1, and a bunch of coffee and smoothie drinks for $2, the real savings comes from the $3 bundles. The 6-piece Chicken McNuggets and Small Fries bundle would normally cost $5.58 separately, but as a bundle you save $2.58 (46%).
16. Sign up for McDonald’s email alerts to stay on top of deals and coupons.
If you don’t want to constantly check your McDonald’s app — or you just don’t like getting alerts from your food apps — email is the easiest way to go. You’ll get a new email when new deals or coupons are posted on the app.
17. Regional stores will serve different food, so check the menu when you travel.
McDonald’s is always putting a twist on their food. Here are a few unique items that have graced the McDonald’s menu over the years:
- Hawaii: Spam Musubi, Portuguese sausage, sides of white rice
- Alaska: Denali Mac — A burger that looks like the Big Mac but has two quarter-pound beef patties. This burger is named after Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley)
- Canada: Poutine — French fries covered in gravy and cheese
- New England: The McLobster — A lobster roll served in a hot dog bun with “lobster sauce” and shredded lettuce, introduced in 1993
- New Mexico: Green Chile Sunrise Burrito — A breakfast burrito with both bacon and sausage