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Two kinds of people exist in this world: 1. Those who proudly admit to eating Taco Bell; and 2. Those who lie about it. Either way, you don’t want to miss out on Taco Bell Happy Hour or specials you may not even know exist.
If you want to find the best Taco Bell hacks, coupons, and deals to save on Doritos Locos Tacos, or if you’re wondering about Taco Bell Happy Hour or the Taco Bell secret menu, read on! Plus, you don’t even have to worry about waiting for Taco Tuesday deals.
(Be sure to check out the KCL dining page for all the best fast food deals and coupons.)
What is Taco Bell Happy Hour?
Taco Bell Happy Hour (officially known as Taco Bell Happier Hour) takes place every single day — weekends included — between 2 and 5 p.m. During this time, fountain drinks and freezes are just $1. There are usually daily specials on food items as well, which means you can walk away with a medium drink and a filling snack for $3 or less. When coupled with these expert Taco Bell hacks, the Taco Bell Happy Hour really will be the happiest hour in your day.
How to Score Taco Bell Specials & Deals
1. Sign up for Taco Bell rewards to get a Free Doritos Locos Taco — and that’s just the beginning.
Taco Bell Rewards is the best way to get free food items. You get a free item when you sign up for the Taco Bell rewards program, which you can redeem anytime within 14 days of sign-up. We got a free Doritos Locos Taco, a $2.99 value.
Plus, you’ll get a free birthday reward every year. Last year, you could get a free Baja Blast Freeze (worth up to $2.99) added to your order.
2. Get a reward for every 250 points you earn on the Taco Bell app.
Taco Bell Rewards come in two tiers: Hot and Fire. In the Hot tier, which you get when you sign up, you earn 10 points per $1 spent on the Taco Bell app or website. In the Fire tier, you earn 11 points per $1 spent. If you forget to order through the app, scan the barcode on your receipt on your app within 48 hours to get your points.
Hot lets you get one of these items free when you hit 250 points (or $25 spent):
- Bean Burrito: $1.69 — 6.76% back in value
- Chips & Nacho Cheese: $1.89 — 7.56% back in value
- Cinnamon Twists: $1.00 — 4% back in value
- Crunchy Taco: $1.69 — 6.76% back in value
- Medium Fountain Drink: $2.19 — 8.76% back in value (the best we found)
Once you’ve earned 2,000 points total, you hit the Fire Tier, which adds these items to your 250-point freebies:
- Chalupa Taco Bell Supreme: $3.99 — 15.9% back in value
- Doritos Locos Tacos: $2.99 — 11.9% back in value
- Nachos BellGrande: $4.39 — 17.56% back in value (the best we found)
- Regular Mountain Dew: $2.39 — 9.56% back in value
Tip: From time to time, Taco Bell will give you additional points for placing specific orders. Check your Rewards dashboard to see their current challenges, place the order, and get the extra points that get you free Taco Bell.
3. Save up to 56% on medium drinks during Taco Bell Happy Hour.
If you’re dying for that Mountain Dew Baja Blast, hang on until at least 2 p.m.
The Taco Bell Happy Hour, or Happier Hour, runs daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and offers $1.00 medium drinks including Freezes, lemonade, Gatorade Fruit Punch, Baja Blasts, Pepsi fountain drinks, Sparkling Freezes, or iced tea, saving you $0.89 to $1.29 per drink.
4. Save up to 44% on your favorite Taco Bell foods with some creative ordering.
Did you know you can make a Quesarito by modifying a Beefy Melt Burrito? And it’s $1.29 less. Save up to 34% on your favorite menu items by adding the right toppings to cheaper foods. Check out these deals:
If you want a Quesarito (reg. $4.49)
- Order a Beefy Melt Burrito (reg. $2.00)
- Ask to remove the Fiesta Strips
- Add Chipotle Sauce (additional $0.50)
Final price: $2.50, 44.3% savings
If you want a Cheesy Gordita Crunch (reg. $4.59)
- Order a Cheesy Roll Up (reg. $1.00)
- Order a Crunchy Taco (reg. $1.69)
- Unroll the Cheesy Roll Up and wrap the Crunchy Taco with it
Final price: $2.69, 41.4% savings
If you want a Crunchwrap (reg. $4.69)
- Order a Bean Burrito (reg. $1.69)
- Order a Crunchy Taco (reg. $1.69)
- Open the Bean Burrito and put the Crunchy Taco inside
- Wrap into a hexagonal shape to create the Crunchwrap
Final price: $3.38, 27.9% savings
If you want Nachos BellGrande (reg. $4.99)
- Order the Chips & Nacho Cheese (reg. $1.89)
- Order 1 Crunchy Taco Supreme (reg. $2.89)
- Empty the contents onto your Chips & Nacho Cheese
Final price: $4.78, 4% savings
Tip: For these complicated, customized orders, download the Taco Bell app and use it to make your order. Chances are better that it’ll turn out exactly how you want!
5. Save up to 43% by getting a $5.00 Taco Bell Cravings Box.
Taco Bell lets you pick four items for the Taco Bell Cravings Box for just $5.00 — via app or website. You won’t be able to get this deal in person. You get to pick one item from each of the four categories:
- Classic: Soft Taco, $1.69; Crunchy Taco, $1.69; Bean Burrito, $1.69; Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, $3.39; Spicy Potato Soft Taco, $1.00
- Specialty: Chalupa Supreme, $3.99; Cheesy Gordita Crunch, $4.59; Crunchwrap Supreme, $4.69; Black Bean Chalupa Supreme, $3.99; Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme, $4.69
- Sides: Chips & Nacho Cheese Sauce, $1.89; Cinnamon Twists, $1.00; Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, $1.99
- Drinks: Anything except juice and Freeze drinks, $1.49 (16 oz)
This Taco Bell 5 dollar box order gets you the best value:
- Beefy 5-Layer Burrito: $3.39
- Crunchwrap Supreme: $4.69
- Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes: $1.99
- 16 oz Soft Drink: $1.49
A $11.56 value for only $5.00! That saves you $6.56 (43.3%)!
Related: Looking for more $5 lunch specials? We’ve got you covered with every meal deal that you should know about.
6. The Taco Bell secret menu can get you discontinued menu items.
The Taco Bell secret menu has a few items that can get you discontinued menu items. Here’s how you can make a few of our favorites:
- Enchirito (reg. $3.49): Order a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito (reg. $3.39) and add Red Sauce (reg. $0.10)
- Meximelt (reg. $2.70): Order a Cheesy Roll Up (reg. $1.00) and add beef (reg. $1.00) and tomatoes (reg. $0.70)
7. If you only have $2, hit up the Taco Bell value menu.
The special items on this menu change every few weeks, but you can always get something for $2 or less on the Taco Bell Value Menu — a true deal:
- Fiesta Veggie Burrito: $2.00
- Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito: $2.00
- Beefy Melt Burrito: $2.00
- Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito: $1.00
- Spicy Potato Soft Taco: $1.00
- Cheesy Roll Up: $1.00
- Cinnamon Twists: $1.00
8. Need a bunch of tacos? Ordering the Taco Bell Party Pack gives you 12 tacos for the price of 11.
Ordering the 12-count Taco Bell Party Pack for $18.99 is 6.4% cheaper than ordering a dozen tacos for $20.28. Don’t be fooled. It’s like getting a free Taco Bell taco for only $0.40 more than 11 tacos separately (reg. $18.59)!
9. One of the best Taco Bell secret menu hacks? Meat, beans, and potatoes are interchangeable on the menu.
Whether you’re online, using the Taco Bell app, or in person, you can swap out meat for beans or potatoes.
And the reverse is true; you can get the Power Menu Bowl or the Nachos Bellgrande and substitute the black beans with meat. These swaps are totally free.
10. Get a double portion of rice and potatoes when you order them on the side.
If you want an add-on to your Taco Bell order like rice and potatoes, you should always order them on the side since they will typically give you a larger portion of your side.
When you’re ordering through the app or website, just make sure to click on “On the side” when you’re choosing your add-ons. Each side will come in its own container.
Here’s what each add-on will cost you:
- Steak: $1.70
- Chicken: $1.50
- Beef: $1.00
- Potatoes: $0.80
- Tomatoes: $0.70
- Beans: $0.65
- Three-Cheese Blend: $0.65
- Jalapeno Peppers: $0.60
- Seasoned Rice: $0.55
- Onions: $0.45
- Black Beans: $0.40
11. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, get free Taco Bell on T-Mobile Tuesdays.
If you’re already a T-Mobile customer, download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Every week T-Mobile promotes a Taco Bell special deal, like free tacos or drinks, and $0.10 off a gallon of gas. It’s not a Taco Bell deal every T-Mobile Tuesday, but last year I noticed a six-month run of free tacos.
12. The Taco Bell senior discount is 5% and a free drink for customers 65 years young.
If you’re 65 or older, all you need to do to receive the Taco Bell senior discount deal is show your ID. Not every Taco Bell does this, though, so make sure you ask before placing your order.
This is only one of the many senior discounts you can get with your ID.
13. Keep an eye out for the Taco Bell Taco Pass — which gets you one taco per day.
via Taco Bell
Using the Taco Bell app, if you buy a 30-day Taco Bell Taco Pass for $10, you’ll get one taco a day — a Crunchy Taco, Crunchy Taco Supreme, Soft Taco, Soft Taco Supreme, Doritos Locos Taco, Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, or Spicy Potato Soft Taco.
Problem is, the Taco Pass isn’t always available. Taco Bell last offered it in October 2022 for National Taco Day, so we’re waiting for the next time we can subscribe to tacos, one of the best taco deals around.
We’ve got lots more food and drink subscriptions where that came from, though.
14. Get a discounted Taco Bell gift card to pay even less on your Taco Bell orders (and use them during Taco Bell Happy Hour).
If you’re going to be ordering at least $50 from Taco Bell this year, you should get a discounted Taco Bell gift card from Raise.com. This way, you’ll always be receiving a discount no matter what you order from Taco Bell. Last we checked, it gave us a 2% discount on all Taco Bell gift cards.
It’s not much, but it’s like having another Taco Bell coupon — and unlike other discounts, you can take advantage of this deal during Taco Bell Happy Hour.
Tip: You should also check out the Restaurant.com Dining Discount Pass to find some of the best Taco Bell coupons. For example, mine offered BOGO burritos and a free Doritos Locos taco with the purchase of a meal.
15. Swap any tortilla for a Taco Bell Doritos shell for $0.70.
The Doritos Locos tacos are a staple at Taco Bell, and we just found out you can swap a regular crunchy shell for a Doritos Shell on any taco or chalupa on the menu. It’s just an extra $0.70 to upgrade, but you can only make this swap in store.
16. Try your order “fresco style” to get access to the secret Taco Bell vegan menu.
Taco Bell offers any meal (including meat dishes) fresco style, which means any vegetarian option can be turned into a vegan one. When you order fresco style, the staff members will switch out any cheese, sour cream, mayo-based sauces, and guacamole for pico de gallo at no extra charge.
You can even order fresco style online when you “customize” your Taco Bell order.
17. Get three Taco Bell slush flavors for the price of one — which is even less during Taco Bell Happy Hour.
You can order a single Taco Bell slush drink and have three flavors layered on for no extra charge. It’s not available on the app, but you can order it in-store and at the drive-thru.
18. Always get your Taco Bell delivery from Uber Eats for the cheapest delivery fees.
When we compared Taco Bell delivery prices from different areas, we found that Uber Eats has the cheapest delivery fees from third-party apps.
Of course, before you order delivery, you should brush up on determining which is the cheapest third-party delivery service.
19. Taco Bell jobs will get you a free meal every shift.
While this may not technically be a Taco Bell hack available to all, if you become a Taco Bell employee, you’ll get a free meal every shift you work as well as 25% off purchases when you’re not working.
20. Remember, Taco Bell breakfast runs 7 -11 a.m.
When does Taco Bell stop serving breakfast? Taco Bell breakfast runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
21. Skip the drive-thru and get Taco Bell sauces and more at your local grocery store.
If you’re craving some authentic Taco Bell at home, you can find the salad dressing, salsas, taco shells, and hot sauce they use in the restaurants at major retailers like Walmart and Target. At less than $4 a bottle for the Southwest and Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing, it might just be cheaper to make your own taco night at home.
Here are some items and prices from the Taco Bell grocery line:
- Mild Sauce (7.5 oz.): About $1.83
- Hot Sauce (7.5 oz.): About $1.83
- Fire Sauce (7.5 oz.): About $1.83
- Verde Sauce (7.5 oz.): About $1.83
- Bold and Creamy Chipotle sauce (12 oz.): About $1.98
- Spicy Ranchero sauce (12 oz.): About $1.98
- Mild Taco Seasoning: About $0.76
- Taco Night Kit: Cheesy Taco Grande: About $3.24
- Taco Night Kit: Steak & Cheese Soft Taco Kit: About $3.24
- Crunchy Taco Shells (12 count): About $2.52