Although eating out is a great experience, there is one part that isn’t usually so enjoyable. Restaurants aren’t the cheapest places in the world. Everything from the drinks to the menu is designed to ensure you spend as much as possible. But how can you find a way around that?
We’ve compiled some restaurant hacks to help you out. These smart tips will help you maximize your culinary experience so you can go home with a full wallet and stomach. Whether you’re eating at a Darden restaurant like Olive Garden or somewhere else, pay attention to these clever restaurant hacks.
Sitting at the Bar Could Save You the Price of a Drink
When most people walk into a restaurant, they want a table. But is that really the smartest thing to do? Well, restaurant reviewers don’t think so. And we should trust them. Instead, ask to sit at the bar. Your drinks will come faster, and you’ll likely have more time.
Servers are usually in a rush to clear plates from tables to make room for other paying customers. However, clients are often left to their own devices at the bar. Also, since you’re so close to the staff, you’ll probably get better treatment and be checked on more regularly.
Join Dairy Queen’s Program and Get Six Blizzard Coupons throughout the Year
The Dairy Queen Blizzard is one of the most well-known items offered by the ice cream shop business. There are many flavors, and these blended sugary treats come in several sizes. If you love them as much as we do, then you can join the Blizzard Fan Club.
The Blizzard Fan Club offers a ton of savings opportunities. You can get up to six buy-one-get-one-free Blizzard coupons yearly. That means you’ll save between $22.14 and $28.14. You’ll also receive flavor updates and access to “Dairy Queen Secrets,” whatever that is.
Refer Your Friends to Get More Discounts
If you’re looking for ways to save money while shopping on food apps, don’t ignore the regular referral discount ads. These advertisements have some hidden gems you’ll want to find. You may have friends that also use food apps or are considering signing up. So, use this to your advantage. You could save between $10 and $20!
A new customer is more valuable to a company than lowering your food cost by a few dollars. For instance, GrubHub offers a $10 bonus for referrals. New customers on Uber Eats could also get $25 off their first order. Since incentives are constantly changing, be sure to check often.
You Can Save Up to $30 by Ordering More Appetizers Than Entrées
Who else finds it tempting to skip the appetizers entirely and go right for the entrées? We all do. But you should give it some thought first. You don’t want to end up spending $150 in two hours, do you? So, look at the appetizers instead.
Order fewer entrées and more appetizers. Usually, appetizers cost substantially less than entrées. The waiters won’t mind, and the appetizers will probably leave you satisfied anyway. You could go ahead and share an entrée or skip it altogether and save a sizable sum of money.
When Not to Eat Out – On Major Holidays
It could seem like a fantastic idea to go out for dinner instead of cooking on a major holiday, especially if you want to escape all the cleanup that comes with it. However, many restaurants try to profit from this by providing different menus for these special events.
Although it may seem like a wonderful deal when you look at what is being offered, in truth, you would likely spend less than half of that amount on a regular day. It’s a shrewd move by restaurants. Before you know it, your expenses have significantly exceeded your budget.
Sign Up for Arby’s Deals, and Win a Free Roast Beef Classic
Who doesn’t love freebies? Well, you aren’t only getting a discount at Arby’s, they’ll also give you a free sandwich. After signing up for their email list, always keep an eye on your inbox. You could be lucky and get an email offering you a free sandwich.
This is usually after any purchase. It will also be a good idea to join the Extra Rewards program if you’re an Arby’s lover because it will make you an “Arby’s Insider.” You’ll receive updates when the roast beef house hosts new contests and events, free food, and special coupons.
You Don’t Have to Eat Dessert
Restaurants want you to spend as much as you can while you’re there. Offering you a dessert after you finish your dinner is one sure way they achieve this. Even if you’ve already had an appetizer and an entrée, most of us might still decide to order something for dessert.
At this point, none of us are hungry, but because it’s on offer, we’ll still spend $10 to $15 on something delicious. Avoid making this mistake and skip dessert. You’ll end up cutting up to $15 or more from the bill, especially if you’re paying for multiple people.
Sign Up for the Loyalty Program at Longhorn Steakhouse for a Complimentary Appetizer
Longhorn Steakhouse has lots of free deals, and this is one of them. Joining the Longhorn Hospitality Club qualifies you for a complimentary appetizer. You must register with your email before receiving a coupon for the discount. Alternatively, you can get your free appetizer coupon by scanning a QR code.
Or you can get it by sending “Steak” to 346464. When you register, you can also get a free dessert on your birthday after buying an entree (the same for an appetizer). Just so you know, on Veterans Day, you can get 10% off your meal without registering if you are a veteran.
Sign Up for the Sbarro Program, Buy a Drink, and Get a Free Slice of Cheese Pizza
Sbarro is a popular place in malls across America. Why not? It serves one of the best and (biggest) slices of pizza for only a few bucks. It is a common stop-in place for many people visiting a mall. You can take advantage of the Sbarro Slice Society.
It is a rewards program that will give you a free New York XL pizza slice when you sign up. You only need to buy a soft drink (any size). Additionally, Sbarro will surprise you on your birthday (perhaps another free slice of pizza). Who doesn’t like free pizza?
Save Up to 50% with Split Entrées
Don’t waste your money at a restaurant by ordering something you won’t be able to finish. If you’ve been there before and are aware of their enormous portion sizes, why not divide the entrée with your partner or friend? You’ll save 50%, and nothing stops you from ordering more.
If you’re still hungry, just order a few starters and sides since they’re usually only a few dollars each. Don’t bother with what the server may think. This method has been used by diners for years, and it works. So why not try it too?
Order Your Food, and Pick It Up
This is a simple approach that is entirely about exercising self-control and has nothing to do with the menu. The restaurant is a lot of fun to sit in, but as soon as you sit down, you start spending money, and it could be more than your budget.
You might wind up ordering more sides because everything looks delicious. And you’ll probably spend more on drinks and tips overall. Instead, place a phone order, and then pick up your takeout. Take it home, enjoy the unlimited free water, and most importantly, you’ll save some money.
Half of Each Filling Could Save You up to $5 at Chipotle
Everyone likes Chipotle, but there was a Reddit debate over whether this trick helps you save. You can order two meats at Chipotle. It costs a few extra dollars, so why not? But try this instead. Simply ask for half of each meat. That way, you can have two meats for the price of one.
It makes sense to do this for meat since it’s the basis of the meal. Three more Chipotle fast food tips that can help you save money are ordering double rice, double wrapping, and not skimping on the veggies. Which of these are you trying the next time?
Sign Up with Panera and Get a Free Pastry on Your Next Visit
If you’ve visited Panera Bread, you’ve probably been asked whether or not you have a Panera Card. You might say no, but if you regularly visit there, you should consider signing up for the rewards program. They have free drinks, pastries, sides, and even dinners available.
You get a complimentary dessert or pastry when you sign up. The MyPanera system will then keep track of your visits each time you present your card or phone number. You’ll receive incentives from MyPanera for items it has noticed you enjoy. Only MyPanera users are eligible for these benefits.
Order McDonald’s Grilled Cheese
Yes, you can do this – well, that is if you don’t mind a few raised eyebrows here and there. Think about it for a moment. McDonald’s has bread and cheese and possibly access to a grill or any other hot surface. So why can’t they make you grilled cheese?
Ask for a grilled cheese if you’re craving one, and don’t mind if folks think you’re picky. Then listen to what they say. You can have a grilled cheese sandwich by ordering a cheeseburger without the burger patty. It will cost the same as a burger, but it will be a delicious cheese sandwich.
Your Kid’s Report Card May Save You Up to $10
If your child gets good grades, they might get a free snack for the hard work. Many restaurants, according to the Balance Every day, provide complimentary meals in exchange for A and B grades. For instance, the “A is for Apple” program at Applebee’s offers kids a free meal.
However, this depends on their school. While Chick-fil-A offers an ice cream cone, Baskin-Robbins offers a free scoop of ice cream. Ask ahead of time before raising your children’s expectations because some of the eateries may be dependent on the school. This could save you up to $10.
Less Ice, More Drink – Could Save You $1–$3
This clever restaurant hack has been making the rounds on social media. When ordering drinks at fast-food restaurants, ask for them without ice to get more for your money. Some restaurants will fill your drink to the brim, adding an extra $1–$3 worth of soda.
Some places might charge extra if you ask for no ice since it could cost them too much money if a lot of people start doing it. So that surcharge depends on the location, but overall, less ice means more drink.
A Triple Espresso Over Ice Is a Cheaper Iced Latte
Starbucks is undeniably great, but it’s also quite pricey. If you can’t live without your iced lattes but want to get them cheaper, you can get a triple espresso over ice. You should order it in a venti cup to allow some room for the milk you’re going to add.
There might be some milk at the condiment station. Or you can go home and fill it up there. Starbucks’s triple-shot costs $1.50 compared to a venti latte at $4.15. That means you are effectively paying less for the same thing. Why not try it?
Fill Out the Survey at the Bottom of Your Receipt for Great Deals
What do you do after you get your receipt? If you’re like us, you crumple it up and throw it in the trash, and that’s if you even ask for a receipt after being given the option. However, keeping the receipt could be smart. Just look at the bottom.
You could be eligible for a free offer. If you complete the survey on the receipt, certain businesses, like Dunkin’ Donuts, will give you a gift. You won’t be asked any difficult questions. They only ask for your opinions on the atmosphere, food, and service.
Go to the Restaurant during the Rush to Get Fresh Food
We’ve all heard alarming news reports about food that has been left out for a long time. If harmful bacteria don’t get on it, it will probably be somewhat stale. So if you want fresh food and don’t mind the lunch or dinner rush, this is the best time to get your food.
A restaurant processes more orders the busier it gets. As a result, your food won’t have been waiting for you to place your order. The food is always fresher in restaurants that are crowded. Of course, the only drawback to that is the increased time you’ll wait in line.
Skip the Protein; Get Free Guacamole at Chipotle
We all know that Chipotle’s guacamole is costly (and we order it anyway). But you might be happy to learn that there’s a trick to get free guac from everyone’s favorite fast-food joint, and you don’t really have to make a lot of compromises to get it.
If you’re not that into meat, order your burrito without the meat. You can get free guacamole if you order it with only vegetables and beans instead of the regular carnitas, sirloin, and chicken. The $1–$2 fee will be removed, which saves you money while still enjoying a meal.
Sign Up for Chili’s Rewards Program, and Get Free Guacamole, Chips and Salsa, or Skillet Queso
The My Chili’s Rewards Program grants the “best rewards” to their “best guests.” You can immediately get free skillet queso or guacamole when you sign up for the rewards program. The benefits don’t end there, either. You’ll also get free chips and salsa whenever you visit.
This could also be good for a free non-alcoholic beverage. Your incentives will be personalized to you and may include complimentary birthday treats, kids’ meals, appetizers, and delivery. You can use these rewards when ordering in-restaurant, to-go, for delivery, or curbside. So, who else is signing up?
You Shouldn’t Always Trust Yelp Reviews
It can be tempting to check out online reviews if you’ve never been to a restaurant before. Remember this: happy customers are much less inclined to gush about their experiences than unhappy ones. We’ve all been put off from businesses because of a negative review.
People rarely go out of their way to express what a wonderful experience they had, but when they are angry, they are eager to name and shame others. Additionally, reviews on websites like Yelp aren’t always totally reliable because anyone can submit them online, even the organization’s competitors.
Explore Your Options on Restaurant Week
For those who don’t know, Restaurant Week is when eateries offer discounts and cut-price meals to get more cash in the register. Most people usually go to their favorite restaurants to take advantage of the offer. But the smartest thing to do might be to branch out a little.
Instead of going to the same restaurants, why not try something new? You should take advantage of this opportunity to explore new places. The Financial Diet advises dining at upscale restaurants to get the most for your buck. You might even stumble on a wonderful place to keep going to.
Truffle Oil Is a Waste of Money
Did you realize there’s more to truffle oil than meets the eye? It may seem like a fancy addition to your meal. In fact, a significant portion of truffle oils are produced from chemicals and don’t even contain truffles, according to Spoon University. It is undoubtedly misleading.
But now that you know about it, you can either request to see the ingredients or simply steer clear of it. Spending extra money on something that doesn’t turn out to be valuable is pointless, especially if it’s not what was promised. This will save you $5 or more.
Always Keep the Bread until Your Food Arrives
Free bread is a fantastic treat at some restaurants but avoid the temptation to overindulge in it while you’re waiting for your appetizer or entrée. You may have the urge to nibble on it, but when the main event comes, you might be surprisingly full already.
Instead, eat it with your food. You will enjoy both without going overboard. Nobody wants to spend $10–$30 on the main course only to realize that they are too stuffed from rolls to fully enjoy it. So, use the free bread as a side dish instead of a starter.
Whenever Possible, Order Wine by the Bottle Rather Than by the Glass
Restaurants know that drinks account for a sizable amount of the bill. Alcohol is the breadwinner, even though soda has a high markup. Simply order a bottle of wine right away if you know you’ll need a few glasses.
Buying individual glasses will only increase your bill. Spending $20 on an entire bottle can seem ridiculous at first, but after the evening gets going, you’ll be glad you did. This way, the wine you buy will be much cheaper. It’s okay if you didn’t know this earlier.
Ignore the Chef “Special,” and Save $5 or More
Have you ever wondered what makes the “Chef Special” so special? We’ve seen it shamelessly advertised in many restaurants. And most times, it’s a tactic used by the business to raise the price of excess stock and get rid of it by making it sound alluring.
McDonald’s doesn’t have this kind of trickery. Even if the “Chef Special” may seem delicious, it is generally best to look at the other offerings on the menu instead. You might find something similarly delicious for a lot less money. You could save up to $5 or more.
Mondays and Tuesdays Are Great for Eating Out
Even if you are not a restaurant owner, it is common knowledge that weekends are the busiest days for restaurants. People love going out for a bite and a few drinks at the tail end of the week. That means Mondays and Tuesdays are relatively quiet.
And you could even score yourself a good deal. For instance, there is an All You Can Play deal at Chuck E. Cheese on Monday through Thursday. Kids can play all the games for only $14.99. Huddle House also promotes free children’s meals on Facebook every Monday and Tuesday.
Sign Up for Del Taco’s Loyalty Program and Get Two Grilled Chicken Tacos for Free!
Founded in California, Del Taco is well-known on the West Coast. It is Taco Bell’s formidable rival, but Del Taco also serves shakes, fries, and burgers in addition to the Mexican American cuisine. To compete with Taco Bell and Chipotle, Del Taco has a rewards program with some amazing incentives.
You will receive not one but two free Del Tacos when you register for a Del Yeah! Rewards Account using your email. This is a savings of $4–$6. Two of the Mexican fast food chain’s items usually cost that much, so this seems like a good deal to us!
The Left Side of the Menu Has Some Great Offers
One of the fun parts of going out to eat is scanning the menu. Since there are so many mouth-watering options, exploring them all may be more enjoyable than eating them. But did you know that many of us always browse the right page of the menu first?
Restaurants also know this, so they place the most expensive food on that side since they will catch your eye first. If you want to save money, you might want to start on the left side and work your way over when you eat at a restaurant like Olive Garden.
Remember to Ask for Subway’s V-Cut
According to a fan who still has fond memories of the old days, you can ask the Subway staff to cut the sandwich “the old way.” This “V-cut” has been around for a while since the days when they would ask you, “White or Wheat.”
The fast-food business gradually stopped using the cut, which involved cutting a V-shape off of the top of the bread before adding the ingredients. There are even petitions pleading for the return of the V-cut because it was once so popular. But it never hurts to ask.
Order with the Pizza-Sized Calculator
You want to get your money’s worth when buying pizza. If you order too much pizza, you’ll have a lot of leftovers and probably not enough room in the fridge to store the pizza. If you eat too little pizza, you’ll still be hungry. So, use a “Pizza-Sized Calculator.”
This helps you to get the right amount of pizza. These calculators are available at most restaurants and on websites like PizzaNeed.com. You can measure exactly how much pizza you want, and the computer will convert that amount into the appropriate order size for you and your family.
Freeze Condiment Packs, and Reuse Them
You often take a fair number of condiment packages when dining out. You might not grab enough, depending on the situation. And occasionally it’s just right. If you don’t like wasting mustard and ketchup, then you don’t have to. Here’s how.
If the condiment packets aren’t manufactured with dairy ingredients, you can freeze them and reuse them. When they defrost, you could lose some of the flavor, but you can still use them. Their lifespan can be extended by freezing them, provided your freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower).
Get a Discount with a Reusable Cup
You can actually qualify for a discount if you bring a reusable cup for your coffee—just make sure the establishment of your choice allows you to do this. You can stop by Starbucks for a quick refill since the fast-food restaurant wants to reward using eco-friendly cups.
The famed Bring Your Own Cup Day at 7-Eleven where you can bring in any size cup—even a rain barrel—and fill it with a Slurpee, is another chain that might offer this discount. As you can expect, folks brought in various absurdly large cups. Who wouldn’t? Haha.
Order Your Small Coffee in a Large Cup
Starbucks short is a real thing. The standard sizes are tall, grande, venti, and trenta (the latter for iced drinks), as everyone already knows. However, you can get a Starbucks short if you only need a tiny dose of caffeine. Here are a few things to note.
If you’re eating in, it comes in a tiny ceramic mug. If you’re on the go, it comes in a bigger, 12-ounce cup. The menu doesn’t include the smaller, less-priced drink because there is hardly any demand for it. Also, the tiny, short size is just for hot drinks, not iced.
Enjoy Free Pancakes when you Sign up for IHOP Pancake Revolution
IHOP has decided to launch its own rewards program, much like Arby’s. There is an email club called The IHOP Pancake Revolution. You can sign up for it for free and receive a range of benefits, including free pancakes. Sounds delicious, right?
In 2013, anyone who signed up got a coupon for a stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity Pancakes. Free dinners on your birthday and the anniversary of your membership are among the other benefits. IHOP Pancake Revolution doesn’t cost anything and joining this e-club will only benefit you.
If You’re in Doubt, Order Champagne
It can be hard to choose a bottle of wine. It’s impossible to keep up with all the different wine and food pairing theories that exist. Red wine goes well with meat, and white wine goes well with fish, but there are many other factors as well.
When in doubt, just order champagne. Don’t worry yourself sick over selecting the ideal wine. Champagne is suitable for any meal because of its high acidity, low alcohol content, and palate-cleansing carbonation. It is the go-to choose for sommeliers who want to suggest one wine for various foods.
Get a $15 Reward when You Sign Up for California Pizza Kitchen’s Rewards Program
All you need to sign up for the California Pizza Kitchen’s Rewards Program is your name, email address, phone number, preferred location, and birthday (so you get free food on that day). Next, set your password, and you’re set. Joining the CPK Rewards has lots of benefits.
There is a complimentary dessert on your birthday. Also, every dollar you spend earns you one point, and when you reach 75 points, you’ll get a $5 prize. You must make a $50 or more purchase with an eligible AmEx card at a California Pizza Kitchen location to receive the credit.
Upgrade Your Nachos Game with a Bag of Chips in Your Chipotle Bowl
You have two options: ask for it or do it yourself at home. When you visit Chipotle, you get a bowl or a burrito. However, imagine this: you can seriously upgrade your nachos by asking them to first put chips at the bottom of the bowl before anything else.
They may have to sacrifice the rice so the lid should fit, but it’ll be worthwhile in the end. Even though you’ll pay for the chips, the loaded nachos ensure the expense will fall by the wayside. Try this Chipotle hack the next time you’re craving nachos.
Personalize Your Burger to Make It Fresh
This idea was developed by the Daily Meal for In-N-Out, but it can be applied to any fast-food establishment. No one likes a burger that has been left out for some time. Even if nothing serious happens, eating old food just doesn’t taste as good and can cause diseases.
To guarantee that your burger is freshly made, order it with a special request. At In-N-Out Burger, for instance, you can have it “mustard grilled.” Although the workers might not be too happy about it, altering the fast-food process usually guarantees that your food will be a little bit fresher.
You Can Get $5–$10 Off when You Order via the Restaurant’s Mobile App
Starbucks is an example of this clever restaurant hack. By using the Starbucks mobile app, you can earn rewards. Some drinks are worth double in star points, so if you buy a $5 drink, you’ll receive 10 stars. You get a complimentary handmade beverage after earning 150 stars. You’ll get a free hot coffee with 50 stars.
Dunkin’ Donuts offers a similar rewards program. Restaurants usually find it beneficial to get people out of line in their establishments by giving them a fast way to order and pick up or have delivered. It helps keep the lines shorter and faster.
If Every Seafood on the Menu Is Fried, It May Have Been Frozen
The reality of ordering and consuming fish was harshly highlighted by the National Fisheries Institute. More than 85% of the seafood we eat comes from overseas, and 70% of it is at some stage frozen. Your seafood has probably been frozen if you have it fried.
If that troubles you, you should find a place where fresh fish is guaranteed. If it doesn’t, feel free to order your fried fish sandwich. Always make sure that the fish has been frozen before eating it raw because that will eliminate any parasites that may have been present.
Tell the Waiter If It’s Your Birthday to Get a Free Dessert
Here’s one way to get yourself a free dessert. Tell the server at the restaurant if it’s your child’s birthday or if you don’t mind lying. When they learn it’s someone’s birthday, especially a child’s, chain restaurants frequently give out freebies like cake slices and sundaes.
A cake slice or sundae costs very little, and the restaurant can show that it values its customers. Plus, a complimentary dessert is always a plus. Just be ready because if you alert the wait staff, they might all come out and sing “Happy Birthday” to your table.
Get a Footlong at Subway, and Save between $4 and $6
The Hustle claims that Subway made $3.8 billion in a single year from their “$5 footlong” campaign. Even though the franchises weren’t getting much out of the deal, Subway wouldn’t end the promotion until it was certain it was damaging its financial health.
However, if you get a footlong sub at the restaurant, you can save money. When you go there with someone else, request a footlong, and have each half made to the preferences of the other person. You can save between $4 and $6, depending on what you get.
Boston Market Offers a $3 Coupon for Signing Up to Their Rewards Club
Since its inception in 1985, Boston Market has been providing chicken to customers across the nation. Despite the company’s ups and downs, it is still operating and has 346 restaurants under its control. Join the Boston Market Rotisserie Rewards Program if you enjoy this chain.
You can receive a $3 discount on purchases of $10 or more when you sign up with your email. To redeem your rewards, you can use the Boston Market app, place an online order using your Rotisserie Rewards account, or go in person to one of the restaurants.
You Could Get Free Meals before Restaurants Close for the Day
A Quora user asked whether fast food establishments offered free meals prior to closure. The guy asked whether they would give the food to people rather than waste it. Surprisingly, fast food restaurant workers responded, with one Jimmy John’s employee stating that they occasionally gave free sandwiches before closing.
Although this “hack” is by no means applicable to every restaurant, it is still worth a try. Given that the staff undoubtedly hate throwing away a lot of food, it might be more enticing to simply give it to someone than to dispose of it.
Get a Free Small Cone when You Join Andy’s Frozen Custard’s Yum Club
Andy’s Frozen Custard is an American chain of custard restaurants that is well-liked in the West and South. It is one of the biggest ice cream brands of its sort, grossing $68 million in annual revenue and employing 2,000 staff. People enjoy both Andy’s and the Yum Club.
After your first visit to Andy’s, this adorable club will give you a free mini cone or treat. Your visits and transactions are tracked by the Yum Club, which also awards you points ($1 per point). You’ll get a $5 treat from Andy’s when you reach 50 points.
Join the Buffalo Wild Wings’ Buffalo Circle for a Free Dessert, and Save up to $10
Although Buffalo Wild Wings is primarily known for its wings, the dessert selection is also not bad. Joining the BWW Buffalo Circle gets you a complimentary dessert. Customers of BWW are rewarded for doing what they have been doing—eating wings while watching sports—through the “Blazin’ Rewards” program.
The account tracks your visits and purchases, and you receive points for them. When you go to the restaurant, you can redeem these points from your “Rewards Roster.” Additionally, you receive special offers and incentives through the email chain that clients without access to Buffalo Circle do not.
Get $2 Off Your Next Meal when You Join the Q Club at Quiznos
Quiznos had to compete with Subway, so it created a loyalty program. Every dollar you spend at Quiznos earns you one Q Club point. The sandwich chain isn’t exactly cheap, so these points are great. You’ll receive something for free whenever your rewards reach a specific amount.
As soon as you join the Q Club, you can begin earning. While a member of the Q Club, you can get $2 off your first order. Additionally, there is a birthday promotion where you could buy a free 8-inch sub and get another one for free.
Joe’s Crab Shack Offers Free Appetizer to Joe’s Catch Members
Joe’s Crab Shack is a popular place for stuffed shrimp and crab buckets. If you like any of those things, you’ll love the restaurant. Whether you’re already a customer or planning to patronize them, the restaurant offers rewards through Landry’s Select Club. But there’s another way to get free food.
You will receive a birthday coupon for a free appetizer if you sign up for Joe’s Crab Shack’s email list. This appetizer coupon has a maximum value of $11. Simply enter your email and other required information, and immediately after registering, you’ll receive an email with the free coupon.
Join the 40 Below Zero Club at Dippin’ Dots for Freebies
Dippin’ Dots’ email club is called the Forty Below Zero Club. When it was released in 2010, the restaurant gave the first 100 people to register a free thermos. The name references Dippin’ Dots’ flash-freezing processes that are used to make the restaurant’s unique ice cream.
You can enjoy free Dippin’ Dots ice cream on your birthday when you join this e-club, along with exclusive deals and discounts. Additionally, you’ll be the first to learn about any new promotions. To begin, all you need to do is register with your email, birthdate, and zip code.
Many Fast-Food Joints Have Student Discounts
Most college students work extremely hard, but they virtually never have enough money. So, if you’re a broke college student, then this could help you. According to Spoon University, you can get some pretty good discounts with that student ID. A variety of discounts, typically expressed as percentages, are available at certain restaurants.
Some of them include Dunkin’ Donuts, Qdoba, Burger King, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Waffle House, and Dairy Queen. For instance, the student discount at Subway and Waffle House is 10%. Showing your student ID will help you save money on a meal.
Attend a Fast-Food Restaurant’s Grand Opening
When it comes to fast food restaurants, promotions are popular. A grand opening is one of the best times to get a good promo. There is virtually always a cost-cutting celebration when a local fast-food chain opens in a new location. That could take the form of coupons.
It usually means a certain amount of savings or discounted meals. Additionally, attending the grand opening is a good way to support your neighborhood since it’s possible that friends and neighbors work there. So, when a nearby fast-food company opens a new restaurant, go there immediately.
Order Your Favorite Main Cuisines in Bulk
Whether you like or hate TikTok, there is no denying that there are some really good tips on there. We found this restaurant hack on that social media platform. According to the trick, you should order meals in bulk from local restaurants. For one, this supports local businesses.
And this is important, especially in these times. But another reason is that this is common sense. You can order a huge meal from a restaurant, and although it depends on the meal, it’s more cost-effective to keep the meal as “nextovers” than cooking for yourself the following day.
Buying Two Smalls Rather Than One Large Could Be Cheaper
This trick depends on the restaurant. When placing your order, keep in mind that getting two smalls rather than one large can be less expensive. A big drink costs $1.49 at McDonald’s, while a small costs $1. A small weighs 16 ounces, while a large weigh 30.
If you buy two smalls, you add two extra ounces for $0.51. But pizza is clearly exempt from this. To save money, LifeHacker advises always ordering the largest pizza size available. Pizza is also very tasty, and virtually nobody can resist it for breakfast the next morning.
Ditch the Regular Nachos at Taco Bell; Order the Triple Layer without Sauce or Beans
Taco Bell’s Triple Layer Nachos contains beans, nacho cheese sauce, and red sauce. Despite being delicious, they are not particularly new. If you’re craving traditional nachos, it can be less expensive to order the Triple Layer nachos rather than regular ones because they cost only $1.
Simply order the Triple Layer without the beans or sauce. Even while you could draw strange glances, you will nonetheless save some money—exactly 39 cents. However, Taco Bell frequently updates its menu and makes changes, so before you do this, make sure it can actually be done.
Buy One Get One Free Arby’s Sandwiches
Apologies to Southerners because this trick may not be for you. Somehow, Arby’s is many people’s favorite fast-food restaurant. Arby’s longevity is astonishing. The restaurant’s staying power is nothing short of admirable. It is also an inexpensive spot to buy roast beef sandwiches and curly fries.
You can get an Arby’s sandwich for free if you live somewhere where it routinely drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a big deal if you live in Minnesota. You can get two Beef ‘N Cheddar Sandwiches or Classic Roast Beef Sandwiches for the price of one.
Skip the Bottled Water and Sodas
You might be tempted to grab a bottle of water or soda as you approach the counter to place your order at a fast-food restaurant. While this might seem convenient, particularly because you can always put the cap back on if you don’t finish, it costs more.
When compared to ordering a standard fountain drink, bottled drinks are usually more expensive. A good example is Dunkin’ Donuts. Rather than picking a water bottle from the nearby counter, order a small water instead. You will save $1.50, and it’ll be one less plastic bottle in a landfill.
Rework Leftover Fried Chicken into a New Recipe
Even if you’re not in the mood the next night for more fried chicken, don’t dispose of any leftover fried chicken in the garbage. Make it into a new recipe instead. You won’t need to go out and buy more chicken, which will save you money in the long run.
For instance, fried chicken can be added to a quesadilla or a wrap. Simply remove the bones from the fried chicken. Roll up the tortilla after adding the chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomato, and any additional sauces you choose. If you want your wrap to be crispy, air fry it for a minute.
Order a Cheaper McFlurry, and Save a Few Cents
Yes, it’s true that the McDonald’s ice cream machine is pretty much always broken. However, if by some miracle it isn’t when you arrive, think about using this trick to get a McFlurry for less. McFlurries can be good or bad, depending on who makes them.
In the United Kingdom, for approximately 20 pence (about $0.33), you can add more toppings to your McFlurry. When word of this hack spread on Twitter, a user said, “Please tell me I’m not the only person who didn’t know [this].” So, fill it up.
Buy a Lunch Meal for Dinner to Save Money
Someone on Quora noticed that ordering a lunch meal for dinner at a restaurant can save you money. Most restaurants have lunch and dinner menus. Because people usually only stay for a short time at lunch, the prices are lower. After all, they’re on a short break from work.
Due to the requirement for quick meals, lunch food is frequently less expensive than dinner food. Restaurants lower their prices and guarantee quick service in an effort to draw as many lunchtime patrons as possible. To save some money at dinner, choose a dish from the less expensive lunch menu.
Ask for Orders People Didn’t Take, and Get a Discount
Part of the things “your pizza guy won’t tell you, “According to Reader’s Digest, is the hack to get a discounted or free pizza. Every pizza shop experiences some customers who order a pizza, and for one reason or the other, they don’t come to pick it up.
It’s possible that they were distracted, forgot, or were ill. If you are bold and want to save a little money, ask the store if they have any unsold orders that they’re going to toss away. If they do, you might be able to score a less expensive pizza.
Reboil Your Broths when You Order Ramen or Pho at Home
While some people don’t mind the broth that ramen or pho is served in, others do. If you don’t really want to eat the broth but don’t want to throw it out, use this hack. Save the broth after you’ve finished eating your ramen or pho.
If it hasn’t been too long since you last ate the dish, reboil the old broth, and throw it in for more flavor when you reorder. Reboiled broth can also be used to create a new recipe. Additionally, you won’t need to buy new broth, which will save you money.
Take Your Landry’s Select Club Card to Fish Tales and Win a $25 Welcome Reward
Landry’s is a privately owned business established in the 1980s and now controls more than 600 restaurants, casinos, entertainment venues, and hotels in 35 US states and Washington, DC. When you dine at a participating Landry’s restaurant, you can accrue points through the company’s rewards program, the Landry’s Select Club.
As you accumulate points, you can redeem them for incentives on subsequent visits. You’ll also receive amazing member-only discounts and perks. When you join Landry’s Select Club, you can immediately begin earning benefits such as a $25 welcome bonus when you present your LSS card at Fish Tales.
Order Meals That Will Be Good “Nextovers”
Although you might think we mean “leftovers,” we don’t. While they appear to be the same thing, there is a subtle difference between nextovers and leftovers, and we believe nextovers are significantly better. Nextovers are meals you prepare in excess and plan to eat later.
Leftovers are meals you can’t finish, even if you want to. When dining out, choose dishes that will be good nextovers. Since restaurant portions are so large, you’ll certainly have enough to take home. Foods like grilled meats, beans, rice, and pasta meals will still be great the next day.
You Can Have a Big Mac for $1.49
A Big Mac typically costs $3.99. This burger, along with fries and a milkshake, always hits the spot. If you don’t have the $4 on hand, remember this trick to get a less expensive Big Mac at McDonald’s. Yahoo! gave us some helpful advice on deftly placing a half-off Big Mac order.
First, order a McDouble without ketchup. After that, add lettuce and Big Mac sauce. It is $1.49 for this. The McDouble is quite like a Big Mac, but without the lettuce and sauce. It has two beef patties, onions, pickles, cheese, ketchup, and mustard.
Jazz Up Your Leftover Rice with This Trick
Leftover rice is a fantastic “nextover.” Although people have been eating this dish for thousands of years, rice can sometimes get boring and dry. So, add two to three teaspoons of water per cup of rice to reheat leftover rice to its previous splendor.
To produce a steaming effect, you can simply cover the rice bowl in plastic wrap or use another bowl. Add chicken, broth, sauce, and/or vegetables to spice it up. You’ll also find up to 24 easy recipes to improve your boring rice on InsanelyGoodRecipes.com.
You’re Better Off without the McFlurry
One Instagram meme account claims that there is a far darker explanation for why the McFlurry machine is constantly broken. The explanation appears to be that the machines are notably difficult to clean, rather than being badly made. So, employees decide not to clean the machine.
That’s because they are already too busy serving hungry clients their fast-food fix. So, they say it is broken. Whether or not this is factual, we will find other places to buy our ice cream treats. We don’t think this is something we want to risk.
Fill Out a Survey at Krispy Kreme, and Get a Free Doughnut
This restaurant hack comes from Krispy Kreme itself. We’re always interested in a free donut. Look at the bottom of your Krispy Kreme receipt. Usually, there is a link to a survey that you can complete. It only asks for your opinion on “Guest Satisfaction.”
So it’s not a difficult poll. You will receive a coupon for a free donut after you complete the survey. Depending on your preferred doughnut, this savings is about $1.25. Who can reject minimal effort for great profit at the end of the day?
In-N-Out Roadkill Fries
Roadkill Fries are sold at some In-N-Out locations, but not all. The cooks don’t always know what roadkill fries (awful name, by the way) are, but some places do. Don’t give up if they tell you they don’t have roadkill fries. You can make them at home.
It might cost extra to do so but get the Flying Dutchman burger and Animal-Style fries together. The term “Roadkill” comes from the hamburger that was shredded and placed on top of the fries. If you enjoy eating new and delicious foods, these fries are still worth the price.
The Best Time to Order Food and Get It Delivered Quickly
When it comes to convenience, food delivery apps are wonderful! Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking after a long day at work, and a decent food delivery service will deliver delectable dishes to your home. If you want your food delivered quickly, know the best time to order.
The busiest hours for food delivery, according to Uber, are 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. through 9.30 p.m. Order outside those windows, and you might not wait 30 minutes. Even if you’re not hungry, you can refrigerate the food and reheat it later.
Pay Less Than $5 for Your Frisco at Steak ‘n Shake
The Steak ‘n Shake Frisco melt comes with a Frisco sauce. There are numerous copycat recipes for this delectable food, but depending on where you reside, you can buy this sandwich, which typically costs $5.49, for just $5. Simply check your neighborhood Steak ‘n Shake for further information.
There are occasionally special offers that reduce the price. The meal’s ingredients are pretty much readily available at supermarkets if you want to prepare it at home. This delicious, well-known melt is made of ground sirloin, American and Swiss cheese, sourdough bread, Thousand Island dressing, French dressing, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
You May Want to Order a Combo Meal
If you’ve ever ordered at McDonald’s, you’ve probably been urged to “make it a combo meal.” Instead of buying separately, combo meals include a sandwich, fries, and a drink (or something similar). They are usually $1–$2 cheaper. A Quora user calculated the cost of a combo meal against a regular meal.
They discovered that a combo meal is less expensive than ordering a sandwich, fries, and beverage separately. However, if you didn’t want the third item to begin with, the combo isn’t any less expensive. Ultimately, order what you want, and choose a combo if you want three items.
Eating a Snack before You Go Out Is a Good Idea
This is a smart choice, particularly if you intend to go for a drink after dinner. A good way to prevent overeating at restaurants is to eat a snack before you go out. You won’t be really hungry. Anyone trying to practice portion control would benefit from this hack.
Healthline advises eating high-protein or high-fiber foods such as eggs, oats, bananas, salmon, Greek yogurt, asparagus, chia pudding, and berries. Additionally, this could save you money, especially if you’re drinking. If you already ate a snack, you won’t blow $20 or more on cheap food because you won’t be super hungry.
Meet the Free Delivery Minimum when Ordering
Many food delivery apps, especially UberEats and DoorDash, sometimes offer a $0 delivery fee for customers who meet a minimum order. DoorDash’s minimum order to claim the $0 delivery is $15. This is a good idea to save money, especially if your order is around $13 or $14 already.
You can be slapped with a $5 to $10 delivery fee even if you’re that close to the minimum order. So why not meet the minimum to get your f0od delivered for free? You could add an extra side or water. Or maybe order another food item for later.
Leftover Mexican Food Is Great with Eggs
This restaurant hack was introduced by Little Sous. Author Allison Jones famously quipped that leftover Mexican food “begs” to be served with eggs. If you’re tired of the regular and want to try something new with your food, this hack is great. It really does look super delicious.
If you have leftover sides of beans, tortillas, or rice, make huevos rancheros (a Mexican breakfast). Tortilla chips can quickly become breakfast nachos with a topping of scrambled eggs and cheese. Add entrées like tamales, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas to upgrade your delicious morning scramble.
Brunch Is the Cheapest Meal
If you didn’t know, brunch is usually the cheapest meal at most restaurants. The explanation is the same as why the lunch menu is less expensive than the dinner menu. From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. is an odd time. It’s too early for lunch, and nobody is eating breakfast.
Restaurants are usually operating in a loss-making zone. So, add brunch items to slash your prices. They’re cheaper because restaurants want to get more customers in the door during that time. You may want to head out for a quick, cheap meal without the usual breakfast and lunch rush.
Use Leftovers to Make a Pizza Sandwich
This is your chance to really shine if you have a waffle maker or panini press. Even if leftover pizza is delicious on its own, you might want to give it a makeover by making pizza pockets. This trick is extremely fun for kids. Add extra fillings to the slices.
This is before placing the slices into the waffle iron or panini press. These pizza pockets can be filled with potatoes, cheese, sausage, chopped vegetables, olives, fresh basil, or, if you’re feeling bold, canned pineapple. Make the sandwich, then start pressing it until the crust is crisp and warm.
Save Time, and Order Your Check with Your Meal
Nothing is more annoying than finishing your meal and having to wait 30 minutes before asking for the bill and then another 30 minutes before it really gets to your table. This can waste your time and eat into your night, so be one step ahead.
Ask for the bill when you order your food. That way, you won’t order items you don’t really want, and you’ll leave quickly after finishing the last bite. This hack is doubly rewarding because it can help you save time and money.
Choose from the Kids Menu
This hack has disadvantages and advantages. When there are obviously no children present, not every restaurant will allow fully grown people to order from the children’s menu. But it’s still worthwhile to try. Why not try your luck if you’re a light eater and don’t really want a large portion?
Kids’ portions aren’t that little, and you can find yourself saving a decent amount of money. Ordering modestly and working your way up is preferable to ordering lavishly and losing a ton of money, don’t you think? This could land you upwards of $5 savings per person.
Ask the Waiter Who’s Going to the Kitchen If You Need Anything
Given how much they have to manage, servers work exceptionally well. It can be challenging to provide quick and effective service with a full house, which is understandable. However, from the customer’s perspective, we simply don’t like waiting. Here’s one hack that’ll help you get a quick response.
Try to catch a waiter who is heading to the kitchen if you need extra salt, or something heated up. By doing this, you can avoid waiting for your waiter to finish taking drink orders and clearing the table before they attend to your request.
Keep a Copy of the Food Menu on the Table
Although this trick won’t always save you money, it will improve your overall experience. Staff generally take the menus after you place your order. Although it helps to clear some table space, it is not all that convenient. Ask to keep it rather than letting them take it.
That way, you can browse the menu whenever you like without waiting for a server to bring it to you, especially if you want to order an extra serving or switch up your drink. The smallest tricks might sometimes be the best ones!
Tell the Waiter to Surprise You
It can be challenging to choose from a menu with so many options, so why not take a chance and allow the waiter to decide? Although it could appear to be a risky move, there are some significant benefits. The server is most familiar with the menu.
They would be able to guide you because they are aware of what is and is not popular. Do this when there isn’t a full house since asking the waiter to “surprise” you could be a whole level of stress to some servers.
A Reservation Is a Good Idea
Reservations are highly recommended. If you have your heart set on a certain restaurant, you can arrive and discover that it is fully booked until midnight. Make sure to reserve a table by calling a week or so in advance if you don’t want to be taken off guard and forced to wait.
On the other hand, be sure to contact and cancel if you can’t go for whatever reason. Restaurant workers tend to remember patrons who turn out to be flakes, so be sure to let them know if you can’t make it. You’ll want to save your reputation and be able to book again.
Don’t Be Boring; Try Something New
To be honest, humans are creatures of habit. When we find something, we enjoy, we repeatedly order it. However, doing that can limit your culinary experience. The next time you eat out, consider trying something completely different. You may dislike it, but what if you fall in love with it?
Repeating the same order won’t help you expand your horizons. You can make it a little bit more intriguing by trying something new. You never know; your mystery order might end up becoming a new favorite. And we’re sure even your taste buds will thank you.
Check the Restaurant’s Bathroom Cleanliness
What’s that one thing you look out for the moment you enter a restaurant? Besides great food, we all want the restaurant to be clean. Nobody wants to take a seat and find that their plate is dirty. While restaurants can make everything shiny, there’s one thing you can do.
Check the bathrooms. Is the trash emptied regularly? Are the toilet bowls clean? Is there soap in the dispenser? When the bathrooms are in perfect condition, it’s usually a good sign that the kitchen is too. If the restrooms are messy, you may want to reconsider ordering your food from there.
Please, Tip the Waiter
It is common knowledge that servers earn low wages. Don’t be stingy when it’s time to pay the bill because most of them depend on tips to pay their rent and get by. Not only will it benefit your server, but they’ll also probably remember you next time and give you even better service.
You might get the best service available because servers know your reputation for tipping well as soon as you enter the restaurant. It’s a win-win situation that has worked well for ages. So don’t break the cycle. Make the waiters happy.
Request a Venti Water and Save $1.40
Someone on Quora observed that while Starbucks may be expensive, it actually provides free water as well as a free venti cup. Get venti ice water to go with your coffee if you want to drink some water. It’s free and has more water than a regular water bottle.
The regular bottle costs $1.40. This is useful, particularly if you’re out and about or walking your pet. It’s usually a good idea to have some extra water to avoid dehydration, especially in the heat. Make Starbucks your go-to place for free iced coffee and water.
Signing Up for Baja Fresh Mexican Grill’s Club Baja Gets You a Free Taco
The Mexican restaurant chain Baja Fresh has been operating since the 1990s, and customers love it. When you join their rewards program called Club Baja, you get a free taco. You can access your rewards after logging in to your account. Simply provide your phone number to the cashier at the restaurant.
They will redeem your bonus. Alternatively, you can use it while ordering from Baja Fresh online. The free taco when you open a Club Baja account saves you between $2 and $3. We don’t mind anything that gets us free food and saves us money!
Sign Up for Johnny Rockets’ Loyalty Program
Johnny Rockets is a West Coast burger chain that is well-known for its retro style. With 360 locations in over 26 countries, this fast-food chain has grown to become one of the top hamburger joints in the world. To expand its clientele, Johnny Rockets has developed a rewards program.
You can enjoy a free burger at Johnny Rockets when you sign up for the Rocket E-Club, saving you $4.59. You’ll also benefit by being among the first Johnny Rockets patrons to learn about special promotions, company events, and social happenings. Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?
Go to Ike’s Place on Your Birthday and Get a Free Sandwich
Whether you’re a carnivore or vegan, you can find a sandwich that suits your diet at Ike’s Place. The menu has won numerous awards for its high quality, and if you don’t want to use DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub, you can order and have it delivered using the Ike’s Place app.
Much like many other restaurants on our list, Ike’s Place also has a rewards program that truly pays off on your birthday. You’ll receive a credit that can be redeemed for up to $15. You can use the credit to buy any sandwich you choose from a participating location.
Joining the Insider’s Club at Uno
If you like free meals (like we do), the Insider Club at Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill is a fantastic option. When you sign up as an “Insider” at Uno’s, you’ll receive a free appetizer and a free dessert on your birthday. To receive these benefits, just buy an entrée.
Also, the Insider’s Club will provide you with exclusive deals and discounts on a variety of food items as well as in-restaurant incentives. You’ll be the first to learn when Uno is cooking up something special. This is something you should absolutely check out if you visit this location regularly.
Spend Over $60 at Melting Pot
There are 97 locations of the Melting Pot in the United States and Canada. The Florida-based company has a unique idea that few other restaurants have been able to imitate. One of the most popular items among its customers is the chocolate-dipped strawberries.
The Melting Pot’s exclusive rewards program is called “Club Fondue.” After signing up, you can get these tasty delights for free. You will receive a free box of six of the restaurant’s signature chocolate-covered strawberries. You’ll also get a unique gift on your birthday and joining anniversary.
Become a Member of the Red Mango Rewards
The Red Mango is a chain of frozen yogurts and smoothies. It is renowned for its natural frozen yogurt in its parfaits, fresh juices, and smoothies made with fresh fruit. Since its founding by Daniel Kim in 2006, the franchise has expanded slowly but steadily.
Red Mango presently has more than 50 locations across the United States and 40 in Latin America. Red Mango has a rewards program where you earn a $2 prize when you join the Red Mango e-club. Besides other discounts, you’ll also receive $5 off everything you purchase on your birthday.
Get a Free Minibon from Cinnabon after Signing Up for Their Club
Cinnabon is the bakery that makes our mouths water when we’re at the mall food courts. Since they know we are all obsessed, the chain started its own app and e-club. You might be eligible for a free Minibon from participating stores when you sign up for Club Cinnabon.
You’ll submit your name, email, zip code, and birthdate. Using the Cinnabon app is also a good idea. If you do, you’ll get four BonBites just for signing up. You can instantly order delivery or pickup through the app while gaining rewards and receiving exclusive deals.
Join Houlihan’s Email Club and Get $10 in Rewards
This Kansas-based chain owns nearly two-dozen outlets across nine US states. Like many other similar establishments on this list, Houlihan’s has its own e-club. The chain will give you $10 off as a “thank you” when you sign up. Even better, you’ll get a complimentary entrée on your birthday.
While many other restaurants offer you only a free dessert, Houlihan’s will give you a free entrée. In addition, Houlihan claims that you’ll receive “lots of other swag” and special access to discounts and promotions. A person must be 21 or older to register.
Forget the Rumors; Have the Fish
Fish in restaurants has long had a bad reputation. Some industry insiders even advise diners to stay away from it. This, however, is largely false. Fish can go bad very quickly, but these days there are various health and hygiene regulations in place that make eating fish not a problem.
Forget the rumors and simply go for it, whether you’re ordering the Fillet O’ Fish at McDonald’s or the lobster at a high-end restaurant. Ultimately, no restaurant will purposefully offer substandard fish and take the chance of being forced to close. Enjoy your fish, people!
Unearth the Gems on the Wine Menu and Save up to $20
If you don’t know what you’re doing, ordering wine can feel like a minefield. Most of us will simply choose something in the center that isn’t too expensive, but restaurants are shrewd in this area. This trick will come in handy the next time you want to order wine.
You might get more value for your money if you go out a little and choose something that isn’t as regularly ordered rather than always going with the options that seem like a sure thing. Wine enthusiasts claim that managers discount rare wines simply because they don’t sell as frequently.