Fast Food Hacks That Will Save You Some Serious Money

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where every fast food order was free? Or at very least, can you imagine paying for your combo with a smile? But unfortunately, we don't exist inside either of these utopian visions. For the most part, when you walk into a chain, they usually expect that someone will pay for your meal. And if you're not as rich as the Monopoly man, purchasing your food might be a tad stressful, as some budgets potentially make getting takeaway not the most relaxing experience.

However, if you're splurging at one of these joints, you don't have give them all of your money. In fact, there are plenty of fast food hacks out there that are designed help people spend less on their fast food meals. Some restaurants even offer their customers free food if they meet a certain criteria. Now, you might be wondering what delightful strategies are currently being alluded to, which is fair enough. So, without any further ado, here are a ton of tips that might just cheapen your snack run.

Get a customized McDouble instead of a Big Mac

According to ABC News, the Big Mac first debuted in 1967. And since then, this bun has become a McDonald's staple. That being said, Real Menu Prices reported that these buns aren't the cheapest item at this chain. They estimated that a single burger could cost $3.99.

If you're a Big Mac fiend who dislikes its price, then Serious Eats has discussed a fast food hack that you might enjoy. The item is unofficially called a Poor Man's Big Mac. It consists of a McDouble that features Big Mac sauce and lettuce instead of mustard and ketchup. Thus, these burgers are basically Big Macs, albeit without the middle bun or sesame seeds. Real Menu Prices stated that a McDouble is currently estimated to be $1.39, and a Reddit user claimed that adding the Poor Man's ingredients onto one costed them a bit more at their local McDonald's.

But how does this burger stack up against the original? Well, Serious Eats revealed that they didn't like the fact that it doesn't come with any sesame seeds or a bun in the middle. Nevertheless, they also admitted that this knockoff has a better cheese game than its predecessor. In these items, an American slice is placed in between the two patties so it becomes all soft and gooey. If the changes at play here seem acceptable to your taste buds, then this burger could be worth checking out.

Get fast food on these made-up holidays

The world is just chock full of superfluous celebrations. For instance, Days of the Year observed that Talk Like a Pirate Day takes place on 19th of September. This site also noted that Star Wars Day happens on the forth of May. However, while these of sort of events aren't often classified as officially sanctioned holidays, a pile of them could score you a discounted dish or a free meal.

In 2020, Retail Me Not ran a story about National Pizza Day. They said that it takes place on the ninth of February and that a heap of restaurants were offering their patrons cheaper pies. This website commented that Papa John's was even slashing their menu prices by a whopping 25 percent. And later that same year, Business Insider discussed the 13th of July affair that is National French Fry Day. The article asserted that White Castle was dishing out free small servings of its spuds on that date.

If your heart swells for a particular type of fast food, you could Google to see if there's a day dedicated to its existence. Not only is there a chance that you'll find one, there's a possibility that great fast food hack deals happen on that date. You could end up getting a steal.

Purchase a bunch of Sam's Club gift cards

A gift card is, in essence, money that can't normally be put into a bank account or used to pay off a 2002 library fine. Therefore, buying these plastic rectangles might not seem like the smartest idea. But that being said, if you're wanting some discounted fast food, the vouchers you can buy at Sam's Club could actually come in handy.

But what makes Sam's gift cards so special? Well, this place will sometimes sell them at a significantly discounted rate for an amazing fast food hack. Case in point: In November of 2020, they stated that customers could get $50.00 worth of Krispy Kreme gift cards for a low $37.50. Sam's also declared that it was dishing out $75.00 Dominos multipacks for $65.00. If you find yourself frequently purchasing takeaway from a particular vendor, there's a chance that this tip will cut down on your costs.

Numerous fast food joints offer student discounts

Are you currently a college student who lives off instant ramen, three-month-old cereal, and your roommate's cold leftovers? If your answer to this question is yes, then the following advice could possibly be right up your alley. In 2020, Seventeen mentioned a ton of fast food restaurants that offer student discounts. They reported that Chipotle can give college kids a free drink with their meals and that some Subways will slash the price of their orders by ten percent. 

If you're uncertain whether or not an eatery offers student discounts, a resource called CollegeXpress recommends that you just ask the restaurant you're at what their store policy is. Sure, they might say that they don't lower their prices for college-goers. But you could also leave this restaurant with a cheaper meal and a less stressed-out bank balance. That, in turn, may allow you to splurge on more noodles. What's not to love about this fast food hack?

This hack might revolutionize your McNugget order

A McDonald's customer would probably think that twelve nuggets would cost more than ten nuggets. Nevertheless, a TikToker named tha_broski claimed that such an assumption would be incorrect. In a video on their channel, they say, "Instead of ordering the ten-piece, which is $5.79, get two six-pieces for $2.00." This clip shows tha_broski standing behind a McDonald's register with these prices popping up on their screen.

In 2020, Delish looked into tha_broski's claim and couldn't find any Golden Arches that served up such a deal. They also called into question another assertion that this TikToker made. In the same clip, tha_broski's expresses that a small fries is actually the same size as a medium fries. Delish noted that some commenters declared that a larger packet of spuds typically weighs a different amount.

That notwithstanding, this publication did express that McNuggets do vary in price from location to location. And Delish also discovered their own fast food hack when fact-checking tha_broski's TikTok. They stated, "In more than half the McDonald's locations I checked, it was actually cheaper to get three four-piece McNuggets ($1.30 each at one location) than it was to get a ten-piece ($4.50 at that same location)."

Hold onto your fast food receipts

The next time you cruise into a drive-thru, you'll probably be asked, "Would you like your receipt?" And in the opinion of ABC13, if you like the prospect of scoring a cheaper dish or a freebie, your answer back will be "yes." In 2015, this news organization reported that a myriad of businesses put survey codes at the end of their receipts. You can enter these codes into specific websites, which will then load up a questionnaire. Furthermore, they sometimes provide decent deals to those who complete them.

ABC13's piece observed that completing a Panda Express quiz will score your mouth hole a free entree. They also said that Wendy's can knock the price of a large sandwich or a full-sized salad down by $2. But how long did these surveys take to fill out? Fortunately, ABC13 answered this question for us. They recorded that each of these forms was doable in less than four minutes.

It's worth mentioning that ABC13 detailed that the deals discussed in their article might not be offered everywhere or in perpetuity. However, this info shouldn't stop you from investigating your own fast food receipts. These strips of paper could contain many a giveaway that you just can't say no to.

Two of Arby's Jr. Roast Beefs are cheaper than a Classic

The previously discussed McNugget hacks by Delish and tha_broski could potentially make one's meal an absolute steal, but they aren't the only fast food portion tricks on the market. Real Menu Prices has indirectly mentioned a play that might make your Arby's experience cheaper. On their website, they have estimated the price of this chain's Classic Roast Beef to be $3.99. Real Menu Prices has also estimated that a Jr. Roast Beef would cost $1.59. Consequently, if you were to buy two Jr Roast Beefs instead of one Classic Roast Beef, you'd save 81 cents.

This Arby's fast food hack emphasizes the fact that sometimes a number of a smaller fast food servings can cost less than a large one. It also proves that these sort of hacks don't just work at McDonald's. The next time you're buying a takeout spread, your calculator might be required.

Use the Pizza Size Calculator when ordering your pies

In 2014, NPR stated that the difference in value between two contrasting pizza sizes can be astounding. This organization reported that a 12-inch medium has a surface area that's over two times large as an eight-inch small. And sometimes these asymmetrical items cost a similar amount. But why are the proportions so different? Well, as expressed by Mathematician Eddie Woo, a circle that's larger than another circle isn't wider in a single direction. If you parked the aforementioned small on top of the medium and cut around it, you'd get a four-inch ring made of pizza.

In the interest of getting the best deal, NPR's article recommend that we all just buy the biggest pies. However, doing this might result in the very rare occasion where getting the widest possible order isn't the cheapest option. So, instead of automatically purchasing the broadest item, you should instead use Omni Calculator's Pizza Size Calculator. This online tool can compare two different products' sizes and prices to determine which one is a better purchase.

What's great about this calculator is that it can compare products from different stores. You could use it to decide whether you'll get a small Veggie Supreme from Dominos or a medium cheese pizza from Little Caesar's. The future is honestly now.

Transform your Chipotle burrito bowl into a burrito

If you're a Chipotle super fan, then this Bustle hack might be worth memorizing. Back in 2015, they mentioned the fact that this place's burrito bowls are bigger than their burritos. They also asserted that if you order one of these items, you can get a tortilla for free as a side. Ergo, if a person was to purchase a burrito bowl with a tortilla, they'd be able to make their own larger-than-normal burrito.

Real Menu Prices has estimated the price of a Chipotle's Veggie Burrito Bowl to be around $6.50. This is the exact same price they've estimated the chain's Veggie Burritos to be. The Bustle hack can hence make your fast food dollars go just a tad further. If you want to get a little more food without dropping all that cash, you should definitely take advantage of this fast food hack.

Attend a fast food joint's grand opening

Throughout the anthropocene, historic grand openings have taken place. History recounted that Disneyland had an awful debut back in 1955, which saw more than 10,000 unauthorized gate crashers sneak into the park. And in 1973, Australia's iconic Sydney Opera House was first opened up to the public. But the past hasn't been solely filled with memorable kick-offs from world-famous places — it has also starred a lot of fast food restaurant launches.

Now, going to the opening of a fast food restaurant might not be as cool as visiting the premiere of a new architectural wonder, but attending one anyway might be brilliant. In 2014, Wichita Business Journal declared that a McDonald's in Regency Lakes was giving away a year's worth of free Big Mac value meals to its first 100 drive-thru patrons and first 100 diners. Another restaurant that issued out freebies was a Wendy's that the Tri-City Herald discussed. In 2020, this Sandifur Parkway eatery provided everyone who attended its launch a complimentary Jr. Frosty or a small coffee.

Your kids' report card might snag them a snack

Here's a fast food hack that could help you parents out there. Do you have a child who always gets straight A's ... or one who tries their hardest to do well? Well, if you're raising such a kid, then The Everyday Balance reported that some fast food outlets might give them a treat when they get a good grade. If your youngster has an excellent report card, then Baskin-Robbins will give them a complimentary scoop of ice cream. And if they've scored six A's their report card, some Krispy Kreme establishments will give them six free donuts.

The Everyday Balance forewarned that not every restaurant from these two chains run such offers. They recommended that you call ahead before going to a place that might do these giveaways. And if you're in luck, a great report card will be the cause for a thoroughly scrumptious celebration.

A sundae + a McCafe cookie = a copycat McFlurry

Now, hold onto your socks, folks, because you're about learn a Mashed exclusive trick. According to Real Menu Prices, a regular-sized McFlurry from the Golden Arches is currently estimated to cost $2.39. This site also estimated that one of their Sundaes is $1.29 and a McCafe cookie is just 39 cents. Therefore, if you were to combine a Sundae and a cookie into a single snack, you'd get a DIY McFlurry that's 71 cents cheaper than the real thing.

Blending these two items is also not the most laborious task on the planet. All you have to do is get this pair of snacks, squish up the cookie, eat a bite of the sundae, and then mix your crumbs into your ice cream. After you've done this series of steps, feel free to give it a taste test.

Sure, it may not be the exact same thing as a McFlurry, but hey, some of us our on a budget. And let's be honest: If you're looking for a cheaper but still indulgent dessert, this fast food hack should do it for you.