Dining Out Savings Tip: Download the Restaurant’s App!


Dining Out Savings Tip: Download the Restaurant’s App!

I know that we can look at dining out as being cost prohibitive but there are ways to make it more affordable.  Since we are a two person house now, I find that strategically dining out is actually not the budget-wrecker that I thought it was.

As a working, single-mom, sometimes the time saved by dining out is worth it too!  So here are my favorite fast food dining apps and tips that save me a ton of money feeding myself and a teenager.

General Dining Out Savings Tips

  • Get ice water to drink.  Sonic is the only place I’ve ever been charged for ice water.  Plus, I drink A LOT of water so even if I get a drink with my meal, I ALWAYS order a large ice water – for later!
  • Bring your own drinks.  We do this when we’re going to eat at Chipotle.  It’s cheaper to bring a bottled soda, juice or sports drink with us than it is to get a fountain drink there.
  • Buy larger meals and split them.  Or split sides.  If we already have drinks with us, we can get entrees from Chick-fil-a and split a large fry.
  • Order with leftovers in mind.  We pick up subs from Subway a lot.  I can only eat a 6-inch but a lot of times with available coupons, it’s cheaper to get a footlong!  One sandwich for now and one for later.  Sometimes they have buy two footlongs, get one free – that’s two footlongs for my son, two meals, and one footlong for me, also two meals.
    Ordering with leftovers in mind works at pizza places too!
  • If it’s a place you haven’t been before, download the app before you get there – lots of places will load an introductory freebie to your account when you first sign up for their app!


We love eating at Chick-fil-a.  Using the app every time earns points towards free food.  Plus, sometimes there are “just because” free offers in the app!  I can’t turn down free food!


Chipotle entrees come with a LOT of food.  We’ve discovered that the kid’s steak taco meals are plenty filling for me and my teen.  And the kids’ meal is under six bucks.  Plus, using the app also earns points toward free food.  So every few times we eat there I can use my points on extra chips and guac.  Or I could save them up for a free entree – but we usually spring for chips and guac when I get enough points.


Dunkin’ Donuts

I do enjoy getting coffee on the go sometimes and the Dunkin’ app is great for that!  In fact, they just re-vamped the Dunkin’ app and it’s even better!  Every purchase earns points that you can redeem for your choice of menu items!  Plus, there are app exclusive offers.  The first one I used was 10 free munchkins with any drink purchase. I stopped in on Saturday and got a $2.39 cup of coffee and TEN FREE MUNCHKINS!  (the freebie was worth more than what I spent on the drink!)


I know Jack’s is a regional (Southern) chain but they’re all over the place where we are and so we eat there often.  They also have the “earn points toward free items” app set up.  Including entirely FREE entrees!  It doesn’t take very long to earn a free entree!  Plus, they have survey offers – tell them about your visit in the app and get free breakfast biscuits and burgers!

Papa John’s

The Papa John’s app is great!  You earn Papa Dough on every order and when you have $10 worth you can use it!  It takes 75 points to get $10 Papa Dough and you earn 1 point per dollar spent!


There are ALWAYS Subway discounts.  I get a flyer in the mail once a month with coupons – they include the coupon code you can use in the app AND you can use those coupon codes over and over.  Plus, every time you purchase, you earn points – even if you use a coupon!  Points can be redeem for discounts.  I can regularly feed my son and I for $10-$12 bucks – often times enough sandwiches for us to eat two meals!


It’s happy hour all the time in the Sonic app – half price drinks if you order in the app.  Plus plenty of other app exclusive discounts!


I just recently got the Zaxby’s app because we were running errands and on our last errand, we realized we were starving.  There was a Zaxby’s across the street and we hadn’t eaten at Zaxby’s in years, so my son suggested it.  I download the app while we were on our last errand and by the time we got to the restaurant I had a welcome offer in the app – a FREE Big Zax Snack.  So we ordered two of those meals for the price of one – we both had lunch for under $9!

You may have restaurants you like that aren’t on this list – but I’m almost certain they probably have an app! 

We hardly ever (almost never!) dine out that we don’t use an app and a discount! 

I hope this encourages you to try out dining apps at your favorite restaurants so you can save when you need to dine out!

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