Food delivery services are a godsend when you’re in a bind and can’t make it home in time for dinner. However, as with most things that seem too good to be true, these services come with hidden costs.
For example, most of these services will charge an additional service fee when you place your order. Instead of ordering takeout or getting delivery from a restaurant, you’ll now have to pay another fee to get the same thing. If you’re looking for ways to save money while eating on a budget then look no further than ordering food online.
With the right strategies, there are plenty of ways to eat less and still maintain your diet.
1. Skip the delivery fee
The most obvious way to save money is to order food online and skip the delivery fee. However, this may not be a good strategy if you’re ordering something more expensive than $10.
It might be worth it in some cases, but you should make sure that your food is cheaper than the delivery fee before deciding to go this route. If you live close enough to a restaurant then consider picking up some takeout instead of ordering online.
This can be convenient if you’re on the go or don’t have time to cook dinner, plus it will save you money in the long run. If you love cooking with fresh ingredients then avoid any services that require pre-made meals as they tend to be more expensive. The key is finding a balance between convenience and saving money for yourself and your family.
2. Order from a kiosk or drive-thru
If a restaurant has a drive-thru or kiosk, you can order in advance and avoid any additional costs if they don’t have your preferred meal. This is also a great way to ensure that you don’t get stuck with anything else on the menu.
If you want to go for an online food delivery service but need to watch your budget, consider ordering from a local business with its own website instead of an online platform like Grubhub.
It won’t cost extra since there is no delivery fee, and you’ll be able to take advantage of their mobile apps for an easy customer experience too.
3. Ask for a discount when you place your order
I was looking for information about ordering food online and I found one of the most interesting tips in a specialized site on the subject if you’re expecting a bill of over $10, order online. This is how most online food delivery services make their money so they’ll usually be more than happy to give you a discount on your order.
Most people don’t want to spend an hour making a quick drive to pick up dinner. Don’t assume that the delivery will always be free either. If you place your order during peak hours and there are no discounts, it may cost you $10 just for the privilege of getting your food delivered to your home.
If you have time, eat at home first before ordering in. Sometimes it takes about 20 minutes or less to prep a meal at home and then heats it up in the oven or microwave when you get home from work or school. That way, you won’t feel like you’re wasting money if dinner doesn’t end up coming out exactly as planned.
Ordering ahead is also a great way to save money at restaurants when ordering takeout or delivery as well as save time by not having to wait for the food every time.
4. Ask for help on the website
Not sure how to order? No problem! Many websites have FAQ sections that can help you with questions about their service. If you want to order without a delivery fee, the website will often offer a “no order fee” option on this page.
If you’re ordering something food-related, like pizza or pasta, then ask for help with recipes and cooking tips from the website. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money this way.
5. Don’t order takeout
Many people order takeout to cut down on their food budget. Takeout is a great and convenient way to get a meal, but it’s also expensive. When you order takeout, the cost is tacked on to the price of your meal. For example, if you order a hamburger from your favorite restaurant, the total might be $10 with tax and tip included.
If you order the same burger from the same restaurant but instead have it delivered to your home, you will be paying $10 for a meal that costs no more than $5 at the restaurant. So in this scenario, ordering delivery was cheaper than going out and getting it yourself.
6. Stay away from services that require membership fees
When you order food online, over time you may find yourself accumulating a list of favorite recipes that you want to use on a regular basis. However, if a service requires monthly or yearly membership fees then you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run.
Don’t make the mistake of signing up for these services; instead, save your money and use LinkedIn to find free recipes from popular chefs on their blogs.
In addition to saving money, this will also help you learn new techniques and build healthy eating habits.
7. Use a meal planning site to find meals you like and save money in advance
Meal planning sites like MealPal or Foodily are a great way to find healthy, budget-friendly meal options. You can create your own meal plan or follow a pre-existing plan that is tailored to your dietary needs and your personal preferences. Another idea is to use the grocery store’s loyalty card program.
These programs offer discounts on certain items based on how much you spend with that particular store. If you’re doing some major shopping at Costco, check out the membership fees page to see if they have any offers for new memberships during the time of year you’re looking for one.
Another cheap way to eat out is by using a cash-back credit card. It earns cash back on certain purchases and gives you extra money when you use it on restaurant meals at participating restaurants (like Chipotle or Panera).
8. Take advantage of weekly promotions and flash sales
A quick and easy way to save money is by taking advantage of weekly promotions and flash sales. Because these types of sales tend to happen more frequently, you’ll be able to grab a deal on your favorite food items that will save you some cash while still sticking to your diet.
There are also some other strategies that can help you save money while eating on a budget. For example, if you don’t have time to cook dinner then order from a local restaurant or order takeout after work.
Another strategy is buying bulk ingredients and making enough meals for the week so that you don’t need to order takeout every night. If you use these strategies, then you’ll be able to maintain your healthy diet without sacrificing your budget.
If you are looking for ways to save money on your food, ordering online is a great option. There are many companies that offer the same service with an added fee, so be sure to compare shops and find a company that offers the best deal. By enjoying your food at home and not going out, you will save both time and money.