Given that we have eaten out most of the time for the last 5 years, we’ve learned how to do it for cheap. Which is really easy, as most of the world is cheaper than the US.
While the US is more expensive, there are all kinds of sites, apps, and food programs to rake in the benefit of referral bonuses, and first user coupons. This is a list of things you can sign up for to get free food, or really discounted food.
We have tried nearly everything on this list of sites and apps. For many of the ones I actually use, I might have a referral code. Either way, I recommend trying out the bonus (if you find it a good deal), seeing how it works, then referring your friends and spouses so you can get the bonus.
Some bonuses and deals are better than others but I’ll try to explain how I went about getting the cheapest deals I could.
I should note that many things are better in big cities and certain cities. If you live in San Fran, your life could be subsidized by venture capitalists.
GrubHub ($7 off $15 order)
Click here (or use code: GRAFF7032816F9Z4WJ) to get $7 off a $15 order.
The beautiful thing about this is that it works on “pick up” orders, so you can avoid delivery fees. I put in my current address, click “pick up”, sort by distance, pick some good food, and make it come out to $15 before tax/tip. The two of us can eat for $10, then take the food to a park.
InstaCart (free $10)
$10 off with my code, and free delivery… I hope this will work for you too! Try the following:
Click here (as it gives free delivery), and then at checkout add code “CYODER81“.
We did this with some food from Whole Foods and the food showed up in an hour.
TabbedOut (free $5, and other deals)
This is mostly used by bars, and only in certain cities, but there are restaurants too, (mostly ones that have a bar). It’s actually pretty cool, and I hope it gets to scale, because it’s a better experience. You can see your bill at all times, and click a button to pay. And thus you can leave when you want, without waiting for a bill.
You can download the app here, then make sure to add the promo code “G9F7E2“.
The code gives $5 off your first purchase, but there are often other deals. The best was one month last year Citi had a deal where you add a Citi card and get $10 towards a tab.
Delivery.com ($7 off $15 order)
Click here and get $7 off your first order.
Just like GrubHub, you can order delivery online. But the awesome part, again, is that you can get $7 off pickup and avoid delivery fees. Same as above basically.
- Starbucks Rewards
- Sign up and get a free drink (after adding and using a giftcard?)
- Get a free drink on your birthday (if you’ve been a member for 30+ days)
- Free refills on regular coffee and teas for all members starting April 12
- Click here for 100% “cashback” with Living Social’s Restaurant Plus (I haven’t been able to try it yet)
- $15 off Caviar (another delivery site), details here
- Groupon – get $10 for referrals, plus deals on restaurants
- Maggianos $10 coupon here
- Check out this page to see more small discounts for memberships with chain restaurants
Other things to try
- Postmates – Free delivery with code “R5JI“
- Favor – Click here or use my code “DREWM4R” to get $5 credit.
- UberEats? If you have the food icon on your Uber, look for a promo code. If it’s new to a city it can have free delivery and sometimes free and discounted food.
- Bitesquad.com – Click here to get $5 off, or use my code “K8L-4GRR-T6HY”.
Some of the next deals are food by subscription – which, if you have a kitchen can be nice. I sometimes find we don’t save much with groceries after buying seasonings, condiments, and what not. Plus, we always end up throwing out a ton at the end of a stay, like 3.5 sticks of butter.
But these food programs send you the perfect amount of groceries for your meals for two people.
Given our slower travel, and recently we used airbnb a lot (which almost always has a kitchen), this could be a good option. It’s actually perfect for an airbnb stay, since the timing is reliable.
Somehow they get a box of fresh food to you on a specific date… just don’t forget to cancel, or change the address. Although, each one is a little different in design or prep. (I have Google Calendar reminders set up for the evening of delivery, reminding me to cancel).
I personally have only done these on the signup bonus or trial rates, but I like them a lot. Just not enough to pay full price.
Hello Fresh – $40 off
Click here to get $40 off.
It comes out to $19 for 6 meals. That’s 3 different meals for two people. It comes out to $3.16 per meal, per person. Not bad. And the food is really good and fresh.
Freshly – 6 free meals!
Click here to get 6 free meals.
This is an awesome deal to get 6 meals of your choosing for free.
However, I haven’t checked out with this promo, and when I don’t have everything filled in, the price still shows $69. Hopefully after everything is filled in, it zeros out. Or perhaps you have to hit submit. But screenshot the free meals part before you hit submit. And report back, please.
HomeChef – $30 off
Click here to get $30 off.
6 meals will come out to $30 (again, three different meals for two people), and thus it’s $5 a meal.
Others I haven’t tried:
- Peach Dish – Get $10 off here, or use code “rCgLo1RJ”
- Purple Carrot
- terraskitchen – (tk50 – $50 off?)
If it’s free, I’m on it.
If there are food delivery apps or sites that I should be looking into, please let me know.