How to save money on take out and delivery

A container of Chinese take out food on a table with chopsticks

Photo: Alexei Khoruzhenko (Shutterstock)

Even before the pandemic kept us locked in our homes for weeks, the delivery and takeout business was booming thanks to apps that make it very easy to see restaurant offerings, select a few. and have them delivered in less than an hour.

The convenience is astronomical, but so too is the cost. If you plan to remove Uber Eats and Seamless from your phone in order to control your habits, don’t do it right away. There are a number of ways to save money while consuming delicious restaurant meals.

Put on your walking shoes

There are a lot of costs associated with food delivery that have nothing to do with the price of your Friday morning bagel or Saturday night pizza. You pay taxes and delivery charges with your tip.

Tip and delivery charges are both associated with the effort it takes for a third party to physically deliver your order to you. They travel long distances, sometimes in snow or rain, so always—always– tip if you order delivery.

You can, however, avoid the cost of delivery if you just collect the food yourself. It is always very convenient to see all the menu items in one place, take your time choosing one, and pay with just the push of a button. The only slightly annoying part of this method is walking, but it’s cost effective and healthy, so it’s not that bad. Sure, spring for delivery when you’re sick or it’s dirty outside, but if it’s sunny and you’re healthy, take a little walk! Most delivery apps let you easily switch between delivery and pickup options, so don’t forget to press the right button.

Keep push notifications enabled

Push notifications can be annoying, but they can also be useful. There’s a reason they exist, and when it comes to delivery and takeout apps, part of that reason is to save you money.

Uber Eats and Postmates are known for their frequent, time-limited discounts, which they advertise through emails and push alerts. Make sure your notifications for these apps are turned on and always give a real email address, even if it is your designated spam email, so you never miss a coupon.

You can earn one-time coupons on most apps by giving your referral code to your friends, but of course it’s 2021 and the majority of your friends already have all the apps. It still doesn’t hurt to try.

Benefit from advantages

Some apps, like Uber Eats, offer different types of rewards programs and special offers that are constantly evolving. You’ll see them right away when you open your apps, usually, and they can range from restaurant-specific discounts once you’ve hit a certain cost threshold or a discount for choosing take-out over delivery. .

In some cases, you may need to spend money to save money. For $ 9.99 per month on Grubhub, for example, you can sign up for Grubhub +, which entitles you to unlimited free shipping when you order more than $ 12 worth of food at a time, as well as other great benefits. membership specific to certain restaurants. If you order once a week or more, the cost for this subscription is less than the cost you might expect to pay for your delivery charges, which can range from $ 0.50 to several dollars.

Use economical applications

There are a few apps that are designed to not only feed you, but also save you money. Take Too Good to Go, for example: this app tackles the problem of food waste by partnering with restaurants to get you unsold food that would otherwise be thrown away. You place an order for a “goodie bag” at one of the participating restaurants and have a set time to pick up your food, which the restaurant says can range from a full meal to a big bag of food. bagels or pastries. You cannot choose what you receive, but you to do get a lot for your money, since most goody bags cost between $ 4 and $ 6. In addition, you feel good to prevent the waste of goods, which the application the creators say happens to ⅓ of food in the world.

If you want to save money and always delivery, there’s Club Feast, which is kind of like a wholesale food buying system. You buy your credits upfront in bulk, then spend them throughout the week on reduced meals.

Laura Phillips, Head of Growth and Marketing at Club Feast, explained the concept as follows: “Restaurant delivery is only $ 6.99 per dish. Plan ahead and spend less on the same meals you would get on any other platform. Note that there is a delivery charge ranging from $ 0.49 to $ 2.49 and an ordering charge of $ 1 if you only order one dish.

The program never charges restaurants a fee or takes any commission from them to be included, which is remarkable because many of these third-party apps to do take a share of each restaurant’s income. Phillips said the company wants to help restaurants make more money and help users save money.

“With pre-planning and our more affordable price, you don’t have to feel guilty about ordering. Our mission is to change the way people eat by democratizing access to the luxury of food delivery, while allowing your favorite local restaurants to thrive, ”she said. “Food delivery is fast becoming a staple of modern life. I see its use as a daily service spreading everywhere as the nature of work and the way we eat continue to evolve.

Foodservice apps got really big, really fast, and took all of the income from your money and your restaurants with them. With new disruptors like these, you may feel a little better about it all.

The last option may not save you a lot of money in the long run, but may save you a bit of guilt: try to order directly from restaurants whenever possible to save them the money they pay to reputable apps.

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