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5 Ways to Save Money on Food Delivery Online

From comparing prices or finding coupons, save a buck (or a few) with these five tips when ordering food delivery!

5 Ways to Save Money on Food Delivery Online


Whether groceries or take out, getting food delivered to doorsteps is growing in appeal. Receiving food without leaving the comfort of home may be used for convenience, safety, and other reasons.

Online food delivery is now a multi-billion dollar business, with 60 percent of U.S. adults ordering delivery or take out once weekly! Almost 31 percent of U.S. adults say they use a third-party delivery service at least twice a week for food.

Whether regularly or sparingly ordering food online, learn easy tips to save money on food delivery!

5 Ways to Save Money on Food Delivery Online

From comparing prices or finding coupons, save a buck or a few with these five tips when ordering food delivery.

1. Compare Prices

One of the best ways to save money on food delivery is knowing which service has the lowest fees. Since not all options are the same, shop around for food delivery options in your area.

A 2020 New York Times article lists pricing from four national food delivery app services, including DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and Uber Eats. Markup charges from the four options varied between 25 to 91 percent, which is a big difference!

Choosing the 25 percent charge option from Grubhub will save money compared to using UberEats, which was marked up 91 percent.

Keep in mind charges can fluctuate depending on demand at the time of ordering and other factors. Therefore, it may benefit to compare pricing from different food deliveries at different times and dates.

Watch Menu Pricing

As The New York Times article also suggests, watch out for menu pricing when trying to save money on food delivery. For example, a Panda Express family value meal is listed as $39. However, the menu cost was coming up as $44.85 to $47.10 on the various food delivery options.

Some restaurants can set menu pricing higher for delivery service than on their original menu. Keep this in mind and check menu pricing options when trying to save money for food delivery.

2. Find Coupon or Promo Codes

Many food delivery companies offer a discount or coupon code to first-time users in an effort to hook future business. This is one way to save money for the first order but look to additional promo or coupon codes following.

Doing some research and online hunting for appropriate codes or coupons could help you save some money for food delivery.

Credit Card Discounts

Some credit cards offer credit for using a food delivery service or offer incentives in other ways. This may include more points or offer no delivery fee for paying with the card for certain food delivery companies.

Check to see if your credit card company offers any discounts, credits, or bonuses for using food delivery options. But keep in mind there may be stipulations for receiving these benefits from credit card companies. For instance, discounts may only apply after spending a certain amount.

3. Subscribe to a Food Delivery Service

If more than an occasional user, it may save on long-term costs to subscribe to a specific food delivery service. A delivery subscription can help lower the delivery fee per time ordered.

For example, if subscribed to DoorDash, expect to pay about $9.99 a month according to Debt.com. This monthly subscription fee saves on delivery fees, which often ranges between $3 to 5 per delivery, and give a reduced fee on orders over $12.

Therefore, subscribing and paying the monthly fee can save you money if using services more than a few times per month.

4. Invite Friends

Another way to save money with a food delivery service is to invite friends to order. While each food delivery service slightly differs, most offer a "refer a friend" feature on their website.

After entering friends' names and emails, they are sent an email explaining a discount off their first order. In return, if friends sign up and order, expect to receive more discounts or credit with the food delivery company.

If friends do sign up and save you money, consider thanking them with a food or drink delivery from Uber Eats.

5. Check Local Restaurant Delivery Options

The large food delivery companies can vary in their fees or subscription options. All national companies have pros and cons for what they offer and their fees.

Something to remember, especially when wanting to save money, is to check with local restaurants in the area for delivery options. Local restaurants may be cheaper with fewer fees to compete with larger companies.

Sarah Asay's Photo
Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on October 27, 2020. Updated on October 29, 2020.

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