Tips for Saving Money When Ordering Takeout

Man using a laptop to order food by internet.We all have those days where we come home from work or school and we head straight to the couch, dreading the thought of figuring out what to have for dinner. Ordering takeut has many benefits in this case: the food is tasty, it’s convenient, and it saves us from a night of cooking and doing the dishes. But anyone who orders takeout often knows that it can be a real burden on your wallet. If you’re living on a budget like I am, it’s hard to justify ordering takeout when you have cereal calling your name from the kitchen cabinet, but don’t despair! To lessen the guilt of ordering food to go, I have some tips for saving money when ordering takeout.

1. Look to Groupon for deals on specific restaurants in your area.

Groupon and other daily deal sites are your go-to places to check out for discounted meals for sit down dinners, but you should know that many of these promotions also work when ordering food to go! Check out for deals at your neighborhood restaurants and see if you can get a discount on your favorite pasta dish or Thai curry!

2. Sign up for promotional emails for coupons and week night deals

Coupons PileWe’ve all seen the commercials for late night deals on Dominos and Pizza Hut. Why let those deals fly by? Sign up or create account through websites to take advantage of promotions! Look for student discounts for food located near a college campus. Use promotion codes on online orders through a restaurant’s website! Just make sure you stick to the guidelines on the deal, so that you don’t spend more than you were expecting!

3. Resist delivery services as much as possible to lower the cost

Having delivery systems like Door Dash or pizza deliveries makes it convenient for not having to leave your apartment, but it can increase the cost of your meal due to delivery fees and tips. If you can, try ordering takeout from a restaurant close by and pick up the food at the restaurant. Want to reduce the cost more? Walk or bike to the restaurant and resist the urge to drive.

4. Set a budget for your takeout order and stick to it!

Raw vegan cleanse meals after deliveryIt’s tempting to add extras to your takeout order such as soft drinks, appetizers or desserts but be strong! It’s much cheaper to purchase snacks and drinks from the grocery store than as extras on your takeout order. Try Trader Joe’s, New Leaf, or Whole Foods for appetizers, drinks and desserts that fit with the cuisine of your meal. Try chips and salsa with burritos, Moochi for sushi, frozen eggrolls with Chinese food! There are lots of authentic side dishes that you can pick up from the grocery store and keep in your freezer, so that you don’t spend more money for these extra dishes at a restaurant.

Some days, we’re just too tired to cook when we have to deal with the stresses of work, school or everyday life. That’s what takeout is for! Just remember that there’s always a deal out there for discounts, if you only know where to look!

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Author My First Apartment
Anna R.

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Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!

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