Online food delivery has become a common routine in many homes these days. Due to the busy and hectic schedules of many people, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cook food. Most people can’t take the pain of cooking food even on weekends, instead, they visit restaurants for meals. Eating in restaurants has been found to be quite expensive but ordering food online is being said to cut down expenses. This is one of the main factors that have led to the emergence of online food delivery portals. So, if you’re spending a lot of money ordering food from restaurants, ordering food online is a good way to save money.
However, if proper precautions are not taken, ordering food online can be a real slab to your budget, far from allowing you to save expenses. Therefore, we share some hacks on how you can order food online regularly without hurting your budget. This will allow you to save money when ordering food from home without losing the choice of selecting from diverse options.
1. Create a weekly menu
Creating a weekly menu is the number one saving trick with many advantages. Not only will it make you have a healthy and varied diet, but it will make you know exactly what to order online, and you will be less likely to end up throwing food away. It is something that needs a lot of foresight, but it pays off. If you want to learn how to make a healthy meal plan that suits your needs, we recommend reading this post.
2. Check your pantry and fridge before ordering online.
Another way you can save money and control your budget while ordering food online is by reviewing the food in your pantry. Many people order food in excess, which might be difficult to use up before it spoils. You need to review your pantry, freezer, containers, etc., to understand what you need to order. For example, if you notice that you have salami that has not been used, you can order a smaller quantity to reduce cost and prevent wastage. Conversely, if you are running out of a product, for example, mozzarella, you can increase the quantity when ordering.
3. Make a list and stick to it.
You must have heard it thousands of times that going with a list to the supermarket will help you stay on budget. This is also applicable when ordering food online. Using apps or online websites is like walking the shelves in a shopping center without leaving your sofa, and it can as well be tempting. Making a list will allow you to buy only what you really need and have fewer temptations in the face of the many unnecessary products that you will find when surfing the web or app pages.
4. Order through food delivery applications
Online food order can be done via two channels: directly on a restaurant website or on third-party applications that gather information from many restaurant websites in one place. With a third-party app, you can choose between different options that suit your budget. Another benefit of using such an app is that you can get information about user ratings about a store or a meal before proceeding to buy from them. When using a third-party food delivery app, we strongly suggest using eezly’s app which is known to be the best for saving money on every order.
5. Do not make excess food order
40% of the food being ordered online ends up in the trash can, but this shouldn’t be. Throwing away foods tantamount to throwing away the money used for ordering it. Every time you throw food away, think about how much it cost you. Therefore, you need to order only what you can eat. This is an effective way to save money and avoid waste is to avoid ordering food in excess.
6. Consider Buying Alternative Products
When ordering food products, you need to take into account the cost of the food with respect to its specification. If the product you intend to order can hurt your budget you can go for a cheaper alternative with a similar specification. Many times, the difference between a product and its alternative is not substantial. For example, there is very little McDonald and Fuddrucker’s burger. You can reduce your food costs by buying a cheaper alternative without sacrificing taste.
7. Sign up for a food delivery subscription
Another good hack to save expense on food orders is to subscribe to a food delivery service. This is specially recommended for those who frequently order food online. For example, DoorDash charges $4 – $5 per food order. If you sign up for their 30-days trial, you will pay $9.99 per month and get unlimited free delivery for the rest of the month. This could help you save expenses compared to having to pay delivery fee on each order. Several other companies like UberEats and Postmates offer similar packages.
8. Buy a gift Card
Another hack to save money is by buying gift cards. Taking advantage of gift card deals can help you to save money on the overall cost of your food order and your food delivery. For example, Saladworks offer a free US$5when you buy a gift card worth 20 dollars or more.
9. Cut out the expenses of buying drinks
Every time you order food online, you often order drinks too. Hence, the expense that you save on meal ends up being spent on drinks. If you are on a tight budget, you can only order food and drink tap water. If you absolutely want to drink soda with your food delivery meal, you can buy it at the nearest supermarket and keep it in your refrigerator. You can also go for sugar-free soda or make your own soda, which is a better option for your health.
10. Reduce the frequency of orders
For example, if you see in your spending log that you order food three to four times per week, try reducing the frequency to once per week. This will allow you to save the total amount spent on food order.
11. Avoid extra combos
When you order food online, buy only what you have planned to buy. Do not be tempted to order extra stuff that will increase your bill at the end. Those in restaurants know you will be tempted to buy them and that is why they put it on your menu page at very cheap prices. Yes, it is cheap, but it is cheaper not to fall for it.
12. Avoid delivery costs
When you buy products online, the most common thing is to pay delivery costs. This is an aspect that can considerably increase the final cost of your order and make you spend over your budget. In the eezly app, you can pick up your food order at a restaurant near you, so you do not have to pay for delivery.
13. Take advantage of the promos
On an application like eezly, you can find various promotions with valuable discounts. No matter your food preference, there is a cheap meal for everyone! Don’t miss out on these promos to save money easily and conveniently while ordering food from the comfort of your office or home. This will help you cut out your expenses and help you keep spending within your budget.
14. Do not buy when the minimum order required is too high
In many restaurants, a minimum order amount is usually required before they can get the food to your hands. If this required minimum is higher than your budget, you may likely buy more than what you planned. What’s better than not having to pay for food that you do not want in order to reach the minimum amount of order?
15. Order through a Cashback System
Another way to get discounts on food ordering is purchasing through a cashback model. This model allows you to receive a certain percentage of cash refunds every time you place an order. All you have to do is make your purchases on the app. Every time you place an order, you will receive points. By accumulating a certain number of points, you can use them as if it was real money, giving you additional discounts when completing your order.
16. Take advantages of discounts by using coupon codes
Some restaurants already have established promotions on their dishes and drinks. You can find offers ranging from 10% to 45% on all types of meals. Coupons can help you save additional money when ordering food online. Apps like eezly can get you the food from your favorite restaurant right at your doorstep while letting you enjoy the benefits of discount coupons codes. To take advantage of this benefit, you simply apply the coupon code at the checkout. You will be amazed at how much money you can save using coupons mixed with restaurant promotions.
17. Take advantage of stamps
A stamp is a digital program that is aimed at rewarding frequent customers. In order to help you get cheap food delivery, some restaurants have a stamp system. Every time you make a purchase you get a stamp. By collecting a certain amount of stamps your next order will be free.
18. Use social networks and subscribe to newsletters to get discounts
You can use the internet to keep up with offers, compare prices, and choose the best for your needs. One of the easiest ways to find out about offers is to subscribe to the newsletter of your favorite stores and brands and follow them on social media. As an example, subscribers of the eezly family newsletter get exclusive offers that range between 5% – 20% discount!
19. Buy from less famous restaurant chain
Popular restaurant chains are expensive and often offer the same menu at a much higher price compared to a less popular restaurant. If you make less famous restaurant chains your friend, you will save more on your food order. You may doubt about the quality of foods you get from them, but it’s a matter of trying and selecting the ones that are worthwhile. You can start ordering from less famous restaurant chains to save some expenses and keep up to your budget.
20. Set a daily budget
The most obvious and proven strategy of saving money is, of course, making a budget. It can be easy to spend more than planned without a limit. A way to mitigate this is by setting a specific daily limit for your food expenses. Instead of splurging on that favorite dish, you can opt for things like pizza slice, soups, tacos, and sandwiches.
21. Buy fruits and vegetable meals when in the right season
Buying fruit and vegetable meals during the right season is a great way to save money since it is cheaper to grow them locally and without the need for greenhouses. In addition, prioritizing the purchase of seasonal vegetables will also help you have a more varied and complete diet. Prioritizing ordering fruits and vegetables when it’s the right time of the year is a great trick to save while eating healthy.
22. Provide your data in exchange for discounts: loyalty cards
For some years, most food delivery companies offer loyalty cards to their customers in exchange for their data. Loyalty cards make it possible for restaurant chains to better study the habits of their customers. Is it advisable to give your shopping habits data in exchange for a loyalty card? We don’t think they can do anything wrong with it, so you can give out your data in exchange for it. You can use the card to get discounts on your order and save some expenses. If you are comfortable with this exchange, it’s another way to save money.
23. Search and compare prices before you buy
You can search for the dish you want to order in different food delivery apps. You will likely find cheaper prices in some, either because the delivery cost is lower or because the cost of the food is cheaper. Instead of spending a lot of time opening different food delivery apps to compare prices, you can use eezly which lets you compare the prices of third-delivery apps and let you order directly without having to open any other app. You will therefore save time and money at the same time.
24. Pay with a credit card that rewards you
Since mobile food delivery apps allow you to pay electronically, pay with a credit card that rewards you for spending. For example, the HSBC 2Now card returns 2% of all your purchases and it does not charge you an annuity.
25. Implement a “Meatless Mondays”
This day is famous in the US and it’s a healthy meal option. Meats represent over 23% of our food expenses, which is significantly high. How about excluding meat from your order when you are on a tight budget? You have the option of ordering vegetables like tofu instead of meat, but it definitely may not be the preferred option for everyone. Alternatively, you can order less meat in your meals.
26. Review your total cost before checking out
When ordering food online you may have unknowingly added extra dishes that increase your bill. One way to keep track of it is to review your total cost before finally inputting your credit card details. If the total cost exceeds your budget, you can scroll back and remove orders that will incur more expenses. If this is not done, you might have checked out before discovering that you have spent out of budget.
27. Cool down any purchase idea
One of the keys to buying wisely is to allow some time to pass before making a decision. Sometimes feelings take over the reins of our mind and cause us to act impulsively. If you let the idea cool down before ordering, you will have a better chance of making the best buying decision, and therefore save money.
28. Changing companies is not infidelity
You need to quit all the services that do not offer you food at a reasonable price. Do not feel sorry or lazy, meals are recurring expenses that can amount to a large amount over time. The Internet is full of comparators that will help you know if your restaurant is offering you a competitive price for your orders. Likewise, we recommend you look for local kitchens for everyday meals, and set aside the most sophisticated restaurants for special occasions.
29. Don’t order processed food products
Processed food products are more expensive and not always a healthy option. Also, you can avoid buying light products because they are more expensive and contain artificial ingredients that are not good for your health. If you check the nutritional information of some “light” products you’ll see information like: low in fat. Sometimes they cut down some calories (energy value) but increase the amount of sodium above the daily recommended value. Therefore, buy more fresh and unprocessed foods.
30. Set a monthly budget
We know that ordering food online is sometimes unavoidable, make sure you are well-prepared. From your monthly income, make an estimate of food expenses, both the expense in the pantry and in food delivery orders. By setting a limit, you can avoid overspending.
In conclusion, no matter how cheap online food is, it is very unlikely that it will be cheaper than cooking your food at home. Try to eat as often as possible meals that you cook at home when you are on a very tight budget. Alternatively, if you really don’t have time to cook at home and need to order food online, make sure to choose wisely, we strongly recommend you use eezly.