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5 Tricks to Save Money on Your Next Food Delivery

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

Let’s be honest, there is nothing better than ordering food from your couch and having it delivered directly to your front door.

But services such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats can cost you a pretty penny for food, especially with delivery fees.

There are a few tips and tricks to save money when ordering from a food delivery service, so you can enjoy that Thai food from the comfort of your couch with a bit more dough in your bank account.

1. Compare Different Delivery Services

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While the food might be the same across food delivery services, the price can vary. Depending on the app, you may be charged different delivery fees, so it is always worth it to check out the same restaurant on a few different apps.

If that local pizzeria is on Grubhub, there is a good chance it might also be on Uber Eats. Compare prices across the popular food delivery apps in your area to find the best delivery fees and save a bit of money on your next food delivery.

Many people deliver food from restaurants as a side gig but which app should you sign up with? Check out our recommendation in the DoorDash vs. Uber Eats debate.

2. Choose Restaurants With Free Delivery

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On most food delivery services, restaurants can choose how much to charge for delivery. Some restaurants may opt to offer free delivery. Others may charge you a pretty penny. We’ve seen some restaurants charge more than $5 for delivery.

Keep a sharp eye out for the delivery fee a restaurant charges. If you have multiple options, consider choosing a restaurant that offers free delivery to its customers. Your wallet — and your stomach — will thank you in the long run.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Coupons and Promos

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Nearly every food delivery service offers promotions and coupons. Sometimes you’ll find the promotions listed directly in the app. Other deals require some searching on the web. Before ordering, see if any deals are available for a specific food delivery service or restaurant.

Often promos are offered within food delivery apps for trying a new restaurant or ordering a specific combination from a restaurant. You may end up trying a new restaurant instead of an old favorite, but a bit of an adventure may lead to even more savings. Also, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite restaurant.

4. Invite Friends, and Snag a Few Discounts

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Most food delivery apps offer the ability to refer friends and family in exchange for a discount. You send a referral link to someone, then you may see a credit added to your account when they place an order. Inviting friends is a great way to share your favorite food delivery service while earning a bit of money yourself.

Typically, you only get the kickback when your invitees make their first purchase. It isn’t enough that they simply sign up. Next time you split food with friends, consider having them order via your link to put a little money back in your pocket.

5. Get a Delivery Subscription

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If you order food frequently, consider signing up for a delivery subscription. Many food delivery apps — such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats — now offer subscriptions to help you save money on delivery fees, and nab free delivery from restaurants that normally charge a fee. Some apps even offer unlimited free deliveries with a subscription.

Food delivery subscriptions run about $10 a month and may include other perks. For example, Grubhub+ gives you a $10 monthly credit for a pickup order, which essentially makes the subscription free.

Bonus: Order Directly From the Restaurant

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Here’s a bonus idea to save money: Skip the delivery app and call the restaurant directly. Most restaurants need to add fees — and sometimes increase food prices — to cover the cost of using delivery service.

If you order the old-fashioned way, you may be able to have food delivered without the cost of a middle man. It’s also a great way to support local businesses.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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