How To Get Free Fast Food

By on May 23, 2013

Do you eat fast food? 

Chances are you do, and chances are you are burning up your hard earned money and not even aware of it. 

Yep.  You’re tossing perfectly good cash right into oblivion forever.  

But, you can stop. 

Right now.  

Got your attention?

This isn’t another 12 step program. It’s not a diet either. It’s not even a health warning about eating fast food. You can eat where you like. No judgment here. 

WARNING: Using this tip can make a colossal difference in your dining out budget.

Okay, so what’s this all about?  “How can I stop torching my cash?”

The answer? 

STOP. THROWING. AWAY. YOUR. RECEIPT!

Seriously, when is the last time you looked at any receipt, fast food or otherwise? 

Yeah, thought so.

The truth is a lot of fast food chains are offering you free eats just for taking a few minutes to fill out a short survey. Free food for three or four minutes “effort” mounts up fast.

Virtually all of the surveys can be completed with a home computer, smart phone or tablet.  Some even by automated phone call.  

How does it work? Restaurant chains vary a bit, but it’s usually as simple as going to a web address on the receipt, answering some questions about your visit such as friendliness of the staff, what you liked or didn’t like. When you’re done a code is displayed that you write on the receipt.

As long as the receipt is redeemed by the printed expiration date, which may be a few days, a week, a month or even longer, ka-ching, you get the savings. Many places don’t even require an additional purchase, while others have a minor expense to get the freebie (e.g. buy a drink and get a free sandwich.)

It’s that easy. We use them often in our family.

So what are some of the freebies available?

Here are a couple to get you started:

  • Sbarros offers a free slice of pizza
  • Krystal gives away several Krystal burgers
  • Burger King gives free drinks or side orders
  • Chick-fil-A gives away chicken sandwiches or ice cream
  • Sweet Peppers Deli gives away free beverages with the next purchase
  • Sonic gives away a monstrous size Route 44 drink with no strings attached

Almost every chain has started doing this to get feedback. But you won’t know what they’re going to offer unless you look at the receipt!

Come on now, how hard is that?

Some chains only offer a free survey on randomly selected or sequenced receipts. So, regardless of how many times you’ve eaten at a place look at your receipt every time just to make sure.  Sometimes, the cashier will alert you to the fact that your receipt has a survey. But, don’t assume that they will.

Bonus Alert

Now here’s a sneaky twist that you can do without a purchase. When you’re in line be on the lookout for receipts people didn’t take. Just pick them up for yourself because you can likely use them without having been the actual purchaser.

Think like a spy and use your eyes! Most people toss their receipts in the trash or leave them on the counter.  

Just fill out the survey and you get the freebie. It’s like a bearer bond! (i.e. you hold it, you receive the value)

No computer or smartphone? No worries.

There’s always friends or the library. Heck, most stores that have computers for sale such as Best Buy will let you surf the web with their display units. Why not use it to fill out the receipt survey?

There’s almost no excuse for not taking advantage of this super simple strategy to lower your eating out bill.

In fact, you should look at all receipts regardless of where they are from – grocery stores, hardware stores, home centers, consumer electronics, even the coffee shop. Lots of places are offering surveys now. Be a Happy Little Shopper and make it count.

So, there you have it. Free food just sitting there waiting for you.

Leave a shout out.

What are some of your experiences?

Leave a comment below and share your tips with the rest of us!

About Mrs. Happy Little Shopper

Mrs. Happy Little Shopper (aka Colleen Conger) is Mommy to 7 year old Toby, wife to Mr. Happy Little Shopper, and a graphic/web designer at Digital Photo and Design, LLC. She's a font freak and geeky tech girl. Feel free to connect with her personally on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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