10 ways to eat for less at McDonald’s

10 ways to eat for less at McDonald’s

1) Don’t eat there

Just thought we would put this as number 1 for all the haters that are bound to think of a witty comment.

2) Student cards (available to EVERYONE)


NUS Extra card gets you a free medium fries when you purchase a Big Mac or McChicken sandwich but often you will be given the above deal instead, which is supposedly given to anyone with a valid university student card or Unidays card that buys any Extra Value or Deli meal, this gives them a free hamburger, cheeseburger or McFlurry!

For clarification (if you’re told no in store) the text still is listed on McDonald’s website > All restaurants owned directly by McDonald’s offer students a free Hamburger, Cheeseburger or McFlurry with any purchase of an Extra Value meal or Deli meal if they show a valid NUS card when ordering.

Remember ANYONE can become a student from just £21 a year or if you’re already a student anyone can get a FREE Uniday’s account

3) Hack the menu to save or to just get what you want

Anything on the menu can be ordered in combination with anything else to become a ‘grill order’ i.e. something staff have to create from scratch just for you. A simple example is when someone asks to remove pickles from a burger, this would be classed as a ‘grill order’ but it can go a lot further to add extras such as ‘fish-o-fish’ inside a Big Mac for instance, ideal if you enjoy fish in your burger but don’t want to order a whole burger with bun etc. However it’s worth asking for the price comparison between a custom grill order Vs just ordering two separate burgers and combining it yourself as you don’t want to overpay!

But the most popular ‘grill order’ that actually saves money is to create a ‘Budget Big Mac’, order the following:

  • Order a cheeseburger which is 99p (or a double £1.49) and ask for no ketchup or mustard
  • Then request Big Mac sauce and shredded lettuce on your burger instead.
  • You now have a budget Big Mac (albeit without the extra middle bun & no sesame seeds on the top) for a total saving £1.80-£1.30

4) Vouchers


Often found in/on parking tickets, newspapers, magazines or even in-store booklets these normally reduce a single item e.g. a Big Mac down to £1.99
However now often sold on websites like eBay, it’s worth keep an eye out for vouchers during promotional periods such as McDonald’s Monopoly.

Another tip is that we always share the Rare Monopoly cards each year, so keep an eye out for our posts so you don’t end up throwing a rare piece away + you can sneakily buy them off eBay / friends etc to finish a set.

5) The ‘I’m an extremely fussy customer’ trick

OK, so we’re well known for pushing the boundaries of what you should & shouldn’t do and it should be noted that you shouldn’t take the p*ss with this one.
But basically eat half your burger (or anything), complain it wasn’t as good as normal and boom a fresh new burger.

Also if your burger looks crap then go and say, “really sorry but can you please make it look like the picture?” like the guy in this video:


If you asked for a replacement burger do you honestly think someone would spit etc in it?

6) DO NOT DO THIS (but it technically works)

This could negatively affect a staff member so don’t actually do this but guess this is ideal if you do actually get something missed off when you order at the drive-through (even if they’ve not charged you).

Most staff now do say “can you check the screen and confirm?” but if you were to go in store and say you’ve just gone through the drive-in and not been given X, they will hand you X and say sorry.

Obviously you shouldn’t do this without actually having a missing item as it would be classed as stealing but if you genuinely believe you ordered something and didn’t get it then there is no reason not to do it, even if you didn’t get charged for it.

7) No salt trick


OK so not really a money saver but if you want better food for your money it’s worth doing, basically McDonald’s generally cover their food in salt, their chips especially.

Problem with how McDonald’s do their chips is they have to have tons of them ready for a mad rush of orders, so often they will sit their for 5+ minutes. If you want fresh, hot chips ask for no salt and a fresh batch will have to be made.

The same is true with any Burger, make it a ‘grill order’ e.g. no pickles, added pickles, no sauce, extra sauce etc and someone will have to make your burger from scratch so it should be fresh.

8) Bigger = cheaper (most of the time), so share with mates

20 chicken nuggets costs £4.29 or £0.21 each

9 chicken nuggets costs £3.09 or £0.34 each

6 chicken nuggets costs £2.69 or £0.45 each

9) Know the price list before you go = no sudden stupid decisions


Rather boring but sure a few people find it interesting, full price list available on FastFoodPrices

10) Remember most marketing companies (including McDonald’s) are 2 steps in front of you

Playing McDonald’s Millionaire is not a good way to pay less for your food HOWEVER gaming the system and buying certain vouchers/places on eBay during the events is a good way.

Got a better tip? Let us know below in the comments

1 comment

Leave a Facebook comment

More 10ways.com posts:

Important things to remember with everything we post:

  • If you earn over your personal allowance (currently £12,570 a year) HMRC need to get their % cut (even if the money is in cash or from another country)
  • If you’re working for yourself / earning an income on the side you need to let HMRC know – There are numerous benefits but also some drawbacks
  • You need to always ensure whatever you’re doing is legal and not hurting anyone else – be careful and always think twice
  • Some income streams may require you to have DBS check, licence, insurance or qualifications before you can start to profit from it, do your research.
  • Be careful that any additional income doesn’t compromise your studies or main income/job
  • If you work for a company check your contract, if you don’t inform them you’re working on other side projects outside of work they may have grounds to ownership on this work