While many restaurants and local eateries have closed their doors for dine-in service, takeout and delivery have become the new norm for many. And according to a recent survey from TopCashback.com, 35 percent of Americans are ordering more food for takeout and delivery than they were a month ago. Here are seven tips to help make your cravings a little easier on the budget from Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com.
• Freeze for later. Order (takeout or delivery) strategically so that you have leftovers for another meal, be it tomorrow’s lunch or another night’s dinner. Anything you don’t eat can simply be frozen for later. Whether it’s multiple portions or a large catering tray, keeping these meals for another time will save you money for future dates and will also support your local businesses.
• Follow restaurants and local establishments on social media. In our digital-driven world, social media tends to be the first spot people check for updates on anything and everything. So, be sure to follow your favorite eateries on social media to see if they post special promotions and deals. If you don’t see any specials online, call the restaurant.
• Join a delivery subscription service. If you’re having food delivered to your home on a regular basis, consider signing up for a subscription service like Postmates Unlimited. For $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually, you’ll receive free delivery on all orders over $12. Aside from free delivery, you’ll also avoid blitz pricing at peak hours and gain exclusive access to giveaways, special offers and events.
• Look for discounts. The best way to save money is by bundling coupons, deals and cashback to maximize your savings while dining out. If you’re new to online delivery services, take advantage of DoorDash’s $15 cashback offer and Grubhub’s 20 percent cashback deal on your first order via TopCashback.com.
• Purchase discounted gift cards.Stretch your money a little further by purchasing a discounted gift card for your favorite restaurant. You can save 10 to 20 percent off by purchasing someone’s unwanted gift card from sites like Raise.
• Stack the savings by purchasing discounted gift cards through rebate websites and use a good cashback credit card to knock a higher percentage off the cost.
• Charge it. If you’re a major foodie, look for credit cards that will earn you cashback at restaurants. Cards like the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card (4 percent cashback), American Express Gold Card (4X rewards points) or Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (2 percent cashback) can earn you cashback without having to take any extra steps except using the card.
• Consider contact-less curbside. To avoid paying a delivery fee, see if your local restaurant offers contact-less curbside pick-up. It’s easy and safe. Typically, all you have to do is place your order over the phone and once you’re ready to pick up your food at the restaurant, call inside to let them know you’re there and they will leave it outside for you.