Cheapest Food Delivery Tips: Saving Money on Every Order

May 24, 2024
Justin Lumiere


In today's fast-paced world, food delivery apps have become a staple for many, providing convenience at a price. However, the myriad of hidden fees and surge pricing can make delivery unexpectedly expensive. This article seeks to navigate this landscape and provide actionable tips for saving money on food delivery, based on insights from various sources.

Why Food Delivery Apps Are So Expensive

Several components contribute to the high cost of food delivery:

  • Inflated Menu Prices: Restaurants often mark up the prices of menu items for delivery compared to dine-in rates.
  • Service Fees: A percentage of the order cost added by the delivery service.
  • Delivery Fees: Varying by distance and app.
  • Driver Benefits Fees: Differences by state.
  • Tips for Drivers: Encouraged but adds to the overall cost.
  • Surge Pricing: Higher fees during peak hours like mealtime rushes and Friday nights.

Understanding these elements can help you plan your orders strategically for maximum savings.

Finding the Cheapest Food Delivery App

General Winner: Uber Eats

Uber Eats tends to have competitive pricing and frequent partner promotions, making it an affordable choice without a subscription. However, the best app for you might depend on specific circumstances:

Best for Subscription Services: DoorDash

DoorDash’s DashPass, at $9.99 per month, offers free delivery on orders over $12 and a reduced service fee of 5%. This makes it the most affordable for frequent users. Grubhub+ is similar but offers a shorter free trial and different restaurant options.

High Angle Shot of a Food Delivery Man Standing next to a Motor Scooter

Best for Promo Codes: Uber Eats

Uber Eats is known for providing many promotional deals and percentage-based discounts, which can add significant savings.

Best for Families: Postmates

Postmates Unlimited subscription allows sharing with up to five people via Uber family profiles. This is ideal for large families, as it spreads out the costs and frequently exceeds the minimum for free delivery.

Best for Occasional Users: DoorDash & Uber Eats

Both offer competitive per-delivery fees. Switching between these apps based on restaurant preference, speed, and promo codes is advisable for infrequent users.

Comparison of Delivery Apps: DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates

A comprehensive comparison reveals varying fees:

  • Uber Eats: High delivery fees and variable service fees, but frequent promo codes.
  • Grubhub: Generally a static service fee of 10%.

Comparison of Delivery Apps
AppDelivery FeesService FeesSubscription BenefitsPromo Codes
Uber EatsHighVariableN/AFrequent
DoorDashVariableAverageDashPass: Free delivery over $12, reduced service feeOccasional
GrubhubVariable10%Grubhub+: Free delivery on eligible orders over $12Rare
PostmatesHighVariableUnlimited: Benefit sharing with family profilesOccasional

Finding Promo Codes

Promo codes often come from:

  • Email Newsletters: Quick searches in your email for recent codes can be fruitful.
  • Social Media: Follow apps on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • In-App Banners: Keep notifications enabled.
  • Third-Party Websites: Sites like SimplyCodes’ community-run database are reliable sources.

Secret Hacks for Promo Codes

1. Leave Items in Your Cart: Some services send reminder emails with promo codes.

2. Social Media Influencers: Sometimes share unique codes.

3. Direct Inquiries: Tag or mention services on social media to ask for promotions.

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Timing of Promo Code Use

Using promo codes during off-peak times rather than busy periods can maximize their benefit. Apps may offer codes for weekday lunches or mid-afternoon orders.

Evaluating Food Delivery Subscriptions

Subscriptions can be worth it if you order at least twice a month. Regular use can result in significant savings, with added perks like early access to new restaurants and priority support.

Ordering Directly from Restaurants

By ordering directly through restaurant websites or via phone, you can avoid the extra fees charged by delivery apps. Many establishments offer their own exclusive discounts for direct orders.

Additional Tips for Lowering Delivery Costs

  • Order in Bulk: Split fees with family, friends, or neighbors.
  • Plan for Multiple Meals: Ordering extra for future meals saves on multiple delivery fees.
  • Order During Off-Peak Times: Avoid surge pricing.
  • Opt for Pickup: Save on delivery charges if the restaurant is nearby.

Saving on food delivery is about knowing the fee structure, using promo codes wisely, and understanding the value of subscriptions. These strategies can help you enjoy the convenience of food delivery without overspending. Have your own hacks? Share them on Twitter @teamSimplyCodes for a chance to be rewarded!


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