The average U.S. household spends over $7,000 per year on food (Source: Statista).
If you’re a fan of eating at restaurants, or if you’re in the 27% of people that spend over $40 per month on pizza, your bill could be even higher. (Check out our National Pizza Study for more pizza facts).
But there are ways to spend less on food — or even get it for free.
This article will give you strategies and tips for getting free food coupons. We’ll let you know where to find food coupons for restaurants and groceries and when to look for the best deals.
When can you find free food coupons?
You can find free food coupons at any time of the year.
But to make sure you get the best deals, pay attention to national holidays like national cupcake day and national sandwich day. Some stores and restaurants will roll out promotions for these fun days.
Some other national days include:
It turns out that October is the best month for food-related theme days, with July next in line. If you’re more interested in drink-themed days, try January.
You might also find free food and food discounts on traditional shopping days like Black Friday.
Veterans can get free food at many places on Veterans Day.
Where can you find free food coupons?
You have a few options for finding free food coupons. You can use an app or join a rewards program for a specific company, or you can use a service that lets you search for a wide variety of coupon codes.
We’ll start by looking at some apps that offer great savings on food. If your favorite restaurant or supermarket isn’t on this list, it might still have an app with coupons. Check your app store of choice to find out.
Apps for free food coupons
If you go to any of the restaurants or stores below, download their mobile apps to save on food. Many of them have coupons that you can’t get elsewhere.
The McDonald's mobile app lets you order online, save favorite items, and earn rewards points. It also provides discounts, including some deals you won’t find anywhere but the app.
Burger King app
Like the McDonald’s app, Burger King offers exclusive deals through its app. It’s easy to set up and get started and also lets you look at the Burger King menu and order ahead. It doesn’t have a rewards program — just good deals for everyone.
For the taco and burrito lovers out there, we have good news. Every $1 you spend on the Chipotle app earns ten rewards points. Earn enough points, and you can get free entrees and other items.
The app also lets you order delivery and supports payment through Apple Pay or gift cards. There are some menu items that you can only get by ordering in-app or online.
The Domino’s mobile app lets you sign up for the Piece of the Pie Rewards club to earn free pizza. You also have access to special promotions and coupons outside of the rewards program.
The app features an ordering assistant called Dom. You can speak with Dom to get help placing an order or tracking delivery.
Panera Bread app
Panera’s app pays off right away — you get a free bakery item just for joining. The app lets you access your MyPanera rewards account as well. Rewards members get points for every Panera visit regardless of how much they spend.
You can also use the app to skip the line at the restaurant by ordering ahead.
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses with free food coupons. You can also get free and discounted groceries with a number of apps, including Costco’s.
The promos you’ll find on the app apply to all members — they’re not exclusive to app users. But the app is a convenient way to find savings.
The Costco app provides a lot of other useful services for Costco members, like the ability to refill your prescriptions or upload photos to be printed.
Whole Foods Market app
Whole Foods Market, which Amazon has owned since 2017, is another place to find food savings. The Whole Foods app tells you about sales in your local store, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can scan your app in the store to get an additional 10% off the sale price.
In participating locations, you can use the app to pay for groceries.
Other local grocery store apps
Most of the big food retailers have mobile apps. If you shop at Kroger, Publix, Shop Rite, or another grocery store that didn’t make our list of apps, search for it in the app store.
Instacart is a grocery delivery and pickup service. It connects you with shoppers in your area that can get your order from the retailer and bring it to you.
Instacart isn’t the cheapest way to get food. Like DoorDash and other food delivery services, it charges a delivery fee and a service fee.
But if grocery delivery is something you want or need, the app is a convenient way to find deals at your local store.
Rewards clubs for free food coupons
There’s a lot of overlap between free food apps and free food rewards clubs — many of the apps above let you earn points toward food discounts.
But while some of the restaurants on our apps list require you to download an app, all of the rewards programs below can be joined without a smartphone.
My Chili’s Reward Club
When you’re a Chili’s Rewards member, you get free chips and salsa and a non-alcoholic beverage on every visit when you spend at least $5.
You’ll also get personalized rewards, like free dessert on your birthday, free kids’ meals, free delivery, free appetizers, and more at various times throughout the year.
Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards
When you join the Jimmy John’s Rewards club, you’ll earn your first free meal coupon for an 8” sub right away. All you have to do is place your first order.
From then on, you’ll continue to earn free sandwiches, sides, and drinks. You may even get exclusive early access to new products.
The best thing about MyHop — the reward’s club for IHOP — is that you get free pancakes twice a year even if you don’t make any purchases. You’ll receive coupons by email on your birthday and anniversary of signing up for MyHop.
Purchases at IHOP will earn you additional rewards points that are redeemable for more freebies.
The more you spend with the Noodles & Company rewards program, the more points you’ll earn for each purchase.
You’ll be in the “Classic” tier when you join, where spending $1 gets you eight points. After you’ve earned 1,601 points, you’ll move up to the “Signature” tier, and each dollar will earn ten points. Earn 6,601 points to join the “Premier” tier and get 12 points for your dollar.
Old Chicago Rewards
The Old Chicago rewards program is primarily known for its World Beer Tour, which gives you prizes for trying beers from its extensive list. But you can also save money on food by joining its rewards club.
Rewards members earn one point for every dollar spent on food and beverages at Old Chicago. For every 75 points, you get five “OC Bucks,” which you can spend on your next meal.
The Dunkin’ Donuts rewards program doesn’t give you free food, but it will let you earn free coffee just by eating donuts.
Rewards members earn five points for every dollar spent at Dunkin. For every 200 points, you get one free beverage.
When you join the Pizza Hut rewards club, you earn two points for every $1 spent. You can cash in those points for free food. The cheapest item on the menu is breadsticks for 75 points.
Other ways to get free food coupons
We’ve talked about downloading apps and joining rewards clubs, but those aren’t the only ways to find coupons and vouchers for free food.
There are tons of ways to get coupons online or through apps these days, but don’t neglect old-fashioned coupon clipping. If you receive a Sunday newspaper, there’s probably a coupon insert.
If you don’t subscribe to a paper, you might still be able to find one. Some places have free local newspapers that you can pick up around town. Stores sometimes discount or give away the Sunday newspaper on Monday.
Some stores have booklets of coupons that you can pick up near the entrance. Take a look around your supermarket on your next visit.
Retailers sometimes post coupons and promo codes on social media.
Search millions of coupon codes on the CouponFollow site or use Cently to automatically find and apply coupons for you at checkout.
Whether you’re looking for cheaper fast food or discounted groceries, free food coupons can help you save money on meals.
Haven’t seen the free food coupons you’re looking for yet?
Check out our featured coupons on CouponFollow.