Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fast Food Frugality!

Take a peek at how I get frugal with fast food! ;) Thanks to couponing, I have been better at having a well-stocked pantry and fridge to prevent that "there's nothing to eat... out to eat I go!" urge. From time to time, I do find myself busy or for whatever craving catching some fast food. You know those silly customer survey's on many of them? Those are like GOLD to me! I have developed a system to organize and use them, as with anything, organization is key, especially with trying to save money! I have a mini coupon accordian probally from the dollar store which I file many of my fast food reciepts in to complete and completed sections. Since I practically have a duffle bag for a purse, I keep it in my purse so it's handy when I am out and about, and also for when I am home and bored on the internet will fill out those surveys. Take a peek at how I have fun and get FREE food with these! ;)

We have a Chick-Fil-A where I work, and I swear I win the customer survey receipt lottery about EVERY purchase I make there. Often, since I pack a lunch, I will make a small purchase for a Coke, a side of carrot and raisin salad snack, or ice cream cone, etc every one in a while! When my receipt prints, it has the section like the image above. It is a simple survey you fill out online (takes 2 minutes) and write the code on your receipt and bring back next time and it gets you a FREE Chick-Fil-A Sandwich with NO restrictions or additional purchases required! And, my LUCK today, I redeemed one survey for a free sandwich, paid nothing, and it printed out ANOTHER free sandwich survey! Wahooooo. And, since I love this particular Chick-Fil-A and their employees, I have no hard time in filling out that survey to give them a boost and me a FREE lunch for 2 minutes of my time. :)

Another fast food fun for me, I have an addiction to a beverage at my Arby's called Sobe Citrus. It's not like the SobeLifewater variety, but I swear it is like my Starbucks! It's kind of like an adult tasting Sunkist on crack. If I am running errands and want a treat, I will get one of those drinks for about $2. On the back of EVERY Arby's reciept is a survey via phone or website to complete (takes 2 minutes) and on your next visit you recieve a FREE Regular Roast Beef Sandwhich or Beef 'n' Cheddar Sandwich with NO restrictions or additional purchase required! I fill those bad boys out, file them in my fast food survey reciept/coupon accordion, and on days I forgot to pack my lunch or got a craving for food score me a free sandwich. Yeah, fast food isn't the best, but, as many of us know, it is convenient from time to time, and I always try to minimize costs where I can!

A thing I have learned with these fun reciept surveys, is that although they have restrictions such as "complete within x days after visit" and "promotion only valid for x days after survey completion" I have never had any problem with completing the survey a week or more later, and even redeeming surveys that were months old! Many other fast food restaurants do this, and some of their surveys are for free items on your next visit or are conditionary as in free sandwich with purchase of fries/drink/etc.

So, that's how I cheapskate the fast food realm too. ;) Another purpose for those fun mini coupon accordians in addition to organizing fast food receipt free item surveys is to also put any fast food coupons from signing up with the company's e-mail coupon blasts that you know you will use and also any fast food, Starbucks, etc gift cards you may have, as mine get buried or hidden in my wallet. 

I think sometimes the drive thru cashiers may giggle at me or think I am a little OCD, but looking at how much I spend on fast food, even in very rare occasions at indulging, it is redonk. So, yeah, 23 and thrifty! 


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