15 hacks to get cheap and free McDonald’s
We've all been there, craving a McDonald's but not wanting to fork out £5 on a medium meal. Never fear, as we're about to show you how to get your favourites, cheaper!
You may be thinking: McDonald's is relatively affordable, so how is it possible to get it any cheaper?
Well, where there's a will, there's a way. We've worked out the best ways to get these tasty snacks for less (or get more for your money!).
From free fries and McMuffins to wombling your way to free and discounted food, we tell you all you need to know in preparation for your next trip. Read on and never pay full price for Maccy D's ever again!
Cheap ways to get McDonald's
Here are the best ways to get cheap and free McDonald's:
Double the toppings for free
One of our favourite burgers has to be the 99p cheeseburger. It's satisfying, cheap and a nice little warmer. But what if you could get more toppings for free?
For ease, you'll need to head to the self-service kiosk to order. Add a 99p cheeseburger (or another burger of your choice) and, before you add it to your order, click 'Customise' on the screen.
You'll be able to add an extra serving of some toppings already in the burger for free, with extra cheese costing 20p and bacon slightly more at 40p. You're also able to add mayo for free, which changes the whole dynamic of the burger (in a tasty way, of course).
Trust us, this hack is a godsend and will fill you up so much more!
DIY Big Mac for £1.49
Hungry but don't fancy spending £3.19? You can make your own Big Mac sandwich for £1.70 less using this trick.
Just as before, head to the self-service kiosk and this time order a £1.49 Double Cheeseburger. Click on 'Customise' and then add the following: shredded lettuce, onions, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise.
It won't taste exactly like a Big Mac, but it's pretty damn close. And, if you're feeling lucky, you could even ask the staff to chuck in some authentic Big Mac sauce for you, too. Hacks.
Get a Big Mac and fries for £1.99
If you're anything like us, you'll find that a solo burger doesn't quite cut it sometimes and you instead head for the 'Meals' section when ordering. Well, get ready to save some serious cash, because we've got a way of getting a Big Mac and fries for less than £2 every time.
All you need is a receipt from a previous visit to McDonald's receipt – although even if you haven't got one, take a look around the restaurant when you walk in and see if anyone's left theirs lying around.
Look at the top of the receipt and follow the instructions to complete a short two-minute survey. You'll then receive a code to write on top of the receipt, which then entitles you to a Big Mac and fries for £1.99 (you may need to order at the counter to redeem the offer).
To keep the endless cycle going, simply keep the receipt from this order and fill out the survey again. Rinse and repeat for £1.99 Big Macs and fries for life.
Chicken Selects hack
More food for less of your money? Absolutely. A Chicken Selects meal contains three pieces of chicken, but what if you could save on this?
You'll need to head to the self-service machines again and order the wrap of the day for £1.99. Customise the wrap to remove all sauces and salad, and you'll get two pieces of chicken and a plain wrap.
If you don't think this will fill you up, you can always add fries and a drink to the wrap for a total of £3.59 – still cheaper than the £4.89 Selects meal!
Get a cheap McChicken Sandwich
It's a lot smaller, but a Mayo Chicken contains all of the same ingredients as a McChicken Sandwich.
So, to make up for the size difference, why not just order two Mayo Chickens at 99p apiece, costing you just £1.98. This is considerably less than the £3.19 McChicken Sandwich, but with pretty much all of the same ingredients.
Heck, you could even order three Mayo Chickens for less than the price of a single McChicken Sandwich! What a treat.
Get cheap chicken nuggets
In our humble (and correct) opinion, McDonald's chicken nuggets are the best around. And the good news is that you can get eight extra nuggets for less money, too.
While two boxes of six McNuggets (that's 12 nuggets) will cost you £6.38, a McNugget Sharebox will give you 20 nuggets for just £4.79. The nuggets-per-pound ratio is off the scale here and, despite the name, there's no obligation to share the nugs with anyone else.
Avoid cold fries
One of the worst things about waiting so long for your order at McDonald's is finally getting served, only for the food to be cold.
If you order your fries with no salt, either at the tills or on the self-service machine, you'll get a hot, fresh batch of chips! This trick can also be applied when ordering customised items as they'll have to make them especially for you.
You don't have to go without salt, either – just ask for it separately and add your own afterwards. It'll take a little longer, but we think it's 100% worth it for hot fries.
DIY cheap chicken salad
We know McDonald's isn't exactly known for its salads but, if you happen to fancy one, don't bother paying full price. A chicken salad usually costs £3.69, but we've worked out a way to get the same thing for just £2.08.
First of all, head to the self-service machine (these things have really opened the floodgates for McDonald's hacks). Order a Shaker Side Salad for £1.09 and a 99p Chicken Mayo, customising it to add extra lettuce (and other free toppings for your salad). Feel free to add more mayonnaise or remove altogether if you're a mayo denier.
And there you have it! All the components of the regular chicken salad but for £1.50 less.
Make an espresso milkshake
Sure, you've probably tasted a McDonald's milkshake at some point in your life. But, have you ever had a coffee shake? This isn't technically money-saving but it's too good not to mention!
All you have to do is order a vanilla milkshake and a separate espresso shot. Wait for five minutes for the coffee to cool down a little and then pour it into your shake. Give it a mix and voilà: coffee milkshake. You are so welcome.
Get your drink without ice
The drink is the most underrated part of the McDonald's meal – but we find it doesn't last too long. To get more drink for your dollar, be sure to ask for your drink without ice!
This way, there will be more room for the important stuff (a.k.a. what you're actually paying for).
Get free McDonald's by wombling
If the only wombles you've heard of live in Wimbledon, we have a few things to teach you!
Put simply, wombling means acquiring stickers/receipts/freebies when people have left them behind. There's a little more to it than that (and it doesn't just work at McDonald's, either), so check out our full Wombling guide here!
You could collect other people's coffee cup stickers to get your free drink much quicker, or you could collect their receipts to fill out the survey and get a Big Mac and fries for £1.99.
We also find this works well during McDonald's Monopoly – just wait until people have actually left their table before
stealing their stickerstidying up for them.
Double your number of free hot drinks
Anyone who's ordered a hot drink from McDonald's will know that you get a sticker on the side of the cup for every drink you purchase. Collecting six of these will get you a free hot drink on your next visit.
Order via the McDonald's app and, in addition to the sticker on the cup, you'll also get a virtual sticker for every drink you buy.
By the time you've collected your six physical cup stickers, you'll have collected six virtual stickers too – enough for two free coffees!
Get a free burger or McFlurry
If you didn't already know, students are eligible for a free McFlurry, Saver Cheeseburger or a Chicken Mayo when you buy an Extra Value or Wrap Meal. We love this student discount!
Use vouchers for cheap meals
Sure, it's 2021, but there's still a place for good old-fashioned paper vouchers when it comes to saving money. These are often printed on the back of paper bus tickets (yes, these still exist!), car park tickets or in newspapers.
Metro and other newspapers often offer a £1.99 Big Mac and Fries, as well as £1.99 Filet-O-Fish with fries and a Quarter Pounder with fries.
Use the McDonald's app for deals
The McDonald's app has given us some incredible freebies in the past, including McMuffins, fries, hot drinks, Cheese Melt Dippers, milkshakes and more!
There's no cost to subscribe or any nonsense like that, so you'd be mad not to get it! Download the app here.
Still got any of your old Happy Meal toys knocking about? Find out how they could be worth a lot of money nowadays...