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Food & Drink

15 Nando’s hacks for free and cheap food

Since 1992, Nando's has been capturing the hearts of students all around the UK. If you're wondering how to get your favourite South African meal cheaper, you've come to the right place.

nandos restaurant entrance

Credit: Pio3 – Shutterstock

Even the most seasoned Nando's fan will say that there aren't too many ways to get a discount at your favourite chicken place. But what if we told you there were?

We're about to show you how to get money off your order, secure secret menu items (think BBQ Peri-Peri) and how to have the best time for the least money.

And if you're just here for free Nando's – we don't blame you. Stick around for the rest of the tips as they're pretty spicy too.

Unsurprisingly, Nando's ranks pretty highly in our list of the best restaurants for students.

How to get cheap or free Nando's

Get ready to enjoy cheap Nando's with these amazing hacks:

  1. Larger portions of chips are cheaper

    We've gotta say, the chips at Nando's make it a 10/10 experience. But did you know that you can get more than double the amount of chips for £1 less if you're ordering two portions?

    If you're at Nando's with a mate and you both want chips, grab one large portion instead of two small portions. This way, you'll end up with more chips overall and save some money.

    It's also worth noting that Peri Salt is free, just in case you didn't want to fully commit to it all over your chips.

  2. Share a whole chicken and save money

    Having the same meal as your friend? Share a whole chicken with sides and save money in the process.

    In total, this costs £15.95, meaning the cost per person is around £7.97. To put that into context, ordering just a half chicken at Nando's will set you back £8.95.

    If you also order a large portion of chips to share, you'll be able to save even more money compared to buying a half chicken and a portion of chips each.

    As for the sides and the drink? Read on to find out how to get them both for less.

  3. Swap butterfly chicken for half a chicken

    About to order the butterfly chicken? If you don't mind bones, you're better off saving some money and ordering half a chicken instead.

    A butterfly chicken will cost you £9.50, while a half chicken is £8.95 and gives you more chicken for your money. Win-win!

  4. Get free Perinaise

    nando's sauces and dressings

    Credit: Ho Su A Bi – Shutterstock

    Don't bother buying Perinaise off the menu. Instead, save £1 and ask for some (free) mayo with your meal.

    Mix any sauce from the counter with the mayo and you now have your own Perinaise. For free! What a time to be alive.

  5. Garlic chicken burger hack

    It's time to supercharge your regular chicken burger.

    Order garlic bread for £3.75, plus a quarter chicken for £5.50. Add the chicken to the garlic bread and voilà: a garlic chicken burger.

    Once you have a garlic bread Nando's burger, you'll struggle to go back.

  6. How to get BBQ Peri-Peri sauce

    Never had BBQ Peri-Peri before?

    You can order the Peri-BBQ sauce for £1. It's delicious and makes a nice change to your usual order.

  7. Cheesy garlic bread at Nando's

    Yes, it is possible to get cheesy garlic bread at Nando's. It's one of the easiest hacks out there, and one of the best too.

    To make this masterpiece, you'll need to order a garlic bread side (£3.75) and a slice of cheese (£1). Sometimes you can ask them to heat up the cheese a little, and this will aid it in sticking to your garlic bread. We're already drooling at the thought of this deliciousness.

  8. Make a cheap double chicken burger

    You can make your own double chicken burger for £1.25 less!

    Usually, this burger costs £11.75.

    But, instead, you can order a Portuguese roll for £1 and chicken butterfly for £9.50 and assemble the burger yourself.

    Cheap food is great, but wasting food can significantly increase your carbon footprint. Don't order more than you can eat!
  9. Order a platter to share

    platter of chicken wings with rice on the side in a bowl at nandos restaurant

    Credit: Ho Su A Bi – Shutterstock

    Fancy ordering the same as your mate? Want it cheaper? Don't order two separate meals – consider ordering a platter to save money.

    If you're both ordering chicken (and not a burger or a wrap), you'd be better off ordering a full platter, which gives you a whole chicken and two large or four regular sides.

    It's much cheaper ordering this way, especially compared to ordering a half chicken meal each. Don't believe us?

    A meal platter costs a grand total of £26.75, meaning you'll get the above food for around £13.37 each.

    If you ordered everything separately, it'd cost you at least £7.50 each for two regular sides or £6.50 (or more) for a large side. The half-chicken would then cost you £8.95. This means you'd be spending £22.95 each at a minimum.

  10. Get cheap Nando's gift cards

    As ever, one of our favourite tips for saving money on eating out is to make the most of deals.

    If you're a regular Nando's customer, you may know that Costco sells Nando's gift cards for less than their face value. This automatically gives you money off your next meal without even trying.

    At the time of writing, you can get two £20 Nando's gift cards for around £35 at Costco.

  11. Emergency services get 20% off Nando's

    Before paying for anything, we always suggest looking for a discount of some kind.

    For instance, if you work for the NHS, emergency services or the military, you're eligible for a 20% discount (up to an order value of £20 each day).

    You can get the NHS discount for online collection orders and when eating in.

    Other emergency services staff can't yet get this discount online. However, if you're eating in or getting a walk-in collection, you can get the discount by showing a valid photo ID card to the cashier.

  12. Get unlimited refills for free

    Of course, the best way to get a free drink is by asking for tap water.

    But, if you fancy a more flavoursome drink, you can order a bottomless soft drink for £3.95 instead. You can then refill your drink as often as you like without needing to spend extra money.

    Check out our guide to other brilliant freebies.
  13. Max out your loyalty Chillies

    Loyalty cards can be great ways to make savings and get more for your money. Remember to scan your Nando's Card every time you spend over £7 (sadly it's one Chilli per day, not per meal).

    Here's what you can get with the Nando's Card reward points:

    • Three Chillies (green reward) – A quarter chicken, three chicken wings or a starter (doesn't include Dare to Share)
    • Six Chillies (orange reward) – A half chicken or a pitta, wrap or burger (doesn't include the garlic churrasco burger, fully loaded wrap, butterfly burger or the sunset burger)
    • 10 Chillies (red reward) – A whole chicken, a pitta, wrap or burger with one or two regular sides, a Peri-Peri chicken meal with one or two sides or a salad, or a bowl with a protein (doesn't include 10 chicken wings, wing roulette, peri-mac and cheese, the Portuguese tomato salad, the butterfly burger, Nandinos meals, fully loaded chips or sharing platters).

    That's a lot of free food.

    Nando's rewards expire after a year, so if you're nearing a reward at the end of the year, we suggest getting your free Nando's before you miss out.

    Important: It's worth noting that when you redeem your rewards, you don't lose the Chillies you've earned. If you redeem a reward for three Chillies, you'll still have those three Chillies and you'll still be on track to redeem six next and 10 thereafter. Stop saving up your Chillies and use them to your heart's content!

  14. Order Nandino's

    Not feeling as hungry as your mates but still fancy tucking into a Nando's? Order from the 'Nandino's' kids menu to get a favourite in a smaller (and cheaper!) portion.

    The kids' menu actually has some pretty good choices for £6.50 each. One of the options is a chicken breast, with a choice of two mini sides and either a small drink or dessert. Quality.

  15. Make your own Nando's

    Keen to make a DIY Nando's at home?

    It's previously been reported that Nando's use McCain oven chips in their restaurants, so there's one of your sides sorted.

    Nando's also sells a big range of items from the restaurant in your local supermarket, such as sauces, bake-in-the-bag chicken, Perinaise and more.

    To save even more money when making your own Nando's, we suggest cooking in bulk for multiple people to get the most out of the ingredients.

Still craving more restaurant tips and tricks? Discover our hacks to get cheap and free McDonald's.

All prices were correct at the time of writing.

Lauren Nash

WRITTEN BY Lauren Nash

Lauren is a deals and discounts expert, and the Digital Marketing Manager at Save the Student. She is passionate about saving money and has appeared on Channel 5 documentaries sharing her money-saving tips. Lauren's work is centred around securing the best exclusive deals for Save the Student and working with great student brands.
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