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Ann Haney: Savings with fast-food coupons

Ann Haney • May 28, 2017 at 3:00 PM

What do you do with all those fast-food coupon inserts for the places you usually don’t go? Do you trash them or stash them for a quick-fix supper? 

Many may not be aware of McDonald’s policy regarding competitor coupons. You may be thinking, “Is this really worth the extra effort?” It is if you love the Big Mac and have a coupon for a “free Whopper with purchase” from Burger King. 

At most McDonald’s, you will notice a sign on the door that says, “We accept our competitor’s coupons on any comparable McDonald’s item.” This means buy one, get one free on your dearly loved Big Mac if you have the above coupon from Burger King or a comparable coupon for a like sandwich from another restaurant. 

Unfortunately McDonald’s website does not give specifics on what they consider comparables, and this will usually be determined by your individual McDonald’s. However, in most cases, if you see the sign on the door, the policy is in effect at your McDonalds. Some of the best deals I have found are on the chicken sandwiches. Many are buy one, get one free, which make these around $2.50 each at McDonald’s when you use these coupons. It might be a good idea to keep your fast-food coupons in your car just in case you have to eat out on a limited budget. 

Here are just a few examples of comparable coupons that usually work at McDonald’s:

• Buy one, get one free original chicken sandwich equals buy one, get one free classic chicken sandwich.

• Free Whopper with purchase of another equals free Big Mac with purchase of another.

• Western bacon equals angus bacon and cheese.

• Free muffin sandwich with purchase of another equals free egg McMuffin with purchase of another.

Others to watch for are:

• $1.99 kid’s meals.

• $1 lattes.

• Bundle meal deals. For example, two Whoppers, two fries and two drinks for $7.99 equals the same deal, but just substitute a Big Mac.

• a 10-piece nugget and large fry for $3.

Obviously there can be many more scenarios that might work, and it’s always best to ask your local McDonald’s what they consider a comparable. Coupon shopping is no longer limited to the grocery store. 

What about free food deals? Yes, they are out there. One of my favorite websites to go to for all the latest freebies is time2saveworkshops.com. 

What many do not know is when a restaurant adds a new item to the menu, they will also run a free sample day to promote their new item. Once, when my son and I were traveling from town to town for his soccer team, I made a quick check on the website to see if we could save money eating since we would be gone for three meals. This site alerted me to free pancake day at IHOP, free deli sandwich day at Jack in the Box, featuring two kinds, which we enjoyed one for lunch and one for dinner in another town. The final cost only included drinks for an all-day outing. Five minutes online can save you tons on fast food. 

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Contact Ann at ann@annhaney.com to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

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