With skyrocketing prices, dining out is more challenging than it used to be. People are becoming savvy with their expenses and trying to save a few bucks where possible.🍱🥘🙅♀️
But how to satisfy those cravings? How to keep yourself from getting lifted away with such a delicious aroma, especially when it’s all right around the block?🌭🌮💨
Don’t fret! Here we are with the top tips and tricks to stay light on the pockets and find the best cheap eats near you.
Our picks are budget-friendly and delicious and include food you can eat on the go and give yourself a much-deserved break you need from the everyday turmoil.🤯🤯
Whether it’s to meet those midnight cravings or a way to avoid messing up your budget, just look up: Cheap eats near me, and you’ll find the best cheap restaurants in 2022 near you!✅💰
Dining out vs. budget🍽️💸
Per practice, most restaurants charge you about three times the actual price of the food. No wonder dining out is so expensive in contrast to home cooking. 💵💵
But that cost can be justified if we turn the tables and look at it this way: we are not just paying for the food. Instead, the price includes the cost of the ambiance, the waitperson service, building overheads and rents, the cook, and other costs.💲💸
However, when we put this fact into our budget, dining out takes a huge chunk out of the monthly appropriation. 💸💸
According to research, 56% of people in the US love to eat out and dine out and order deliveries or takeaways thrice a week! So, considering a one-time meal costs you thrice the price of a home-cooked meal, eating out significantly affects your budget.👎👎
However, with a bit of research and homework, before you head out to locate: ‘cheap eats near me’ on your device, you can find the best deals on a budget and bring the party to those taste buds.😛😛
Dining in vs. take outs🍝📦
When you want to eat good, filling meals but save the most bucks where possible, you may think about whether it’s cheaper to eat out or order takeout instead.🥂🍻❎
The price difference between the two options depends on several factors. See, when you dine in, you must pay the tax and the tip for one. Then, if you order wine alongside the meal, that will raise the price of the whole meal.🥂
So, you can save several dollars by ordering a take-out or home delivery. Now let’s look at the cheapest places to eat in 2022.🏡📦
Best cheap eats near me📍🌎🏡
The thought of delicious food cooked and served to you is enough to uplift the spirit at times. So, though it may be hard on the pocket, a delectable meal with your loved ones by your side at a restaurant is lovely.🌮🍜🍝
So here are our top picks of the best foods with affordable meals and deals💲😛.
Although technically, McDonald’s isn’t anywhere close to a restaurant or a fine dining place. It is one quick and economical option to grab a bite. The menu has several options, like the Big Macs, Fillet-o-Fish, etc. 🐟🍔
They also have a dollar menu, which lists various filling and affordable options. The price of these is just $1. So you can always find a great sandwich on your way to or back from work.💲💲
Moreover, you can also download their app and order via it to avail more discounts and deals. The best part is there are so many franchises today that you’re likely to find a McDonald’s at every corner. 🏡🏡
Just look up: Cheap eats near me or McDonald’s near me, and you’ll find the closest option to you.
Chick-Fil-A has a comprehensive menu that enlists the items and the detailed calorie count for each against it. So if you’re cost-savvy and health-conscious, Chick-Fil-A is just where you should go.✅🙃
Furthermore, you can maximize your savings by downloading the Chick-Fil-A app and avail discounts and free meals! Yes, that’s right, when you first register, you get a freebie instantly. Then as you eat here, you earn points on the app and acquire a loyalty status.📱📲
You can later redeem the points for free food or discounts or get free loyalty offers.🤑
Chick-Fil-A is all about offers and customer loyalty. So imagine the freebie is no less than an order of fries, nuggets, or sandwiches.
But, of course, events like birthdays aren’t missed either; there’s always a free treat during your birthday month.🎂🎁
Although Chipotle isn’t a cheap place for eating out, some tips and tricks can land you delicious meals at the best prices.
With these points, you can easily cut your costs to half and enjoy a delicious meal every time.🥘🍝
So here is the not-so-secret-anymore tip for ordering at Chipotle: When you enter, order a burrito bowl first. Then, you can either go for barbacoa or another protein/meat. You can get the tortillas for free as a sideline.🌮
Another thing you can do as you wait to stand in line for your order is, ask them for extra beans or rice – which come in free! You can also try different salsas, pico de gallo, or cheese with your burrito bowl to make it more filling and, remember, challenging for the cashier to understand!🤯💲
Then, with your full bowl, you can enjoy part of it with a burrito and the other half later, perhaps, in the burrito bowl alone. 🥗🥗
Another place you’ll quickly find as you look up: cheap eats near me in the Southern US is Chuy’s. To enjoy cheap meals here, make the most of their happy hour, which is offered Mondays to Fridays. 📅📆
Although the hour is not fixed for all outlets as a standard, usually it’s somewhere between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., so a great spot to hit right after work.⏰
You can try out their special drinks and, of course, the highlight of the happy hour – the free nacho car! You build this car with several toppings and can enjoy it with an appetizer to make it more filling at the most affordable prices.
5. Olive Garden🍸🦋
Craving Italian food? Olive Garden provides a one-stop shop for salads, soups, pasta, and mouth watering delicacies. 🍝🍝
The best way to cool down those taste buds is to try the all-you-can-eat salad offered with every meal. That’s like a free ticket to load it up with filling goodies to the top to end those stomach mumbles and grumbles.
They also offer soup refills (even for different flavors), so that’s another dish you can exploit.🍵🍜
6. Taco Bell🔔🐕
Whether it’s lunch, dinner, or even breakfast, Taco Bell has a wide variety of food that even costs as low as $2.
So you can grab a bean burrito, cheese roll, taco, etc. Plus, the place has happy hour deals and other deals where you can get an entire meal between $5 and $7.💲🤑
Taco Bell also has its famous Power Bowls with beans, tomato, cheese, guacamole, rice, and sour cream. You can devour these with your favorite steak or chicken, making the best combo Mexican meal on a budget!🍝🍜
7. Dairy Queen🥛👸
The Dairy Queen is another fast food place where you can get quality and tasty (some even argue better than McDonald’s) burgers, fries, and other meals at excellent prices.💲✅✅
They have deals that include chicken burgers or strips, drinks, fries, and sundaes, making it a complete meal costing just about $6 to $7.
8. Burger King🍔🍔
You can get a completely filling meal at Burger King for $5. They also offer various deals that can get you the same meal at $4, complete with fries, a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, the drink of your choice, and often a cookie!🍪🍪
The best part is there are over 7000 branches of this fast food joint all over the US. So it’s likely where you find a McDonald’s, there’ll also be a Burger King beside or near it. 🍔😘
You can also use their coupons to get the cheapest deals here. Usually, these coupons are sent in the weekly flier that comes in the mail. In addition, there are discount deals for kids and adults, which you can enjoy and avail with your family when you like.😋😋
9. Applebee’s 🍎🐝
Applebee’s has many special discounts and offers for all customers. That includes their happy hours, free appetizers, complimentary kids’ meals with the main meal, etc.🍱🍲
10. Jimmy John’s🍔🌭
If you’re in for some sandwiches, Jimmy John’s is the one place that doesn’t disappoint. Although it started as a hot dog stand, it has gone a long way and has over 2000 branches today. 🌎🌎
Just buy a ‘Slim Jim’ that comes for $3 only. The heavy sandwich has everything you need after a long hectic day. There’s roasted ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and everything you’d want in the sandwich you grab on the go.🍅🥗
There’s also another option, ‘Little John’, which is smaller in size but offers the same delicious taste.✅✅
11. Little Caesars🍕🍕
Although Pizza Hut and Papa John’s still lead the way in the world of pizzas’, Little Caesars has made its mark with its delicious line of pizzas at the most affordable prices.
Even the large pizza is priced at a low of $5.🍕✅
However, most outlets only allow take-outs, but again you can always have a sound bite of pizza while watching a nice flick at home.
Many options on Wendy’s menu make it a great place to take the entire family with you. In addition, there are special deals for kids, adults, and families. The prices are meager, but the good part is they never stoop low on taste and food quality.💲✅
The Everyday Value Menu is affordably priced at $3.
Tips to find cheap eats🧐🧐
Now that we have our list of the best cheap eats, here are some further tips and tricks to avail the best prices where you can.💲💲
- Sign up and create an account on these sites:
You can save a lot while having lunch or dinner at your favorite places!✅
- Try to find discounts and use coupons where you can.✅
- Use credit cards to pay where possible. Most credit card companies offer reward points, cash back, and discounts at these restaurants.💳
- If you’re smart with the buffet, try the all-you-can-eat buffet.🍱🍱
- Keep an eye open for discounts, offers, and deals whenever the food company announces them.
- Ask them and make the most of the happy hours.⏰⏰
- Drink free water instead of ordering soda or alcoholic beverages.🍷🍹
- Instead of ordering the whole meal, order a filling appetizer only.
- Many restaurants and joints offer Loyalty programs; look them up and join where you can.
Frequently asked questions🧐✅
Got questions about finding cheap restaurants near you? Here are some FAQs to help.
What do you call a cheap meal?✅🤑
While the definition of a cheap meal varies per person and situation, most people may consider a meal worth less than $3 cheap. However, of course, for meals like steaks and seafood items, you have to raise the bar.🍛🥘
The key is to try and save and avail discounts wherever you can.
You can get meals for as low as $1 at Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Burger King has a $1 menu. It’s known as the Ýour Way menu and is complete with the
- Hamburger or Cheeseburger🍔🍔
- Rodeo Burger
- Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Small Hash Browns#️⃣🍠
- Soft Drinks, etc.🍷🍷
At Taco Bell, you can get any of the following for $1:
- Spicy Tostada
- Cheese Roll-up🌭🥖
- Spicy Tostada, etc.
Finally, at Wendy’s, you can get value fries and value drinks, a cheeseburger, and a crispy chicken sandwich.
While most of the places on my list of the ‘best cheap eats near me are fast food chains, there are many other places you can check out. Many local diners, restaurants, and places around blocks or street corners offer great value-for-money food and dining options.💲💲
So if you’re ever low on budget, don’t give up the thoughts of eating out forever. Instead, use this guide and get the most out of these places with these tricks.✅✅
You may also like
Find a Cheap Laundromat Near Me (Clean and Safe)
Find a Coin Machine Near Me (+ Skip The Fees)
Our Rocket Money Review (formerly Truebill) 2022: Is Rocket Money Safe?