McDonald's MoneySaving hacks

Including special app deals, £2.50 off a 'McChicken Sandwich' & more

If McDonald's is your go-to fast food favourite, we've rounded up the ways you can save – though we must stress, please eat responsibly.

Bear in mind, some of the takeaway and delivery offers work if you're ordering via the My McDonald's app only – so the discounts mentioned won't apply if you're ordering through Just Eat or Uber Eats.

Get short-lived discounts & promotions via the My McDonald's app

Every so often McDonald's offers short-lived promotions which you can get via its app. They usually last for about a week (though some just a day) and vary between being available for everyone, selected accounts, or just new app users.

The app's free to download on Apple and Android – make sure you opt in to My McDonald's Rewards to start collecting points too – because points mean free food. You’ll automatically earn one point for every penny spent. The first milestone is a £15 spend (so 1,500 points) and you can redeem one of the following items: small fries, medium salad, regular McCafé drink, mini McFlurry, hash brown or a regular drink. 

Below are current My McDonald's app offers we've spotted:

  • McDonald's runs an ongoing weekly promotion that sees a new offer appear in the My McDonald's app (Apple / Android) every Monday morning, which can be redeemed up until 11.59pm the same day. Check the details, or turn notifications on, as some deals only apply during breakfast hours, for example. They're only available when you order through the app to pick up in-store – see 'More info' below for excluded restaurants.

    A few offers we've spotted in the past include six nuggets for 99p, £1.99 Double McMuffins and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese for £1.49.

    Simply go to the 'Rewards & Offers' section within the app, tap the promotion you want to use, place your order and then head to your chosen McDonald's to collect it. You can order your food at any time – McDonald's will start to prepare it when you arrive at the restaurant. You're only able to use one promotion per order, and they can't be used with other offers. 

    See our Restaurant deals for other dine-in and takeaway offers.

    • Excluded restaurants:

      • Croydon
      • Walworth Rd
      • Birmingham Dale End
      • Lincoln
      • Ashton-Under-Lyne
      • Lowestoft
      • Tonbridge - High Street
      • Rugby
      • Birkenhead
      • Falkirk
      • Praed Street
      • Llandudno
      • Highway Shadwell
      • Charlton
      • Beccles
      • Whitehall
      • Croydon Valley Park
      • Livingston 2
      • Eastbourne 2
      • Tunbridge Wells 2
      • Croydon 3 Centrale
      • West One Shopping Centre
      • Wimbledon Centre Court
      • Bracknell - The Keep
      • Chelmsford 2 Riverside
      • Greenhithe-The Railway Tavern
      • Victoria Station
      • Kings Cross - Ex Wendy's
      • Shaftesbury Avenue 2
      • Manchester - Arndale Food Chain
      • Waterloo Station
      • Earlswood
      • Asda Bournemouth
      • Asda Swindon
      • Asda Wallington
      • Wandsworth
      • Asda Slough
      • Norwich - Chapelfields
      • Paddington Station
      • Westfield Stratford City

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Eight ongoing McDonald's hacks

Here are our ongoing tips and clever hacks to save at the fast food giant. It's worth nothing that prices can vary by up to 30p depending on the location (so savings amounts may differ slightly), but the principles are the same.

  1. £2.50 off a 'McChicken Sandwich'

    You can save £2.50 on a McDonald’s chicken burger by ditching the £3.79 McChicken Sandwich in favour of a £1.29 Mayo Chicken. If you just wanted a chicken burger, they both do the same job. Here's a comparison:

    Okay, the Mayo Chicken's a tad lighter – the one we tested weighed 25% less overall – but as it’s the same ingredients (chicken, lettuce and mayo in a bun), and £2.50 cheaper, it’s surely worth a try.

  2. Pay 50p, get a Big Mac and fries for £2.99 every time

    At the top of most McDonald’s receipts, there’s a ‘Food for Thoughts’ code. Go online and fill in a quick survey to receive a second code, which you can then exchange in the restaurant for a £2.99 Big Mac and fries (normally £5.48). The best part? You can use your receipt from this purchase to do the survey again, and repeat as many times as you like.

    If you just want a Big Mac, you can buy the cheapest item on the menu to get your first 'Food for Thoughts' receipt code – a 50p sauce (BBQ, sweet chilli or sour cream & chive) should do it. You can then do the survey and order the cheap meal. You only have 60 days from receiving your receipt to do the survey, so you can also use this trick if your Food for Thoughts code has expired.

    If you’re not a fan of Big Macs – or fancy something different – you can instead get six chicken McNuggets, Fillet-o-Fish, McChicken Sandwich, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, or a McPlant, and replace the fries with a side salad if you wish.

  3. Get FREE extra toppings

    On the self-order screens, or the McDonald’s app, you can add extra ketchup, mustard, onion, pickles, mayonnaise and/or shredded lettuce for free to any burger. If there's already one of those ingredients in the burger, you get double the amount, or if it’s not normally in there – it’s added in for you. You can also pay 20p for extra cheese or 50p for bacon.

  4. £1.80 off a DIY 'Big Mac'

    Instead of ordering a £3.99 Big Mac, save £1.80 by creating this MoneySaving version.

    To do it, order a Double Cheeseburger for £2.19, and ask or select to add extra shredded lettuce. This won’t cost extra, so although you might miss that iconic middle tier of bread and Big Mac sauce, we reckon the £1.80 saving you can make every time is worth it.

    McDonald's no longer sells Big Mac sauce for 50p, but mustard and mayonnaise can be a nice alternative. 

  5. Dodge the 'sugar tax' on drinks

    There’s a tax on some fizzy drinks (see our ‘Sugar tax’ MSE News story), but only one drink at McDonald’s is affected.

    If you choose original Coca-Cola (not Diet or Zero), it’ll cost you an extra 8p for a small, 12p more for medium or 14p more for a large. You can easily avoid the tax by ordering any other drink off the menu.

  6. £1.89 less for eight EXTRA chicken nuggets

    Pick up two boxes of six Chicken McNuggets (£3.79 each) and you’re paying £7.58 for a respectable 12 chicken nuggets. However, if you switch these for a single £5.69 McNuggets ShareBox of 20 nuggets, you can get an extra eight nuggets and pay £1.89 less.

    If your family or the group you're with want two or more McNugget meals, ordering the ShareBox and fries/drinks separately gets you more for less too.

  7. Say 'NO' to ice and 'YES' to 30ml more drink?

    Unless you specifically ask for ‘no ice’, it generally comes as standard in McDonald’s fizzy drinks. The image below shows how ordering without ice bagged us 30ml more drink for our money.

  8. Students get a 'free' burger or McFlurry

    If you’ve got a valid student ID or signed up to Student Beans, you can claim either a free Cheeseburger, Mayo Chicken or McFlurry. To get it, you'll need to order an Extra Value Meal from the menu and show your student ID at the till. It's not a total freebie, but a nice bonus if you can get it.

    The offer's available after 10.30am, except in selected restaurants in the south of England which offer it from 11am. It's one person, per visit and can't be used with other offers.

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