How To Eat At McDonald’s For Cheap (Or Free)

Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.

McDonald’s has been around since the 1940s, and it’s no surprise that it’s not only one of the most profitable fast-food chains in America but also the largest. Whether on a budget, strapped for cash, or a student, our guide on how to eat at McDonald’s for cheap or free can save you money and help you buy even more burgers and fries!


The 10 best ways to eat at McDonald’s for cheap or free are below. Scroll on to read them all.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • There are a few ways to eat at McDonald’s for cheap or free.
  • The McDonald’s app and their rewards program offer lots of discounts, coupons, and deals.
  • A few McDonald’s menu hacks can save you a couple of dollars.
  • The dollar menu offers a few menu items for just $1, $2, or $3.
  • Completing a McDonald’s customer service questionnaire can get you a coupon for a discounted offer on your next order at McDonald’s.
  • Earn rewards via the rewards app and redeem them for McDonald’s menu items.
  • The McDonald’s menu offers a few good options to get the best value for your money.

How To Get McDonald’s For Cheap Or Free

You can get your fix from McDonald’s and still save money. There are a few ways to get discounted prices on menu items at McDonald’s, including using their dollar menu, the rewards app, and taking advantage of their breakfast deals.

If you love McDonald’s, there’s no better way to get even more from their menu than this guide to eating McDonald’s for cheap or free.

1. McDonald’s Dollar Menu

The McDonald’s dollar menu offers items for $1, $2, and $3. This allows customers to order items off the menu for a fraction of the regular price. McDonald’s dollar menu mainly contains drink options with a few food options. Their dollar menu includes the following menu items:


McDonald’s Dollar Menu Items

Food ItemsDrinks
Sausage Biscuit
Sausage McMuffin
Sausage McGriddles
Hash Browns
Chicken Nuggets
Small Fries
Caramel Mocha
Caramel Latte
French Vanilla Latte
Caramel Macchiato
Caramel Frappe
Mocha Frappe
Strawberry banana smoothie
Mango pineapple smoothie
Fanta orange
Dr Pepper
Diet Coke
Hi-C Orange Larvaburst Unsweetened Ice Tea
Sweet Tea
*All drinks on the dollar menu are size small.

2. McDonald’s 2 For $6

The 2 for $6 deal at McDonald’s is generally advertised once a year for a limited period. This deal is also restricted to some McDonald’s locations. Since the arrival of the rewards app, this deal has not been seen very often. It has been replaced with generous rewards and discounts on the McDonald’s rewards app.

According to an article written in Thrillest, this deal was scheduled to make a return in 2022. So if you missed out on this deal, it might make a come-back again, which seems to happen yearly. This deal’s iconic menu items include the Big Mac, the Classic Chicken Sandwich, the 10 Piece Chicken Nuggets, and the Fillet-O-Fish.

The 2 for $6 deal is popular among McDonald’s customers and gives you two menu options for only $6. For those looking for a quick lunch or dinner option with bigger families, this is a great deal to take advantage of and will save you money.

This deal was also known as the Mix and Match deal. It has been previously known as the 2 for $5 deal.

3. Rewards App

The McDonald’s rewards app allows you to get exclusive deals, order ahead and earn points to redeem at McDonald’s. Once you reach enough points, you can redeem them and essentially get menu items for free. Do you love McDonald’s chicken nuggets? You’ll get free 10-piece chicken nuggets if you download the McDonald’s app.

Other app-only deals include $1 for large McDonald’s fries and $0.99 for any size coffee. On Friday, you can enjoy free medium fries with any order to the value of $1 and over via the mobile app. The app is available via the Google Play Store and the App Store.


Other app deals include menu items with a percentage discount or fixed price deals. You can redeem McDonald’s points via the app for menu items. You’ll need a minimum of 1500 points to redeem a qualifying item on the menu. Here’s a list of McDonald’s points and their qualifying items:

McDonald’s Points For Menu Items

1500 Points2500 Points3500 Points5000 Points6500 Points
Regular Fries
Regular Coke Vanilla cone
Oreo McFlurry Cappuccino Cheeseburger 4 Piece Nuggets Hazelnut Iced Coffee
Cheeseburger Small Meal
Hamburger Small Meal Junior Chicken Small Meal
Double Cheeseburger Regular Meal
Big Mac Regular Meal
10 Piece Nuggets
Big Mac Medium Meal
Quarter Pounder With Cheese regular meal
Chicken Foldover Regular Meal

4. Coupons

You need to download the McDonald’s app to access McDonald’s coupons. The McDonald’s app offers a wide array of discounts and deals that you can save money on. They also have regular weekly specials, breakfast deals, and exclusive benefits and rewards.

McDonald’s coupons can only be used via the app. However, you may also receive coupons and the latest discounts via your mailbox when you sign up for an account. Most coupons are available for a limited time. They include upsizing your regular meal for rewards, purchasing two burgers at a discounted price, or a special on their smaller meals.

5. Breakfast Deals

If you’ve skipped breakfast and found yourself at a McDonald’s, you may have seen one or two breakfast deals. Prominent fast-food retailers like Wendy’s and McDonald’s have recognized the boom in breakfast sales and the need for affordable drive-thru breakfasts as the cost-of-living increases.

McDonald’s offers a daily breakfast deal that won’t hurt your budget and is much cheaper than making it yourself. Their breakfast deals save you time and money. McDonald’s breakfast deals are usually a coffee and donut or an Egg McMuffin deal. Breakfast deals vary, but its affordability means you’re getting the accompanying coffee for free!

The best way to get the breakfast deal is to visit your local McDonald’s or redeem a breakfast deal via the McDonald’s app.

6. Complete Surveys

McDonald’s receipts come with a customer survey at the bottom of the receipt when you order. Once you complete the customer survey, you usually get a discount on one of their menu items or a coupon to redeem upon your next purchase.


So how do you complete a McDonald’s survey?

  1. Go to the McDvoice website. Start the survey process by going to the McDvoice website.
  2. Enter the survey code. Enter the survey code found on your latest receipt.
  3. Answer the survey. Once you have entered the code at the bottom of your receipt, click on “start” and answer all the questions that follow.
  4. Click submit to submit your survey. You will receive a unique code once you have clicked on “submit” to submit your survey. Save this code so it can be redeemed with your next order.

7. Hacks To Get Menu Items For Cheaper

If you’re still waiting for payday but have a little spare change and want to order from McDonald’s, you may realize that some of your favorite items on the menu are way out of your budget. However, you can use a few hacks to get the most out of your McDonald’s order.

  1. Customize the cheeseburger. The humble cheeseburger may not be filling, but by adding a few extra toppings, you won’t be paying as much for it compared to the regular-sized burgers. Simply add a cheeseburger to your order, and click “customize” there will be various options listed to add or remove toppings. Again, this will be affordable and more filling than the standard cheeseburger.
  2. DIY sausage McMuffin. If you’re looking to save a couple of dollars, avoid ordering a Sausage Egg McMuffin, but instead order a normal Sausage McMuffin and add an egg.
  3. DIY Big Mac. You can save money on the cost of a Big Mac by doing a DIY version. Although this may not be exactly like a Big Mac, it’s close. Order a McDouble and add Big Mac sauce instead of ordering a Big Mac.

8. Ask For Discounted Options

Your local McDonald’s may have a few prepared meals sitting in the warmer tray, which have been prepared ahead, and no one has ordered them. If your local McDonald’s has a few of these meals, you may be able to ask them if you can purchase them at a discounted rate.

If no one purchases prepared meals, they might go to waste. However, the restaurant manager may be willing to sell these items at a discounted price.

9. McDonald’s Promotions Offered By Food Delivery Services

Food delivery services like Grubhub, UberEats, Postmates, and Doordash offer regular offers for participating restaurants. Although you will be paying for delivery, you can get great deals at McDonald’s. Be on the lookout for promotional offers by these food delivery services.

10. Value Menu Items

If you want to eat at McDonald’s for cheap, look for items on their menu that offer the best value for money. A few excellent value options are:

  • McDouble instead of a Big Mac
  • McChicken burger
  • Large French fries
  • Cheeseburger value meal
  • Sausage Biscuit with egg

Many fast-food chains like McDonald’s have implemented rewards apps as an incentive to not only reward valued customers but to attract new ones. Everyone loves freebies, and getting rewarded for purchasing meals at McDonald’s can motivate loyal customers to keep coming back.

You may be wondering which is the best way to save money when ordering from McDonald’s? Or is it possible to get a free Big Mac? You may also be wondering if ordering from the McDonald’s app is cheaper than ordering directly from your local McDonald’s.

What Is The Best Way To Get Free Food At McDonald’s?

The best way to get free food at McDonald’s is to use their rewards app. Their rewards app allows you to earn points by purchasing and upsizing meals. These points can be redeemed for items on the menu, which will be free if bought with points.

The rewards app also gives you a reward just for signing up and has special offers on certain days of the week. For example, if you love McDonald’s and regularly buy from them, the rewards app can offer amazing deals and discounts on your favorite menu items.


Can You Get A Big Mac For Free?

McDonald’s has run various advertising campaigns promoting discounts and special offers. One of these is a free Big Mac. In December 2021, McDonald’s posted a tweet asking Mariah Carey to retweet it; if she did, McDonald’s customers would get a free Big Mac. She retweeted it, and if customers spent a minimum of $1 at McDonald’s on that day, they would receive a free Big Mac.

This was part of their 12 days of free menu items during the holiday period.

Currently, there are no promotions for a free Big Mac. You can only get one for free by earning enough points on the McDonald’s app and redeeming them for a Big Mac.

Since McDonald’s often runs promotions, you may see a free Big Mac promotion in the near future or even during the holiday period again.

Is McDonald’s Cheaper If You Order Through The App?

The prices on the McDonald’s app are the same as the restaurants. The app lets you earn rewards, receive discounts, and access many discounted menus, offers, and deals. However, you may still need to pay for delivery by ordering through the app. This can make your order more costly.

You can also opt to collect your order at a McDonald’s branch if ordering through the app. If you take advantage of the discounted offers in the app and collect your order at your local McDonald’s, then, in theory, McDonald’s is cheaper if you order through the app.

Keep Browsing

Subscribe To Our Daily Deals & Freebies Email:

What to expect: Emails around noon EST, 7 days a week with the latest free stuff, deals & sweepstakes daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.