There are great meal deals at national fast food and fast casual chains every week, to help you stretch your strained budget.
Top deals now are FREE McDonald’s fries, Dairy Queen cones and Rita’s ices; BOGO sandwiches at Smashburger, St. Patrick’s Day deals; meal deal discounts at White Castle, IHOP and Chili’s; the return of Pizza Hut’s extra large The Big New Yorker and LobsterFest at Red Lobster.
We update this money-saving list twice a month, at the beginning and middle of each month, so you can save money on fast food deals and discounts and new menu items.
All the deals are from the trade publication Restaurant News or the digital marketing agencies which contact ecoXplorer directly with information about their fast food clients.
Many of these deals, discounts and new menu items are for a limited time – but the chains rarely tell us exactly when that deal will expire, so check with your favorite destination or prepare to be disappointed.
Scroll down for on-going deals.
As that guy in the TV commercial says, arrive hungry, my friends. Or thirsty. Or both.
March Freebies & Deals
St. Patrick’s Day deals & Irish-themed menu deals
Best St. Patrick’s Day parades in USA
Celebrate the first day of Spring with a FREE Dairy Queen vanilla cone.
The chain is giving away a small cone on Monday, March 20th only, during regular business hours, while supplies last.
The freebie is in-store only, not available online or for delivery.
Note – The free cone is not available at mall locations, and not all other locations are participating.
Rita’s Italian Ice
Rita’s celebrates the 31st anniversary of its First Day of Spring celebration with a FREE Italian Ice giveaway in the flavor of your choice, on Monday, March 20, 2023.
Choices include a new flavor that will be available starting that day – Gummy Bear Ice.
Rita’s 550+ locations combined are expected to give away approximately 1 million cups of their classic Italian Ice.
In addition, from March 13 – March 20, all Rita’s app users will have the opportunity to enter into a sweepstakes for a chance to win Free Ice for a Year by entering the promo code SPRING23 into their Rita’s app.
For complete rules and regulations, see www.ritasice.com/FDOS2023Sweeps.
Starting March 21 at 8am EST and for a limited time, Subway announces the highly anticipated return of its Footlong Pass, a monthlong sandwich subscription that unlocks 50% off a footlong sub every day.
The subscription is $15, and there are only 250,000 available nationwide, so if you snooze, you loose.
Also, the Footlong Pass is available only to members of the Subway customer loyalty program, Subway MyWay® Rewards. It’s FREE to join, so if you aren’t already a member, this would be a good time to sign up at.SubwayFootlongPass.com. New members can earn triple rewards during the first week of membership.
The offer is good only through the Subway app and only at participating locations. Since not all locations participate, be sure to check your chosen one before you get an expensive surprise at the check-out register.
Every Friday through April 7, get a FREE Beer Battered Pacific Cod Sandwich with the purchase of one at the regular price.
The sandwich sells for $7.99, but the cost may vary by location. Note also that this is at participating locations only – and some may not be participating, so check your preferred location.
The BOGO bargain is valid for dine-in or take-out, and no coupon or app is necessary.
For online orders, use promo code FISHFRIDAY at checkout via the Smashburger site or app.
Get a free Kids Meal at Smashburger on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays buy an adult meal (entree, side and drink) and get a kids meal free.
Valid for kids 12 and under only. Good in-store only.
For a list of participating locations visit the Smashburger Deals page.
Through Sunday, April 9, Taco John’s brings back its Alaska Flounder Fish Tacos.
Featuring tender, wild-caught Alaska flounder dusted with a crispy seasoned batter, drizzled with zesty chipotle lime sauce, topped with fresh shredded lettuce and Pico de Gallo, and wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
They are a meal deal at two for $6.50!
Order the Alaska Flounder Fish Tacos in-store, at the drive-thru or use the mobile app.
Taco John’s is proud to use Alaska Seafood: Wild, Natural and Sustainable® for its two for its Alaska Flounder Fish Tacos.
The popular quick-service restaurant also is offering two new additions to the ValueEST menu – the new Nacho Crunch Beef Burrito for $2 and the new Nacho Crunch Chicken Burrito for $3 on the ValuEST Menu. Both are available for order in-store or using the drive-thru and mobile app.
Both burritos start with a warm flour tortilla, crunchy tortilla chips and creamy nacho cheese.
The Nacho Crunch Beef Burrito adds seasoned American beef and Taco John’s mild sauce for a classic Mexican flavor, while the Nacho Crunch Chicken Burrito highlights grilled all-white meat chicken and zesty chipotle lime sauce.
Taco John’s features signature specials like Taco Tuesday® and everyday value starting at $1, $2 and $3 on the ValuEST Menu.
Download the Taco John’s Mobile App and join Bigger Bolder Rewards for free food and exclusive offers.
For a limited time, IHOPPY Hour is back, with $6 full meals after 3pm at participating locations.
Choose from breakfast pancakes or bacon and eggs, a juicy burger with fries, sandwiches and more, including:
- Ham and cheese omelette with three pancakes
- Classic BLT sandwich with a side of fries, onion rings or two pancakes
Also – Through March 26, get BOGO crepes – two-for-one.
For a limited time, get three items for just $10.99. The 3 For Me promotion returns after a there year hiatus with offers unbeatable value for a bottomless drink, bottomless chips and salsa, a cheeseburger and fries.
Upgrade with Crispy Chicken Crispers or a 6 oz. Classic Sirloin for $13.99 and $15.99, respectively. Spike or sweeten the meal with a Classic Margarita or slice of Cheesecake for just $2.49 per item.
Available all day, every day during restaurant hours for dine-in, to-go or delivery,
The meal deal is being promoted with a “3 for Me” music remix in collaboration with Grammy-nominated R&B Artist, Brian McKnight, with a new tune that is a reimagination of one of the singer’s most iconic ballads, “Back at One,” playfully breaking down how diners can create a custom, budget-friendly feast.
It’s being used in Chili’s TV commercials, on the chain’s YouTube channel and social media accounts.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Through April 30th, find this super-spicy newest ‘Cue Creation – the Atomic Barbecue Chicken Sandwich.
Stacked with juicy, marinated, pit-smoked chicken breast and crunchy pickles and onions, this hot new sandwich also features with a limited-edition fusion of Wing Boss’ Atomic sauce and Dickey’s Sweet Barbecue sauce.
Choose from orders for carry-out, in-store pickup, to-go and even delivery.
Order ahead in the Dickey’s mobile app or online by ordering online at dickeys.com.
Also available to April 30th, the barbecue chain is taking a meaty, smoky, cheesy plate of nachos and combining it with pit-smoked sausage to make the Loaded Nacho Cheese Kielbasa Sausage.
This limited edition kielbasa-style sausage is stuffed with taco-seasoned beef and pork, tortilla chips, and jalapeño beans with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. It’s a meal in itself.
For a limited time, Kentucky Fried Chicken Wraps will be available at participating restaurants nationwide, at a bargain price of 2 for $5.
After a successful test in Atlanta in 2022, the new KFC Wraps will finally be available to everyone.
There are two options –
- The Classic Chicken Wrap, a hand-breaded Extra Crispy™ Tender, crunchy pickles and creamy mayo, wrapped up in a warm tortilla
- The Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap covers an Extra Crispy™ Tender in a flavorful mix of KFC coleslaw, spicy sauce and crispy pickles
For a limited time, the seafood chain is bringing back the popular LobsterFest promotion, both new dishes including Lobster & Shrimp Tacos and Lobster & Shrimp-Topped Sirloin, as well as a returning guest favorite Lobster Lover’s Dream®.
As always, the Lobsterfest lineup also includes the chain’s signature buttery Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
Choose from –
Lobster & Shrimp Tacos – Crispy Maine & Norway lobster and shrimp, with jalapeño slaw, pico de gallo, lime crema and cilantro. Served on three grilled tortillas.
- Lobster Lover’s Dream® – Roasted rock and Maritime lobster tails paired with lobster-and-shrimp linguini in a creamy lobster sauce. Served with a choice of two sides.
- Lobster & Shrimp-Topped Sirloin – A tender Maine lobster tail paired with a 7 oz. sirloin topped with creamy parmesan-bacon shrimp. Served with a choice of two sides.
- Maine Lobster Tail Duo – A pair of tender Maine lobster tails, one roasted and one grilled. Served with warm butter and a choice of two sides.
- Live Maine Lobster – Wild-caught, fresh from the Atlantic, available steamed or stuffed. Served with a choice of two sides.
- Bar Harbor Lobster Bake – Petite Maine lobster tails, split and roasted, with shrimp, bay scallops, mussels and fresh tomatoes. Served over linguini in a garlic and white wine broth.
For a limited time, the chain’s famous 16” New York-style pizza, “The Big New Yorker,” will return to its menu after its initial launch 24 years ago.
The iconic pizza is available at participating Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide.
The Big New Yorker is inspired by the spirit of New York with an XL pizza that is as big and bold as the city that never sleeps.
Each 16″ pizza features six oversized, foldable slices with crispy crust and bold flavors including sweet marinara sauce and Parmesan oregano seasoning on top to mimic an authentic New York pizzeria build.
One order of The Big New Yorker extra-large pizza comes with double pepperoni, or one choose-your-own topping for a price starting at $13.99. Orders can be customized with extra toppings or extra cheese for an additional charge.
The New York style pizza was first introduced in 1999. Since being retired from the menu, there have been numerous requests to bring the pizza back on menus. Click here to find your nearest participating Pizza Hut location.
The chain also recently introduced a line of Oven-Baked Pastas, with premium ingredients and savory sauces, priced at $8.99 for one or double up with “Family Pasta Pairs,” any two recipes starting at $13.99.
All Oven-Baked Pastas include breadsticks or garlic bread, where available- in case of “luckily-I-have-leftover-sauce” cleanups, come in four distinct recipes that cater to any flavor preference and are finished with a new parmesan oregano topping:
- Chicken Alfredo: You can’t go wrong with this classic combination of NEW creamy Alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, and oven-baked cheese.
- Italian Meats: Fill up on this savory new recipe that’s packed with sweet tomato sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage and of course, cheese.
- Cheesy Alfredo: A cheese lover’s dream featuring a NEW creamy Alfredo sauce and two layers of cheese with baked-fresh parmesan on top.
- Veggie: A flavorful combo of sweet tomato sauce, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, black olives and oven-baked cheese.
Introducing Domino’s Loaded Tots – crispy tots loaded with melty cheese and mouthwatering toppings, in the following three varieties:
Domino’s Philly Cheese Steak Loaded Tots feature tender slices of steak, creamy Alfredo sauce, fresh onions, fresh green peppers, and a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
Cheddar Bacon Loaded Tots are topped with smokey bacon, mozzarella, cheddar and garlic Parmesan sauce.
Domino’s Melty 3-Cheese Loaded Tots are covered with mozzarella, cheddar, provolone and creamy Alfredo sauce.
Loaded Tots are included in Domino’s Mix & Match Deal – they are $6.99 each when customers choose any two or more Mix & Match menu items.
Order for carryout or delivery at dominos.com.
Fry fans can get FREE medium fries with any purchase of $1 or more on Fridays via the McDonald’s app.
The offer is valid only on Fridays, and only if you order via the Mobile Order & Pay option. So if you haven’t already downloaded the McDonald’s app, this would be a good time to do it.
Free Fries Friday is every Friday through the rest of 2023.
In honor of America’s favorite family restaurant’s 88th birthday — which it proudly shares with Elvis Presley — Friendly’s is serving up a new sundae inspired by the King of Rock and Roll.
The Hunka Chunka Blue Suede Sundae will be available throughout January and feature a Hunka Chunka PB Fudge Ice cream Sundae, topped with bananas, “blue suede” icing and a dash of sprinkle sideburns.
In addition to its Hunka Chunka Blue Suede Sundae, Friendly’s is introducing a fun lineup of Seasonal Cone Head Sundaes and indulgent ice cream treats. Each month, guests will see the following items pop up on the menu starting with:
- January: Original Cone Head
- February: Melty the Snowman Cone Head Sundae
- March: Puppy Cone Head Sundae
- April: Easter Bunny Cone Head Sundae
For more information about Friendly’s Restaurants, visit friendlysrestaurants.com.
The burger chain is offering around multiple deals in March and April
Some require coupons while others do not.
It’s tough to keep up, so we’re publishing the entire list, straight from their press release.
Special Offers (no coupons necessary)
White Castle’s 102nd Birthday
Free Dessert on a Stick (No purchase necessary)
College Basketball Bracket Chaos
$3 off any Crave Clutch of 20 Sliders
March 14 – April 3
St. Patrick’s Day
Buy any 2 Sliders get 2 Free
For a Limited Time
For a limited time, Tim Hortons is expanding its avocado menu options with new toasts AND avocado breakfast sandwiches –
Avocado Toast with Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon or Avocado Toast with Freshly Cracked Eggs – with eggs high in protein and that offers 19g of total protein per serving.
The Avocado Toast with Bacon features a creamy Avocado spread topped with crispy pieces of naturally hickory smoked Bacon and finished off with a sprinkling of Everything Bagel seasoning, all on toasted sourdough bread. The Avocado Toast with Eggs features a creamy Avocado spread topped two freshly cracked eggs and finished off with a sprinkling of Everything Bagel seasoning, all on toasted sourdough bread. Also available with one egg.
Launching alongside the new toast options, you can now add any of your favorite breakfast sandwiches with avocado spread.
These options are for a limited time at participating U.S. restaurants.
For more information, visit timhortons.com and follow Tim Hortons on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Two recent new menu items –
The all-new Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich brings all the familiar flavors of a homemade Italian dinner in one delicious sandwich. The juicy, lightly breaded crispy chicken breast is topped with gooey fried mozzarella cheese, savory marinara sauce, and naturally aged rich Asiago cheese, on a towering toasted golden garlic knot bun.
The savory Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, which can be customized with a Classic, Grilled, or Spicy filet. It brings a flavorful twist lineup, alongside the recently-introduced Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger and Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger.
Coated in a flavorful garlic herb sauce, the Garlic Fries are made with Wendy’s natural-cut, Hot & Crispy French Fries and make the perfect pairing for those cozy winter vibes.
With all that garlic, be sure to have a couple of breath mints in your pocket.
If you like the pizza toppings but can do without the rest of the pizza, these new Papa Bowls will make you happy – just toppings,no crust.
You can can create your own Papa Bowl or choose from three thoughtfully crafted varieties, each featuring quality ingredients:
- Italian Meats Trio features signature pizza and alfredo sauces, layered with Papa Johns signature pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, green peppers, onions and tomatoes. Topped with three melty cheeses and sprinkled with Italian seasoning.
- Chicken Alfredo features creamy alfredo and garlic parmesan sauces and juicy grilled chicken, complete with spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes, then topped with a melty three cheese blend and Italian seasoning.
- Garden Veggie includes spinach, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and banana peppers baked in a bowl with Papa Johns signature pizza sauce and garlic parmesan, covered in three melty cheeses and topped with Italian seasoning.
The press release we received does not say whether this is a limited time offer or permanent.
Ongoing Deals & Discounts
Carl’s Jr. & Hardee’s
Join the new rewards program to get your choice of a free Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Famous Star, or Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich.
The Mix & Match Deal will get you and two or more items on its Mix & Match menu for $5.99. That includes some sticks and medium pizzas options.
Any combo with three-topping pizzas and Dips & Twists will run you $8.
Join the Friendly’s Sweet Rewards Club and you’ll get a free medium sundae.
Make a $30 purchase, and you’ll get $10 off with the code “GET10.” Place an order for $50, and you’ll wind up with $15 off when you use the code “GET15.”
That’s all there is – there’s no “GET20.”
The pasta chain is now offering alcohol delivery with $15 bottles of wine and $10 six-packs. You have to order food to get alcohol, and the deal is only available where local laws permit.
Popeyes is offering free contactless delivery through its app with a minimum $20 order.
Get four meals for $29.99. The family meal comes with four 8-inch subs, four bags of chips, and four cookies. Use the code “8026.”
Rubio’s Coastal Grill
Place an order directly through the Rubio’s app or Rubios.com to get free delivery on any order of at least $20.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as 1st VP of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also follow my NYC website, NYC Travel Guru
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter
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