Wouldn’t it be great to save money on takeout and delivery in Canada? The stock market has crashed, a lot of people can’t afford rent, we’re not able to be eat out in restaurants anymore (one of my joys in life), but come on, we all deserve a little break with cooking and preparing three meals a day seven days a week, right?
Right now, I am the main cook, grocery gatherer, dishwasher in the household. Meal planning simultaneously for a toddler who is hungry at times and picky at times, a baby who is also developing discerning food habits (and refuses to take anything by spoon), and a husband who eats about double to triple portion of what I eat can be exhausting.
I make a lot of things on my own, like trying my hand at making dalgona coffee (meanwhile thinking “who the heck has 5 minutes to stand there and hand-blend coffee into stiff peaks?”), making a Korean pork bowl, fish and chips, red bean dessert, homemade ice cream, eggs Benedict, and even homemade sushi.
More self isolation stress eating. Red bean dessert. I will stop having ice cream tomorrow I promise. pic.twitter.com/IiWsoIzqsA
— Genymoney.ca (@genymoneyca) April 6, 2020
A lot of the time though, restaurants can do it much better and tastier.
I also like to give myself a break once in a while (probably about once a week or every two weeks).
At the present time because of COVID-19, many restaurants are closed for dine-in options in Canada at this time, but most of them still offer take out and delivery options. With all the anxiety of refreshing COVID-19 stats multiple times a day and consuming COVID-19 related news, I have been craving comfort food.
Just made beer batter cod for the first time. I’m never paying $17 again!!!! ??? pic.twitter.com/zsMlCaIG3n
— Genymoney.ca (@genymoneyca) November 2, 2019
I usually don’t actively seek take out unless there is a ‘deal’ going on. McDonald’s coupons were mailed out recently so we had McDonald’s two weeks in a row (our toddler just had some of the fries, in case you are judging me for feeding McDonald’s to my toddler, haha). I regretted the decision and I told myself not to repeat that ever again, however much I like the taste of their quarter pounder with cheese.
You could also get a take-out burger if it’s your birthday in Vanouver.
Anyway, here are a few ways you can save money on take out and delivery in Canada, when you order food online or drive thru. There are a number of companies who embrace the gig economy and changed the way you order takeout and delivery in Canada. These include SkipTheDishes, UberEATS, and DoorDash. Foodora recently announced that as of May 11, 2020, they will unfortunately no longer have operations in Canada.
Related: 4 Food Cravings and 4 Easy Recipes that Satisfy Them
SkipTheDishes is a company based out of Winnepeg, Manitoba. By the way, it’s SkipTheDishes not Skip The Dishes. They are Canada’s s leading and largest food delivery network (they are available in all the provinces of Canada). SkipTheDishes is part of the group Just Eat in the United Kingdom.
They often send a SkipTheDishes voucher in an email with $0 minimum spend required. Recently, I got a $10 voucher applied to my account automatically for doing nothing (I guess they noticed I haven’t placed an order in a while- it was about 6 months ago). The only thing with these offers is that you have to take advantage of ordering quickly otherwise the voucher credit expires (it was about a 2 day window).
When I get a voucher, I am usually frugal (cheap?) and just try and order just a little over the voucher amount. I was craving some Vietnamese spring roll and fried chicken.
$1.08? Yes please.
How is SkipTheDishes service? I have used the SkipTheDishes delivery service (it was great, worth it for the delivery fee, and I tip for the subtotal not the after discount of course) and also the take out option. I talked to the delivery courier (this was before COVID-19 of course) and he said he loved driving around and meeting people and talking to them.
Right now, they also have a ‘contactless’ option for food delivery given the current circumstances.
Sometimes there are promo codes where SkipTheDishes incentivizes you to sign up for an account- a promo code for your first order, like $15 off. They view a new account as having a new phone number (you have to validate your new account via text). I read on a forum once that you can use different phone numbers (there are apps for this), so this is a sneaky way to save money on takeout and delivery in Canada.
If you sign up here through this referral discount, you can get a SkipTheDishes voucher of $5 off with no minimum spend. You can also get $5 in Skip the Dishes credit for referring a friend. You have to be a first time customer.
DoorDash is another food delivery company which is primarily in major cities in the United States and also major cities in Canada. I find that DoorDash has a lot of great options for restaurants. It seems like more of the popular restaurants are on this app and food delivery service. They also have a lot of free delivery options for the aforementioned popular restaurants.
They even have a charitable arm of their company called Project Dash where they donate food to local communities in order to tackle food waste.
If you REALLY enjoy getting delivery, they have something called a Dash Pass where you can pay $9.99/month to get free delivery (this saves you an average of $4 to $5 per order). There is a 30 day free trial that you automatically get put into when you place your first order (you get free delivery). You also have reduced service fees if your order is more than $12.
I like how with DoorDash you can search for ‘food delivery near me’ by specific categories, like “sushi near me” or pizza nearby. You can also sort by food results with ratings and other criteria. This is what it looks like:
You can use this referral link for Door Dash to get $20 off ($5 off your first 4 orders). Once you sign up you’ll get a referral link and get $10 off a minimum purchase of $20 for every friend or family that you refer to Door Dash.
Uber EATS is another popular food delivery app. It is based out of San Francisco and is part of the Uber brand, founded in 2014. Uber eats is available in a LOT of cities in North America, in Europe, in Australia and New Zealand, Asia, and even Africa.
It has a very clear interface and pleasing aesthetic when you’re ordering your food online, and currently there is a $0 delivery fee to encourage people to order food and keep restaurants in business. The $0 delivery fee is available if you make a minimum purchase (each is different and individualized for each restaurant).
Uber Eats is now one of my favourite food delivery and pick up apps. If you register and keep your account relatively dormant, they often send you promotional codes you can use for discounts. I recently got a 75% off of 4 orders promo code which I thoroughly enjoyed (the cap the maximum discount you can get though).
However, the Uber Eats menu price is inflated so 50% off is sort of more like 30% off at times.
Finally, I know this is a limited food option with Dominos Pizza (because it’s just pizza), but when there is a 50% online offer (which is applied automatically) then we usually get some Dominos Pizza. This happens usually about once a month or every two months. We usually go to our nearest Dominos and pick up takeout pizza.
Homemade pizza vs Dominos means homemade is cheaper but not by much if you do the 50% off promotion. A large two topping pizza for around $10 is a great deal and it’s nice to get a break from making homemade pizza, even though things have gotten much less messier by using store bought flat bread or naan bread instead of making pizza dough from scratch.
If your pizza order is $10 minimum, then you can collect a points for their Piece of the Pie Rewards program, and earn points towards a free pizza. 6 qualifying orders equals one free pizza. The prized pizza is a FREE medium 2-topping pizza at a participating Domino’s locations.
During the holiday season of 2019, they just awarded the account with 60 points, which qualified for a free medium pizza. It was great especially since everyone was eligible to receive this if they had an account and were part of the Piece of the Pie Rewards Program. Talk about low effort high yield!
Anyway, hope this was helpful so you can save money on takeout and delivery in Canada!
There are lots of promo codes available online to save money when you first sign up for a food pick up or delivery app, do a quick search to make sure you’re getting the best one.
While you’re at it, here are 12 saving money tips to save money on food in Canada.
One other way is during your birthday! There are lots of free takeout food freebies for your birthday (including free Starbucks drinks, free donuts, or free fish and chips).
Here are other ways to combat food inflation in Canada.
Which one is your favourite food takeout and delivery app?
Do you have other tips on how to save money on takeout and delivery in Canada?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
12 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Takeout and Delivery in Canada”
I suppose we should be supporting local eateries during this time, but we have been 100% eating in and shopping out once per week. That cod looks really good. One of my favorite foods. Tom
@Tom- I think I am going to get an air fryer to make cod easier to make. Good for you to eat in all the time- I’m sick of my own cooking sometimes.
Same here. Trying to work on my food prep skills and limit any outside shopping.
@Saving enthusiast- Thank goodness for recipe blogs, I wouldn’t know what to do without them.
I have never used a food delivery service. I think it makes eating out too easy which would be a slippery slope in our household. The inconvenience of having to go out and pick up take out helps to dissuade us from eating out too much. It also helps us enjoy eating out as it feels like more of a treat.
@Maria- Yes, so true. I almost ordered fried chicken last night to pick up but it was too inconvenient so I stopped. My arteries are thanking me now I think.
Oh man, can I EVER relate to the struggle of being the main cook/grocery gatherer/meal planner. Not so much with kids, since we don’t have any, but definitely the husband who eats a double to triple portion. Thankfully he at least does the dishes sometimes!
Did you at least enjoy the coffee?! I made it the first time the other day and was pretty surprised with how much I enjoyed it! Definitely sweeter than I normally prefer but it was a fun little treat!
I am curious about SkipTheDishes — lots of friends love them, I just have not used it yet! Maybe I will check it out sometime during this lock down.
ALSO SHOUTOUT TO MY HOMIES AT DOMINOS! We loooooove Dominos in this house haha. We tend to order takeout once a week even during normal times and Dominos is almost always our go to 🙂
@Tara= Yes the coffee was great, it was super sweet so I was hopped up for a few hours, haha! I might try it again and try to make it more ‘whipped’ looking. SkipTheDishes is great, lots of great restaurants. I think there’s a 50% Dominos this week or maybe it was pizza hut! I like Dominos better than Fresh Slice, but this Naan pizza thing (make at home) has been a game changer.
RIGHT?! re: feeling super hopped up after whipped coffee. I honestly thought it was just me so that makes me feel better haha. I liked it, but definitely more of a treat thing. Also, I have also been working on technique. I think the trick is to…whip it way longer than you think you need to? Mine was definitely more whipped looking today than attempt number one.
I hope the Dominos deal is this week! I am in the mood for some BBQ sauce on pizza (aka my favourite thing). Our fav at home is to use the tortilla bread. Mmm. Now I want pizza!
@Tara- Never tried tortilla bread, thanks for the tip! Have a great weekend.
Don’t let health nuts shame you over giving your kid McDonalds once in awhile. A few fries won’t kill them. 😉 We do the Dominos thing 50% off and always do pick up for the majority of our take out. I can’t stand paying $18 for two large pizzas and then paying delivery + tip that’s like 40% of the meal cost. You can call me cheap, because I am!
Do the homemade beer battered fish too every once in awhile.
I haven’t used any of the delivery services listed above, probably just in my head but it weirds me out that just any random person is delivering food to you. It’s probably not much different than a store-employed driver, but there’s a mental block I need to get past.
The other thing I’ve been doing in lockdown is baking bread… stay tuned for a post on that.
@FMS- Hah, I’m cheap too don’t worry. You can choose pick up with the delivery services above instead (some of them, but not Uber Eats). However, it does cut into the restaurants bottom line, I read somewhere they take about 20-30% off from the purchase.