Thursday, July 3, 2014

7 Ways to Save Money at Chick-Fil-A: Tips & Tricks Thursday

Welcome back to Tips & Tricks Thursday! This little corner of the blog is devoted to those simple ideas that make life better or easier in some way. :)

Several times a month on our MOPs Facebook page, you'll probably find a message saying, "I'm going to Chick-Fil-A today at "X" time. Would anyone like to join?" It has become the go-to spot for impromptu play dates, and for good reason.

Chick-Fil-A is by far the most family-friendly fast food place I know. Cashiers offer to take my food to my table when it's ready, and some franchises even offer a "Mommy Valet" service. There are kid-friendly events offered at our local restaurant regularly. And the staff is never anything but polite and friendly, ever ready to respond with a "my pleasure." With nuggets that are actually chicken breast pieces (and not processed, pressed patties), I feel pretty good about treating Kiddo to an occasional meal out. He is always so excited to go to Chick-Fil-A, and I love taking him there.
Baseball night - free ice cream sundaes in a baseball cup,
the cow, and our local minor league team mascot. Even though
kiddo was terrified of the mascot, we still had a great time.
But in all the times I've gone to Chick-Fil-A, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have paid full price for a meal. Below are some of my favorite ways to eat Chick-Fil-A on the cheap (Or should I say cheep?):

The Tip: 7 Ways to Save Money at Chick-Fil-A

  • Calendar Card: If you like to eat at CFA regularly, this is a must. The Chick-Fil-A calendar usually goes up for sale around Thanksgiving. Not only is the calendar super-cute (every year it has a theme with a cow twist), but inside is a card that you can swipe for one free item each month. We usually receive a calendar card as a stocking stuffer from one of our relatives and we make good use of it every month! This year the freebies are:

    January: Bowl of Soup
     February: Large Waffle Potato Fries
    March: Fan Favorite Classic Entree
     (Card holders could vote from three choices on the website, 
    and the winner was a Classic Chick-Fil-A Sandwich)
    April: Large Soft Drink
    May: Entree Salad 
    June: Mystery Offer
    (Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Large Soft Drink)
    July: Small Hand-Spun Milkshake
    August: Large Soft Drink
    September: Any Breakfast Entree, plus Large Soft Drink
     October: Large Soft Drink
    November: Mystery Offer
    December: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
  • Sign Up for E-mails: Just last week, I got an email from my local Chick-Fil-A franchise, listing all their activities for the summer, including special events with the two local minor league sports teams in our area, free ice cream on the first day of summer, Cow Appreciation Day, and breakfast with the Cow.
  • Follow on Social Media: Our local Chick-Fil-A has contests to win through its Facebook page, and sometimes they'll announce special deals like a free shake with an entree purchase or a free breakfast item between 9 and 11. They also will announce special events, such as family nights where you can win fun prizes. It pays to "like" or "follow" your favorite businesses.
  • Special Franchise Offers:
    Each Chick-Fil-A franchise is run differently, so not all deals are the same at each location. These are examples of some fun programs that may be offered at your local restaurant.
    "Get Spotted": Our local Chick-Fil-A gives out car "bumper sticker" magnets advertising their store. If a representative "spots" your magnet, they will place a "you've been spotted" magnet on your front driver's side door, and you can turn it in for a free meal of your choice. 
    Receipt Days: Our local Chick-Fil-A hasn't done this to my knowledge, but others in our area do. If you make a purchase on a designated day, you will receive a colored receipt. If you return to the restaurant during a specific time period and give them your colored receipt, you can receive the same purchase for free. 
    Text Offers: My sister-in-law told me about this. If you sign up at your store, you'll receive text offers for free menu items. For example, on National High Five Day, her store sent a text saying that people who came in and gave their cashier a high five would get a free Chick-Fil-A Sandwich.
  • Coupons: Sometimes a local Chick-Fil-A restaurant will send a postcard or publish coupons in the local clipper magazine. This is rare, but I always check before recycling "junk mail flyers" just in case. We also are fortunate to have a family member who sometimes gives Kiddo coupons for a free Kid's Meal. 
  • Cow Appreciation Day: On a designated day in July (this year it's 7/11), all Chick-Fil-A franchises celebrate by giving away a free meal to anyone fully dressed like a cow, and an entree to anyone wearing a partial cow costume. This fun family event is very popular in our area.
  • Free Ice Cream: This is by far my favorite! I can't stand little knick-knacks and toy clutter (more on that in a future post), so I absolutely love that Kiddo can trade in his Kid's Meal toy for a small ice cream cone or cup. This is a highlight of our monthly CFA visits, and just this week when we were there with friends, he walked up to the front by himself (when I wasn't looking) and turned in his toy for an ice cream.
     I thought he had gone into the play place with his little friend, but when I didn't
    see him, I went to check on him, and he wasn't there. Next thing I know, he's 

    walking toward me with a cone. My 2.5-year-old ordered his own ice cream!
    It was a proud, though scary, mama moment. :)

Why I love it:

Eating out is truly a special treat at our house. Because I always use one (or more) of these tips, I never have to pay full price for our once-monthly Chick-Fil-A outing. And that means even though it's a special treat, it's not a splurge. :)

Do you ever eat at Chick-Fil-A? I grew up in an area without a Chick-Fil-A and I feel I definitely missed out.

Have a tip, trick, or simple helpful hint to share? You are more than welcome to submit your idea here. I'd love to include it in a future post!


  1. We love chick fila! Our cow day is 7/11 too! We always turn our kids meals toys in for free ice cream!

    1. Thanks for the comment love! :) While many deals are franchise-by-franchise, Cow Day is a corporate even and is held at all stores, as far as I understand. Enjoy your Cow Day!

  2. The calendar card has become a must in my family. The entree salad almost paid for the calendar itself...almost $8 of goodness! My husband I bought each of us a calendar this year and plan to buy one for the rest of our family at Christmas time. My favorite part of Chick-Fil-A is that it has taught my son better manners. Often, now when I say "thank you," he says "my pleasure" with a big grin. Also, last year I found out that you get a special treat with the calendar card on your birthday (birth month).

    1. Agreed, Susan - the calendar card is worth its weight in gold. I loved the entree salad too - such a splurge! I probably wouldn't shell out the dough for it myself. :)
      Will you and Muffin be dressing as a cow next week?

    2. So so so planning on it. Last year, they had a printable headpiece on the website. I'm definitely going to print that. I'm thinking about making a set of family "Halloween" costumes that are cows that can be re-purposed for the chicken day.

    3. What a great idea! We went the printable route. I'll hopefully post a pic to Facebook tomorrow. :)

  3. How did I not know about these offers?! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Well, now you do! :) I hope you and your little (and big) man can enjoy a few extra treats with these tips!

  4. Found you via Link Party Palooza... LOVE this!!! I knew about Cow Appreciation but that's all... and I simply don't have a cow costume... LOL. The last one - the cone - when I was in high school we discovered that many CFA will also let you trade your toy for a larger order of fries instead of the ice cream cone. Love this post!! Will have to get the calendar this year!!! Theres a CFA down the road from my office and I'm a little bit addicted. Thankful for the grilled options nowadays ;)

    1. Thanks for the comment love, the Mrs.!
      You don't really need a cow costume - just some creativity! If you go to the link above about "Cow Appreciation Day," there's a printable cow kit. Kiddo and I made our costumes this afternoon by cutting out the spots and tail and taping them to white t-shirts. I also made a simple preschool-style headband/hat with the ears. I'm excited for Friday!
      I didn't know about the fries. We'll have to check that out in the future.
      And CFA that close would be a big temptation! You definitely need the calendar card! :)

  5. CFA is our favorite place too! Such friendly employees and totally family friendly!
    ~ Ashley

    1. Exactly! We love it there. Thanks for the comment love, Ashley!

  6. Nice post.Thanks for sharing.
    On Chick-fil-A menu, you will find a healthy and hearty selection of foods and beverages. Chick-fil-A menu prices are low and affordable. The complete menu is comprised of categories such as classics, wraps & salads, side items.Chick-fil-A menu prices


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