This post was inspired by an article I read the other day entitled: 15 Ways to Save Money at Chipotle. Now I don’t want to throw another blog under the bus, but man were their ideas lame(google the article title to find it). I’ve actually been obsessed with Chipotle for a while now and I even read the book The Chipotle Effect because I just love the place so damn much.
In college, my friends and I stopped at Chipotle at least 1-2 times a week for dinner for three years straight, so I consider myself something of a Chipotle expert 🙂 We were on a budget and after a long day of school, and three hour volleyball practice, the thought of going home and making dinner sounded like way too much work. There was really no better value for the quantity and quality we could get at Chipotle.
After years of trial and error, I think I’ve found some of the best ways to maximize your dollar at Chipotle. Even though Chipotle
is was owned by McDonald’s they are still one of my favorite restaurant(fast food?) chains. I didn’t eat Chipotle for a solid two years after I graduated because I was so burnt out, but now I eat there about once or twice a month. I don’t eat there as much as I used to, but I still employ some of the following tips and tricks to help save myself some money and get more bang for my buck.
Get a Burrito Bowl
This one should be obvious, but have you seen the burrito bowls at Chipotle? They are freaking huge! Load up a bowl with everything you want and you’ll definitely get more than a regular burrito. The bowl and the burrito are the same price so this is a no brainer. What we used to do is ask for a tortilla on the side with our bowl(which is free) and make a burrito ourselves and still have some leftovers in the bowl. Alternatively you can get free taco shells or 3 mini tacos with your bowl if you ask nicely.
Half and Half
I like everything at Chipotle so I ask for everything on my burrito, literally. Ask for white and brown rice, pinto and black beans, and you’ll get more than a normal portion. Sometimes I even ask for half and half meat since they tend to give you a little extra. I also load up on salsas: medium, hot, mild and corn salsa. These are all free although they might look at you funny.
Extra, Pretty Please?
Chipotle has a strict policy against giving out extra meat, so I never ask for it. But you can ask nicely for a little extra of anything else. A little trick I use is to wait until they put the item on before asking for more. So if they ask me if I want sour cream, I’ll say yes and once they put it on, I ask for a little extra.
Bust the Burrito!
If you can get enough stuff in your burrito to make it impossible to roll, they’ll add another tortilla for you. I usually go for the bowl, but this is a good way to get two mini burritos for the price of one.
Free Burrito on Halloween
If you stay in touch with Chipotle via social media you’ll hear about their occasional free burrito days. Their most famous one is on Halloween, where you get a free burrito if you dress up like a burrito. We used to just take some aluminum foil and wrap it around one of our arms and they’d give us a free burrito.
Gift Card Deals
Once in a while, they’ll have a gift card promo where you get a free burrito for buying a $25 gift card. If you manage to get a hold of a free burrito coupon or stumble upon a free burrito day, you should be able to turn this into a free $10 burrito. I wouldn’t go this far with the add-ons since they are treating you to a free burrito, but don’t be shy about asking for extra guac or double meat.
Mix It Up
This one won’t save you money, but I like to ask them to mix up the bowl or burrito so that all my bites will be evenly mixed and I won’t eat any huge chunks of one element.Beware though, they might shoot you a dirty look if you ask for a mixture because this request will usually start a chain reaction of mixture requests from the people behind you.
A Final Word
Now these tips won’t help you retire early or anything but if you have a big appetite(like I used to!) you can get absolutely stuffed off of less than $7. I think that’s a great deal and I don’t know how healthy Chipotle is but it’s gotta be better than eating fried fast food like KFC or McDonald’s. I also get a weird sense of satisfaction knowing that I got the most out of my money. I know Chipotle is still making a ton of money so if I can get a little extra food, great.
Readers, do you have any tips or tricks that you use at Chipotle? Are there any other restaurants that you have money saving tips for?
-Harry @ PF Pro