15 Chipotle Hacks That’ll Save You Money on Your Next Order

NEWS & TRENDING - SHOPPING & DEALS NEWS
Get more burritos for less dinero.
Updated May 13, 2024
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We all love to eat out, but thanks to inflation, it’s getting more expensive to do so — even at fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle. The chain has raised prices multiple times since 2021, citing inflation and raising employee wages as justification for doing so.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. There are plenty of ways to make sure you avoid wasting money, especially when you opt for a chain restaurant or fast food meal. Here are a few of our favorite hacks for stretching your dollars at Chipotle.

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Chipotle rewards

dennizn/Adobe chipotle mexican grill

Sign up for Chipotle’s reward program and get points every time you order. You’ll receive 10 points for each dollar spent, which you can use toward free food. Join online or download the app.

Go on your birthday

Vorda Berge/Adobe businesswoman holding birthday cake

Chipotle is a little cryptic about what they offer as a birthday freebie, promising only on their site that “We won’t forget you on your birthday.”

Other sources around the web note that the restaurant gives rewards members a free order of chips and guac when they spend $5 or more as a birthday gift.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

EdNurg/Adobe woman eats a fast food flatbread

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Chipotle offered free delivery with a promo code in 2023 and 2024. In 2021, Chipotle awarded buy-one-get-one-free coupons as prizes for a trivia game.

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Ask for split meat

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade mexican chicken burrito bowl

Requesting half steak and half chicken, for example, can net you more food than simply ordering one protein option.

The reason is that most staff members don’t meticulously measure a half-scoop of meat, so they’ll err on the side of giving you a generous half-helping of each type of meat, giving you more burrito for your buck.

Ask for extras

2rogan/Adobe mexican chicken burrito bowl

Plenty of toppings come at no extra charge at Chipotle, so you might as well maximize your freebies. Cheese, sour cream, fajita veggies, lettuce, and a wide selection of salsas are a few tasty options to bulk up your bowl or burrito.

Ask for two types of rice or beans

Max/Adobe macro shot rice and beans

If you’re looking to make your meal go even further, ask the server to go half-and-half on two types of rice or beans (or both). This is the same trick as going half-and-half on meat and can easily stretch one meal into two.

You can also opt for double the rice and/or beans, but you’ll likely get an upcharge.

Order a bowl and get a tortilla on the side

Brent Hofacker/Adobe stack of homemade flour tortillas

A Chipotle bowl is the guts of a burrito unbound by the limited space inside a tortilla. A fun way to maximize the volume of food is to order a bowl and just pay an extra $0.50 for a tortilla on the side, and build yourself a “free” burrito the following day!

Get discounted gift cards

dennizn/Adobe chipotle gift card in a hand

Buy a Chipotle gift card at CardCash, SlickDeals, or a similar discounted gift card outlet can save you up to 10%. Keep your eyes open for Chipotle’s deals as they’ve been known to offer buy-one-get-one-free coupons with the purchase of gift cards.

Go meatless

barmaleeva/Adobe chicken burrito bowl with beans

Opt for a meatless burrito or bowl to save a few bucks. You can still load it up with all the same toppings. As a bonus for skipping the protein, Chipotle gives you a free guac with your meal!

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Eat half your burrito

Daisy Daisy/Adobe man eating burrito outdoor

Chipotle burritos with all the toppings can be over 1000 calories—much more than most people need for a single meal. Split up your lunch so you can eat the rest for dinner later.

Order a kid’s meal

Claes/Adobe boy eating a taco

The kid’s meal isn’t much different from the tacos, but it’s cheaper and comes with chips or fruit and a drink. Whether you’re looking to keep the portion size down or save money, the kid’s meal is a good option.

Take the bowl home and eat over a salad

Cavan/Adobe chicken taco salad

Another way to stretch one Chipotle meal into two? Instead of ordering a salad, order a bowl, divide it in two, and serve it over lettuce to create two full-sized salads.

Skip the drinks

Nenad/Adobe girl eating tortilla

Chipotle offers a variety of bottled and fountain drinks — most of which cost $2.85 or more. Lop a few dollars off the total for your order by getting a cup of tap water instead.

Bottom line

Dragoș Asaftei/Adobe chipotle fast casual restaurant logo

Eating at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant can cost a pretty peso, but it doesn’t have to. By leveraging these smart shopping hacks, you're not just saving money on your meals — you're also combatting the effects of inflation on your budget.

Making strategic choices (like opting for meatless meals, maximizing free toppings, and purchasing discounted gift cards) allows you to stretch your dollars further in the face of rising prices.

So, while enjoying your favorite burrito or bowl, you're also proactively managing your money in a challenging economic environment.

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Author Details

Jenni Sisson Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.

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