10 Delicious Chick-fil-A Hacks: Eat Mor Chikin for Less

Chick-fil-A is delicious. There's no way around it. That spicy chicken sandwich is divine.

Mmmm… so good. And the picture's only like an inch wide.[/caption]Heck, I just ate and looking at the picture of the dang thing is making my mouth water.

My kids love it too. Six piece nugget, fruit cup, and chocolate milk. Sometimes juice.

Want to know the best hacks for getting the most out of your next visit? I'll hook you up.

Swap the Kid's Meal Prize for a Cone

Ever want to know how to make the most out of your visit to Chick-fil-A? Check out our list of Chick-fil-A hacks and you'll know!When you order a Kid's Meal, it comes with a toy or board book. If your kids prefer (and you prefer to let them have it), you can swap that toy for an Icedream cone or cup.

Free Chick-fil-A for a Year: Be a First 100®

Chick-fil-A does a fun thing whenever they open a new franchise location.

It's called the First 100®. If you are one of the first one hundred people at a new Chick-fil-A opening, you can win Free Chick-fil-A food for a year. It's 52 coupons you can use to redeem a Chick-fil-A sandwich meal (sandwich, waffle fries and drink).

It's not technically the first hundred in line, they now do a lottery with a drawing period. This is to avoid craziness and something I fully support. There are also geographic restrictions, you have to live in one of the eligible zip codes near the restaurant (though the regions are fairly large). Check the rules.

A sign for #CFAFIRST100
People camp outside!

Is that a DJ??? ?

(thanks to Erin Chase of $5 Dinners for these photos of an opening in Atlanta!)

As people wait, there are employees outside feeding folks and there's a drink machine too. It's not like camping overnight for a new video game or anything crazy like that… Chick-fil-A has done these enough that it even sounds like a pleasant experience!

Here's a list of the future openings.

Get the Chick-fil-A Cow Calendar

The calendar is available for a limited time each year but you get free stuff each month.

Six of those months are listed as mystery offers, to be listed that month, but the other six are worth way more than the price of the calendar (usually $7 + $4.99 shipping):

Here's what was in the 2017 Cow Calendar:

  • January – Small bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup or Seasonal Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • February – The Mystery Offer for February is your choice of Chick-n-MinisTM (3-count) (available during breakfast hours only) OR Greek Yogurt Parfait
  • March – Any size Coca-Cola® soft drink OR Dasani® Bottled Water
  • April – Mystery Offer
  • May – 8-count Classic or Grilled Chick-fil-A® Nuggets
  • June – Mystery Offer
  • July – Small hand-spun Milkshake
  • August – Mystery Offer
  • September – Mystery Offer
  • October – Any size Coca-Cola® soft drink OR Dasani® Bottled Water
  • November – Mystery Offer
  • December – Chick-fil-A® Original, Spicy OR Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The calendar comes with a card that you bring to the restaurant to redeem your food.

Make Small Modifications for Freshness

Chick-fil-A pumps out a lot of food and sometimes it feels like your food is ready before you finish paying – because it is!

To get it the freshest as possible, make small modifications to your order like a sandwich without a pickle or your waffle fries extra crispy or well done.

Use The Chick-Fil-A One App!

The app is really good for ordering ahead because you don't even need to leave your car to pick it up. No waiting in the drive thru line either.

There are designated spots (there's a sign and the spot itself has lines across it) where an employee will hand deliver your order to you.

And if you're the type of person with a similar order each time (like our standard kids meal order), it'll remember that too so you won't have to go through a million menus to order the same things again.

Best of all – it's a rewards system too. You'll get treats based on your orders, free stuff is always good, and surprise awards throughout the year.

Get a Cow Outfit

On Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A will give you a free chicken sandwich if you show up with a cow outfit on. Technically, you get an entree and you just need to wear something “cowlike.”

Get a cow costume for Halloween once and get free chicken each year!

In 2016, Cow Appreciation Day was Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from opening until 7:00 PM. It'll probably be the same in 2017.

Check Local Fundraisers, Libraries

Chick-fil-A gets involved in the community very often. They frequently participate in community fundraisers, school programs, and other neighborhood events.

Last year, they partnered with our local library to support a summer reading program. Kids, after satisfying the reading requirements, could get a free Icedream cone.

If there is a community event near a Chick-fil-A, chances are Chick-fil-A will be involved somehow.

Double Check Your Order

People make mistakes. Always double check your order.

Just the other day, I ordered a bunch of stuff for curbside pickup from a Chick-fil-A that was newly renovated. Four kid's meals with 6-ct nuggets, fruit cup and chocolate milk.

I got four 4-ct nuggets, fries, and chocolate milk. By the time I realized it I was already putting the food down in front of our kids at a friend's house!

Fortunately, I had ordered a 12-ct for myself (actually a 12-ct) so the kids were fine. I was just annoyed.

So not a hack but a reminder — trust but verify.

The Hidden Menu?

Yeah, they got one… the best place to research that is on HackTheMenu.

The Fried Chicken Club looks good!

They're Closed on Sunday!

This is easy to remember when you're at home but super hard to remember if you're traveling since everything will be off.

There have been many times when I'll be traveling and want to stop by Chick-fil-A on a Sunday morning for breakfast and realize it's closed. Boo! Now we just make sure to stay at a hotel with free breakfast in the morning so we have options just in case!

Make the Chick-fil-A Sandwich at Home

This is not technically a Chick-fil-A hack, because you're doing it at home, but one of my favorite food sites is Serious Eats. One of my favorite people on that site is J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (we own an Anova Sous Vide and Serious Eats has been my home for all this sous vide).

He took on replicating a Chick-fil-A sandwich at home and I can't wait to try it. He goes with Arnold Hamburger Rolls and Vlasic Ovals Hamburger Dill Chips and then launches into how to make the chicken itself. It's a good walkthrough.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  1. Brian says

    We had one open recently locally and it was the first time I heard about the first 100. I mentioned it to my kids and they wanted to take part, but it was on a school night. There were a number of people camping out for it. A pretty cool prize if you can grab one.

  2. CentSai says

    As soon as I saw the title of this post I had to click on it because I love Chick-Fil-A! This article made me super hungry haha. I will definitely be on the lookout for a new Chick-Fil-A franchise so that I can try to win free food for a year. 🙂

    • Jim Wang says

      We only started going because it was one of the last places with a playground indoors and the food is reasonably good for you, as healthy as fast food can be. It’s sooooo tasty though and insanely fast.

  3. Mel says

    Their lemonade is the best. It’s delicious and SOOOO refreshing on a hot afternoon. It’s just Lemons, Water & Sugar – no HFCS, yellow dye, etc. We live in a hot, humid climate and often we drive through just for a lemonade fix.

    • Jim Wang says

      Good point! Our kids are still young so we go with either milk, juice or chocolate milk. And that’s not beacuse juice or either milk is “better” than lemonade (calorically, sugar, etc are similar), we just aim to keep the universe of choices small to avoid headaches elsewhere in life!

  4. Paul says

    Fantastic. Chick-Fil-A is simply awesome. The menu is simple, the food is delicious and their staff are always polite. A really classy place in the world if fast food. Thanks for the tips. I will now be there sooner than anticipated.

  5. Brett Alan says

    “Politics aside” seems to be code for “I know that I’m supporting a hateful agenda by going there…but, hey, it doesn’t affect ME, so screw it.”

    I have a feeling that if they discriminated against blacks, Asians, or Jews the way they discriminate against LGBT people and atheists, you wouldn’t be promoting them in this way. So why aren’t those people deserving of the same protection?

    • Jim Wang says

      “Politics aside” doesn’t mean I’m supporting a hateful agenda, it means I recognize there are folks who have decided to not go after the COO made comments opposing same-sex marraige and the charitable arm donated to organizations hostile to LGBT rights. They’ve since responded by stopping so it appears to be settled. It’s also a franchise model, though the franchise fees are pretty high (15% of sales + 50% of pre-tax profits), so I’d react more if the local franchisee discriminated in the same way.

      Everyone is welcome to go where they want and not go where they don’t.

  6. asia says

    Chick-Fil-A is our favorite too! McDonald’s allows you to substitute a happy meal toy for extra fries- which we usually do because most of the time, the toys are just junk. At least with the extra fries- it’s junk they could eat! 😀 The McDonalds App is actually better than Chick-Fil-A’s. Seems to take forever to get a reward there. At McDonalds, there’s a reward every day and different kinds for each visit. For ex: free apple pie or cone with ANY purchase (even if it’s just a drink), free fries with a large sandwich order, free large fries just because, buy one get one free frappe or smoothie, $3 of order of $10, etc. These change every few days.

  7. John says

    Seems to me after taking all the information in that Chick-Fli-A need to decide if they want to be a church or a restaurant?

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