Your next food delivery order may cost more than expected.
- Delivery apps like DoorDash are convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost.
- Some apps use underhanded tactics like displaying higher menu prices, which could lead you to pay more for your next order.
Delivery apps add convenience to our lives. While it can be expensive to order takeout, many Americans use delivery app services to have their favorite restaurant meals delivered to their homes.
Most people know that food delivery usually costs more because of the convenience. When using apps like DoorDash, paying delivery charges is the norm.
But delivery app companies have other sneaky ways to get you to hand over extra cash. When you factor in all the extra costs, you might be paying a lot more than if you had the same meal straight from your favorite restaurant.
1. The food itself can cost more
Your favorite delivery apps may charge more than you think.
They do this by including listing menu items at a higher price. The price you see on a local restaurant’s menu may not match the price you see in the delivery app of your choice. Restaurants pay commission fees to be listed in apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Many restaurants display in-app menu items at a higher price than usual to offset these fees. Food products can cost as little as a few cents more, while other products can be much more expensive.
If you frequently order delivery through apps, these additional fees may accumulate over time and negatively impact your bank account balance.
It’s a good idea to review a restaurant’s actual menu and food prices before placing an order through a delivery app to make sure the price you’re about to pay is fair.
2. You may be charged delivery costs when you think the delivery is free
But that’s not the only way delivery apps take more of your hard-earned cash. You may be paying shipping costs even though you think you qualify for free shipping.
For example, DoorDash has a paid subscription called DashPass. Members can enjoy $0 shipping on qualifying orders.
However, not all restaurants displayed in the app are eligible for free delivery. This means that your membership will not give you free shipping all the time.
If you are not careful when placing your order in the app, you may incur delivery charges when you expect free delivery.
If you have a DashPass or similar subscription through another delivery app, keep that in mind the next time you place an order so you don’t pay more than expected.
Stick to a delivery and takeout budget
If you want the convenience of delivery but don’t want to risk spending more than you can afford, it’s a good idea to set and follow a delivery and takeout budget.
Decide how much money you feel comfortable spending each week or month, and keep that in mind when you’re in the mood to order takeout. While limiting your on-the-go spending may take some getting used to, it will get easier over time.
If you’re new to budgeting, don’t be afraid to get started. The best budgeting apps simplify the process, allowing you to budget and track your expenses right from your phone.
Check out these personal finance resources for more tips that could help you improve your financial situation.
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