April 24, 2024

Eating out can be a foodie’s favorite activity, but if you don’t watch out, even a stop to a relatively cheaper fast-food restaurant can wreak havoc on your budgeting goals.

McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Domino’s are just some of the chains that implemented price hikes last year to curb food costs and keep ahead of inflation.

Now, with reports of relatively simple fast food orders coming up near $20, many consumers have pulled back their spending and attempted to avoid ordering out altogether.

Still, there are ways to indulge in a restaurant treat without breaking the bank.

Newsweek has compiled a list of the most affordable options at America’s favorite restaurants, and you might be surprised at how many options you have under a budget.


You don’t have to despair when looking at your credit card bill for Chipotle orders anymore.

Guests can end up bagging two burritos for the price of one with one hidden trick. Simply order a bowl, double your portions and ask for tortillas on the side and it will end up being far cheaper in the long run.

You can also work around the menu by asking for half and half meat portions since servers generally overestimate the amount for the half protein.


When you enter the parking lot with golden arches, you don’t necessarily need to fret about the impact your meal will have on your wallet.

“The standard single hamburger at McDonald’s and similar chains is not only fairly cheap, but a good source of protein and not packed with sugar,” Alex Beene, a financial literary instructor for the state of Tennessee, told Newsweek.

The fast food giant still offers several options on its $1, $2 and $3 Value Menu. From a standard sausage biscuit to a McDouble, McChicken or chicken nuggets, you’ll still be covered if you want a meal on the go.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell lovers don’t have to spend big to get a delicious snack. The menu still boasts a cheesy nachos order for around just $2.

Also on its value menu are favorites like $1 Cheesy Rollups, Spicy Potato Soft Taco and Cheesy Bean and Rice Burritos.


Wendy’s is famous for its iconic Four for $4 meal deals, but there are plenty of other relatively cheap options on its menu.

A small frosty starts at $1.69, but there’s also a collection of entrees between $2 and $4, ranging from the Junior Cheeseburger and Bacon Double Stack to the Crispy Chicken BLT.

For those desiring a feast, the Four for $4 is still probably the best option, since it includes chicken nuggets, French fries, a drink, and either a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, or a Jr. Cheeseburger.

Burger King

Just because it’s Burger King doesn’t mean the prices are only fit for royalty.

Both the Classic, Honey Mustard and Spicy Royal Crispy Wraps are priced at $2.99. A plain hamburger also starts at $2.79, with the crispy onion-infused Rodeo Burger just a bit higher at $3.19.


If you’re not in the mood for a burger, Subway also has some alluring sandwich meal deals.

Every day, Subway stores offer a ‘Sub of The Day’ deal, offering a special 6-inch sub for just $3.50.

In earlier years, Subway offered a $5 Footlong, but inflation has pushed this option out, making the 6-inch sandwich deal a compelling choice in today’s fast food market.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen might not be top on your list of best fast food deals since it’s mostly known for its ice cream blizzards and sundaes.

But the chain offers a wide range of full-sized meals too, and customers can order a hefty portion through its $7 Meal Deal.

The meal comes with your choice of a cheeseburger or the 3-piece chicken strips along with French fries, a drink, and an ice cream sundae of your choice, so your sweet and savory taste buds will be satisfied.

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This story was originally published February 5, 2024, 3:44 PM.

source: star-telegram

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