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Using Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

Category Dining Out
One way to save money and actually reduce calories when eating at a fast food restaurant, is to eat from the dollar menu. This is a guide about using dollar menus at fast food restaurants.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 26, 20050 found this helpful

Many times when our daughters were younger, they would go on activities, especially with our church. On those activities it was often necessary to eat at a fast food restaurant. This can get very expensive and some weeks we just didn't have the money for them to go and eat. We quickly found out, though, that many places to eat, especially McDonald's, have a $1 menu. They could get a dollar burger, dollar fry, and get ice water to drink. Now we will often do the same thing when we are on the road traveling. Saves quite a bit of money.

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By Robin

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April 26, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have only one caveat about ordering from the dollar menu - make sure you actually look at the menu, even if you've been to that restaurant many times. At the McDonald's where I live they have taken most things of any value off their dollar menu. Boy, am I glad I looked at the menu before I ordered the last time!

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March 26, 20060 found this helpful
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Check with your local McDonald's and Wendy's around each holiday (or season). I know Wendy's here in Kansas City offers the Jr. Frosty coupons (10 for a $1, I think) for Halloween and McDonald's offers the coupons around Halloween, then Christmas, Valentines Day, and maybe other times. The Christmas aka Holiday Coupons, are good for about a year! Many times we've only gotten a dollar item and coupled it with a treat coupon for the kids. (some treats are free ice cream, fries, drink, etc.)

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April 27, 20050 found this helpful

Hi! Mc Donalds now charges $1.00 for bottled water...I don't know if they will just give you a cup of ice water anymore...some restarunts still do. :) aeromama

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April 27, 20050 found this helpful

It's times like those when McDonald's gift certificates come in handy. Suggest these when gift giving times come up with friends, Grandparents, Aunts, Cousins, etc.

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May 11, 20050 found this helpful

Wendy's in my opinion now has the best dollar menu (and healthiest)

Burger King also has a dollar menu.

KFC has a .99 cent chicken sandwich now too.

A lot of local mexican restaurants have a .79 cent taco night. 2 tacos, free chips and salsa and glass of water later, we're full.

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September 15, 20160 found this helpful

Almost all McDonald's locations have increased their prices and they do not call them "dollar menu" any longer. Now it is "value menu" and here in Oregon everything on the "value menu" has now increased in price from $.30 or more. The only item actually left at $1 is the McChicken sandwich and the any size drink. Everything else is over $1. Burger King still has two or three $1 burger choices. Most places however have followed McDonalds and raised their prices or have completely stopped offering $1 items at all.

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May 26, 20100 found this helpful

I'm doing a research paper right now in English on how dollar menus are very important to our society and how every fast food should have one. What do you think? What do you think of fast food? Do you think dollar menus are necessary?

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Leanna

Answers:

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

Dollar menus at fast food restaurants are nice to have for people (like me) on limited budgets, but I think that there should be more healthier choices on them. A few of the restaurants have salads on their dollar menus, I think, and that's a start. However, I wish that the restaurants would keep up the trend of adding more healthier choices, and make those available on the dollar menus too. I rarely take my son to fast food restaurants, but when I do, I like to have some healthy options available. When we do occasionally get fast food as a treat, I usually order off of the dollar menu. Hope these comments help with your paper! (10/03/2005)

By evan's"mama"

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

My son works at a McDonald's here in GA. He says that they sell a lot of items off the dollar menus. I personally like them myself. I can run by and get a quick pick me up. As for them being necessary, yes, they are. Being a family of 4, I used to take my kids on outings and have a "nice" lunch on Fridays. They enjoyed it and to be honest I did too and it didn't break the bank. (10/03/2005)

By jean in GA

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I agree with evan's "mama". The dollar menu is usually the higher fat/calorie content foods. Salads should be on that menu also. But the dollar menu is great for staying on a budget. (10/03/2005)

By Jo

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

Leanne,

Having worked in fast food I can tell you that the dollar menus are very important. When cashiering that is usually the first thing many customers ask, is where is the dollar menu. I worked at Burger King for awhile and when we had the dollar menu, we sold a lot. When our Burger King stopped it, so did many of the customers from buying. They would ask where it was and when told we no longer have one, they would walk out.

Having also worked for Taco Bell, customers also looked for anything under a dollar. Many times they would walk out also if we did not have one. They now have dollar items.

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For myself I prefer to eat at Wendy's if going for fast food since they have a salad and baked potato both for a dollar. I believe that dollar menus for fast food restaurants are very important for someone on a limited budget and all fast food restaurants should have them. Sometimes all you want is something little and you can't go wrong for a dollar no matter what it is.

I don't believe most fast food is good for anyone, that's why I always use to take my lunch to eat. Too much fat in the food.

What I do believe is that fast food has no place being put into schools as I know many have. I believe kids should have balanced meals at school and let their parents handle how much fast food they have outside of school.

Anyway, yes, dollar menus are needed because of low wages also. Hope that helps you somewhat.
(10/03/2005)

By RoseMary B

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I virtually never order anything that isn't on the dollar menu. If I were to pay $6 for lunch, I would buy it at a sit-down place, not at fast food place. I refuse to spend that kind of money on burgers and fries out of paperboard cartons. (10/03/2005)

By Katie A.

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I think it's great. I especially like the healthier choices for the dollar menu or the snacks when you have a sweet tooth. (10/04/2005)

By Highly Favored

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

Rent the movie Super Size Me. The filmmaker eats nothing but fast food for 30 days. (10/10/2005)

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Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I never paid any attention to the fast food dollar menus until recently. I am not on a strict budget but many times I don't want a lot and I don't need to be eating a lot! I don't think fast food is the greatest thing to be eating anyway but hey, we all do it. When you have young children, it is fast and easy. Wendy's has a very good dollar menu. I discovered their chili is really excellent and a buck for the small size, comes with crackers. Also they will put cheese and onion on top. Pair that with a side salad or a baked potato and ask for iced water and you've only spent $2 plus tax, can't beat it! Oh and the other day I tried a caesar side salad with my chili. The salad was delicious and fresh and came with caesar dressing and croutons. It was almost too much for me to eat and I got water which was free so again only spent 2 bucks! Also folks, don't forget that just because you are an adult doesn't mean you can't order a child's meal at fast food. You can and it's plenty and costs less! Sometimes I do that when we are trying to get certain toys that come with the meal! (02/01/2006)

By Debbie52

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I feel that having a dollar menu is a great option for consumers. Whether you don't want to fill up on food, or on a budget, or even want to add more food (gasp!) to your regular menu choices, dollar menus give you that option. Ala Carte!

As far as fast food, I believe it has its place. The key (for me at least) is to eat fast food in moderation. Yes, it's healthier to eat at home. But, it's nice to be able to get something to eat in a pinch and as a treat. It depends on the situation.

There's been times where my kids are happy with going to McDonald's just to split a dollar double cheeseburger and some fries. Some days we don't get home until 6 PM (after work and school activities) and we aren't always able to pack a snack, so it comes in handy. (03/27/2006)

By kidseatfree

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

Dollar menus are great for parents with small children. Example is Wendy's (the best for kids, in my opinion), you can get a four piece chicken nugget kids' meal for 2.98 - that is main meal, small fries and kid's drink. Then your regular meal is between 4.99-5.40 for adults (med. fries and drink.) What I do is order one meal for me (with dietary beverage) then order a 5 piece chicken off dollar menu and a small water for kid. Water is free, and you share the fries so you only spend $1 on child! On a meal, drink is included, so you pay same price. Now that they have the milk option for kids at no extra charge with their meals, I switch and buy my sandwich off the dollar menu and pay for the kid's meal (good deal with milk!) and get the dollar fries, which is plenty for me. It is like building your own meal, and usually comes out to be cheaper because of the size.

Note: Twenty years ago, standard meal sizes at fast food eateries (I wouldn't call them real restaurants) used to be the same sizes as today's small/dollar size! There is a comparison somewhere (look on any diet website or health site). (03/27/2006)

By camo_angels

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

"Note: Twenty years ago, standard meal sizes at fast food eateries (I wouldn't call them real restaurants) used to be the same sizes as today's small/dollar size! There is a comparison somewhere (look on any diet website or health site)".

I read that too somewhere. The McDonald's All American Meal (same as the Happy Meal, but no toy) was the original adult meal. I'm usually happy with just a Happy Meal myself when I go out to McDonalds. (03/27/2006)

By kidseatfree

Dollar Menus at Fast Food Restaurants

I believe Dollar Menus help a lot of people who cannot afford quality meals, but fast food in general is very bad. People shouldn't eat them too much or they'll get more junk in them. Plus, it's riskier to die. We're doing the obesity unit right now, but I blame the fast food places. (12/23/2007)

By treesahhh

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Anonymous
October 8, 20160 found this helpful

Another fast food cheapie, if you belong to Sam's Club. Their hot dog is, I think 8 ou. and with a drink is 1.70, without 1.30. My husband and i get one every other month and it fills us up for $2.60. They also have a cheap chili dog, which you would have to split for a child.

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