So everyone from college students to moms on the go and everyone in between loves cheap fast food, Here are the fast food hacks you need to know to get more food for lower prices. Over the past few years I have discovered a few fast food hacks for getting the most bang for my buck. Here are several tips and tricks to get the most out of your cheapskate meal on the go.
1. Taco Bell Nachos Discount
Love Taco Bell Nachos? Normally the chips come in a small bag and the cheese in a little container. These cost $1.30. You can get MORE nachos for 20 cents cheaper, simply by ordering Triple Layer Nachos without beans or sauce. This costs $1.10 and it comes in a container with the chips spread out and cheese already poured over them. BAM. More chips. More cheese.
PROTIP: Order a Regular Doritos Loco Taco with your not-so-triple-layer nachos (and a large water) and you’ve got a meal for $2.69.
2. Save money at Chipotle
I’ve got 3 hacks for you at the palace de Burrito:
1. Order off the Kids’ Menu
All kids menu items come with kids chips and a drink (juice, milk, or soda).
You have three options:
1. Small Cheese Quesadilla with a side of rice and beans….$3.75
2. Small Meat+Cheese Quesadilla with a side of rice and beans….$4.25
3. Build your own Taco: any three items and two soft or crispy shells….$4.75 (only one meat or guacamole for the “any three items”)
2. Rice is Free
Want more substance to your meal, or are you super hungry?
Ask for more rice; it’s free! Ask and you shall receive!
3. So are Tortillas
When ordering a burrito bowl, you can always get a tortilla on the side for no extra cost!
PROTIP: If you want to try to get more meat, ask for half of two different kinds. It’s harder for them to estimate half a scoop when the utensils are a whole portion. You might get more meat this way, but I can’t guarantee this works every time.
3. Save Money at Panda Express
With the regular meals at Panda costing $5.80 before tax, you can also save money by ordering a kids’ meal. It comes with an entree (meat/veggies), side (rice), drink and a cookie, costing you $4.90 before tax.
PROTIP: Switch out your cookie after you’ve eaten your meal, (if you don’t want it) by asking them for fortune cookies instead! One time I received a whole takeout box of fortune cookies!
4. Wendy’s Four for $4
You’ve probably heard about this one with all the advertising going on lately, but this meal deal is really a steal! You get four chicken nuggets, a junior bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a medium drink for just $4 before tax!
5. McDonald’s Poor Man’s Big Mac
This has been my go-to order at McDonald’s ever since I can remember! I love Big Macs but just the burger costs $5!! Simply order a double cheeseburger and ask for mac sauce. It saves you about $3 and you can get a small fry and large drink with it for under $5!
PROTIP: Large tea is still $1, but soda is not (sweet, easy ice of course).
6. Speaking of McDonald’s, Mac Sauce is the bomb.
Actually just discovered this hack this year. You can order mac sauce at McDonald’s to dip your fries in, and it’s amazing! (Kind of reminds me of Freddy’s sauce.) They charge you about 30 cents for it, and your receipt reads salad dressing. Just ask for a container of mac sauce for your fries.
PROTIP: If you have the chance to try out the new gourmet McDonald’s locations, do it! I made my own burger, and it was so juicy and the toppings were much better than normal…on the pricer side though, at $5 for just the burger.
7. Thirsty?? Free Water, Even in the Drive-Thru!
Due to their sustainable promises, Starbucks is required to provide water. If you don’t want to buy a bottle, you can always get a Venti for free.
McDonald’s is also required to give free water if you’ve ordered it, but usually comes in a small cup.
Wendy’s does as well; one time my friends and I were really thirsty, so I went through the Wendy’s Drive-Thru. They happily gave me three free waters.
PROTIP: At Subway, instead of getting a flimsy clear water cup, you can buy a medium size plastic cup for about 60 cents, instead of paying $2 for a water bottle.
8. Starbucks Iced Latte Discount
Simply buy a double-shot espresso in a full cup of ice for $1.95, and head over to the milk and sugar counter to top off your cup with the whatever else you want. Saves you $1.60.
PROTIP: Starbucks Christmas Cookie Frappucino Year-round!
I love me some Starbucks Frappucinos, and even though my favorite flavors are the special ones that come out in the summer, Christmas Cookie is off the charts.
Here’s the recipe for any size:
Ask for a cream-based frappucino with equal parts of half toffee and half peppermint. Add caramel drizzle and raw sugar sprinkled on top of the whipped cream. It’s that simple! And it’s delicious!
9. Want a quick, healthier option? (because you’re getting cavities just from reading this)
Just this year, a company called Elevate came out with these amazing salads. Now, I hate salad. But these salads are ridiculously delicious! Look for them in the cooler section, just below the Walmart salads. Their ingredients are all organic and include a bunch of superfoods. They come with a lettuce base, toppings, and a fork. They’re about five bucks, but go on sale for $3.98 sometimes. Flavors include: Blu-Rugula, Go Go Goji, Kale Caesar, Nutty Cranberry, Sunny Caesar, Power Grains, Southwest, and Spinach Pow.
10. List of Student Discounts
As my last hack, I’d like to give all those hard working students out there some student discounts that you might not already know:
PROTIP: You can get a free Krispy Kreme donut anytime if you go inside and ask for a sample!