Stretch Your Fast-Food Dollar With These Clever Menu Hacks

There are a couple of reasons why many of us frequent fast food places. For one, they’re, er, fast. And for two, it’s fairly economical.

Here are some ways to make your dollar go even further at the drive-through window and other fast food joints like McDonald’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, Arby’s, Dominos, Burger King and more!


• Ask that your breakfast sandwich be made with a round egg, not the usual square one. The round egg is made in an egg ring on site free of charge, and is of a better quality and taste, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady.

• Instead of a Big Mac, save $2.30 by choosing a Double Cheeseburger without ketchup and mustard, but with the lettuce and special sauce. No sesame seed bun, but still, that’s a decent savings.

• Does your family love McNuggets? Get the 20-pack! Nuggets are 30 cents each when you order a four-pack, but the price drops to 25 cents each when you buy in bulk, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady.

• Several more Mickey D’s hacks here!


Chipotle photo
Photo by jronaldlee

• Did you know that you can add extra rice to any order for free? True! And you can get guacamole added to your order for free when you skip the protein.

• Business Insider reports that you can get a full meal including a drink and side for under $5 by ordering from the kids menu. Pick from build-your-own tacos or a cheese quesadilla with meat or guacamole.

•Make two (or more!)meals out of one burrito bowl. Just ask for a free tortilla or taco shell on the side, as Krazy Coupon Lady recommends.

Then when going through the line, ask for extra rice, beans, and veggies. If you have lettuce at home, skip the greens (not only does this save room for the extra freebies, but you can reheat the goods later without making the lettuce wilt.)

When you get home, toss some fridge-lettuce on your plate and then add a nice serving of your Chipotle bowl. Eat half your burrito for the first meal, then put the rest in your extra tortilla or shell as a later meal. Voila!


Starbucks photo
Photo by Brad.K

• Save $2.10 by sharing a French press rather than ordering two Grande drip coffees. Thanks for the tip, Krazy Coupon Lady!

• Save 58 cents by asking for light ice in your iced coffee. More ice = less beverage in your cup.

• Need a morning jolt? (That’s why you’re there, after all.) Get a short latte instead of a tall and save 80 cents—they both have the same amount of caffeine.


Arbys photo
Photo by Random Retail

• Save $1.19 by getting a pair of Junior Roast Beef Sandwiches rather than one Classic Roast Beef Sandwich.

And when you’ve got your order, take out your phone and call the number on the back of the receipt. Take their survey and write down the survey code. Hop back in line for a freebie Roast Beef Sandwich or a Beef ‘N Cheddar Sandwich.


Domino’s photo
Photo by The Pizza Review

• The Crazy Koupon Lady is on a roll. She says you can save $10 by ordering a large carryout three-topping pizza with pineapple, ham and bacon instead of a large Honolulu Hawaiian. Technically, the Honolulu Hawaiian also has shredded Parmesan and Asiago and roasted red peppers. But, even if you add those, you still save $7. Mahalo!


Subway photo
Photo by MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito)

Split a foot-long sub with friend, and you can each customize your half—it’s cheaper than ordering two six-inch subs. Both of you will get the same meat and bread, but the cheese, produce and condiments can be changed.

• Do you hate how all of the stuff inside the sandwich falls out? Hack the Menu has a way around that. Ask to have your sub prepared “old-cut style.” They make a V shape or trench in the bread rather than slicing along the side. This way, everything stays inside. Less waste means you got yourself a better deal.

Burger King

Burger King photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

• Back in the day, they had a slogan called “Have It Your Way“—and it’s still good advice at BK. If you order a burger with extra pickles, for example,  you’re basically guaranteed a fresh one because, as The Krazy Coupon Lady explains, the served won’t want to unwrap a pre-made sandwich to throw on the extra pickles. Score!

• Ask for your sandwich to be done “OTB,” or “Off The Broiler.” They’ll take a fresh uncooked patty and run it through the conveyor. You’ll get a fresh burger instead of one that’s wrapped and warming under a lamp.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

• Order the Triple Layer Nachos without beans or sauce for $1.10 instead of the Chips & Cheese for $1.30 to get more nachos with cheese already poured over them.

• Add guacamole to anything for an additional 35 cents.


Wendys photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

Ask for your fries to be unsalted. That means they’ll have to make them fresh. Then add your own salt to your piping hot fresh fries.

Steak ‘N Shake

Brinke Guthrie

  • According to Business Insider, if you order a plain Double ‘n Cheese Steakburger with sourdough bread, Swiss cheese and Frisco sauce instead of a Frisco Melt, you’re getting the exact same thing for less money.

Just remember, if you’re asking the server to go out of his or her way, do it with a smile! You’ll be surprised at the results.

Get more great fast-food restaurant hacks (including a LOT of “Secret Menus”) here.

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[h/t: The Crazy Koupon Lady]

Photo by JeepersMedia