(Updated 5/31/17) I recently noticed that McDonald’s stock is at an all-time high. They are clearly making a ton of money off our fast-food love affair, so I figured it was time to come up with some McDonald’s menu hacks that can actually save us money on our next trip to the golden arches. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these tips can definitely save you some cash. McFlurry anyone?
1. Order the “Budget” Big Mac
Did you know that you can order any McDonald’s burger to come with “special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun”, just like the famous Big Mac? Apparently there’s even a button on the register for this request at many golden arches locations. All you have to say is “Like a Mac” and you’ll get hooked up – minus the 3rd bun in the middle of course, but you can live without that strange invention.
Turns out this is a great hack to get a Big Mac for a lot less money. For example, order a “McDouble – like a Mac” and you’ll essentially get a Big Mac for about $2 after the add-ons, compared to the original Big Mac which comes with a price tag of $4.19 at most locations. Also, if you’re simply craving a double burger, just order the McDouble instead of the Big Mac and easily save a couple bucks as the McDouble remains a steal at $1.79.
2. Order McNuggets in Multiples of 4
Okay, so this tip is awesome if you love yourself some chicken nugs. The next time the craving hits order your McNuggets in multiples of four. Why? Well, a box of 4 will typically run you about $1.30 ($0.32 cents a nugget) while a box of 10 will cost you about $4.50 or $0.45 cents a nugget. So…if your local arches has the 4-pack on the menu, order them up like crazy as you’re saving money.
3. Ask About Discounted Chow
I use to do this in college and it almost always worked. When ordering, I’d simply ask if they had any burgers or fries that were “going begging”. Meaning they were made but not bought, or perhaps they’ve been sitting under the heat lamp a little too long. Nothing wrong with them! I use to get Big Macs for $0.79, Quarter Pounders for $0.75, and fries for $0.50. Hey, I was a starving college student and I didn’t care what anyone else thought!
4. Over 55? Get a Free Cup of Coffee
If you’re over 55, did you know you’re entitled to a free cup of coffee every time you enter a McDonalds? You must dine-in to be eligible for your free coffee, and not all restaurants participate, but it’s definitely worth asking about. Also, it appears that some golden arches offer the choice of a free coffee or a cold beverage.
5. Egg McMuffin Hack
The next time you enter a McDonald’s jonesing for some breakfast, consider ordering a simple Sausage McMuffin (without the egg) along with an ala carte “round egg” and create your own Sausage Egg McMuffin on the cheap. According to the clever folks at BuzzFeed, by ordering it this way, you’ll get it for $2.58 instead of $3.19. Not a huge savings, but a fun McDonald’s secret menu hack that’ll stick it to Ronald every time.
6. Want Hot and Fresh Fries?
Nothing worse than luke warm and soggy french fries. To avoid this, be sure to order them with “No Salt” and Mickey D’s will fry up a fresh batch just for you. You can then add the salt yourself if you want. While this won’t save you any money, it will definitely get you some deliciously amazing french fries on your next visit.
This tip also works for the Filet O’ Fish – order it “no cheese” and you’re guaranteed to get a freshly made fish sandwich.
7. Don’t Ignore the Value Menu
Not all “Value Menu” items are created equal as some are much better deals than others. The best value menu items at McDonalds are as follows:
- McChicken Sandwich: At an affordable $1, this is the best buy on the ENTIRE menu by far. It weights 5.10 ounces, which means it’s priced at $3.14 per pound. In contrast, the Big Mac sells for over $9 per pound and the Filet O’ Fish comes in at $12.45 per pound.
- 2 Cheeseburgers for $2: If you’re craving beef instead of poultry, the 2 cheeseburgers for $2 is the best way to go.
- McDouble: At $1.79, the McDouble is also a great value menu item. Order it “Like a Mac” and get it with all the Big Mac trimmings and you’ve essentially order a Big Mac and saved a couple bucks in the process.
By Kyle James
Photo by Mike Mozart