In this article, we will go over 5 restaurants that offer cheap fast food options and we will look at those options in depth. We will go over things such as taste, quality, nutrition, and price.
When we say cheap, we won’t look for cheap in quality or taste, but rather value and price. We want to look at foods that are tasty yet won’t break your wallet. After all, if we want to spend a lot of money on food, then fast food should probably not be one of your options unless it’s one of the higher end fast food restaurants such as Panera Bread Company.
McDonald’s is probably America’s favorite fast food restaurant and definitely the most well known restaurant in the world. It is available in most countries and their menu caters to the local audience.
Recently, we wrote an article about the McDonald’s dollar menu. Although the dollar menu is a great start, there are some great choices that didn’t make that list because they were slightly higher than one dollar.
Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap – $1.59
The Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap comes in three varieties: chipotle BBQ, honey mustard, and ranch. It depends what you like the most, but I prefer the ranch version despite the fact that it has the most calories.
The Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap is only $1.59, which is a great value for what you get. It contains chicken, iceberg lettuce, jack and cheddar cheeses, and your choice of condiment or dressing wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.
The Chicken Snack Wrap is also available with crispy chicken, although that one will be higher in calories and fat content.
Large French Fries – $1.79
Ok, so I wouldn’t recommend large fries to anyone unless they’re just having fries for the meal. The large French fries are 500 calories so they should be sufficient for a quick meal. If you add a burger to it, you are asking for trouble as that will most likely be 1,000 calories, if not even more.
The reason large fries are listed here is because they are only $1.79 but fill you up quickly. Almost every other fast food restaurant offers smaller fries with a higher price. Besides, the McDonald’s fries are known to be one of the best tasting.
20 Pc. Chicken McNuggets – $4.99
To preface this section, I will say the 20 Pc. Chicken McNuggets is a meals for two, not for one person. It has 940 calories, so when split between two people, it ends up being a reasonable 470 calories per person.
The nuggets from McDonald’s (called Chicken McNuggets) are some of the most beloved nuggets in the fast food industry. They’re all white-meat and it’s very rare to find gristle in them.
For $4.99, this price cannot be beat. When split in two, it ends up being less than $2.50 per person for a meal.
Burger King is right next to McDonald’s when it comes to restaurant popularity. Critics have often said that Burger King tries to copy meals offered by McDonald’s, but I think as long as they compete strongly with each other, they’ll copy each other as well.
Burger King is most known for their Whopper line of burgers.
Whopper Jr. – $1.29
As discussed in the recent article explaining the Whopper prices, the Whopper Jr. is a single patty burger that’s slightly smaller than the regular Whopper. It contains 340 calories, which is reasonable for a beef fast food burger.
The Whopper Jr. costs only $1.29, which is probably the best value you can get for a burger from Burger King.
BK Stacker – $1.29
I mentioned above how the Whopper Jr. is the best value burger at Burger King, but not if BK Stacker has anything to say about it.
The BK Stacker is just as good of a value if you like the ingredients in it. The BK Stacker contains one beef patty, a slice of melted American cheese, thick cut hardwood smoked bacon, zesty BK sauce, and all contained in a toasted bun. So if you’re not a fan of the sauce or bacon, you would need to order one without it, which would change the flavor. The BK Stacker, at 370 calories, is slightly higher in calories than the Whopper Jr.
The BK Stacker is also only $1.29, which is comparable to the Whopper Jr. Everyone likes different things so you should try both of these to determine which burger you like more.
Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap – $1.99
The Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap from Burger King is very similar to McDonald’s except it doesn’t come in a grilled version, which would have been our choice of preference. The crispy variation is still a great deal and that is why it is included in this article.
The Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap is $1.99, which is not the best deal mentioned here, but it is still fairly inexpensive.
Checkers or Rally’s
Checkers or Rally’s is a quirky little fast food restaurant known best for having drive-thru on the left and right sides of its buildings. They are also known for offering some great cheap meals and we’ll go into more detail about them.
Checkerburger or Rallyburger – $1.39
The Checkerburger or Rallyburger is one of the tastiest burgers for that price. It has a beef patty, lettuce, tomates, onions, melted cheese, mayo, and ketchup. It is literally an explosion of flavors in your mouth. At this price and flavor, you’re going to have to pay for it in calories, as the burger has 390 calories.
The Checkerburger or Rallyburger is about $1.39 and as said previously, will be hard to beat.
Spicy Chicken Sandwich – 2 for $3.00
The Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Checkers or Rally’s is not as good as Wendy’s Spicy Chicken sandwich, but it is good enough to be featured in this article as you can get two of them for only $3.00.
It has a tasty fried chicken patty, with shredded lettuce and mayo. As you could probably tell, it is a bit high in calories, at 550. So eat in moderation and you should be fine.
All American Cheeseburger – $1.00
The All American Cheeseburger is simple. It has a beef patty, a slice of American cheese, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. It is a very simple burger but also offers enough flavor, especially for $1.00.
At 320 calories, it is a pretty good choice for a cheap fast food meal.
Jack in The Box
Jack in The Box is a fast food restaurant that is not as readily available as McDonald’s or Burger King, but in places where it is available, it seems to be loved quite a bit. It depends what you order from there as most of its meals are a little on the higher side of pricing, but here are three options that are quite affordable.
Tacos – 2 for $0.99
This is the best deal in the fast food industry. You will not find a better one. You get two tasty Jack in The Box tacos for only 99 cents. Even if you need more 4 tacos, that is still less than $2.00.
Each taco is 193 calories so don’t go too wild on them. They are very cheap so it is easy to get carried away.
Jr. Jack – $1.29
Jr. Jack is a single-patty beef sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, pickle, chopped onions, mayo-onion sauce, and ketchup on a regular bun. Although it’s not the tastiest burger, it is pretty good here and there, especially for only $1.29.
The Jr. Jack is 324 calories which is comparable to the Whopper Jr.
Chicken Sandwich – $1.29
The Chicken Sandwich from Jack in The Box is nothing like their Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich is very tasty and among the best in the industry, but the regular Chicken Sandwich is pretty mediocre. At $1.29, I would highly recommend the McChicken from McDonald’s, however, at times when that might not be an option, the Chicken Sandwich from Jack in The Box is not a bad choice either.
At 415 calories, it is a little more than other fast food chicken sandwiches that are in the similar price range.
One restaurant that prides itself on thinking outside the bun is Taco Bell. That’s because they do not have any meals on their menu that is served in a bun. They specialize in Tex-Mex style of foods, which includes anything from tacos to quesadillas.
Although we will only show 3 value foods from Taco Bell, rest assured that they have many more options. In fact, the majority of meals at Taco Bell are cheaper due to being smaller in size than other fast food meals.
Crunchy / Soft Taco – $0.99 / $1.09
The most obvious choices at Taco Bell are their crunchy and soft tacos. They come with ground beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese. The crunchy tacos are about 10 cents cheaper, being 99 cents compared with $1.09 for the soft taco.
The tacos are pretty small, so you’ll most likely need about 2-3 tacos to fill your appetite.
Cheesy Nachos – $0.99
The Cheese Nachos are very simple. It’s tortilla chips covered with warm nacho cheese. It is pretty tasty for what it is and could complement your soft or crunchy taco.
Chicken Burrito – $1.69
The Chicken Burrito is another fine option at Taco Bell. It is only $1.69 and it is very flavorful. It contains all-white meat chicken, Latin rice, creamy avocado ranch sauce, and cheddar cheese wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.
Since the Chicken Burrito is 420 calories, you probably shouldn’t have anything else on the side.
What do you think of our list of cheap fast food meals? Leave us your feedback in the comment and give us suggestions on future articles.