Everyone loves a good cheap meal every now and then when we’re strapped for cash. So many fast food restaurants offer a dollar menu these days. The one we will review in this article is McDonald’s. McDonald’s Dollar Menu has been around for a long time and although it doesn’t change very often, it has seen some minor changes over the years.
Let’s take a look at what is the best value in terms of cost, quality, and taste when it comes to the dollar menu which includes the three main categories: sandwiches, sweets, and salads.
The main sandwiches in the McDonald’s Dollar Menu include the McDouble, McChicken, and the new Grilled Onion Cheddar. They pretty much ensure that everyone can choose a sandwich that they like for one dollar.
The McDouble is a beef burger with 2 patties, regular bun, American cheese, ketchup, pickle slices, onions, and mustard. It is very tasteful and you can customize it by removing any of those ingredients, such as onions, if you’re not a fan of them.
The McDouble has 390 calories, with 23 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, and 850 milligrams of sodium. So even though the McDouble is only one dollar, you probably shouldn’t eat more than one in one meal.
If you have been a fan of McDonald’s double cheeseburger, then the McDouble should be your next choice. It is nearly identical to the double cheeseburger and it costs about 80 cents less.
The McChicken is one of my favorite dollar sandwiches because it is very tasty, cheap, and can taste even better when dipped in ketchup. Its ingredients include the McChicken patty, regular bun, mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce.
If you just eat McChicken as is, it will be a little spicy due to the pepper seasoning on the McChicken patty. However, if you dip the sandwich in ketchup, then the spiciness goes away and it adds another dimension of flavor.
The McChicken has 360 calories, with 14 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 800 milligrams of sodium. One McChicken should be plenty for your meal and you can consider adding small or medium fries if the McChicken is not enough.
Grilled Onion Cheddar
This is the burger for all the onion lovers out there. The Grilled Onion Cheddar burger has a true onion taste and is made from a regular bun, 100% beef patty, caramelized onions, and white cheddar cheese.
The Grilled Onion Cheddar has 310 calories, with 15 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, and 660 milligrams of sodium. As with the other two options, you should probably only have one of these and possibly add a small side such as fries or a salad.
Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait
The McDonalds Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait is a great option for a low-fat vanilla yogurt layered with some fresh fruits such as strawberries and blueberries. To top it off, it also includes low-fat granola on the top.
The Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait has 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, and 70 milligrams of sodium. As you would imagine, it does have 23 grams of sugars so don’t go too crazy on the parfait. Stick to one and you should be good to go.
Who doesn’t love a great cookie now and again? McDonald’s Dollar Menu offers 3 cookies for only one dollar. You have a choice of soft-baked chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin cookies.
The oatmeal raisin cookies are going to be slightly less on the calories, however, both are high in sugar (as most cookies are) so you shouldn’t have too many at once. Perhaps you could complement it with one of the dollar sandwiches or burgers mentioned above.
The Vanilla Cone ice cream from McDonald’s is one great tasting ice cream. It has a very milky taste with a strong, but not overpowering, vanilla flavor. The ice cream is with reduced-fat so it won’t be too fattening.
The Vanilla Cone has 170 calories, with 5 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs and 70 milligrams of sodium. As with most ice cream, it has a lot of sugar, so try to eat it in moderation as with other sweet foods such as cookies.
So let’s talk about the healthiest option on the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. The famous Apple Slices!
The Apple Slices have only 15 calories and only 4 grams of carbs with no protein or fat content. They also include 20 milligrams of calcium and 94 milligrams of vitamin C. If you want a sweet yet healthy option for a dollar, the Apple Slices cannot be beaten.
We talked about how the apple slices were the healthiest option on the dollar menu. Well, the side salad isn’t too far behind. The side salad includes a mix of premium greens, up to 2 cups of vegetables like the grape tomatoes and shaved carrots.
The side salad without any dressing is only 20 calories, with 1 gram of protein, no fat content, 4 grams of carbs and 10 milligrams of sodium. It also has plenty of calcium, iron, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and vitamin A.
If you feel like you need a dressing with that, it will quickly increase the caloric content of the salad as shown below.
- No dressing – 20 calories, 1 gram of protein, no fat, 4 carbs
- Caesar Dressing – 200 calories, 3 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs
- Southwest Dressing – 120 calories, 2 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – 50 calories, 1 gram of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs
- Italian Dressing – 70 calories, 2 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs
- Ranch Dressing – 190 calories, 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs
As you can see, the healthiest option would be the base side salad with no dressing, however, if you absolutely need the dressing, the balsamic vinaigrette is the best option followed by the Italian dressing.
You have just read about many options on the McDonalds Dollar Menu, which includes sandwiches and burgers, sweets and treats, and a salad.
Although the regular McDonald’s prices are very affordable, the dollar menu is even more affordable because everything on it is just one dollar. You could feed your entire family for a few dollars.
The “Dollar” menu at McDonalds is kind of a misnomer. Out here in California, most of the items on the so-called Dollar Menu cost more than $1. For example, the McDouble costs, on average, $1.29.
Twice now I ordered from the “dollar” menu, a diet Pepsi & a mchicken, both times not a dollar.