The moment you scan the menu and see the price of a salad, your eyes gloss over. You slyly, yet protectively place your hand over your wallet and silently curse the creator of the $7.92 Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad. Just when you thought your dinner plans were tarnished, the glow of the neon lights – your saving grace – catches your eye. You knew they’d be hiding somewhere – the cheap fast food options.
While it’s true, fast food prices continue to rise, we will always dig up the latest dollar menus, dinner deals, and dirt-cheap fan favorites. This time, we’re sharing the top-rated cheap fast food options from the world’s favorite powerhouses.
1. Tacos – Jack in the Box
Jack in The Box is a rare find favored by the late-night snackers. If your area is lucky enough to be graced with one of these restaurants, the unbelievably cheap deals might shock you. To kick things off, let’s start with the two-for-one tacos. This cheap snag is arguably one of the best deals in the fast food industry. Jack in the Box boasts over its tacos on social media with impressive regularity, claiming the glorified hashtag #TacoObsession. For a single Washington? We’re obsessed, too.
Price: 2 for $1
2. All American Cheeseburger – Checker’s/Rally’s
As if choosing something off the menu wasn’t hard enough, Rally’s throws another curveball at us – drive-throughs on both sides of the building. Whether your local joint goes by Checkers or Rally’s, this quirky franchise serves some of the best cheap fast food options, including the one-dollar All American Cheeseburger. Take comfort in knowing this burger is exactly what you’d expect it to be – a single beef patty, American cheese, pickles, and mustard. Cheap, greasy, and delicious, the American way.
3. Cheesy Nachos – Taco Bell
Cheesy Nachos at Taco Bell are one of life’s simplest (and cheapest) pleasures. With perfectly salted tortilla chips and piping-hot, creamy nacho cheese, you can’t go wrong with this cheap fast food option, especially because an order of these bad boys is only a buck. Serving as a perfect side for your tacos or burrito, you’ll scarf down these nachos in a few bites. Seriously… The portion sizes are small (like everything at Taco Bell), so plan accordingly.
And if you want to get really fancy – and spend a few more dollars – you can try their Grande Nachos box. This Mexican fast food option is bascially the Cheesy Nachos on steroids, topped with ground beef, tomatoes, and sour cream.
4. Small Frosty – Wendy’s
Wendy’s has comfort food down to a science, and if you ask us, there is no greater comfort food than a Frosty. For just one dollar, you can treat yourself with a vanilla or chocolate dessert, which somehow pairs well with everything on the menu. Oh, and have you tried dipping those perfectly-salted fries into your ice cream? As odd as it sounds, it blows a side of ranch out of the water.
5. Whopper Jr. – Burger King
We debated including a McDonald’s burger on this list, but nothing trumps the Whopper. As part of the Whopper family, this single patty burger is the best value you can get for a burger from BK. It has all the qualities you love about the Whopper – the toasted sesame bun, grilled beef patty, and loads of toppings – but in a smaller, much less guilt-inducing burger.
6. Chicken Sandwich – Jack in the Box
Let’s face it – anything competing with the McChicken has their work cut out for them, but at a mere $1.29, we’d say this is a solid option if you’re not into Jack in the Box’s top-selling Spicy Chicken Sandwich.
7. BK Stacker – Burger King
Another frontrunner at Burger King is the BK Stacker, a single patty burger with a slice of American cheese, thick-cut hardwood smoked bacon, and zesty BK sauce on a toasted bun. Fun fact for you: this cheap fast food option is part of a family of burgers at Burger King that includes the Single Stacker King, Double Stacker King, Triple Stacker King, as well as the BK Double, Triple, and Quad Stacker. Talk about a mouthful.
8. Checkerburger or Rallyburger – Checker’s/Rally’s
Rest assured, you’ll get the same explosion of flavor whether you order this burger on the right or left side of the building. This classic option is named after the restaurant for a reason, serving up a beef patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, melted cheese, mayo, and ketchup.
9. Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap – McDonald’s
McDonald’s is encouraging us to eat this menu item as a snack, right? They are quite small, but if you ask us, a couple of these puppies makes for a filling meal, with options to drown your grilled or crispy chicken in chipotle BBQ, honey mustard, or ranch. (If you’re in the market for something on the lighter side, check out these eight McDonald’s healthy choices.)
10. Chicken Burrito – Taco Bell
Taco Bell caters to the fast food lover in all of us, teasing us with those glorified beef tacos, exclusive sugar-packed Mountain Dews, and melt-in-your-mouth cheese quesadillas. Whether we know what they’re made of or not, these cheap fast food options never fail us. But, that seasoned beef isn’t for everyone. For under $2, you get all-white meat chicken, Latin rice, creamy avocado ranch sauce, and cheddar cheese wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.
11. Large French Fries – McDonald’s
A large fry is quite versatile, serving as a great food to scarf down after a breakup, a side to share with a friend, or a satisfying meal in itself. Be warned – the calories add up fast if you add a burger to your order, but the taste and price are unbeatable.
12. Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap – Burger King
The Crispy Chicken Ranch Wrap from Burger King is comparable to the McDonald’s Snack Wrap, except there isn’t a grilled option. If you’re ordering something smothered in ranch, you’ve already lost the health battle, anyway.
13. Spicy Chicken Sandwich – Checker’s/Rally’s
Your loyalties may be with Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but this price is quite persuasive. For just three bucks, you can score two of these sandwiches that are topped with shredded lettuce and mayo. A side of those Rally’s fries is never a bad idea, too.
Price: 2 for $3.00
14. Chicken McNuggets (20 Pc.) – McDonald’s
We’re confident when we say the Chicken McNuggets are the Michael Jordan of McDonald’s, withstanding time and remaining adored in the public eye throughout the years. For just $4.99, you get a more-than-filling meal or a great opportunity to share.
15. $5 Fill Up – KFC
Wait… $5? You may be wondering why in the world we’d include a price tag so hefty on our list of cheap fast food options, but with KFC’s $5 Fill Up, you get your money’s worth. With five fast food fried chicken options to choose from, you can customize your box to include a Crispy Colonel Sandwich, 3 Extra Cripsy Tenders, one Chicken Breast, a Pot Pie, or a Famous Bowl, all accompanyed by a cookie and a drink. Select options even include potato wedges or mashed potatoes, as well as a biscuit.
Is your favorite cheap fast food option on our list? Comment below to share the menu item you can’t live without.