We get it, fast food is not a particularly healthy or ideal choice when looking for a quick fix for dinner or lunch. We all know it’d be more appropriate to opt for a freshly made salad or a hearty home cooked meal, but the fact of the matter is that we are busy—and oftentimes—short-on-cash people. People with fast paced lives that refuse to slow down—and sometimes fast food is just the quickest option—the option that is also conveniently very nice to our wallet. So, let’s check out some of the best fast food restaurants that will be sure not to break your bank.
1. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is a favorite of mine, mainly due to the fact that the tacos are literally a dollar, and two of the crunchy tacos will fill me up decently well. If you’re still hungry after the tacos, you can add on an order of their deliciously crunchy chips and cheese or cheesy potatoes for a dollar and some change. The receipt is always the best part of going to Taco Bell—double-checking the printed order like a maniac, you won’t believe how little you have to cough up for such a delicious and filling meal.
Oh good old McDonald’s, how we love you. No SuperSize Me, you have not scared us away from McDonald’s, you have only taught us not to eat it everyday—which I think we can all agree is common knowledge. McDonald’s is a great fast food place, especially if you’re pressed for time. An obvious and universal favorite from McDonald’s is the beloved french fries. Perfectly salted and crisp—if they are kind enough to cook a fresh batch for you, a large will only cost you $1.89! The chicken nuggets, those delicious but weirdly shaped bites, come in at just under 5 bucks for ten pieces. If you’re more of a burger person, you’re in luck because they have an extensive burger menu, with countless choices that do not stray up past 6 bucks. Now, if you are super strapped for cash, McDonald’s is kind enough to offer all of us a dollar menu—which I have been in the unique circumstance of hungrily scanning while clutching a couple of loose bills.
KFC, where my never-ending love for the potato wedge was first discovered. KFC is cheap…but only if you’re just paying your way. I recently went to KFC with a friend who decided to pay for the both of us and the bill wasn’t really…financially ideal. However, this does not mean that KFC isn’t a great option if you’re just going alone to feed yourself! In fact, KFC is an amazing fast food option. A large order of potato wedges will only run you $3.79 and all of their delicious sides don’t go anywhere past 4 bucks. If you are looking to feed a larger crowd, I suggest opting for a deal like the “$20 Family Fill Up”—which includes 8 pieces of chicken, 2 large mashed potatoes, and 4 biscuits! KFC would not be KFC without me mentioning their absolute knockout of a side—the mac n cheese. I don’t know how they prepare it, I don’t even care to ever find out, all I know is that it is some of the best mac n cheese in the game, and you can get a large for just 3 bucks.
Now, before I begin this, I am going to hope we can all agree that checkers wins the “Best Fry Competition” by far. Not only do they have the best fries, but they have burgers that start with prices as low as a dollar—never reaching up past $6. With desserts like the deep dish sundae or the sundae stacker, you and your sweet tooth will be glad to know that their milkshakes cost as low as 4 dollars… for a LARGE. Checkers is a great fast food option for families or large groups because of their amazingly low-priced combos and meals—that never venture above 8 dollars. Cheap, and home to the best fry, Checkers is a win any night of the week.
I know that when I think of Wendy’s the first thing that pops into my head next is…Frosty’s! There is nothing quite like that time of the year—you know the one, the one where those delicious and creamy Frosty’s cost just two tiny little quarters. A beautiful time of year, but it will not last forever, and when it nears its end you will breathe a sigh of relief when you find out that even a large Frosty at regular price is just $2.29—piggy bank money. My second Wendy’s favorite is randomly enough, their bacon and cheese potato. It’s decently sized and packed with cheese and bacon, and it’ll only cost you $2.89. Their chicken sandwiches manage to hover below 7 dollars and the cheeseburgers staying clear under $8. So, go ahead, grab a burger when you’re pressed for time, your wallet will thank you.
6. Burger King
Oh Burger King, a place sentimentally packed away in my heart with memories of walking in and anticipating the arrival of that beloved paper crown. Burger King—“Home of the Whopper”—is very affordable…and actually delicious. While I’m not typically inclined to order chicken at fast food places, whenever I’m at Burger King, chicken is an absolute must. Burger King’s “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” and “Chicken Fries” are what keep me coming back every time—always guaranteed to be warm, crispy and tender. Not only are these items delicious, but…SURPRISE—they are reasonably priced too! The entirety of their sprawling 17 item dessert menu is impressively all priced just under 3 dollars! So the next time your sweet tooth comes knocking and you happen to be rolling past a Burger King…consider the U-turn.