What’s the best part about eating at McDonald’s, beside the McFlurry? You can save money at McDonald’s. Admit it, it’s hard to turn down menu items that even the smallest budget can handle.
These days, you don’t even have to go into the restaurant to grab your happy meal, thanks to the McDonald’s app and Uber Eats delivery. With our insider secrets, dinner at McD’s has never smelled so good.
Grab the Krazy Coupon Lady app for the best money-saving tips and freebie deals.
Note: McDonald’s pricing is regional, so the cost for these items may be a bit different depending on where you live.
1. The best value by calories on the McDonald’s menu is the Sausage Biscuit and the Bacon Cheddar McChicken.
If you look at the most valuable menu items in terms of the number of calories you’re getting per dollar, the clear winner is the $1 McChicken, followed by the $1.19 Sausage Biscuit.
Note: This is not based on the healthiest menu items! But these will give you the most food and calories for your dollar:
2. Use the McDonald’s app to get free food — it’s legit.
The McDonald’s app alerts you to sales, shows you the current menu, and most importantly it gives you all the current coupons that can be scanned right from your phone.
Here are some past examples of deals we’ve seen come and go on the app:
- Buy 1 get 1 free Happy Meals every Wednesday
- Free medium fries with any purchase
- Free medium fries and soft drink with purchase of a signature crafted sandwich
- Buy 1 get 1 free sandwiches
3. Order the McDonald’s Side Salad with an Artisan Grilled Chicken Breast instead of a premium salad.
You’ll save over $1!
So, If you don’t want to shell out the cash for one of McDonald’s full-sized salads, try out this little trick to get lots of salad and save. Just order a side salad and add grilled chicken or another kind of meat of your choice.
You’ll pay less than if you’d ordered a regular salad, but you’ll still be getting plenty of protein.
4. The worst time of day to eat is late at night.
Late at night, the food doesn’t get sold as quickly, so your chances of getting fries that have been sitting out awhile are higher.
Speaking of which, if you’re worried about getting not-so-fresh fries, asking for fries with no salt in order to get fresh fries is an old and well-known McDonald’s hack that made the rounds a few years ago. But that means McDonald’s managers are savvy to this tip too, and now many stores keep “unsalted” fries on the side for just such orders.
The real hack? Just ask your cashier for fresh fries; they’re happy to accommodate your order with salt if you’re willing to wait a few minutes longer.
5. Sign up for McDonald’s email alerts to keep on top of deal offers.
If you don’t want to constantly check your McDonald’s app, email is the easiest way to get alerts when new deals or coupons are posted.
For example, even though I don’t always notice the notifications from my McDonald’s app, I got an email in my inbox reminding me of my free fries with any order on Friday this week. Score!
6. The healthiest thing to order is the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken.
Want to eat McDonald’s food but still eat a healthy meal? Try these two menu items:
7. Earn free coffee with the McCafe Loyalty Program.
Love McDonald’s coffee? Well, use the McDonald’s app on your phone when you order your coffee, and for every five McCafe’s (prices vary) you buy at McDonald’s, you get a sixth one free. Here’s how to do it:
- Use the McDonald’s app to order a McCafe’ and mobile pay. Your progress will be automatically tallied. Pick up your drink at the drive thru or counter.
- Tap on the McCafe you want and select “Scan Now” to receive a QR code for dining in or drive-thru.
- Once you arrive and order, show your code to the cashier on your phone or scan it at the kiosk.
8. Don’t order 4-piece Chicken McNuggets; order the 20-piece box for the best value.
Why? Because if you compare the cost per nugget, the 20-piece order of nuggets is the clear winner in the cheapest deal category.
9. Get a cheaper Big Mac! Order a McDouble with Mac Sauce instead.
You can get a Big Mac for less by asking for a McDouble without ketchup or mustard, but with Mac Sauce and lettuce instead for no extra charge.
You might not get the middle bun found in the Big Mac, but you’ll only pay around $1.89, as opposed to the $4.59 you would pay for a regular Big Mac.
10. Order a burger with no patty if you want a “grilled cheese sandwich.”
The grilled cheese sandwich is one of the best McDonald’s secret menu hacks for customers who want a light vegetarian meal, or you want a vegetarian-friendly option in your child’s happy meal.
If you just want to try one out for yourself, it is a slice of melted cheese between two grilled buns and will run you the same cost as a regular cheeseburger ($1).
11. Order a soda with no ice to get twice the soda for your money.
When you order a large soda for $1, you get a soda with ice in it. That’s a lot of ice that will melt when you take your cold drink out on a hot day.
Ask for your drink with “no ice” if you’re going through the drive-through, or fill it up yourself at the drink stand, but leave out the ice. You’ll get twice the soda.
Plus, it’s still chilled from the machine, and there’s no ice to melt and water down your drink.
12. Regional stores will serve different food, so check the menu when you travel.
McDonald’s is always putting a twist on their food. Here are a few unique items that have graced the McDonald’s menu over the years:
- Hawaii: Spam Musubi, Portuguese sausage, sides of white rice
- Alaska: Denali Mac — A burger that looks like the Big Mac but has two quarter-pound beef patties. This burger is named after Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley)
- Canada: Poutine — French fries covered in gravy and cheese
- New England: The McLobster — A lobster roll served in a hot dog bun with “lobster sauce” and shredded lettuce, introduced in 1993
- New Mexico: Green Chile Sunrise Burrito — A breakfast burrito with both bacon and sausage
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