Tuesday, July 23

6 US Fast Food Chains You Won’t Afford Anymore

Well, inflation took a toll on all of us, especially when it comes to buying food, and the best proof of that is the fact that grocery store prices have increased this year, no matter the category we’re talking about.

That’s why, instead of staying home and cooking our favorite meal, it seems to be much easier to go to our favorite drive-thru or fast food restaurant and simply order a burger, or even a bucket of chicken.

Unfortunately, not even fast-food chains are immune to price increases anymore. It seems that only last year, the cost of fast food drastically increased, reaching 13%. As you might be a bit thrown off by this number (don’t worry, you’re not the only one), there’s still some good news. It seems that some fast food chains managed to lower the costs of some menu items. Here’s what you need to know:

fast food
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Wendy’s

Wendy’s has become one of the most expensive fast-food chains in America. To be more specific, prices increased all the way to 35%, thanks to inflation last year. Truth be told, there’s no craving on the entire planet that would make me want to get anything from Wendy’s ever again.

However, if you’re still wishing for a tasty burger, lucky you, because there are a ton of deals you can try. A Big Bacon Classic Combo might set you back $11.11, but you might spend a fraction of the price by simply ordering a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe for only $2.56.

Chick-fil-A

Well, our dearest Chick-fil-A marked the second-highest price increase, which is 15.6 percent. The average meal is $4.65, and that’s probably due to the fact that the price of chicken has increased by 17 percent.

I know you’re probably wondering why it increased so much. Well, the cost of feed, besides a higher demand for chicken overall, has led to a substantial increase that has trickled down to some of the best menu items. And when it comes to Chick-fil-A, it means that our favorite grilled Chicken Sandwich is now $7.23.

KFC

If, for the last couple of days, you were craving a bucket of fried chicken, then there’s nothing better than KFC. Even so, we can’t help but notice the increase of 4.77 percent in price from last year, which makes the average menu no less than $14.45.

I know, at this cost, you’re probably wondering if they will even put an extra wing or two in your bucket. Well, stop hoping. Even at these scores, the vast majority of KFC’s menu items are still “made” to feed more than one person, which means that you won’t get the worst deal you could ever get at a fast food chain.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Are you in the mood for something sweet? Well, why not grab something at Dunkin’? Even if most of us thought about this fast food chain as a wonderful place to get an inexpensive snack and a tasty cup of coffee, the prices aren’t what we used to know.

In fact, the average item price is now $4.34, which marks an increase of 2.57 percent from last year. However, with Apple Fritters costing only $1.78 each, there’s a better and cheaper way to eat at Dunkin’.

fast food
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McDonald’s

Let’s be honest: who doesn’t love a good Big Mac? Well, you’re lucky, because McDonald’s has decided to decrease its menu prices by 5% in 2022. Well, that’s most likely due to the fact that the cost of ground beef is much cheaper now, at least compared to last year. Also, don’t forget to order some fries with that, as French fry prices are down now to $0.09.

Burger King

And in case you prefer Burger King, then you’re also lucky, as the cost of a Whopper is now cheaper by $0.27 than last year. And if you’re really hungry, you can make it double, as the price of a Double Whopper is cheaper by $0.039.

Is it cheaper to cook or to order takeout?

Generally, I would say that in some circumstances, it’s cheaper to cook food at home than eat out. However, probably one of the reasons this question gets stuck in our heads is due to the human psychology variable. It seems that people aren’t so wise when it comes to spending, and the prices also seem to change.

In theory, there’s always a deal you can catch or a discount to score, and if you think you can cook a meal in a dozen different ways, then it also means that there are a dozen different ways to pay for it. For those of you who actually care about your diet, the bad news is that it’s also much cheaper to buy fast food than to cook a meal at home.

For example, as we speak, a McDonald’s McChicken costs around $1.79. There’s NO WAY in which you could replicate that at home without spending the same amount of money. First, the chicken breasts usually come in a package, so there are zero chances for you to buy just one chicken breast.

There’s no such thing. Besides, you’ll also have to pay for the bread and lettuce, which means that you’ll probably spend around $10 to make one chicken sandwich. From this perspective, fast food will always win, so if we look at it that way, yes, it’s cheaper to order takeout.

However, if you’re cooking something for yourself and several other family members, or if you don’t have a problem eating the same meal multiple times a week, then going to the supermarket and cooking at home makes more sense. In these circumstances, cooking is much cheaper than getting delivery.

fast food
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The average fast food expenditure per year

Well, you’re probably wondering what the average amount of money Americans spend a year on fast food is. It seems that, according to the latest research, 30% of all consumers spend no less than $190 a week on average on restaurant food.

For some households, that would add up to $9.360. However, according to a Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it has been discovered that, on average, Americans spend $2,375 a year on fast food and restaurants.

Then, how come fast food prices are stacking up against prices for cooking at home?

To a certain extent, the only relevant criteria for determining whether fast food or groceries are cheaper for you is solely based on how you spend your food budget. For instance, if you’re prone to purchase the highest quality ingredients out there or if you prefer getting the cheapest pork chops at your grocery store, it will say something about your spending. Do you look for deals? When you decide on cooking a certain meal, do you also get 20 different ingredients for each meal? If you want to read a couple of tips on how to lower your bill at the supermarket, here you go:

  • Buy fruits and vegetables in their season – That’s the best advice you can get. Also, if you want specific fruits and veggies and it’s not their season yet, you can always buy them frozen. Oftentimes, it seems that people forget just how great frozen vegetables can be. You can easily add them to any recipe, whether it’s a rapid omelet, tomorrow’s lunch, or a stir-fry.
  • Buy only things that you already have a plan for – If you want to try something new, such as a recipe that you’ve seen on your favorite blog, then we’d strongly suggest you try it only if you don’t have a busy week ahead of you. Otherwise, you might not use all the proteins and short-life foods you’re planning to get.
  • Buy shelf-stable items – And by that, I mean tuna, crackers, and even instant rice and pasta. These delicious foods don’t expire too fast, so you won’t have to eat them too soon.

Now, we’re not done with the budgeting discussion, so I also wanted to recommend this topic: Want to Spend Less on Groceries? These 10 US Cities Have The Cheapest Items!

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