I don’t like to admit it, but occasionally, I hit McDonalds for breakfast. I have plenty of other cheap, quick breakfast options, but sometimes I just want to get out the door and have something hot. Apparently, I’m not the only one… McDonalds does a great breakfast business.
If you are going to eat fast food (and deal with the health implications), you might as well save money, right? I’m a big proponent of making the most of fast food value menus, which for McDonalds means focusing on the Sausage McMuffin… without egg. There are other breakfast items on the menu, but paying a buck for fried potatoes (hash browns) doesn’t work for me. It’s almost completely void of protein and not filling. The sausage and egg burrito is a little better, but it isn’t enough of a breakfast by itself.
The last time I was at McDonalds ordering the Sausage McMuffin they asked if I wanted the one with the egg. I like egg, so I thought about it and looked at the price. With the egg, the McMuffin jumps to $3.00. At $2, that’s an expensive egg. It probably wouldn’t seem so bad were it at a dinner. Or maybe it just seems worse to me because the Sausage McMuffin is so cheap in the first place… the 200% increase in price just knocks me over.
It feels like a restaurant charging you a dollar for a soda and then another dollar if you want ice in it. Ice is nice, but I can make due without it. If McDonalds would make the price competitive to get the extra egg, I would definitely consider it. For example, if it was an extra 50 cents for the egg, I would get it. McDonalds could profitably offer it too because that’s $6 per dozen and their bulk purchasing power probably has them getting a dozen eggs for under a dollar. That would kill the margins on their Sausage McMuffin with Egg though.
I’m not the only one who sees McDonalds with some crazy pricing inconsistencies. McDonald’s Secret Menu details a poor man’s Big Mac that you can get for $1 instead of $3 or $4. Hint: it’s a customized McDouble.
Some might wonder why I would write an article encouraging people to save a couple of dollars like this. There are a lot of Americans who can’t afford a $1000 expense. Maybe a little creative thinking on some routine purchases would be a significant difference for these people. It all starts with being mindful about the spending… even on the little things like a $3 breakfast.
Andy Hough says
There is a way around paying $2 extra. You can order a side of eggs for $1.20 and just put them on top of the sandwich yourself. The side of eggs isn’t on the menu, but you can order them.
Lazy Man says
I’m definitely going to try that next time. Maybe you should create the McDonalds Secret Menu website?
I have a pal who is an self professed eco-warrior and takes every opportunity to slag off fast food companies.
I love drive throughs – the best thing ever invented for parents with kids who want to stay awake and scream at 3am. Stick them in the car, and take them for a drive – buy yourself a late night snack at the same time.
Anyway – guess who i saw in my rear-view mirror a couple of nights ago. My eco warrior neighbour with his screaming twins lol.
I stopped the car and took his photo.
Cant wait for the next time i bump into him
by the way – i LOVE McDs
Lazy Man says
Thanks getrichwithme. I just learned a new word… slag. I’m to try to use that three times today. (And if people don’t like it, they can “slag off.” See what I did there?)
Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says
Many of the promotions that they run can result in these inconsistencies. The other day I was at subway and it was cheaper to get two 6 inch subs than one footlong.
Lazy Man says
That’s a particularly obvious one Michael. I’ve mentioned to Subway before that they should fix the pricing on that so as to not present their customers with a “stupid tax.”
I found this site after I realized here in Hawaii it is 3 dollars for an extra egg????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Braden says
Any fast food restaurant menu can be hacked. For instance, at Arby’s, the junior roast beef is the best deal for amount of meat for amount spent. A Classic Roast Beef costing three times as much does not have three times as much meat. Likewise, I’m sure Arby’s knows this and prices their menu items based on the sizes that sell best that they can likewise best maximize their profit on. Can’t blame them, but we don’t have to play their game.
My favorite McDonald’s stupid tax has to be the 10 piece nuggets vs. 20 pieces. The McDonald’s close to my house actually tried to get away with not having a value menu posted for a while, and when that backfired the truth came out about the nuggets. Their 10 piece nuggets (not the meal) was $4.19 and the value menu 20 piece was a cool $5.00. I’m not one to try and over eat…especially with fast food, but I can find someone to give the second 10 nuggets to for the ridiculous price of $0.81 cents.
Wendy’s had an interesting deal for a while with their double stacks. When they first came out, they were $0.99, which was the same price as a side of fries…Needless to say I was at Wendy’s nearly everyday spending $3.00 for a meal, and getting plenty of protein while throwing away most of the buns (they were unnecessarily filling and not a good source of calories). Since then the double stack has gone up to $2.09, and it is probably because they realized people were getting more meat from 3 double stacks than they would from a double cheeseburger…Needless to say I don’t do Wendy’s very much anymore :(
Ben Cracklin says
“stupid tax” is a core value of our government