Fast food isn’t always the healthiest option, but that doesn’t stop Americans from consuming it, especially for lunch and dinner.
Although we don’t recommend daily consumption, it’s nice to be able to save both time and money by stopping at your favorite fast food joint on the way home. This option may be especially appealing for low-income families.
Plus, certain items will only cost you around $1, so if you need a quick and cheap snack, these items are hard to beat!
You can also find the best fast food for $1 helpful when planning a group event, as you can pick up many of these menu items at once and serve a large group while sticking to a lower budget.
Best Fast Food Items for $1
In this article, I’ll be ranking some of my favorite fast food items you can get for a dollar.
Burger King Cheeseburger
I like that it is a straightforward burger with all the traditional toppings you could hope for, including mustard, ketchup, pickles, and American cheese.
Of course, the additional smoky bacon inside makes it all the more enjoyable.
All of this lies between a toasted sesame bun that is a step above other fast food restaurant buns, in my opinion.
If you’re not a fan of bacon, though, you can easily order the burger without it, and it will still taste great. Burger King is all about letting you have it your way, so don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want!
Taco Bell Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito
The Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito from Taco Bell is one of my favorite cheap fast food options.
I love that it packs in a lot of flavor for only a dollar. The burrito is filled with refried beans, rice, and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s then wrapped in a soft flour tortilla and served nice and hot.
If you want, you can also add on some extras like sour cream, black beans, onions, guacamole, or lettuce for an additional cost. But, in my opinion, the burrito is perfect just the way it is.
I will indeed add some jalapeños for $0.50 if I’m craving a bit of spice, though!
Check out the rest of Taco Bell’s Dollar Cravings menu!
Although it’s technically classified as a dessert, I often find myself getting a junior Frosty as a quick, light snack or even a meal replacement if I’m in a hurry.
Depending on location, it’s less than $1 for a junior size which is more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.
And, if you want, you can get value fries on the side and dip the fries into the Frosty for a sweet and savory combo that’s to die for!
Check out other value deals at Wendy’s.
White Castle Cheese Slider
White Castle has a variety of sliders, which is what they’re best known for.
Their simple Cheese Slider is a value menu item that makes for the perfect afternoon snack.
It includes a 100% beef patty, onion, and pickles. But the best part is that you can choose which type of cheese you want from three options, American, jalapeño, or smoked cheddar cheese.
I think the smoked cheddar cheese tastes the best overall, but I like to get the jalapeño cheese when I’m feeling like adding a bit of heat to my snack.
McDonald’s is known for its supersize options, but if you’re looking for a light snack to hold you over, you’re in luck with their small World Famous Fries.
Their name seems a bit exaggerated, but McDonald’s fries are truly loved globally, so I feel lucky that I’m able to get a smaller size for such a great deal.
However, you should try to get a fresh batch, which is typically more likely if you visit McDonald’s at a busier time of day.
If you go at an off-hour or slow time, the fries might have been sitting there for a while and will be soggier and less crisp.
Check out other inexpensive items at McDonald’s.
Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger
A Frosty isn’t the only thing you can get at Wendy’s for a low price.
If you want to try Wendy’s “fresh, never frozen” beef but only have about a dollar to spare, order their Jr. Cheeseburger.
It includes a small beef patty, American cheese, pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard on a toasted bun.
It’s essentially the same as their regular cheeseburger, but without all the extras and at a much smaller size.
I don’t find myself getting too full when I eat a Jr. Cheeseburger, but it’s the perfect size if you want a quick bite without overdoing it.
If you want a complete meal, get a small Frosty and small fries with the burger for less than $4.
Del Taco Value Taco
Del Taco might not yet be as popular as the massive brands like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Taco Bell, but it’s a growing chain with some solid cheap fast food options.
All of their tacos are delicious, and their Value Taco only costs around $0.69, depending on your location.
It’s filled with seasoned beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese, all inside a soft tortilla shell.
I find that the tacos are a lot tastier than those you’d find at Taco Bell and just as cheap, if not cheaper.
Like Burger King, McDonald’s offers a McDouble on their value menu, which includes $1, $2, and $3 items.
The McDouble is a great option for people who are on the hungrier side because even though it’s still much smaller than items like the Big Mac or Quarter Pounder, you still get a reasonable amount of calories.
The reason is that instead of one patty like other value burgers on this list, the McDonald’s McDouble includes two beef patties, as its name suggests.
I like that you still get all the favorite fixings like ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, and a slice of cheese.
Taco Bell Cheesy Roll Up
Taco Bell’s Cheesy Roll Up is arguably the simplest menu item on this list, and it’s perfect for people who love cheese.
The concept is straightforward: a melted blend of three kinds of cheese wrapped up in a flour tortilla. That’s it. And at only $1.00, it makes for a great snack or side item.
I like to order it with Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza Sauce on the side for dipping.
If you’re a real cheese lover, you can pay just $0.55 for extra cheese on the inside or $0.85 for a nacho cheese dipping.
Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you decide to order both extra cheese and nacho cheese!
For just $1.00, you can get a small order of Arby’s curly fries, which is a pretty good deal as they are always fried to perfection.
If you need a bit more to fill your stomach, you can include other side dishes in your order for a complete meal.
I would suggest their White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese as well as their refreshing side salad.
7-Eleven Big Bite Hot Dog
7-Eleven might not be the first place you consider when you think about fast food, but they have a pretty extensive menu full of cheap eats.
One of their best options is the Big Bite Hot Dog, which you can get for only $1.00.
The hot dog itself is a quarter-pound all-beef frank, and it’s served on a steamed bun with your choice of ketchup, mustard, or relish (or all three).
You can also include jalapenos, onions, and nacho cheese for an even heartier, more dynamic meal.
All of this comes inside a non-GMO bun, which is helpful to know if you are actively avoiding GMO foods.
Burger King Crispy Chicken Jr.
Burger King has had several cheap eats on this list, and the last one is their Crispy Chicken Jr.
This sandwich is a classic, no-frills snack with bread chicken, creamy mayo, and fresh lettuce on Burger King’s signature toasted sesame bun.
At 445 calories, this menu item is quite filling and may even be your whole meal instead of just a snack!
However, if you want to pair it with another item, you can’t go wrong with getting Burger King’s fries on the side.
Jack in the Box Mini Pancakes
Most of the best fast food for $1 or less are items you’d typically order in the afternoon or evening.
But if you want a value deal for breakfast, look no further than the Mini Pancakes at Jack in the Box.
These pancakes are small, light, fluffy, and delicious.
The meal includes eight of these bite-sized treats, so it’s filling enough for a full breakfast or perfect for sharing along with the chain’s other breakfast menu items like eggs, bacon, and hash browns.
Jack in the Box offers all day breakfast, so you can grab these mini pancakes any time.
Best Fast Food Items for $1
- Burger King Cheeseburger
- Taco Bell Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito
- Wendy’s Frosty
- White Castle Cheese Slider
- McDonald’s Fries
- Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger
- Del Taco Value Taco
- McDonald’s Cheeseburger
- Taco Bell Cheesy Roll Up
- Arby’s Fries
- 7-Eleven Big Bite Hot Dog
- Burger King Crispy Chicken Jr
- Jack in the Box Mini Pancakes
And there you have it: the best fast food for $1 or less. While there are plenty of other great deals out there, especially when it comes to fast food, these are some of the cheapest items available.
But cheap doesn’t mean less valuable or less tasty. Many of these items are just as good as the regularly-priced meals, just a bit smaller. So if you’re looking for a bargain, be sure to check out these fast food deals!
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