fast food fast casual hamburger milkshake get.width kYsDsCY.jpg

Want to Pay 2000s Prices for Fast Food? Here’s How

A person eating a hamburger with a plate of fries and a milkshake on the table in a fast food restaurant.

Image source: Getty Images

If you’ve stopped at a fast food drive-thru within the last year or two, you may have been shocked at the menu prices. Fast food is no longer as affordable as it used to be. Sure, fast food isn’t the healthiest option, but it’s a convenient solution when you need a quick meal.

But if you want to avoid overspending when you order a meal while on the go, you’re in the right place. You can get a deal on your next fast food order if you make strategic moves. I’ll share my favorite strategy to get your favorite fast food menu items for 2000s prices.

Use mobile app deals to save money at the drive-thru

Many of the top fast food and fast casual eateries have mobile apps. You can use these apps to browse the menu, order food, earn rewards, and activate money-saving deals.

These in-app deals are the best way to keep your fast food spending in check. You can activate offers you want to use and then place a mobile order for pickup in-store or at the drive-thru window. This makes for an easy way to save on food costs.

You may want to see if your favorite fast food spot has in-app discounts, because if you’re ordering from the drive-thru menu directly, you’re likely paying more than you have to. You can keep more money in the bank using virtual coupons like this.

You can still buy a $5 footlong in 2024

If you’ve been to Subway within the last few years, you’re probably aware that the $5 footlong menu that was introduced in the 2000s is no more. Sandwich prices vary depending on what you order and where you live. But you can expect to pay around $8 to $10 for a footlong sub in 2024. That is, if you order without a coupon code.

When using the Subway mobile app, customers can enter a coupon code before checking out to get a discount on their order. You can use one of the best coupon apps or browse promo codes online to find the best deals. The company also promotes current deals within the app.

Often, the fast food sandwich spot has buy-one-get-one-free footlong sub deals. In Chicago, a footlong grilled chicken sub costs $9.59. If you order two of these subs and have a BOGO coupon, you can feed yourself and your honey for lunch for less than $5 per sandwich.

Even if no BOGO sandwich deals are available the next time you order, you can use other coupon codes to pay less. I’ve seen coupon codes for $6.99 footlong subs, which isn’t too far from the 2000s $5 footlong deal that we all knew and loved.

Score two Big Macs for a 2000s price tag

McDonald’s is another fast food spot with great app deals. Are you sick of draining your checking account when you order a Big Mac? You can order through the app and save big.

According to The Economist’s Big Mac Index, the price of one Big Mac sandwich was $2.89 in December 2006. The McDonald’s app routinely has a deal for a buy-one-get-one 10-piece Chicken McNugget, Big Mac, or Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

That means mobile app users who love the famous Big Mac can get two sandwiches for the price of one. With this deal, app users in the Chicago area pay a total of $5.69 for two Big Macs, making the cost of each sandwich around $2.85 — similar to the prices we paid in the 2000s.

Technology can help you save money

Yes, food prices are much more costly than they were two decades ago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a deal when ordering fast food. Technology, like mobile apps, can help you save more money. It’s worth seeing if your favorite fast food restaurant offers in-app deals that can take your finances back to the 2000s. For additional ways to save money, check out our personal finance resources.

Our picks for 2024’s best credit cards

Our experts carefully review the most popular offers and select those that are worthy of a spot in your wallet. These standout cards come with fantastic benefits like sign-up bonuses worth $200 or more, 0% intro APR for up to 21 months, and cash back rates up to 5%.

Click here to see our top credit cards

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts