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Friday, February 1, 2019

Fast Food Hack with a Bonus

This is a fast food burger bun that has been kept in our freezer after an outing to McDonalds -- that's frost, not mold.

When it comes to Sunday lunches out two of our family members have a penchant for McDonalds. So we do choose that establishment once or twice per month. It doesn't hurt that it can be very affordable. However, I'm not a huge fan of all of the bready stuff -- burger/sandwich buns. What I do love are salads. When we choose McDonalds, I order a side salad ($1.99), and a McChicken sandwich ($1.00). I open the salad and sandwich and scrape the lettuce and mayo from the McChicken onto the salad, then I slice the chicken patty into strips to add to the greens -- my own chicken and greens salad. If the McDonalds has Caesar dressing, then I get a Chicken Caesar salad for $2.99. And yes, it is tasty -- so much so that one of my daughters now follows me in her fast food lunch choice.

bread crumbs from the above, salvaged burger bun

Here's the bonus. You know that I don't like to waste food. McDonalds packages the salad dressing with a fork and knife in a plastic bag. I use this bag to hold the burger bun that is leftover from my McChicken after removing the lettuce, mayo, and chicken patty. Once home, I pop the bun into the freezer. When I make meatloaf, I pull one of these saved buns from the freezer and pulse into crumbs in the food processor to add to the ground meat. Nothing wasted, and I got just the lunch that I wanted at a reasonable price.

To give you a price comparison, the same McDonalds has a Chicken Southwest Salad that sells for $4.79 and a Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad that sells for $4.59. Both of these salads contain a comparable amount of food to my chicken salad concoction. Yet, my salad is 1/3 cheaper.

How about you? Do you ever take the various components of fast food items and concoct something more to your liking? Would you save a burger bun to use as bread crumbs for another meal?


  1. That's a good idea about combining the chicken sandwich and the salad. And as for saving the bread, "Waste not, want not." :)

    1. Waste not, want not is how I feel, too, live and learn. If something can be put to use, I at least try.

  2. Thanks for the food hack idea. Who would think adding the chicken DIY to a plain salad, instead of ordering it premade, would be cheaper? The value menu is a source of some fairly cheap eats.

    I love finding cheap hacks, why not? The pennies add up over time. My husband and I share an entree, bringing our own vegetable side dishes. Food establishments don't seem to mind since it appears we're just wanting to eat healthy. I find getting old has its perks, we can get by being eccentric.


    1. Hi YHF,
      I know. The value menu combined with coupons from their app can lead to some really inexpensive fast food meals. My daughter can frequently pull up a coupon for $1 medium fries to share between us. And several sandwiches are still priced at $1 in our area. Cheap eats all right.

  3. Had not thought of this. Thanks for the idea. And yes, I would save the bun too!

    1. Good to know that I'm not "too" thrifty, and that you'd save the bun too, Lynn.

  4. Very clever idea with the sandwich and salad! I wouldn't have thought of that.

    1. I'm really happy with how well it works for me, Kris.

  5. That's a good idea. I don't go out to fast food as it give me tummy problems. Even salads from restaurants gives me tummy aches. But, I do have a saying at home. If we eat something served one way and it's not a big hit it will get remade into something else another day. So the saying is "I'll make you eat it one way or another" and the kids all know it. I've even heard my son say that this week.

    I use anything bready to make bread crumbs and freeze them for future use. Crackers, bread, buns.

    I love frugality!


    1. Hi Alice,
      I love your way of thinking. I do the same thing. Food item keep seeing reincarnations until they're gone! Funny that your son has now taken on the saying.


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