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McDonald’s Dollar Menu to disappear soon

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McDonalds Double Menu will soon disappearIf you’re the type who has a $1-a-day McDonald’s habit, prepare to be disappointed.

McDonald’s “Dollar Menu” will suddenly disappear starting Nov. 4 (no word yet on whether the Hamburglar is involved). In its place will be “Dollar Menu & More” with higher prices on some old Dollar Menu favorites, as well as some more expensive items in the mix. Prices will transition from a uniform $1 to a range between $1 and $5, according to Ad Age.

The restaurant chain joins Wendy’s, which eliminated its dollar menu in January. In a way, the death of the Dollar Menu was inevitable. Inflation always grinds on, and food prices have risen faster than the general rate of inflation since the financial crisis, much to the chagrin of American families.

Keeping prices pegged at $1 when the price of raw ingredients like beef and flour continue to rise was eventually going to squeeze the franchisees who own and operate McDonald’s restaurants hard enough to force a change.

Higher inflation for food and beverages may be behind McDonald's killing the Dollar Menu

That’s bad news for those who have turn to McDonald’s as a way to conveniently contain food costs, but it’s also an opportunity to revisit the way you’re making and consuming food. If the lunch you used to get at McDonald’s for $3 now costs $5, it may make more sense financially — and health-wise — to pack your own lunch at home.

Looking at food prices on grocery delivery site Peapod, I was able to put together a delicious and reasonably healthy lunch for $2.60 a day, and that was with prices drawn from costly New York City ZIP code 10007. I opted for top-quality deli meat and not the gross prepackaged stuff, so you could probably go much lower if you wanted to, while still avoiding the 620 calories and 30 grams of fat that a McDouble from the soon-to-be-defunct McDonald’s Dollar Menu and a small fries will cost you.

Making your own lunch is cheaper than eating McDonald's Dollar Menu

What do you think? Would higher prices at McDonald’s make you reconsider visiting regularly? Are you a brown-bagger or an eating-out-for-lunch type?

(Photo: Sarah Nichols)

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “McDonald’s Dollar Menu to disappear soon”

  1. Texas Wahoo says:

    Around here in the DC area, dollar menus have not really existed for years. Although Wendy’s likes to advertise their $0.99 nuggets, they are $1.39 at all of the Wendy’s around here.

    Also, you don’t put much turkey on your sandwiches. Around here, a pound of Boar’s head runs $9, so you’re getting 8 sandwiches out of less than a pound of turkey?

  2. Claes Bell says:

    They list a serving size of 2 ounces, so that’s what I used for the analysis. Too little, you think?

  3. adam carolla fan says:

    wow! my palms started to sweat until i realized that the dollar menu wasn’t disappearing in its entirety. clark howard and i think alike – years ago, when the double cheese was raised from $1 to 1.29, we just started buying the $1 macdouble. no sense in paying an extra .29 cent for cheese.

    plus, on general principle alone, we just couldn’t pay the higher 1.29.

    • Kostas says:

      It’s amazing how much of a difference that .29 cents makes. Hitting the dollar menu in a pinch was great if you only had a couple bucks on you. Even if you only have those couple bucks, I’m sure those die-hard fans that have to have their McD’s fix will still be able to get something.

  4. Holly says:

    Dollar menu has already disappeared at Taco Bell -> I do NOT go there nearly as often; down from about 2x/month to 1x/3-4 months. Bet McD also sees a MAJOR decrease in business.

  5. Valerie Rind says:

    When I did budget counseling for low-income families, I asked them how much they spent on fast food. “Oh, but we only order off the Dollar Menu,” many people said.

    It wasn’t until we calculated how many items they bought for how many people in the family that they could see it wasn’t such a bargain.

  6. Rich says:

    Once in the building for work, I can’t leave until the end of my shift. So, it is just me and the brown bag (sorry State of Washington, I mean no ill will to anyone using the words ‘brown bag’). As far as fast food goes, I stop by maybe a couple of times a month.
    If the dollar menu goes away, oh well.

  7. SA4H says:

    This article reminded me of the day when a McDonald burger was $0.25.

    I always pack my lunch, saving a bunch (eat out in Downtown LA is not cheap ~$10/meal). Not much fast food chain in walking distance either.

    My healthy alternative fast food choice is Subway $5/foot-long sandwich that can feed two person for get me two meal (breakfast & lunch).

  8. The sad thing is that I doubt it will curb spending at all, which is exactly what McDonald’s is banking on. People will complain, but a lot of them don’t really know what else to do.

  9. If the change is being implemented to start paying their employees a true “living wage” then I would actually consider purchasing something.

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