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McDonald’s Dollar Menu to disappear soon

If 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 [3].

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 [4].

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.

That’s bad news for those who have turn to McDonald’s [5] 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.

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)