Don't Waste Your Money: Fast food dollar menus shrinking - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Fast food dollar menus shrinking

(Toledo News Now) - If it seems like just about everything is costing more these days, you're right. Even one of the mainstays of lunchtime is starting to disappear: the 99 cent value menu. You may notice some changes next time you pull up to the drive thru.

Remember when you could pull up to any fast food restaurant and order any number of items, from burgers and fries, to drinks, for just 99 cents? For 2013, the dollar deals at lunchtime are getting slimmer.

Wendy's Makes Big Changes

Drive up to many Wendy's now and the 99 cent menu is gone. In its place is a "Right Price, Right Size" menu, featuring a Junior Cheeseburger or Value Fries still at 99 cents.

But some former dollar items are now higher: the Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe (with lettuce and tomato) is now $1.19, and the small Chili continues to rise in price, now up to $1.49 in many areas.

Frequent Wendy's customer Jason Wilson has noticed.

"It's not really worth it anymore," said Wilson. 

Dollar Menus Shrinking

USA Today agrees, saying the shrinking dollar item is the newest trend at fast food restaurants. It says Wendy's now gives four chicken nuggets for 99 cents, instead of five.

"Everything's gotten more expensive and smaller. It's a fact of life," said Laurie Bogart.  
According to USA Today, McDonald's is doing much of the same thing. Last year it replaced its Dollar Menu with a new "Extra Value Menu" with higher prices.

Customers Unhappy With Changes

The report, however, says customers were so angered by the change, McDonald's decided to keep its somewhat smaller Dollar Menu for now, in which you can still get a McDouble or McChicken for $1.
In the meantime, a report on MSN says restaurants need to keep some items at $1, just to bring in customers. But it says eateries don't make money on dollar items, so their goal now is to get you to buy something more expensive instead.

Bottom Line

Fast food prices aren't getting any lower, especially as beef and chicken prices continue to rise as a result of last year's drought.

Watch for changes so you don't waste your money.

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