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Saving Money / Frugal Living

One Crazy but Effective Way to Save Money in the Drive-Thru

Overview: This way to save money may seem silly but it works. Stop spending more than you need to while you are out and about!

You’ve been in the car all day and you are HANGRY. You can tell because you are are dying for one of those slider windows between the front seat and the whole rest of the car where all the noise is coming from.

OR you forgot to grab a bite to eat before you left the house, and 15 minutes later you know you won’t make it for long without putting something in your tummy.

This is where the drive-thru comes in, am I right?

BUT you’re trying to watch calories.

BUT a salad is out because you need to drive the car, hello.

AND you don’t want to spend a bunch of money.

BUT the value menu, to be frank, stinks.

What’s a gal to do?

My solution is one you may not have thought of. It’s really simple, and it works, and you don’t feel bloated, and you will save money. And if you haven’t thought of it, you will kick yourself, lol.

This way to save money may seem silly but it works. Stop spending more than you need to while you are out and about!

The crazy way to save money in the drive-thru is really very simple: just order a kid’s meal.


I know it sounds like a silly solution, but it WORKS. What is holding you back, other than feeling like an adult shouldn’t be ordering something designed for the 10-and-under set? With a TOY?

I used to be all worried that I was breaking a rule or something, that kid’s meals were practically BY LAW restricted to a certain age — namely kids, lol — and that I would get busted or called out if I ordered one for myself.

Guess what?

It’s not a big deal.

A) They don’t know who you are ordering it for.

You may have a kid in the back seat that they can’t see, or you may be taking it home to someone. The kid’s meal police will NOT come after you.

B) They really DON’T CARE if you are ordering it for yourself.

Ask them next time if you are unsure and/or your conscience is bothering you. They offer that size meal at that size price, and they are still making a profit from it; trust me on that one. It’s not like it’s some crazy special deal just for kids that they are doing out of the goodness of their hearts, bless them. Nope. PROFIT is the name of the game, and they are still making money on you regardless of what size meal you purchase.

Your wallet will be happy, your calorie count will be (comparitively) happy, and your tummy will be happy because it has something in it.

My personal favorite place to get a kid’s meal is Chick-Fil-A. You can tell them you don’t want the toy and they will let you have an ice dream cup/cone instead. There goes the calorie count, lol — but it’s a small serving, so the guilt is definitely manageable. 🙂

Some places give you those wonderful healthier choices for sides, like apple slices or a fruit cup, which for some reason the adults have to pay a bunch extra for with a regular meal. Now how’s that calorie count looking? Much improved!

Oh yea, and then there are the places that offer a special on kids’ meals during certain times of the day or certain days of the week. Now you’re REALLY gonna save money!

I personally find this a better solution than the value menu, because it’s easier to order, everything comes with it, the drink is smaller so I’m not ingesting a gazillion sugar grams, just maybe a million (again, the guilt factor is easier to deal with) — and frankly, it usually comes out cheaper in the end, anyway. (And BTW, you can still get water with a kid’s meal — this is not against the law, either, lol; and often they will give you an actual bottle.)

What about the kids? This post is not about them, it is about you, the adult. 🙂 But I did write another one about saving money on eats while you are out and about, with some ideas which may work for them (and you, if the kid’s meal idea is just not flying). You can see it here: Best Cheap Snacks to Buy When You’re On the Go.

So by now you’re convinced I’m either a genius or a blithering idiot for writing a post about kid’s meals. I’m probably both, lol. But if you hadn’t thought of it before, aren’t you glad now that I’ve told you about it? LOL.

But really, next time you need to drive through, just do it: just take a look at the kids’ menu. The selection there is pretty good! AND you get a toy!! 🙂 🙂

This has been AnnieThing. An AnnieThing is a simple tip or idea that helps make life go more smoothly. Because we all need a little more “smoothly” going on, lol!

Save money on food while you're running errands! This tip helps you spend less at the drive-thru AND not overeat. It's an idea for people who are serious about frugal living, trying to get out of debt or just stay on budget. Eat fast food with less guilt! It may seem silly but it works!


About the author

Ann Karako

Ann has been homeschooling for 18+ years and has graduated four children (one more to go). She believes that EVERY mom can CONFIDENTLY, COMPETENTLY -- and even CONTENTEDLY -- provide the COMPLETE high school education that her teen needs. Ann's website,, offers information, resources, and virtual hugs to help homeschool moms do just that. Ann has written Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Manual for Research & Planning, and she founded the popular FB group called It's Not that Hard to Homeschool High School. She and her family, including two dogs and three cats, live in rural Missouri.

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Hi! I’m glad you’re here!

I’m Ann (aka Annie), a veteran homeschool mom of five. I believe YOU can do this homeschool high school thing!
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