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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Dollar Menu Made Me Do It

So, I'm walking by a Wendy's this afternoon, and a huge banner outside features this new product they have. A bacon stacker. And it's ONLY 99 cents!!! I'm like, Oh My God...there just went somebody's diet! Whose, I don't know, but for sure, somebody's!

Dollar menus in fast food joints are all the rage. Almost every major fast food retailer has one. I know them well. I was deliriously happy when they were first invented about 8(?) years ago. A dollar menu meant that you could go into Wendy's or Mickey D's with 6 or 7 dollars and go buck wild. Burger King has its own, too.

The McDonalds across the street from where I used to live sold double cheeseburgers on their dollar menu. Talk about a pig in heaven. I ate so many of them over about a year, that I finally just got completely sick of them. I won't ever eat another. I exceeded my limit. I remember being on the line one day, when a guy came in and ordered 6. SIX! And a super size coke. He then sat and proceeded to polish off every last one. I was just like, WOW. Amazing! No wonder as a nation we're so fat.

Yes, I blame the dollar menu for part of the obesity epidemic in America. Nowadays, you don't have to have a ton of cash to stock up on these calorie heavy, fried, greasy goodies. They made sure that they're accessible to everyone! Only have a dollar? No problem! Come on in and get your dose of cholesterol too. Don't get left behind! We'll make sure that you, too, are included in the race to become as unhealthy as you can be! ;)

Now, it's around 3pm as I pass by this Wendy's on our main avenue, and as I pass by, I see that there's a packed line inside, snaking around about 4 times. Guess who it's comprised of? Kids coming home after school. A boat load of 'em.
Yep. The dollar menu works just great for them and their little allowances. They can come in and stuff their faces with fries, burgers and softies with the best of them. Only takes a couple bucks, and you're in! Pass me the ketchup!

Now, I know I can't blame the fast food industry for everything. Self policing is something we all need to learn how to do. Also, making sure that our children develop healthier eating habits and don't cave in to the call of the fast food chains when they're hungry is key, and is definitely the responsibility of parents. Yes, we are responsible for ourselves and our own actions. No one puts a gun to your head and makes you go inside Wendy's. Or McDonald's. Or any of them.

But these dollar menu places sure don't make it easy, do they? I'm just sayin'... ;)

by the Fitness Diva

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Phone Girl said...

Dollar menus are the American way now. With gas so high and groceries going up every week, people race to the nearest McD's or wherever because its convenient to fit into our hectic, lazy, fat lives....lol. People figure they have to save that gas money somewhere.

cchiovitti said...

Oy, don't get me started on fast food. We cut it down years ago to "treat" status but now, after so long, it's lost the treat appeal and became more of an occasional (like, every 2 months) necessary evil.

nhuong said...

I dont eat fast food much but when I do i usually go for the dollar menu. Just because I'm very cheap and trying to save money.

Diane Scott said...

Thankfully we rarely eat fast food anyone. The calories are unbelievable, but the convenience can't be beat. I just feel sorry for kids across the country potentially raised on the idea that that is "real food." :(

Daisy said...

It seems like it is easier and cheaper to eat bad-for-you food nowadays. My Mommie is a vegetarian, and she makes a vegetarian burger that she thinks tastes just like McD, but not as bad for you:

Use a Whitewheat bun (100 cal, 5g fiber), a Grillers Prime patty cooked in the microwave, a slice of American cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles. Tastes delicious and at least a little healthier.

Networking4Biz said...

As disgusting as it is, I'm slightly addicted to Wendy's and McDonalds dollar menus. Gross.

Renee said...

While I know that this food is terrible for you, these dollar meals allow many of the extremely poor to eat. If you are a homeless person begging for change, that dollar McDonalds menu is a good send. I think that we always approach things from our class position. What we need to do is start subsidizing healthy food. A hamburger should not be cheaper than a head of broccoli.

Starlene said...

Amen,,, is people only knew what was really in the food in fast food places,,, i dont think most of them would eat it!

Love your blog,,, thanks!

hparis said...

I agree with Renee. When it comes down to it, calorie for calorie, you can't beat the value of the dollar menu. When you know you only have a few bucks to last you the week, and you KNOW you HAVE to eat, double cheeseburgers from McD's beat out a $75 trip to the grocery store.

But then again, the trip to the store can be hazardous to your health too - especially when the government subsidizes everything "high fructose corn syrup". I don't exactly see them giving huge tax breaks to asparagus growers.

The Fitness Diva said...

hparis, and renee, even on a lower budget, you still have some choices out here.

You DON'T have to buy the DOUBLE cheeseburger!
To say that that's the only choice available it just really being in denial a bit.
"I HAD to get the Big Mac because it was only 99 cents today"
Come on!
Wendy's $1 menu at least does have salad on there, and while you can't eat that all the time, choosing to get two of those Caesar salads for lunch one day (they are kinda small) instead of just going for the double cheesy at Mickey D's all the time would at least have you making more of an attempt to be responsible and smart about what you're putting in your body.
These fast food joints aren't the only places with cheap food, either.
Try some Mexican fast food.
We have all these little Mex chains in NY where you can get a grilled chicken, grilled steak or fajita for $2. You just have to expand your menu a little bit.
Love those damn $2 tacos, by the way! ;)
Also, cooking at home is cheaper, I don't care what anyone says.
Buy your own ingredients and COOK.
Prepare food and put it in Tupperware to pop out and eat for the next few days.
DO NOT tell me the only economical choices you have are McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, and Burger King!
That's bullshit!
Ok... off my little soapbox for now.
But truth is truth.

Diet Reviews said...

The damn fast food restaurants have figured out long ago that the cheaper the food, the more you will sell and also the bigger the portions, the more they can charge. It single handedly causing obesity in our nation, its sad.

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