Best And Worst Fast Food Deals, Ranked By Calories Per Dollar

Burger King's Crispy Chicken Jr. is the best of the fast food deals currently around.

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Fast food is ubiquitous in the U.S. You could almost say it's as American as apple pie. The fact is though that not all fast food is created equal and I'm not just talking about the ingredients.

For a lot of people, cost is the deciding factor of whether or not to stop by the nearest drive through. If fast food is a staple of your diet but you're on a tight budget, or maybe just looking to tighten your wallet a little (though not necessarily your belt!), take a look at the following chart which ranks fast food by calories per dollar:

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Fast Food Items Ranked By Calories Per Dollar

Burger King Crispy Chicken Jr. $1.00 450 $0.00222
Little Caesers HOT-N-READY (Pepperoni) $5.00 2220 $0.00225
Taco Bell Beefy Fritos Burrito $1.00 430 $0.00233
Taco Bell Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito $1.00 420 $0.00238
Little Caesers HOT-N-READY (Cheese) $5.00 1960 $0.00255
Burger King Spicy Crispy Chicken Jr. $1.00 390 $0.00256
Wendy's Crispy Chicken Sandwich $0.99 350 $0.00283
McDonald's McChicken $1.09 350 $0.00311
Taco Bell Triple Layer Nachos $1.00 320 $0.00313
Taco Bell Bean Burrito $1.19 370 $0.00322
Taco Bell Quesarito (Beef) $2.19 640 $0.00342
Burger King Chicken Nuggets (10) $1.49 430 $0.00347
Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger $0.99 280 $0.00354
Burger King Cheeseburger $1.00 270 $0.00370
McDonald's McDouble $1.49 380 $0.00392
McDonald's Cheeseburger $1.19 300 $0.00397
Taco Bell Beefy 5-Layer Burrito $1.99 500 $0.00398
McDonald's Hamburger $1.19 300 $0.00397
Taco Bell Loaded Potato Griller $1.69 410 $0.00412
Wendy's Jr. Hamburger $0.99 240 $0.00413
Taco Bell Spicy Potato Soft Taco $1.00 230 $0.00435
Taco Bell Shredded Chicken Burrito $1.79 400 $0.00448
Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe $1.49 330 $0.00452
Burger King Hamburger $1.00 220 $0.00455
Taco Bell Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller $1.69 370 $0.00457
Taco Bell Smothered Burrito (Beef) $3.19 690 $0.00462
Taco Bell XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito (Beef) $3.99 860 $0.00464
Taco Bell Beefy Mini Quesadilla $1.00 210 $0.00476
Taco Bell Spicy Tostada $1.00 210 $0.00476
Taco Bell Quesarito (Chicken) $2.99 620 $0.00482
Burger King Double Cheeseburger $1.69 350 $0.00497
Taco Bell Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller $1.69 340 $0.00497
McDonald's Double Cheeseburger $2.19 430 $0.00509
Wendy's Double Stack $1.99 390 $0.00510
Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger $1.99 380 $0.00524
Burger King Double Whopper With Cheese $4.99 930 $0.00537
Wendy's Spicy Chicken Wrap $1.99 370 $0.00538
Burger King Double Hamburger $1.69 310 $0.00545
Taco Bell Cheese Roll-Up $1.00 180 $0.00556
Taco Bell Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla $1.00 180 $0.00556
Wendy's Dave’s HOT’ N JUICY Triple $6.09 1090 $0.00559
Burger King Whopper with Cheese $3.99 710 $0.00562
Taco Bell Black Bean Burrito $1.19 380 $0.00313
Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito $2.49 430 $0.00579
Taco Bell XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito (Chicken) $4.79 810 $0.00591
McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese $4.59 770 $0.00596
Taco Bell Combo Burrito $2.69 450 $0.00598
Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich $3.99 660 $0.00605
Taco Bell XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito (Steak) $4.99 820 $0.00609
Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger $2.29 370 $0.00619
Wendy's Chicken Nuggets – 6 piece $1.69 270 $0.00626
Wendy's Dave’s HOT’ N JUICY Double $5.09 810 $0.00628
Burger King Whopper Jr. $1.99 310 $0.00642
Wendy's Baconator $6.29 950 $0.00662
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich $2.99 440 $0.00680
McDonald's Big Mac $3.69 540 $0.00683
McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese $3.69 530 $0.00696
Wendy's Asiago Ranch Chicken Club $4.69 670 $0.00700
Chick-fil-A Spicy Deluxe Sandwich $3.85 540 $0.00713
Wendy's Dave’s HOT’ N JUICY Single $4.09 570 $0.00718
Chick-fil-A Deluxe Sandwich $3.59 500 $0.00718
Chick-fil-A Spicy Sandwich $3.25 450 $0.00722
Burger King TENDERCRISP Chicken Sandwich $4.79 660 $0.00726
Wendy's Grilled Chicken Wrap $1.99 270 $0.00737
Wendy's Son Of Baconator $4.69 630 $0.00744
Taco Bell Burrito Supreme (Beef) $2.99 400 $0.00748
Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich $3.99 500 $0.00798
McDonald's Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich $4.69 570 $0.00823
Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich $3.99 660 $0.00605
Burger King Flame Grilled CHICKEN BURGER $3.99 480 $0.00831
Wendy's Homestyle Chicken Sandwich $4.69 520 $0.00902
McDonald's Chicken McNuggets (10) $3.99 440 $0.00907
Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich $4.69 510 $0.00920
Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips $3.29 350 $0.00940
McDonald's Filet-O-Fish $3.69 390 $0.00946
Burger King TENDERGRILL Chicken Sandwich $4.79 420 $0.01140
Chick-fil-A Nuggets (8) $2.99 260 $0.01150
McDonald's Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich $4.59 380 $0.01208
Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich $5.49 430 $0.01277
Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich $4.69 360 $0.01303
Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich $4.29 310 $0.01384
Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap $5.15 350 $0.01471
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets $3.79 140 $0.02707
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Best Fast Food Deals

As you can see in the table, the winner is Burger King's Crispy Chicken Jr. With 450 calories at only $1.00, that comes out to $0.00222 per calorie! While the McDouble gets all the love, the actual cheapest fast food is B.K.'s Crispy Chicken Jr.

Coming in a close second is Little Caesar's HOT-N-READY pepperoni pizza. For just $5.00 you get a whopping 2220 calories making each calorie cost only $0.00225. Personally, I love that you can get a pizza for only $5.00 and it's one of my go to favorites when I'm really hungry. Making up those 2220 calories is 90 grams of fat, 249 grams of carbs, and 107 grams of protein.

Rounding out the top three best calorie-per-dollar deals, Taco Bell's Beefy Fritos Burrito has 430 calories for only a buck or $0.00233 per calorie.

I find it interesting that in the top ten, McDonald's, which has for decades supposedly been the best value in fast food, only has one item, the McChicken. The McDouble, arguably the most famous of the fast food value items, comes in at #16 and really makes you question why so many people wrongly think it's fast food's best deal.

With 380 calories in a McDouble and costing $1.49, the McDouble, while not a bad deal, is far from the best. Each of the McDouble's calories come out to $0.00392, about 77% more than Burger King's Crispy Chicken Jr. Clearly, Burger King is the winner when it comes to the cheapest food per calorie.

Taco Bell on the other hand secures four of the top ten spots for best value, the most for any fast food chain in this list. Clearly they should be associated with value over McDonald's. Actually, Burger King has two items in the top ten, beating McDonald's too, and even Wendy's Crispy Chicken Sandwich beats McDonald's McChicken on a cost per calorie basis.

Overall, it looks like McDonald's has really lost (given up) the war to be the best value chain. A lot of their offerings now aren't so budget friendly.

Worst Fast Food Deals

The worst fast food deal currently is Chick-fil-A's Grilled Nuggets. Costing $3.79 and having only 140 calories, each calorie comes out to $0.02707.

That's almost twice as expensive on a per calorie basis as the runner up, another Chick-fil-A item, their Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap which comes in at $0.01471 per calorie.

Rounding out the top three worst fast food deals, you guessed it, Chick-fil-A again with their Grilled Chicken Sandwich at $0.01384.

Clearly, if you're looking for value, Chick-fil-A is not the place to go.

While Chick-fil-A dominates the end of the list (i.e. worst value items), McDonald's also has two items in the bottom ten, the famous Filet-O-Fish at $0.00946/calorie, and the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich at $0.01208/calorie.


Overall, if you're looking for the best value fast food, stay away from Chick-fil-A and McDonald's and instead stop by Burger King and order a Crispy Chicken Jr., hands down the best fast food deal currently around.

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