As much as some people like to vilify and criticize fast food joints like McDonald’s, we can all admit that we’ve had our fair share and will probably partake again in the near future. With a bit of creativity and the right ordering techniques, you can turn a trip to McDonald’s into a much more delicious outing than you might expect. With that said, the next time you’re standing in line at Mickey D’s and aren’t sure what to try, start with the following five tricks and menu combinations to have a better overall experience under the golden arches:
1. “More Fries Please”
Did you know that most McDonald’s employees don’t fill the fry boxes up to the level they’re supposed to? In fact, Consolidate Times recently did a story about former McDonald’s workers admitting that they were trained to squeeze the box to make it look fuller. Luckily, you don’t have to settle for being swindled because all you have to do is order a large fries and then request more fries at the pickup window. More than 99% of the time, they will comply with this request to avoid a complaint.
2. Request “Fresh” or “Cook to Order”
Getting cold or squashed food is one of the biggest fears when you’re headed to any fast food place. Avoid this common problem by saying “Fresh” after the item when ordering. For example, “one small fries, fresh please.” Alternatively, you can also say “cooked to order” or ask for the fries without salt to ensure a new batch is made and then (optionally) salt them yourself with salt packets. Be aware that specifying cooked to order may increase your wait times, but at least you’ll know for sure that they’ll be fresh.
3. The $2 Warm Apple Pie and Ice Cream Dessert
Most people overlook this incredibly delicious dessert that’s hiding in plain sight on McDonald’s menu. Order one warm apple pie cooked to order (fresh) and one vanilla cone. The total will be about $2 and you can dump most of the vanilla ice cream onto the pie for a filling and superb dessert that is hard to beat within the realm of fast food. Plus, you should still have some ice cream left inside the cone itself, so this combo offers a lot of bang for your buck.
4. The Green Drink
For the people who aren’t huge fans of soda, most McDonald’s drink stations offer a few non-carbonated options, often including the Blue Powerade and Orange Hi-C , although the latter has been removed from some locations. When you mix these two drinks together in equal portions you get a nice greenish drink that tastes excellent. Plus, the Hi-C has vitamin C while the Powerade has vitamin B and electrolytes, so it’s a nice custom sports drink to try. You may want to dilute with water and add extra ice to keep it from being unbearably sweet.
5. The Poor Man’s Big Mac
A Big Mac by itself is about $4, but a Double Cheeseburger is only about $1.69. You can turn a double cheeseburger into a Big Mac for free by asking for “no ketchup, no mustard, add lettuce, add special sauce.” Of course, you won’t get a sesame seed bun but other than it will be the same, except for about $2 less. You can get two of these for roughly the price of one Big Mac, so who needs the sesame seeds anyway?
Other Things to Try
McDonald’s has stepped their menu game up in recent years, so it’s worth exploring if you haven’t done so in a while. Some of their healthier options like the parfaits, salads, and fruit smoothies are especially worth trying.