Honestly not believing my first official blog post, my first official $.02 entry is on McDonald’s chicken nuggets but here we are. Not so much a cuisine recommendation as a fiscally-smart ‘hey did you know?’ scenario.
Picture this: every Monday evening my 7 year old daughter Bella has gymnastics class. At the end of class, our routine involves her getting to pick a fast-food place (or anywhere, but it inevitably ends up being fast food because time is of the essence) where she gets to select not only her dinner meal but her 10 year old brother’s as well. It’s always Sonic. ALWAYS SONIC. Not only is that a hassle due to the hemming and hawing over shake selection (shakes for dinner, don’t judge me it’s practically a beverage), but it’s about two miles out of my way. Last night, as luck (?) would have it, there was a snow cone truck outside her gymnastics studio. 7 year old girls are like moths-to-flame as it pertains to any kind of truck serving something cold and rainbow-colored. This truck was also blaring Cancun-esque steel drum and bongo island music. I used this all to my 2-mile advantage. I told her the only way she could get a snow cone was if she agreed to go anywhere besides Sonic. She said, “OK. McDonald’s.” I won! Did I win?
Anyway, here we go.
As the mom of two littles, is there really anything served at McDonald’s besides Happy Meals? Well, I had a minute or two to peruse the menu as Bella filled me in on her thought-process in selecting a drink so I ignored her and ogled the menu. Now come the maths. Happy Meals are about $4 each. They come with 4 nuggets, the world’s tiniest dollhouse-sized fries, a micro drink and a toy. No longer are there cool Happy Meal boxes, they are plain ol’ bags. And the toys more often than not go from tiny bag – cue diversionary tactic – to trash can. I looked at the menu and was stunned. A 20-pack box of nuggets costs $5. Large fry to split is less than $2. Drinks at home. No toy to fret over. Let’s break it on down:
Happy Meal – $4 each x 2 (comes with 4 nuggets, smaller fry, small drink, toy, bag) so roughly $8Non- Happy Meal – I get 2.5 times the nuggets (20 v 8) and larger small fry for less than the Happy Meals AND I can put the leftover nuggets in the fridge to toaster oven the next day. Even if I were to buy 2 small kids drinks, still less with leftovers and no #makethetoydisappear hassle
Admittedly, there’s an art to moving from the toy-in-dinner to the no-toy-in-dinner and that art involves targeted manipulation, but in the end I feel like we took a step in the right direction. Granted it was towards an increased amount of McDonald’s chicken nuggets, but a step nonetheless.
Disclaimer: I have no doubt there are people out there that would rather have their child choke on a toy than touch food from McDonald’s AND/OR would gladly pay $20 for a $.02 toy over be handed a $50 bill to watch their child eat even one of their nuggets and to that I say, “Maybe my next two cents will be more useful (smile)!”