I just read that McDonalds had a big third quarter (2008) that’s being attributed to the economic downturn. Apparently, consumers are jumping on the frugal food bandwagon and think they’re being frugal by eating at McDonalds. Well, they very well may be. It really depends why they choose to go to McDonalds. True frugalites, frugalists and frugalistas know that frugality is much more wholistic than just saving a few bucks on a single meal.
Personally, I have no problem with McDonalds or any other fast food chain. They make (relatively) inexpensive, (usually) quick and (arguably) tasty food. It’s certainly not the healthiest food on the planet, but it’s also not their responsibility to control what I eat. The goal of nearly every restaurant is to make their customers happy and 99.9% of customers want the best tasting food possible regardless of calories, fat, cholesterol, etc… McDonalds does that for cheap and they are successful for it. Good for them.
So, to be fair to McDonalds, I offer these five frugal reasons you SHOULD eat at McDonalds and another five reasons you SHOULD NOT eat at McDonalds.
Top reasons you SHOULD eat at McDonalds:
- Your body completely rejects anything with fiber, vitamins or nutrients. You’re completely safe at McDonalds. Feel free to eat anything on the menu.
- You have a rare metabolic disorder and need mass quantities of empty calories just to keep your present weight. You’re at the right place!
- Your doctor told you that you don’t eat enough foods from the “fatty meat” and “deep-fried” food groups. Again, anything on the menu will work.
- You’re training to be a competitive eater but on a very tight budget. I don’t even think Takeru Kobayashi trains at McDonalds. What does that tell ya?
- You love McDonalds and only eat there on RARE occasion. Go for it! It’s a pretty frugal way to treat yourself. (Sorry McDonalds, this is the only REAL reason.)
Top reasons you SHOULD NOT eat at McDonalds:
- You think McDonalds is the cheapest way to get a hamburger. Every frugal cook knows that there is almost nothing that can’t be made at home for less money. This is no exception.
- You eat at McDonalds often enough to know exactly how much a meal #3 costs with tax. Take the money you think you’re saving on food and get some better health insurance because you’re going to need it. Better yet, life insurance.
- You want to teach your children good eating habits so they grow up to live long, healthy lives. This is actually a reason TO take them to McDonalds- just make it once or twice a year (not weekly!)
- You would like to get to use your social security benefits one day. Eating fast food regularly will shorten your life. You could easily cook food at home that is even worse than McDonalds, so watch it!
- You have this crazy hang up about feeling good and living a long time. The old saying “you are what you eat” is totally true. Eat good food and you’ll feel good and live long.
So now that you have some good reasons on each side, where will you eat today?