Fast Food Menu Items That Are a Total Waste of Money

For many, fast food is synonymous with cheap. In fact, an estimated 58% of respondents in a Consumer Reports study reported that affordable pricing was one their main reasons for choosing a fast food restaurant. But feeding a family of four from your nearest drive-thru isn’t just unhealthy; it can also be more expensive than you think.

You may think shopping the fast food dollar menu is a wise financial decision, but a lot of those foods come in smaller portions. Therefore, you need to purchase more, which can really add up if you’re feeding several people.

The bottom line is that you should make fast food an occasional indulgence – not a mainstay of your diet. If you do choose to indulge, get the most bang out of your buck by avoiding the biggest ripoffs on the fast food menu.

1. Fountain soda

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Fountain soda is how fast food restaurants make their money. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

There’s a reason why fast food restaurants often offer free drink refills. Penny for penny, there’s no worse deal on the menu than fountain soda. These drinks cost your local fast food joint anywhere from 5 to 20 cents to serve, but they charge upwards of $2 to their customers. In fact, the cups cost more than the soda itself, which is why some places will charge you a small fee even if you just want water.

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