Above is cost break downs for three meals from a NY Times article by Mark Bittman, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?
The obvious answer is no.
Fast food does not cost less despite all of the $1 menus.
A while back, I wrote a post The $3-5 meal challenge with the idea that anyone can make a meal at home cheaper than the cheapest of fast food $1 menu meals.
I even made a meal for less than a $1, which was a bowl of lentils stew with sweet potatoes and feta.
In fact, I probably could create the fast food meal minus the soda for less than McDonalds at home even with organic ingredients
1/2 lb of grass fed beef $3
1/4 LB of cheddar cheese $2
3 Lbs of organic russet potatoes $3
3 Home made buns $1 (.33 per)
1/2 pound of chicken breast $3
1 organic egg and bread crumbs $1
olive oil $2 (for pan frying chicken and oven roasting potatoes)
various condiments and toppings $3
I figure the same, actually better meal made at home would be $18 compared to $28. And I figure that all ingredients were health food store or farmers market prices. If fast food use grass fed beef their meal would be more.
My at-home meal gives me an extra $10 to spare, which I could use to add some veggies or fruit to the meal or even make a second meal with.
So is fast food cheaper?