March 1st, 2017 | Updated on April 21st, 2023
If you’re into cheap food on the go, chances are you’ve eaten at a McDonald’s once or maybe hundreds of times in your life! Whether it’s your sinful indulgence or you eat it without abandon on the regular, there’s a lot about McDonald’s you probably don’t know. Like any other famous American icon, Ronald has a ton of secrets.
Like, how to get an M&M McFlurry for a fraction of the calories and how to get a cheaper Big Mac—not exactly tabloid-worthy scandals but secrets we thought were worth sharing, nonetheless. Discover 11 remarkable ways to hack the menu, save cash, and get a tastier meal at your favorite fast food chain.
1. Shamrock shake
Don’t let nostalgia for this childhood favorite blind you to the cold, smooth facts: McDonald’s shakes are blended from vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, shake syrup, and topped with whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry.
2. Round EGG
Want to make sure the egg that winds up on your McGriddle is fresh from the carton? Order a “round egg,” suggests one Quora user and former McDonald’s employee. If you don’t make this request, your eggs will come from a powdered mix. Gross, right? “Round eggs,” on the other hand, are cracked and cooked fresh in a round ring before making their way into your tray.
3. Skinny Mcflurry
A snack sized M&M McFlurry, for example, has 420 calories, 15 grams of fat, and a staggering 58 grams of sugar. A kiddie cone with M&Ms, however, contains just 215 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 38 grams sugar. While that’s a still a ton of the sweet stuff, these stats are far more reasonable.
4. A big mac on the cheap
You’ll get a burger that has the same taste as the double decker sandwich you love! The only thing it’s missing is the middle bun, but considering the Golden Arches’ bread products are nothing more than empty calories, we consider this a win
5. Get the happy meal
The Happy Meal isn’t just for kids anymore. If you’re looking to shed some pounds but don’t want to give up fast food, it’s actually the ideal order and one that’s nutritionist-approved.
6. The fruit ‘n yogurt parfait isn’t healthy
It sounds like a healthy option, but with 22 grams of the sweet stuff, the yogurt parfait is nothing more than a calcium-filled sugar mine.
7. Hold the pickles
Every burger at Mickey D’s comes with predetermined toppings. When you ask for your lunch to be made with one of its trimmings, they don’t just open the box and remove the pickles or onions; the kitchen staff will actually make you a fresh patty.
8. Ask for fries sans salt
Everyone knows that the best part of any fast food meal is the fries. No nugget, burger or shake can compare—which is why it’s such a disappointment when they come out soggy. To ensure your fries are fresh and not drowning in sodium, order them sans salt.
9. The McRib has no rib
Despite the name of the sandwich, in reality, there’s no rib in the McRib. The pork is pressed into the rib-like shape via a mold, just like Jell-O. Twitter’s favorite sandwich is so popular that a fan launched a GPS app devoted to finding a McRib near you.
10. Skip the grilled chicken
In 2015, a Reddit user who claimed to be a McDonald’s manager cautioned against ordering anything made with grilled chicken, including salads and sandwiches. It’s horrible frozen chicken that we defrost and steam, and it’s a bit gelatinous.
11. Even nutritionists eat there
With a little dietitian makeover magic and a two-word strategy, it turns out there are some choices at McDonald’s that you can enjoy guilt-free. If you generally stick to grilled items over crispy ones, guzzle water and steer clear of empty-calorie added sugars in salad dressings, you’re good to go.